- This topic has 26 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
March 16, 2007 at 3:38 pm #5910AnonymousInactive
Hi, is here anyone from Carlow Games course ? please can you give small layout of information that you covered on 1, 2 years of studding ? what games did you write if (you did)? thanks!
May 7, 2007 at 1:46 pm #36715AnonymousInactive
Hey, im just finished my first year. We program in C/C++, using Borland C++. While the course is labeled a Computer Game Development course, it would probably be better labeled Computer Game Programming as it is very heavily programming orientated.
There are basically 5 modules:
Computer Games, Computer Graphics, Computer Architecture, Programming and Maths.
All of the subjects are split into lectures and practicals
The Computer Games subject is interesting, it basically goes over jobs in the industry, why games sell, how to write a design document and all that. We got to make a game using game maker, which is a fairly decent way to get used to programming and using sprites. I made Sonic 1, ill upload it at some stage to show you what you can do in it. We also modified a board game, this was a fairly useless part of the course but it didnt take much time. Our 3rd project was to make 3 quake2 levels.
The Computer Graphics Subject is a bit usless on the lecture side of things. It goes over a lot of stuff like how LCDs and CRTs work and crap like that. The practical side is very cool though. The first program we made was basically using two different line algorithms to let a user to draw a line on screen, like in microsoft paint if you use the line tool. Our second project was a joined project between graphics and programming to make asteroids.
The Computer Architecture Subject is again fairly usless in the long run, you learn alot of the basics of how computers operate. You also get a project in 80×86 ASSEMBLY. Its cool to see how ASSEMBLY works but i doubt you’ll find much use for it.
The Maths isn’t as bad a people would think. The lecturer is very good at merging in the fact that we’re in a games course, so he always shows how the maths is applied to the industry, so it makes it alot cooler than say leaving cert maths. Our project was to make a cannon game where you are a cannon and you change the angle and speed of the bullet you fire and have to try hit a block. It was a cool little game to make.
Programming is the main body of the course. We did 3 main programs through the year. We started with blackjack(card game), then we made Wumpus( a text based game) then we made asteroids. It was a good progression and we have all the basics of programming done. Next year I think we will be learnign alot more object orintated programming.
Thats basically my sum up of the subjects, most subjects can be pased befor even going to the exams at the end of the year. I cant tell you anythign about 2nd year really, maybe if there is a secodn year here they can fill you in.
From what Iv heard the next first years will be doing a lot of C#(XNA) so i recon they will get alot more games done as it would be easier programmign with object orintated from the start.
If you have any more questions or would liek to see any projects we made this year, just ask.
Hope this helped.
May 8, 2007 at 9:14 am #36719AnonymousInactive
You also get a project in 80×86 ASSEMBLY. Its cool to see how ASSEMBLY works but i doubt you’ll find much use for it. [/quote:53cbb9a122]
You not serious, right?
Assembly is extremely useful to know for a games programmer
May 8, 2007 at 9:32 am #36720AnonymousInactive
And its fun too :D
May 8, 2007 at 1:19 pm #36729Aphra KKeymaster
yes there was a lot of discussion at the birthday event about the need for C++ and for languages like assembly. Not my forte but definitely useful in the industry ..
May 8, 2007 at 1:51 pm #36732AnonymousInactive
assembly is handy to know, so that you know when the compiler is mangling your code but not essential. maybe if your a ll core tech programmer and even at that you use it rarely.
May 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm #36739AnonymousInactive
If you’re writing SPU code on PS3 then you’ll definitely need assembly at some point.
May 8, 2007 at 3:57 pm #36742AnonymousInactive
It’s also useful to know assembly for shader development, to squeeze out every last bit of performance. It’s not the same as x86 asm, but it’s not hard
May 8, 2007 at 5:46 pm #36748AnonymousInactive
I can imagines Scooball’s lack of support for assembly is based on the way its used in these courses. Im sure there are few things more irritating that being forced to make retro arcade games in asembly.
May 8, 2007 at 6:08 pm #36751AnonymousInactive
Sounds like a great course , especially if you want to become a programmer in the industry. seems a bit weak on 3d modelling and animation. other then quake (and do you mean unreal , quake getting on a bit now days ) , what level design stuff do you guys do in carlow. and what other 3d engines do you use or have access to ?
