5 Minutes for a Game Engine

I may have a radical view of how life is supposed to continue, but I can’t help it, I am a visionary. My mind is not willing to settle for less than mediocrity and well, SJSU has been shoveling mediocrity ever since I landed. This semester has already proven to be more involved than anything in my past time, and not necessarily all for the bad.

Our first assignment in the game programming class was to research and use a game engine. We were asked to look into things like how they import content, handle collision detection and even a bit on how to build a level in their given editor. This research sparked the previous blog post, because I thought my instructor was putting me on, but lucky enough for me I didn’t have to cover it.

Following the numbers, Unity3D was the most popular, followed by jMonkey and then came UDK. In terms of features and ease of operation Unity and UDK have a hell of a leg up on the competition, but it occurred to me that everyone felt rushed.

Originally we were asked to build a slide stack for about 10 minutes worth of a presentation, but that was whittled down when the instructor did his math. 30 * 10 = 300 /60 = 5 hours of work we only have 2.5 hours of time, and so…. lets chop it in half. Get your project in within 5 minutes.

Only one person did this, and even his was tight. Consider the inherent overlapping times! The person before you has to complete their presentation, they have to unhook the VGA adapter,unplug their equipment and get the hell out of the way, you have to be there to swoop in, mirror your desktop and begin your presentation. Even with two very skilled individuals this will take a good sized handful of seconds.

How do you wrap up a game engine import, build and code in 5 minutes? You don’t. You freak out and do a presentation that barely scratches the surface of the situation. You can spend years playing with Unreal, Unity or even Ogre3D and still have more to learn; how do you condense that into a 5 minute meeting? You can only cover the most basic of things.

It was more useful during the time between, when questions arose.