Smarter, more powerful scripting languages
will improve game performance while making
gameplay development more efficient.
Walker White, Christoph Koch,
Johannes Gehrke, and Alan Demers,
The video game industry earned $8.85 billion
in revenue in 2007, almost as much as movies
made at the box office. Much of this revenue
was generated by blockbuster titles created by
large groups of people. Though large development teams are not unheard of in the software
industry, game studios tend to have unique collections
of developers. Software engineers make up a relatively
small portion of the game development team, while
the majority of the team consists of content creators
such as artists, musicians, and designers.
CONTENT CREATION IN GAMES
Since content creation is such a major part of game
development, game studios spend many resources
developing tools to integrate content into their software. For example, entry-level programmers typically
make tools to allow artists to manage assets or to allow
designers to place challenges and rewards in the game.
These tools export information in a format usable by
the software engineers, either as auto-generated code
or as standardized data files.
This content-creation “pipeline” is not very well
understood, and each studio has its own philosophy
and set of tools. Many tools are taken from, or developed in coordination with, the film industry. Unlike
film, however, games need to be interactive. Player
18 November/December 2008 ACM QUEUE