Today, in our inside Gamepires, the story is being told by two programmers. They are the guys who work on creating SCUM game. Their job is to implement everybody’s ideas into an engine and make it work. This may sound like an ungrateful task to do, but in programming, as you will have the chance to read it in the text, nothing is as it seems.
How long have you been working at Gamepires and what is your specialty?
Mihajlo: I’ve been here for more than six months now. In my career, I’ve done mostly programming graphics and I’ve been doing some extensive work in the engine. Now at Gamepires I’m also working on graphics. Right up till I started working here I never had to pay any attention to networking in gaming, and by that, I mean people who are solely here to take advantage of the game’s weaknesses. That mostly refers on settings that might help some players in playing and giving them an advantage over other players. This is not a hack but a technicality. That is why I have to be careful around these things and make them right on the first try so such an unfair fight doesn’t occur.
Bruno: I’m doing pretty much everything like many people here. Some people have been specialized to some degree like Mihajlo but I still haven’t. To be honest, I still have no clue what my specialty should be. We will see.
What made you choose the game dev career and how did you become one?
Mihajlo: I’ve chosen this career while I was still at college. There I had a great opportunity to specialize in graphics in gaming. Game development is something you have to love in order to do it for a longer time. You have to be all in, because if you don’t love it and live it you won’t make it long in this industry.
Bruno: It all started when I was a little kid playing video games. I think my story is the most common one out there. So, when I was younger I wasn’t just interested in gameplay, I also wanted to know and understand how does it all work, how do you make characters move, etc. While I still play video games sometimes, I must admit that it’s not as often since my work became my video game in terms of entertainment. I got my position here at Gamepires while I was still in college working on my Master’s degree. So I decided not to proceed getting a degree because I realized that in the gaming industry success wasn’t about degrees, it’s about skills. Never ever did I thought being a game dev would be my first job. You could say that lady luck smiled upon me.
What are you currently working on?
Bruno: Right now I’m working on the damage system. That means I try to organize it better and more accurate according to the weapon a character is using. Mostly I am making improvements.
Mihajlo: Huh, so right now I’m working on this water thing. I’m trying to make it seem clear but not super crystal clear. You know there is a little bit of color to it and living organisms, microbiology and bacteria, seaweed… The usual stuff you’d find in water. I am also working on reflections of sunlight while diving.
What was your biggest challenge and tell us something about the solution?
Mihajlo: The perfect example and answer to this question is the project I just told you about. Light beams in water. I can’t really say what was the problem but it was very difficult to understand why the program doesn’t want to work the way I want It to work so I asked guys from the team to help me out a little bit, just to have a fresh set of eyes on a problem. Maybe they will see something that I couldn’t. In the end we made it! I can’t really say that I am 100% satisfied with the result but right now it’s looking a lot better than it did. You have to keep in mind that game devs have to have the ability to make good compromises regarding performance and beauty in the game.
Bruno: My biggest challenge so far has been making safe zones. Those are those places on the map where you cannot kill anyone or get killed. And while I was doing that, I found another problem about damage system which prompted me to start working that section and I’m on it ever since.
What’s your favorite thing at Gamepires, something you could no work without?
Bruno: Guys from the Killbox (CM/QA) for sure! I exit their office laughing my tears out, and it’s the best thing ever, some would say irreplaceable. There is no pizza day, play day or whatever that could possibly substitute the relationship we have. And my favorite thing would be… and don’t tell anyone I said this, this is only for you, but the atmosphere, the people – it’s crazy good. SO many different people but they all work together so well it’s unheard of. Yeah, you can hear teasing between the Art Department and for instance the Killbox guys but when they work, they are like this complex friendly little machine and I could never enjoy my work if all these little things didn’t exist.
Mihajlo: I can’t really say, so many good things but man, do I love lunch time. We all sit together at this long table just to eat, talk and do nothing, just hang out it’s great. Something I could not work without is actually someone in plural, it’s the people. In my last company I was working alone in my sector I had nobody to talk to, nobody I can ask for help, etc. it was so depressing I felt like I was alone for 8 hours and I hated it. Here – completely different story. For me just the feeling of having someone that understands, it means a lot to me.
Message for future colleagues?
Mihajlo: In programming you have to be a team player. We help each other a lot, but it would really help if you had some bundle of skills in advance. Game development is like detecting and solving problems more than anything else. It is important for you to know and understand multiple levels of arising issues and what they bring to the table in order to be able to detect and solve them.
Bruno: Message from Bruno? Quote me on this one please, “Don’t judge us by our code”. This statement is a proof that these archaic moments in our code drive us to get better every single day.
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