The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and has fueled a past time that has become a way of life. But what are the industry secrets that only the game developers know?
That's what Redditor u/Mandenmaker01 wanted to find out, taking to Reddit to ask Ex-developers of games, what is a secret people should know about?
And sure enough some game creatives started sharing...
Look Away....excuse me wtf GIF by Chicago Fire Giphy
Actual secret tip: most games secretly reduce the aggressiveness of enemies outside of the view to reduce player frustration of being sucker-punched by non-visible enemies. Looking away can sometimes help if you need time to look through radial menu's etc. during combat.
Hardest task for an AI engineer on any game with AI enemies holding guns: Getting those enemies to miss their shots in the first place.
Ugh this AI cheats, they magically teleport behind me and start shooting me when I have no cover because I'm engaged up front.
Creating fun but tough but fair and smart but not too-smart of AI seems ridiculously hard.
Everything is a secret loading screen.
That said in windows Vista or 7 you could reduce the boot time by ~3 seconds just by turning off the graphical boot screen. Reason: windows only started the boot process after the animation with the 4 balls forming the windows logo finished.
It Just Is....curb your enthusiasm ok GIF Giphy
If you want to work in games, you'll never have enough time to complete anything to your satisfaction.
One game which had seamless loading that I loved and didn't even realize how revolutionary it was at the time was Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. There was no "loading screens". The camera would automatically position itself in a way that you couldn't see the area behind you being unloaded or the area ahead of you being loaded when you were going into a new area.
Thing is, it never feels like they're obstructing your view. You will only notice it once you know what to look for and where. Only loading screen I can think of is when loading your save file. This was all done on PS2.
Anything you can't see is actually invisible. It's called Frustrum Culling. Anything the camera isn't pointing at, also doesn't get rendered.
True, but Frustum Culling is only half the solution. The other half is Occlusion Culling, which needs to be set up and turned on (at least in Unity) which a lot of these bad, slow, terribly optimized, games forget about.
Occlusion culling turns off stuff that's in view, but obstructed entirely by something else (like an enemy behind a building, or a building behind a bigger building).
Back-end is a spaghetti code, only God knows how it works. Everytime we fix something, we screw something up in return.
Fascinated by this even when I'm building a website lol, couldn't imagine being a game developer. Organization in logic flow and structured discipline in defining variables is key?
Vermin....bugs cockroach GIF by Cheezburger Giphy
Most employees are fired immediately after the game's release.
Time to add a ton of little bugs that'll take a year after release to be fixed.
The QC Group....
The qc dept. usually gets thrown under the bus by players but almost all of them have no idea the amount of work these guys put in. It's crazy to me that qc isn't considered a crucial part of development by regular users.
Deadlines are a really complicate affair, especially when talking about triple a games launched on consoles not just pc. The patches need to be sent to sony or Microsoft for testing and as you can imagine losing your slot because of delays screws everything up.
Let's have fun....celebrate nasim pedrad GIF Giphy
When you turn your hobby game development into a job, it becomes just another job.
I found myself playing less games in my spare time as a result, which then negatively impacted my excitement for the game dev job.
Making game dev a hobby activity again brought back all the fun, and my job is not related to gaming.
We had a PC, 360, and PS3 massively multiplayer real-time shooter working cross-platform in our office in 2012. It was so seamless that it didn't matter which system we had on our desk for the company-wide playtests. The higher-ups tried desperately to make this a feature that shipped, but the console wars were too hostile in those days so it didn't happen.
Almost everyone who worked on the game you love doesn't work at the company anymore as they worked horrible hours for a few years and then got fired as soon as the game was out to reduce expenses.
Everyone in video games is paid like crap except upper upper management.
You'd think you could have more semi-pro indie games where a team forms itself, makes the game, and shares equally across the board. Except of course I guess everyone wants to "cash in" when they do it themselves, so they do the same thing.
People want to know why a game is a delayed. I was writing code for a now canceled project, the one cutscenes that took one minute of in game time took six hours of work. If a bug happens, it takes even longer.
So many players...
A game developer said this on TikTok, when you first start a game like cod, they throw A.I. bots in the online matches because it can be hard playing against real people when you first start.
Activision Blizzard have actually patented the reverse idea. They put new players into online games with experienced players who have bought micro-transaction items such as weapon skins. The idea being the new player gets their butt kicked and relates some of that towards the mtx weapons and so is more inclined to purchase them.
Look Behind You....Greta Gerwig Movie GIF by LittleWomen Giphy
It's basically as competitive and cutthroat as the porn industry. If you complain about your job there is probably an 18 year-old willing to do it cheaper.
Sometimes when a video game is terrible, it's not because the team who worked on it have no skills. Often it's because the company wants sales, so they set the release date too soon and don't give the developers enough time to create a well-made game.
If you're working with a small team and the lead is set on producing one specific title. That's fine.
If however they continue to talk in circles without forward momentum. For example rewriting the initial opening sequence twenty times instead of moving on and completing the plot.
Only having vague descriptions for the art team and becoming irrationally upset when it take a couple weeks to go from concept to 3D model.
I signed an NDA in regards to one particular monster type. So I have to step lightly around what I say but that monster was the main one you'd be fighting. It had neat abilities but that was it. I guarantee you've fought and killed this monster many many times.
People are dumb.
Not a dev but when to school for Game Production for about a year and was a game tester for D3 Productions for about 2 years.
Don't test a game you like. Not as a beta tester, I mean a full time job. I tested several games on the PC and a couple on Nintendo DS.
I used to like games like Tetris and Breakout but now they are super repetitive to me now.
At school, we game a simple game for the school to play and review and it was then that I realized that some gamers will complain about the littlest things so if anyone ever decides to go into Game Production, keep in mind that you can't make everyone happy.
Flex It....flexible GIF Giphy
Don't know how qualified i am, first of all i'm a tiny indie developer, second: i still make games. Anyways for the question, please don't make your text like any sprite. it's more effective just to make flexible code for text. Drawing each dialogue box without code is a real pain. I admit, until recently i did this.
If you are playing a Chinese Mobile Game (or using any Chinese app) is built by people working on 9-9-6. Its worse hell than the current western crunch.
They are expected to respond to phone notifications even while sleeping. They often work a minimum of 9 hours a day (not including breaks and travel) and usually have to work an additional 6 on weekends.
I really advocate for boycotting all applications as they are built by people who are being abused.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.