Video: Discussion with Guest Speaker, Borut Pfeifer

Borut Pfeifer

At our October meeting, we were pleased to be joined by game industry veteran Borut Pfeifer. We were able to spend a little over an hour with Borut discussing a variety of topics ranging from technology to the respective cultures of the AAA and indie development scenes.

Borut has worked at numerous AAA studios including most recently Electronic Arts – Los Angeles. After going indie to work on his own title, Borut started working with Haunted Temple Studios on their much-anticipated game, Skulls of the Shogun.

Borut’s other credits include being a frequent speaker at the GDC AI Summit and a contributor and section editor to the Game Programming Gems and AI Game Programming Wisdom books. He also writes about a variety of game development topics on his blog, The Plush Apocalypse.

I will be editing this post later to link directly to different parts of the discussion. In the mean time, one helpful tip is whatever is listed in the bottom right corner of the video screen. That will describe the very general topic that we were discussing at the time.

For those that would like to get in touch with Borut, he can be found on Twitter as @PlushApo (which is short for Plush Apocalypse — his website). Contact me for his email address.

The video above was the first time we had done anything like this. Thankfully, it came out fairly well. We will refine the system as we go — especially when we have a room more conducive to the video. In this setup, we could only take in about half of our group at one time. Of course, it was a significantly smaller group than we have had lately (about 10 attendees). That is one benefit of having the video, though. Many people expressed interest in seeing the interview.

About Dave Mark

President & Lead Designer Intrinsic Algorithm LLC Game Development and AI Consulting
This entry was posted in Meeting News, Presentation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Video: Discussion with Guest Speaker, Borut Pfeifer

  1. ShaneFarris says:

    Sorry I couldn’t be there, my schedule over lapped that night. I wish I could have asked him why he didn’t like developing in C++. I don’t understand why people are so scared of it, it is the most portable language other then C.

  2. Dave Mark says:

    I don’t believe that he said that at all. He’s obviously been using C++ for many years. However, XNA is inherently C#. Also, when creating tools, doing them up in Windows Forms is much faster than dealing with similar functionality in a C++ environment (such as using MFC, for example).

    That being said, I will summon him…

  3. Borut says:

    Hey Shane – Well, I’ve spent the bulk of my career using C++/C (usually C++ but occasionally just C). The productivity increase that comes from the clean design of C# is something that’s really allowed us to flourish as a tiny studio with one, then eventually two programmers.

    You’re right about portability, though, and I’ve recently started porting our engine to C++. Almost all the common issues you run into setting are just gone in C# – no header order declaration issues, for instance. If do something as simple as creating a static class variable, I don’t have to find the cpp to properly instantiate & set up the variable. Class member default inititialization, all these sorts of things, most simple programming tasks end up being 2-4 steps of work to do in C++ and in C# it’s just one. Plus having events be full, primary features of the language makes your UI code super simple, whereas in C++ UI code has slowly gone from being a nightmare (MFC) to a more reasonable pain-in-the-ass (more modern UI toolkits). 🙂

    So while portability across as many platforms as possibly today does require C++, as a small studio, we followed the philosophy of bootstrapping – don’t worry about problems that will only come from success, worry about the problems you have to solve in order to succeed first. In our case, if we had spent a bunch of time writing a robust cross-platform engine in C++, we wouldn’t have gotten to the point where we had as fun a game & be able to have gotten a deal with a publisher like we did.

    Now of course we’ll have to port it, but if we had gone the other way and focused on making sure our game could be on every platform before it was fun, we would be out of business. I’ve seen many an indie studio fall into this trap, it’s always sad when it happens.

    So, yeah, if I had my ideal programming environment, we could use C# everywhere (and that’s coming from someone who was a hardcore C++ programmer), but as always, it’s a matter of using the right tool for the job. 🙂

  4. ShaneFarris says:

    Thanks for your reply. If you’re interested I have a fairly mature C++ engine I’ve been working on for about 3 years now, but because of a lack of art, I don’t know what to do with it.

    • Krzysztof says:

      awesome game! never played the amiga veisorn but after the glowing review on toucharcade, I figured this was a must buy and it is!however, I would say that the d-pad is singularly bad for touch devices. lack of tactile feedback makes it next to impossible. any chance of an analog stick like controller instead? the stick in death rally is close to perfect or as perfect as possible in a touch device. also, the tilt control doesn’t translate well to this game because of the fixed rate of movement. there seems to be a disconnect between intent and effect. the touch control is great and is TRULY GENIUS in the way it’s implemented so that you can change the offset between finger and ship. alas, I keep blocking my iPhone view.anyway, great game. rock on. jin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *