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Is Unity helping or hurting programmers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DexRobinson, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. tmcdonald

    tmcdonald

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    Interesting! We're currently migrating our platform to Azure, we are currently hosting many of our Azure Service Bus consumers in Azure functions (I'm currently working on decomposing one of our legacy web APIs to Azure HTTP trigger functions right now, actually.) I agree that there are principles that are similar, but the actual techniques and patterns are different - down to the most core design pattern of the simulation, the "game loop." It is pretty much relegated to games and simulations, and almost no enterprise system uses it, and that pattern informs all others in game architecture.

    Maybe once I've gotten a few games under my belt I might feel different, but right now they have very different approaches, and very different problems to solve. This also doesn't change my opinion that Unity is a great transition tool for an enterprise developer to a game developer.
     
  2. AndersMalmgren

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    I use many similar tools and principal as in my day job, from technical details like event aggregators to methods like TDD, BDD and continues integration. Though I'm a full stack architect so I also design enterprise UIs which are more closer to game dev
     
  3. XCPU

    XCPU

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    Yeah, pretty much my day job for 20+ years.
    Mind you, mine has 10+ times the comments, so that's poor imho.
    and I also do hardware design, so I'm used to working really low level stuff.
    In the end it's just text files, maintaining is in the vcs, documentation and commenting. (done well)
     
  4. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    LDA #1
    STA 53281

    --Eric
     
  5. AndersMalmgren

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    Comments are signs of weak code. Sure one or two comments to tell why you do something is fine. But lots of comments often tell how. The code should tell how.
     
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  6. MD_Reptile

    MD_Reptile

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    I'd imagine that "Unity game programmer" at that particular studio was this idea that a "Unity game programmer" that they were about to hire would be some kind of magician who could write assembly and clean the toilets at the same time.
     
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  7. Kiwasi

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    In fairness, I get this sort of response when I apply as a chemical engineer. A lot of small game development studios seem to disparage the concept of programmers altogether.

    However I normally walk away when the discussion turns to "How much will I get paid". Which leads me to the conclusion that the problem studios are having is nothing to do with hiring Unity programmers or general programmers or chemical engineers. The problem is hiring at the low end of the pay scale. Which means the only people who will actually take the job are those that don't have better offers elsewhere.

    This may well just be a reflection of my local geography.
     
  8. Murgilod

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    "Entry level" positions here almost always start with "must have at least 5 years experience" and then pay maybe 20% more than working at a McDonald's. Mid level positions fare better, but not by much. The only way people get paid reasonably it seems are when they're changing jobs from 5+ years working.
     
  9. xVergilx

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    Worse than that, programmers must as well be experienced in:
    1. Making UI (layout) and art for it.
    2. Using 3D tools to modify models;
    3. Know how to make "MMORPG" fast.
    4. Be a game designer at the same time.
    5. Be able to write MS level code.

    ...

    List goes on.

    ...

    At the payment level of the grocery store salesman.

    Dafuq.

    No wonder most of those people are generalists. Giving 0f on how to make or write welll designed applications.

    Ah, the wonders of the outsource companies are indeed magnificent!
     
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  10. jeango

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    Game Programmer is notoriously a low pay career. It’s not just the paycheck, but also about the extra hours of code crunch, and the fact that gamers are probably the worse customers you can think of in terms of their level of expectations (I flippin’ Paid 1$ for that game, I am entitled and you are nothing)

    But being a game dev is a dream career, recruiters know that. I don’t know too many people who dreamt to be an SAP engineer during their childhood. So they know they can lower the paycheck just because people want to make games more than they want to own a lambo
     
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  11. jeango

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    Funny enough thoug, Unity is starting to become a skill non-gaming enterprises are looking for.

    I've just applied to an offer as a Unity Developer for the "Public Health Science Department and Medical Simulation Center" of a Universitary Hospital

    Yup, making VR games to help save lives, who could ask for anything more?
     
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  12. MD_Reptile

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    That is freaking awesome. :)
     
  13. jeango

    jeango

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    What’s not as awesome is that the position was already filled :-/
     
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  14. AndersMalmgren

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    I was at an interview for a unity developer VR gig but they couldn't accept my usual enterprise business fee so I didn't take it. So it seems they pay consults less too in the gaming market.
     
  15. Ryiah

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    I'd be surprised if you could make enterprise money working with Unity. There are just too many people driving the costs down in countries where it's far easier to get away with earning far less. Maybe a job that was extremely critical but that's about it.
     
  16. AndersMalmgren

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    Probably same across the board, people ask for too little pay. I was at a party with some Dice guys a few years back and I was not impressed by their salary to be honest
     
  17. jeango

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    In Belgium, there’s a shortage of competence for programmers. A lot of companies are moving away from outsourcing. Timezones are an issue, and so is language. I once had to hold a conf call with our US customer and our Sri-Lanka outsourced dev.
     
  18. MD_Reptile

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    Then take two steps forward and one step back :p

    It sounds like your head is screwed on - so I'm confident your going to find something - keep at it.
     
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  19. jeango

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    Thanks

    By the way, my resume was made with Unity :) if you want to check it out, the windows build is here

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Pr8a5Y5bXGen3JOaIYwUBmSplx5f2-df
     
  20. angrypenguin

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    Of course the problem is with everyone else, it couldn't possibly be that you're expecting too much. ;)

    Speaking generally, not specifically to you... you're able to charge more for "enterprise"-style work because it's stuff that many people find boring, so they'd rather do something else. That means there's less supply compared to demand, pushing price up. Lots of people want to make games and simulations and the like, so there's a huge supply meaning the price goes down. That's the cost of doing "fun" work, and something you should consider when you're deciding what skills to specialise in.

    There are of course other factors, too, and a part of it may well be people not knowing their value, but that's not the whole story.
     
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  21. Billy4184

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    It's not surprising that there are a lot of not-very-skilled people with a game programming background. There's no other programming field that's enticing enough for people to dive into without doing it as a planned career with formal education etc. So you end up with a lot of people whose motivation to make their own games dried out and who then want to work for someone else, but their skill is limited to only what they taught themselves when making their own games.
     
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  22. angrypenguin

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    While it wasn't directly in saving lives, I did this type of work for a fair chunk of my career. It's a really good mix of being challenging, fun and meaningful.
     
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  23. jeango

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    I for one saw my motivation to work on enterprise software dry out and became an actor :) and on my spare time I started looking at ActionScript, one thing leading to another Unity came into my life.
     
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  24. Peter77

    Peter77

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    For me it has a stale aftertaste that programming is called scripting in Unity. Scripting requires a smaller skill-set than programming does. Scripting has a lower value than programming and thus is hurting programmers.

    I would find it less devaluing and would feel treated more respectfully, if Unity Technologies change the terminology from "scripting" to "programming" and "scripter" to "programmer" when they refer to writing C# code.

    In a job-interview: Why should we pay you this amount of money, we could hire a programmer for that. You're just an Unity scripter afterall!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  25. angrypenguin

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    I agree that "scripting" is a misnomer for what you do when programming stuff in Unity, but why is it a big deal? That concept seems to rely on the idea that "scripting has a lower value", which I think is dubious at best.

    It's like saying that using a hammer has a lower value than using a screwdriver. They're both just tools, and you just use the right tool for the job and that's that.
     
  26. Billy4184

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    The difference is that by the time you lost interest in enterprise software, you likely had a degree and a few years of experience, making you well qualified for a lot of jobs.

    I'm not saying someone can't teach themselves Unity and be as good or better than a programmer that went to university and such, but considering how long it generally takes to make a game, I think it's likely that a self-taught Unity dev's skill set tends to skew heavily toward a specific type of game they personally like.

    I started freelancing after a year or two of Unity, and had a chance to work on a bunch of different types of games. At the beginning, I simply charged a quite low rate, took projects that I felt I could either handle or learn how to handle, and didn't charge anything unless I delivered something that functioned smoothly and according to specs.

    I actually would recommend that to people - I know there are a lot of people who think that you should charge $100/hour or nothing, but frankly there is a market for indies with beginner to intermediate skill to work on other people's projects and charge rates that are affordable by the stereotypical cash-strapped game dev, delivering decent-quality work, and learning a lot of stuff in the process. You have to hold yourself accountable and not become one of those freelance garbage-peddlers out there, but it's really the only way to grow without going to get a degree in my opinion.
     
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  27. jeango

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    I may be wrong but I think it’s a conscious choice made when first developing Unity. « Script » is less scary, the language was JavaScript, people were previously coding in ActionScript. It’s just legacy from there
     
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  28. angrypenguin

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    In the context of programming, a good programmer isn't someone who knows how to crank out a particular type of thing. A good programmer is one who can solve new problems for themselves. That's certainly a skill that you could learn by working with Unity, but in my experience it's a skill best learned by doing a variety of things with a variety of tools.
     
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  29. jeango

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    As a freelancer I work mostly for small businesses, on small scale standalone projects. I make my estimates on an hour fee base, but I don’t charge extra hours spent (as long as it’s within the original specs). My hourly fee heavily depends on the specs, and the possible impact of the project on family life, ranging mostly from 40€ to 75€.
     
  30. AndersMalmgren

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    Its a area with lots of young people. Offcourse the main reason is they do not have the confidence to ask for the right compensation. Instead they get a pizza and a coke when working overtime. I love what I do, I would never accept a lower compensation just because I like what I do, its idiotic.

    I have an ex colleague, she is a UX designer which she loves, a very well known UX consultant locally here in Sweden. Her company charges several hundred USD for her per hour. But her salary is way lower than it should be. Its so sad, dont accept lower compensation just becasue you love your job, i'm not doing it, you shouldn't do it either.
     
