Game Programming Tests

Discussion in 'I wanna be a Game Programmer' started by kettiby, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. feedingzur

    feedingzur Lurker Not From Round Here

    Something I'd recommend is reading (a la Google) about the underlying fundamentals of the C++ language:

    • C++ Templates: what are they? what benefits do they provide?
    • Vtables: what are they and what are the implications of their overhead?
    • Run-time binding: what is it and when is it used?
    • Compiler process: what's the flow of events between hitting compile and having a built executable? What does the compiler do? What does the linker do?

    The other suggestions of creating demos etc are great - but I'd really recommend spending an hour or two coming to grips with the fundamental concepts that drive the language itself. After all, the more you know about the tools at hand, the better you can put them to use :)

    Oh and I wouldn't be surprised if they threw in some vector and matrix math questions just for funsies. Knowing how to calculate cross/dot products and what they're useful for is always good.

    Hope that helps
     
  2. Emiug

    Emiug Lurker Not From Round Here

    The Computer Games Programming course that i am currently on hardly even touches OpenGL and DirectX. Hence why i did alot of reading in my sparetime.
     
  3. montdidier

    montdidier Knobbly Whelp One Of Us

    I don't get red brick. Why does the brick colour matter?
     
  4. IFW

    IFW insincere Dave.. or Trump One Of Us


    Im guessing the most complex it gets nowadays is how to code html
    :D
     
  5. IFW

    IFW insincere Dave.. or Trump One Of Us


    Old school universities tended to be made out of red bricks.
     
  6. frobisher

    frobisher Industry Vetran One Of Us

    To be pedantic, Red Brick applies to universities established in the 1800's and early 1900's in the UK (which were of course built from red brick in the main so the majority of the established universities which predate the expansion in the 60's and 70's (the "new" universities established at the same time as the polytechnics, itself predating the vaste expansion post 1992 (the ex-polys becomming universities)).
     
  7. IFW

    IFW insincere Dave.. or Trump One Of Us


    Thats what i meant when i said "old universities"

    Polytechniques became crappyversities... So that every town could have one.

    (I remember the spitting image sketch well)
     
  8. MrWibble

    MrWibble Gone One Of Us

    A university from the early 1900s isn't particularly old :)

    (says the man who went to a 1960s plate-glass one).
     
  9. frobisher

    frobisher Industry Vetran One Of Us

    With remarkable restraint I didn't refer to the Red Bricks as "Post '92" universities (that'll be 1592...) :)
     
  10. kiwifruit

    kiwifruit Gaming God One Of Us

    Of course, some people think of Cambridge as being a "new" university :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. molesworth

    molesworth the curse of st custards One Of Us

    1209!?!? It is new :D

    One of my alleged ancestors went to Durham School, Oxford and Paris, then worked in Bologna. Mind you, in the 12th Century there wasn't as much choice...

    I wonder what the UCAS forms were like back then? :)
     
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  12. Mbrp

    Mbrp Lurker Not From Round Here

    Hi! I just joined the industry 2 months ago. I was in the same situation but, with a little difference: I spent a year doing a small game in c++ using Directx11, Nvidia Physx etc. The thing is that you need to start coding demos right now. That will give you experience with bugs, memory management and feature implementation. The rest comes by itself.
    I have done test in many companies:

    Social Point (Spain): Skype Interview asking what have you done related to games (work and studies) + Test 1: coding test with difficult problems in 2 blocks. Is not about the difficulty of the code, is more about the difficulty of the implementation. Logic problems not easy to understand with many exceptions, performance problems etc. There are two block, I think you have to answer 3 questions of the first and 2 of the seconds (can't remember exactly) + Test 2: you have 3 days to build a game with specific features. They give you a C++ with OpenGL code that does not even compile. There is a minimum of things to do (must compile, basic gameplay things) and optional things. Those are the ones that give you real chances (stearing behaviors, particles and render effects, GUI, sound...). The more you do, the better. + Test 3: interview at their offices. I was applying for a Senior position. I pass the all the test but not good enough.

    Starbreeze (Sweden): you have 5 days to do a game. In my case was a PacMan inspired game. You can use only an scripting language. They give you 2 options (with a basic code): Javascript or Lua (using something call LUA_SDL) I went with the second option because I already knew SLD 2.0. This one was hard. I guess there is also a personal interview after. They told me they where looking for a Senior, but I have pass the test for Junior, call back in October.