May 8, 2007 at 11:25 pm #36753AnonymousInactive
No. he means Quake. Unreal3 engine isnt freeware.
Quake levels can be made with a whole host of level editors such as worldcraft, radiant etc.. The idea is to teach the fundimentals of level design, not how shiny walls can be :D – this can be dont with the most rudeamentory levels designers.
If ur interested in learning more about level design, dump Quake and Unreal.
Download a version of the valve SDK, and hop into hammer.
Very powerfull and not too hard to use
May 9, 2007 at 7:57 am #36756AnonymousInactive
It’s also useful to know assembly for shader development, to squeeze out every last bit of performance. It’s not the same as x86 asm, but it’s not hard[/quote:39d882de95]
True HLSL has its roots in assembly language(even some of the syntax looks similar still), but ive written a few shaders here now which do complex enough stuff and i dont have a huge knowledge or experience with assembly language. Dont get me wrong, I can understand it and use it. Just seems to me for shader programming a solid knowledge of maths is more important… ;)
As for SPU programming I was under the assumption assembly could be used but its not entirely required (like any code really) as i would imagine assembly would be required to push these things to their max and get every last bit of juice outta them. But i reckon no one is pushing them to this limit at mo, or for a good while to come. In fact I would bet a large sum of money that a huge majority of PS3 games on the shelves as we speak (and in production ) probably dont even use more than 1-2, because these games are probably ported over from 360 etc.
But in conclusion, assembly is a nice thing to know, but i personally would prefer a person who knows C\C++ inside out and know how to write good, efficient code (good algorithms and has O appreciation), because lets face it, if your algorithm is dog slow (some really crap sorting algorithm or exhausive search) optimising with assembly aint gonna help you much. my two cents.
May 9, 2007 at 9:41 am #36759AnonymousInactive
If ur interested in learning more about level design, dump Quake and Unreal.
Download a version of the valve SDK, and hop into hammer.
Very powerfull and not too hard to use[/quote:8f5ced0d8a]
There is a leak in your world.
May 9, 2007 at 9:52 am #36760AnonymousInactive
@peterb: Definitely, maths is hugely important for shaders, and ASM isn’t used an awful lot since the introduction of HLSL I imagine, but I do believe that a shader written well in ASM will be faster than a shader written well in HLSL.
I recently ported a sepia shader from ASM into HLSL, and what was about 4 or 5 lines of ASM, turned into about 20 lines of HLSL, and when I got FX Composer to output its ASM for it just to check, it was a lot bigger than it started off, although that might be saying more about how good I am with HLSL than anything else :P
May 9, 2007 at 11:37 am #36764AnonymousInactive
Agreed, a shader written in asm will be better than one written in hlsl, but thats not the way things are done these days… :(
If your going to working on core sony tech, asm will be extremely useful, when looking at the VU code. Good PS coders are hard to come by…
May 9, 2007 at 12:41 pm #36767AnonymousInactive
I can imagines Scooball’s lack of support for assembly is based on the way its used in these courses. Im sure there are few things more irritating that being forced to make retro arcade games in asembly.[/quote:1b3ff9191a]
Nah we didn’t have to make any arcade games in asm when I was first year anyhow. Just simple little programs that would take in a bunch of numbers and stuff and then sort them.
Assembly is useful, but only as a last resort when optimising code. If you want to use ASM, consider algorithmic optimisations first (the most important optimsation by far !! ) , then some high level optimsations in C++, and then finally if you’re still not happy- roll your own asm code.
In short it’s the programming equivalent of the nuclear option- it’ll obliterate your code and make everything almost unreadable but it can be bloody effective if used right.
May 9, 2007 at 12:55 pm #36769AnonymousInactive
Sounds like a great course , especially if you want to become a programmer in the industry. seems a bit weak on 3d modelling and animation. other then quake (and do you mean unreal , quake getting on a bit now days ) , what level design stuff do you guys do in carlow. and what other 3d engines do you use or have access to ?[/quote:ba9e532552]
I think the main difference between the course here in Carlow and other Games Dev. courses is (or so ive heard) that they are training us specifically in games programming using C++. We do go over alot of other useful stuff to know but they never deviate from the main goal.
