Software Development Process for Video Games

Date:     Wednesday 15 Oct 2008
Time:     18:30 – Tea was 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker:     Andrew Hague and Andrew Wallen – Blitz Games
Location:     AS124, Coventry University


This talk covered the full software development process of a console video game from first concepts through pre-development and full development, testing and bug fixing to final mastering and release. It described many of the limitations that needed to be considered during the initial stages and presented the challenges faced towards the latter end of a project. It described the software production tools and practices that have improved efficiency in recent years. Andrew discussed testing of the software, revealing problems that stretch developers to the limits and some of the novel solutions they have implemented, including code reviews(!!). Video games are the product of many creative individuals, many originally from the film industry and the talk showed how game production software enabled the creative side to flourish. Andrew explained that games testing would appear to be a great job, however you play the game, report the bugs (“when I do this, this and this, this happens”) then the developers improve the software, then you play the game again, and again … One of the less interesting jobs is crashing your racing car into every section of wall/barrier; to make sure your car does not go through! (Anyone remember the funny swampy bit at the bottom right of “Tank Battle” where you could get your tank through and drive around the outside of the border, shooting at your opponent who couldn’t shoot you back?)

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