Yesterday, the ArenaNet programmers jumped on Reddit and did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the fans of Guild Wars 2. A good portion of the questions were aimed at seeking advice in how to break into programming for the game industry. The consistent response was to write lots of code in your free time and start making games on your own. I think content pipeline programmer, Francis Crick, said it best stating, “The most valuable experience you can only get by just working on projects and solving the real problems those projects face. Also, there is a difference between wanting to do something you’ve never done, and knowing it’s what you want to do after doing it for a while – prove to yourself and others that it’s actually what you want to do by putting in the time.”
The programming team also responded to the issues regarding invisible characters in World vs. World and it sound like it’s a tough nut to crack: “The fix is likely to be large-ish in scope, with changes on both the client and server, but we have some ideas that look like they may work out. So, will it get better? I can’t make any promises because we’re still experimenting and building new tech, but as a person who works on this every day I certainly believe that it can and will do everything in my power to make that happen.”
ArenaNet was also asked about how they can perform maintenance and game updates without requiring hours of downtime. Technical Director, Cameron Dunn responded, “Ok, so this is kinda secret, but I’ll tell you anyway. I can tell you because it’s easy to say and really hard to do. We have a system which lets us run the old build and the new build at the same time. So we don’t need to take the old build down when there’s a new one, we just also host the new build. That’s it, it’s that simple in concept. But complicated to implement.” In other words, they use advanced asura technology that our feeble minds could never understand.
There are many other interesting responses, so be sure to check out the full AMA thread for all of the juicy details.