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So You Want to be an MMO Developer: Part Two

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Developer Journals 0

Nick Parkinson's "So You Want to be an MMO Developer?" continued.

As a programmer you’re going to constantly have people wanting you to do things that are going to take up a lot of your time. Some of them are even work related. You’ll need to work closely with both designers and programmers to implement their ideas into the game itself and then make sure it actually works. There will be some pretty tight schedules and knowing when to move on to the next thing is important. Associate Programmers Zach Lute, Shaun Showers and Senior Programmer Dave Forrest once again offer a little more insight:

What’s your favorite part about working for a game company?

Dave Forrest, Senior Programmer:

My favorite part of working on a game is getting to invent. I’ve lucked out at Sigil and had a chance to be an inventor on many different levels. Part of what drew me to programming originally was the way it let me be creative. I know that’s not typically what people think of when they hear the word “programming” but I guess that’s why I’m helping create a game world.

Shaun Showers, Associate Programmer:

The free sodas and free bagel fridays are fantastic. Also, as a game company, we're in the business of "fun". For someone to make something "fun", they have to be somewhat "fun" themselves. There are many fun people at Sigil, and and they are all a blast to be around (myself excluded - I am quite lame).

Zach Lute, Associate Programmer:

Really the best part is that it’s extremely challenging. Working on an MMO takes advantage of pretty much every aspect of programming, from graphics to networking to usability. There’s something extremely satisfying about knowing things are being pushed to the extreme. Also, there’s free pop and a cardboard standup of Blanca. Actually, can we forget all of that other stuff and just change my answer to “giant cardboard standup of Blanca?”

What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about working at Sigil?

Dave Forrest, Senior Programmer:

The people here have been waiting for Vanguard to come out even longer than most of the fans. We don’t seem to be getting anywhere though. It turns out banging on your keyboard and yelling, “Work Vanguard! WORK!” doesn’t do anything. *Scurries off to re-factor the vision*

People would probably be most surprised by some of the weirdo stuff that goes on when people are half asleep from working so hard. Back around “Thestra Online” Glip and I managed to sing a duet from our cubes at full volume (it had words we made up on the spot and was farther from “cool” than most people would admit in such a public forum).

Shaun Showers, Associate Programmer:

People would be surprised that progrmamers make mistakes. Sometimes, at Sigil, when a programmer makes a severe mistake that prevents the game from building, that programmer is induced with public humiliation. The public humiliation is in the form of wearing a massive blue foam cowboy hat for the day. You won't ever see that hat on me though; I don't make mistakes!!!

Zach Lute, Associate Programmer:

Actually, there’s a lesson in this. Pretend you’re working late one night and you hear some commotion coming from somewhere nearby. Concerned that it might be pirates, you go to check it out. Upon opening the door, you discover a circle of your fellow employees trying to look nonchalant. Fearing you may have stumbled across some sort of druidic ritual, you attempt to beat a hasty retreat, but to your surprise, they ask you to join them. You’ve never met any druids before, so you figure this might be interesting. Moments later, you find yourself bent over some stairs with a line of people chucking some sort of bean-filled hippie bag at you. The lesson: Stay away from druids.

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