The Path To Commercial 3D Games on the Mac

xcoder66
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Post: #1
What path does one have to take to gain the knowledge necessary for making commericial 3D games for the Mac?

What are the specific set of steps from beginner to professional game programmer for Macintosh?
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
Do your own things in your own ways until you make something good enough to sell.

This is not a facetious answer. You think everyone "in the industry" got there in the same way?
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Member
Posts: 304
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
Well you can start small and go big. Learn the math from the bottom up - learn algebra, trig, calculus, linear algebra. Learn how to program c, c++, some scripting languages. Learn OpenGL definately, DirectX maybe, shaders. Start by writing an app that puts one triangle on the screen. Then two, then three. Then color them, then texture them, then animate them. And so on.

Or, start big. Start with a free or low-cost 3D game engine. Look at Dim3, CrystalSpace, Ogre3D, GarageGames' Torque, and Unity. And concentrate more on the content of the game you want to create and less of the mechanics of how a polygon gets on the screen. Doing this you will still learn some of the math - you will learn what points, vectors, and matricies are for instance - but you wont have the low level knowledge you would get going bottom up.

Study art, music, history - read a lot of different genres of fiction. Play as many 3D games as you can get hold of.

I look forward to playing your breakthrough game in a decade or so! Smile
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Member
Posts: 47
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #4
Here's my steps:
1) Meet someone on a mailing list - do an engine
2) Quit day job
3) Get a divorce (we weren't technically married, but when you have a kid, it's good enough)
4) Move in with guy you met on mailing list in a basement
5) Code for 2 years with no income, living off pasta and stolen bread.
6) Meet GFX guys at a party
7) Code game for 1 year without income.

There were some substeps (such as getting friends to claim the mac on the floor was theirs when the debt collection guys came), but the above was my way of getting a full-paid gamedev job.

Nicholas Francis
http://www.otee.dk
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Marjock
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Post: #5
And looking back is there anything you would've done differently? Rasp

-Mark
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Moderator
Posts: 529
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #6
Its stunning how many people live their dreams in basements. Why not attics...or rooftops at 3AM with no crosswind?

Anywho, god bless you if you can make a living at this stuff.

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Member
Posts: 184
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #7
There's also the route of getting hired, which doesn't require anywhere near as much dedication- it's still a good idea to make your own independent project(s) to show potential employers, though. Without previous work like that, it's pretty hard to convince anyone you know what you're doing.
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Member
Posts: 47
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #8
Edit: Remove 'NOT' word (DOH!)

@Marjock: Since it worked, I dare not do a thing different. That's not to say I would do it again, though ;-)

@phydeaux
I actually passed on the opportunity to become lead PS2 programmer for a AAA dev. The way I got the offer was by sitting in-house doing their project management (in php), and continously bugging them about the Unity-dev I was doing at home.

@LSL
I also coded in a public toilet, The main waiting room at Cph. Central Station (4 days in a row!), Libraries, and the maternity ward while my GF was in labor ;-) Somehow, though, nothing beats a shitty basement apartment.

@general:
Looking at the original post it's not necessarily a programming career. Since I'm directing games, I have a hand in who we hire; If you're an artist, I'd say start modding. Join a TC for Unreal or sth like that. Then start your own. And go hang out in cgtalk to get feedback

Nicholas Francis
http://www.otee.dk
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xcoder66
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Post: #9
Thanks for the genuine feedback. I'm probably taking the math route and then the OpenGL. I'll see how far that takes me.
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