May 9, 2007 at 6:30 pm #36775AnonymousInactive
Nah we didn’t have to make any arcade games in asm when I was first year anyhow.[/quote:f90d5fe169]
Im only going on what ive been told by Scooballs. He showed me a version of Asteroids he just completed in assembly for a college project.
May 9, 2007 at 6:35 pm #36776AnonymousInactive
Sounds good murphy. And the course in carlow does sound like its very usefull, you cant overstate the importants of C++ is in the industry. I actually applyed to carlow this year , still thinking of what to do now that i am finished my current course , so you never know might see me there in september.
May 9, 2007 at 6:38 pm #36777AnonymousInactive
As for SPU programming I was under the assumption assembly could be used but its not entirely required (like any code really) as i would imagine assembly would be required to push these things to their max and get every last bit of juice outta them.[/quote:27c5abbe78]
I’m not talking about the programming side – intrinsics should always be used instead of assembly as the compiler can schedule them better – but when it comes to optimization and profiling you need to be able to read assembly dumps so that you know what code is causing pipeline stalls, low dual-issue rates etc. I’d say you’re right in that many of the current PS3 titles don’t take full advantage of the SPUs, but it won’t stay that way for long.
As for needing assembly for shader development, it helps to know what the high-level compilers are generating alright, but I’ve found the Cg compiler we use to be fairly good at minimising the amount of assembly generated. Plus it can schedule ALU ops to hide texture fetches etc, which is something that a compiler is just better at doing. When it comes to shader debugging though you’ll have to know what the assembly is doing and what ops translate to what high-level code. But the number of commonly used instructions (or even the number of total instructions) is fairly small, so it doesn’t take long to learn.
May 9, 2007 at 6:56 pm #36778AnonymousInactive
Sounds good murphy. And the course in carlow does sound like its very usefull, you cant overstate the importants of C++ is in the industry. I actually applyed to carlow this year , still thinking of what to do now that i am finished my current course , so you never know might see me there in september.[/quote:6d5ac21355]
Yes, ill be there with the third years hazing all of the freshers "Dazed & Confused" style :lol:
May 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm #36779AnonymousInactive
who said i will be in first year ? , maybe i am "So" cool they will let me straight into 2nd year
August 12, 2008 at 11:52 am #41995AnonymousInactive
I want to go to carlow, too. So do you think it’s worth it? Some people say it’d be better to go to a well known university(like UCD) and attend a general computer science course and then specialize. What do u think?
August 13, 2008 at 12:11 am #42003AnonymousInactive
August 13, 2008 at 1:56 am #42005AnonymousInactive
Take a look at computer sciene in DIT , i am doing it right now, its a good proper computer sciene course , but in 3rd and 4th year you can spealize in game related subjects ,
Like,Game Worlds, Mobile and Multi-user Games, Artificial Intelligence 1 & 2, Game Middleware and Game Behaviour and other stuff.
and during 1st and 2nd year you can bring games into alot of the work you do ( i know i did lol) . And at the end of the 4 years you should be able a job in games developement and I.T.
Also if your looking for a good course that covers all of games development , look at Ballyfermot HND in games design ( i did the course and its very good)
its a two year course and covers everything from , games design , Theory , programming ,3d modeling etc , so its way to see what area you really want to specialize. ( like you might not like programming and be more in 3d modeling in which cause computer science or even games degrees would not be your thing , you would better off trying an animation or media course.
August 13, 2008 at 12:05 pm #42007AnonymousInactive
One more time ;) (this questions been answered about 20 times already over the years lol).
Do a Computer Science course from a well known university, then do a demod an apply for a game jobs. Possibly do a specialised masters.
Numerous guys (myself included, I went to U.C.C.) on this board took this route(satchmo\omen etc all took this route) and we are all working in the games industry, as programmer, for well known developers.
August 14, 2008 at 6:53 am #42010AnonymousInactive
well yea like Peter_b said , do a demod , you need to show your work ,having a degree with nothing to show will not impress them , 3d models , game levels, mods , game art, programming work, throw it all together and make it professsionl as its the first and most important thing they want to see.
a good way to get some stuff to show , and also see what its like working in a team are all the competitions there are, everything from xna to dare , and there are lots more out there. they are a great thing to do and fun when in college as you can play around with your own ideas and ip’s , something you most likely will not get to do in the industry till you have been working there for a long time.
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