Studio Spotlight: Programming Edition
How often, while talking about a video game, do you mention the art? Probably constantly, if you're like most video game consumers. It's understandable that you'd talk about the art because it is, without a doubt, the most prevalent thing you'll be paying attention to in the game. Video games are an extremely visual medium and good art can make or break the game, but the game doesn't exist without the programming.
But, when was the last time that you talked about the way the game was programmed? Have you thought about that? If you haven't, that's okay and probably the norm. But here at High Five Studios, we like to give credit where credit is due. Our programmers will no longer be the unsung heroes of Prisoner.
Unlike art, a game's code isn't obvious to the player. Most people aren't worried about why things work, just why they might not be working. Code and art go hand in hand when it comes to making the game. Without the art, you just have a lump of code. But without the code, all you have is some pretty pictures and moving music.
"The best part [about working on this game] is watching the whole game come together. All of the art and music that we have is amazing in isolation, but it is really cool to watch it all match up. The worst part is that I keep scaring myself with the AI for the monster as I test things," said Robert Petit.
Robert started programming in high school but doesn't have much formal training. "I do what I can by learning from the internet, but it's certainly no easy task."
Our programmers are in the studio every day and will regularly put in close to 60 hours a week combined. As we approach deadlines, these hours increase as they work to improve their technical skills and knowledge that go into working in the engine.