  31. angrypenguin

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    Really? How much is that game of yours bringing in? If it were equaling or outpaying your day job then you wouldn't have a day job.
     
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  32. AndersMalmgren

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    I run a company with several on going projects in different areas. Not all are making any profit and are financed through the other projects. its pretty common.
     
  33. angrypenguin

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    Sure... the point is that you're working on your game because you want to, not because of how it's compensating you.
     
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  34. AndersMalmgren

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    I wouldnt work on it if I didnt beleived in the VR market will take off and there is possible compensation down the road. And runnign your own company and being employed is not the sama thing unless the company give you extensive bonds in the company, which I think is pretty seldom in the game industry for most roles.
     
  35. angrypenguin

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    Once again, everyone's wrong but you. Of course it's their lack of confidence, it couldn't possibly be the fact that if they demand a higher salary they just won't get the job at all. ;)

    The reason that you have the "confidence" to not work for less is because you're in a different situation where you don't need to. I also am lucky enough to be able to turn down work if I can't do it on my own terms, but my "confidence" comes from my circumstances, not from the fact that I'm somehow innately better than others.
     
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  36. AndersMalmgren

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    Its a free market, the employers will continue offering low wages as long as people accept it. It is at simple as that. People blame the studios, why whould they be interested in lower their revenue. Its up to the employees, but its a vicious cycle hard to get out of.

    Its also happening in the enterprise business sector. Consultant brokers lower the prices because they only care about volume not what they sell their consultants for.
     
  37. angrypenguin

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    Right, and people will keep accepting it as long as there are other people who care more about what they do than how much they get paid. So, statistically speaking, if you want to work in games then you need to either adjust your expectations accordingly or start your own thing. It is as simple as that. ;)

    Consider this: if the fun jobs paid the same as other jobs, why would anyone do the other jobs? From that starting point, naturally either the fun jobs will start eroding pay immediately because they can, or the other jobs have to start paying more to attract talent immediately because they have to. The only way to not be impacted by that is to have a strong specialisation so that you can't be undercut.

    It comes down to values. Plenty of people value what they do more than what they get paid for doing it.

    It's basically a force of (human) nature. Kind of like how tourist hotspots tend to get less popular over time because they get crowded... because they're tourist hotspots.
     
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  38. xVergilx

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    Why would anyone pay you a proper salary, when they can just hire someone outsource for like 500$ / month?

    Nobody cares about quality nowadays.
    Its almost always minute profit that matters to publishers and company owners.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  39. angrypenguin

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    I have in the past had people give me work because they first went to someone "cheap" and then needed the job done properly.

    It all depends on why it's cheap, and it's often hard for a customer to be able to tell in advance.
     
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  40. xVergilx

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    Fun thing that that's not even the lowest limit on how $ / month can it go.
    100-200$ is still worth a lot in low-wage countries.

    Not that anyone should do it for the projects that they care about.
     
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  41. AndersMalmgren

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    They do that once, then they call me to fix it :D Happened several times
     
  42. AndersMalmgren

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    You need to be better than the rest offcourse. Gain rockstar privilege. I was called King of code by the others when i was employed. Why would the employer pay everyone better, thats just socialism.
     
  43. xVergilx

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    Well, at that point its usually better to just start over.
     
  44. AndersMalmgren

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    Yepp. One time they told me we dont have time to redo it, just fix it. I redid it anyway without telling them. :D
     
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  45. jeango

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    That’s actually quite wrong to say. Especially when talk about the star-system. You don’t become a star because you are the best at what you do. Not by a mile. You can become a star and do garbage. as long as you can sell it better than others. Craftsmanship and fame are two very different things
     
  46. AndersMalmgren

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    True, but its easier to become a star if you are good at your craft. Look at MVPs, most of them are pretty good

    edit: But there are alot of fakes out there. I call them the acronym crowd because they often throw around random acronyms
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  47. jeango

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    Haha with my friends we like to play « bullshit BINGO » when watching politic debates. Probably should make a mobile game out of it :)
     
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  48. TenKHoursDev

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    I agree wholeheartedly. I just wish I enjoyed anything other than game development... Its something that I love its unfortunate that I haven't found any other professional skill that is as enjoyable.

    Is this what you do? Attack those you disagree with?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  49. Ryiah

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    That said just because the VR market has a very good chance of taking off doesn't mean your game will too. I can't think of any games that became commercial successes years after their release. I can think of a few games that were crowdfunded to be remastered but none that were able to do much more than cover the cost of making them.

    Basically if you're building your game with the idea that there will be compensation down the road you're fooling yourself.
     
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  50. jeango

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    I don’t think he meant it that way. It’s a form of R&D. A company doesn’t suddenly become profitable on a given business, especially when it’s an emerging tech. It gathers knowledge and expertise in that field at a loss, compensating that loss with other profitable activities. In the hope to later make a return on investment with that gained knowledge.

    This being said, as @angrypenguin said, not everyone can afford to take that risk moving forward
     
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