We are nearing completion of Mobile Machine Learning and its stretch goal topics. Because we raised enough money to hit stretch goals, backers of every pledge level will get to learn with our game developer Glauco Pires!
Glauco has been working on Unity artificial intelligence (AI) courses. We will soon release to you these and Mobile Machine Learning.
Read below our interview with Glauco Pires
Glauco shares how he found his passion for gaming. He also gives advice for up-and-coming developers who want to make it in the games industry.
Q: What latest exciting projects have you been working on at Mammoth Interactive?
A: I’ve been cooking a couple of AI courses made in Unity. In these courses, you will use Unity on its own to make 3D games with the C# programming language.
Students will learn how how to take their games to the next level. You can take any game no matter how simple and make it instantly more efficient using AI.
Besides, I believe games are the best means of seeing the full potential of AI: the way characters, monsters and spaceships are able to move and behave is just magical (Well, it’s actually a mix of maths and algorithms 😉 we’ll talk about this).
Q: Why do you like working at Mammoth Interactive?
A: It’s always an amazing experience to work with Mammoth. The crew is easygoing, and we all work together to achieve our goals. Being able to reach hundreds of thousands of students and teach them our day-to-day craft is fulfilling.
Also, even though I grew up using the Internet, it still amazes me that I work 10,000 kilometers away from the headquarters in the Brazilian hot weather 🙂
Q: Share something lighthearted from the past 2 months, related to your work.
A: The good thing about creating courses is the reach you can achieve with the Internet. One of the best things I’ve seen in my entire career was a review from a student, who lives in another country and was really satisfied about the lessons.
He is a father of two kids, and throughout the course, he showed them the results of his learning process. They even had the chance to compare the game he made with the games the kids played at their game consoles.
Being able to make a difference in people of all ages and provide fun, family moments like this is something that makes working with games really worth it.
Q: Why did you enter the game development field?
A: I’ve played games since I was a young child, from 2D platformers in the Sega Genesis to shooters and open-world adventure games in the Xbox One.
In my early teenage years, I got hooked to Counter-Strike (v1.0 back then). I became curious about how game maps were made. It took me dozens of hours just to be able to export a file from the map editor to the actual game, but later I learned how to work with collisions, textures, skyboxes and artificial intelligence (to make bots move).
Years later, I was sure I wanted to work with computer science, and then I thought, Hey, why not make games? Mixing the wishes of the naive kid and young adult versions of me made me dive into the world of game development, and I love it!
Q: What’s a production pitfall you’ve had to overcome recently?
A: Programming is something that I love doing: being able to communicate with a computational device, provide instructions and see the outcome opens your eyes for all the projects you can make and all the problems you can solve.
However, developers have to live with the fact that bugs will always appear, and we need to concentrate efforts into fixing them. I’ve recently spent a good amount of time trying to find what was wrong with a line of code: Is this architecture good, Did I forget to delete an object or Am I supposed to use a pointer?
Turns out that I forgot to simply open and close parenthesis to call a function! It’s common to forget or confuse the usage of parentheses, curly braces (for scope definition) and semicolons because the more you work with something, the more you’ll expect for it to work.
Q: What’s a challenge you’ve come across?
A: Building a game API/SDK. Sometimes depending on the software you’re using and the hardware limitations you have, there’s no choice but to build your own codebase to make games.
Working with Unity, Unreal and HTML5 is great because there are tons of assets, plugins and libraries available for you to use, but sometimes all you have is a canvas to draw pixels.
This means that all the functions you are used to work with (drawing images, lines, squares, collisions, AI, etc.) are completely absent from the development environment. Still, if you have experience working with multiple well-established game engines, chances are you have a pretty good idea of how your engine is supposed to look like, containing hierarchy, classes, primitives and more.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring game developers?
A: Be curious! The game industry changes everyday: operational systems, technologies, game engines… Working with a certain programming language or tool today doesn’t mean you’ll keep using it in the next year.
Next time you play a game, watch an e-sport, or watch a tutorial, ask yourself: How did the developers make this feature, How is it possible for 100 people to play in the same world simultaneously, or How does this look so beautiful?
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are: being curious is going to make you ask questions and work towards finding answers that can be applied everywhere.
Q: What’s your favorite recent developer project?
A: Making a simple game engine. All the experience I had in pretty much the past decade counts a lot into making this.
Q: What separates successful students in gamedev?
A: A single word: initiative. If you want to make something, find the means to do it!
We live in an ultra-connected world completely different from ten years ago. You can find tools, courses and material for almost anything.
Q: What do you want to ask readers?
A: One of the things that brings us into the game industry is the wish to make a game just like one we love. Put yourself in the shoes of future-you 10 years from now. Imagine all the games that will have come out over the decade. Simple arcade games filled with colorful, nostalgic pixel art, hyper-realistic virtual reality masterpieces, blockbuster AAA games, you name it. Which of them do you wish you had made?
Hint: think big. Imagine what would be your favorite. That’s the game you should make right now.
- Writer of blog posts and books at Mammoth Interactive. Can also be found posting to Mammoth Interactive's social media.