Game Programmer and Designer John Romero Talks About How to Break Into the Gaming Industry

These Questions originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.


Answers by John Romero, Game Programmer & Designer (Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM, Quake), on Quora.


Q: Do you have any advice for newbies wanting to start making their own games?



Definitely. Start right now, tonight. Download Corona SDK from Cross-Platform Mobile App Development for iOS, Android and quickly learn Lua and go through their examples and blog posts. You’ll be making games in no time. Make lots of SMALL GAMES. Do not attempt anything big at the beginning. Just try to make and complete one small game like Space Invaders. It’ll teach you how much is under the hood in a game.


Q: What skills should a game programmer have?


A: First, you must know C++. Know how to properly debug your code. Be able to architect game systems intelligently, i.e., look at how other similar systems have been implemented and work that design into your game. Stay transparent in how you code. Make sure your lead knows how you are solving the current problem. Keep focus on your work. Don’t get randomized – stay on target. Finish games.



Q: What are the frontier areas of game development today?


A: I think the cutting edge is figuring out exactly what players want and being able to deliver it to them, no matter what kind of player you are. That’s a tough design challenge. Procedural generation is on the bleeding edge right now and it figures prominently into most new games. The intersection of designed space and procedural space is being experimented with and defined. Creating new ways to see games with AR and VR are on the cutting edge of visualization.


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