    DoveTailGames (UK): Skype interview with personal questions and test of programming knowledge to see you know hierarchy, memory management, references and pointers etc + A coding test. They give you a small demo built in C++ using SDL 2.0 that does not compile, render or anything. You have to fix it an add a bunch of stuff over. They give you 2 or 3 days (I can't remember). + Test 3: interview at their office with more C++ coding tests in paper and A LOT of questions.

    Mercury Steam: I just did the first interview with them. VERY obsessed with questions like "are you ok to just code what we tell you and not complain about design etc?" "are you ok to no participate in design decisions at all?" Was weird, I guess they had problems with that in the past. Apparently I did terrible.

    Tequila Works (Spain): Personal interview in their office + coding test in paper. They hired a Senior.

    TTGames (UK): that was, at the moment, the job of my dreams. Skype Interview about personal stuff, you projects and how much do you know of coding and project management + Second Skype interview, technical one. A lot of difficult questions + 20min code test they send you and then review your answers. Code test is not easy for a junior. C and C++ questions, bitwise operations and very precise memory management. I was super nervous and I screw the interview.

    Sproing (Austria): Skype interview with personal questions + Test on paper (they send it to you) about coding questions, problem resolution, memory management etc. There is no coding at all, is more about coding knowledge. + Interview at their office. They canceled the project before hiring people.

    Big Point (Germany): HR interview + technical skype interview + technical (fun and hard) coding and problem solution interview with a paper test in their office. I got the job, but accepted the last one in the list.

    I did few other first interview in places i was not interested, like casino games, kids games etc.

    Sumo Digital: my current company. I can't talk about their tests, but more or less the things you have read.

    So, do demos. Showing demos is the thing that opened me doors. Use recruiters, that's important.
    Good luck!
     
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  13. snoutling

    snoutling Troll One Of Us

    Really? I wish companies would stop doing this. Unless they're paying you for 5 days worth of work I think this is a waste of time.
    I don't think I'd want to work for a company who did this kind of thing.
    A demo reel and written test + interview should suffice. If they're looking for something else more specific just put it in the job spec. and let the applicants decide to tailor something in their demo reel to it or not.
     
  14. luggage

    luggage Industry Legend One Of Us

    The kind of test I'd like to see is being sat down in front of a PC, everything set up and a project loaded with a description of what it should do. The project shouldn't compile, it should contain bugs of various deviousness, and give the applicant an hour to fix up as much as they can. That's much closer to (my) work conditions and will give you a rough idea on ability. I'd rather do that then try and write classes on a whiteboard.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Kaelic

    Kaelic Broke Indie One Of Us

    I e-mailed an interest in a Unity3d role last week and they basically asked me to make a prototype of the project they are hiring for. They didn't even ask me for my CV! I'm torn between telling them to fuck off or ignoring them.

    8 years of experience, loads of released games, 3 years as a professional Unity developer and they want me to prove I can make their shitty game.
     
  16. Goffmog

    Goffmog Señor Programmer One Of Us

    Please tell them to fuck off, I'm not sure ignoring them is enough. You'll be doing us all a favor if people know how unacceptable this is.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. Goffmog

    Goffmog Señor Programmer One Of Us

    I worked for them, I thought theirs was the best thought out and best executed interview process. They tell you exactly what to expect the interview to focus on (in my case it was algorithms and design patterns), and having done the written test before helped to know the sorts of things I'd be grilled on in more depth. Also, there was a bit of handwritten coding/pseudo-coding in the interview for me.

    Yes, demos are super important, I wouldn't have got into the industry without mine. Recruiters.... Not so much :) Not if you know the companies you really want to work for. It costs studios more to hire people through recruiters but I suppose they do make it easier for less well known studios to access a pool of talent. Still, I'm really not sure what they actually do for the candidates though, especially if your CV speaks for itself.
     
  18. Goffmog

    Goffmog Señor Programmer One Of Us

    Yeah I just completely avoid people who talk about "red brick universities", thinking it somehow means "all the good universities." (oh you went to St. Andrews? Well, that's neither red brick nor Oxbridge, must be shit then) I have slightly less disdain for people who talk about "Russell Group universities" because at least that is an actual thing... Except that of course it only actually matters if you're hiring someone with a research degree.

    The worst, however, are the ones who think a 3rd from Oxford is better than a 1st from a former polytechnic. They don't understand just how thick you have to be to manage to go to Oxford or Cambridge and get a third class degree.
     
  19. Kaelic

    Kaelic Broke Indie One Of Us

    Fuck it, I did it.

    In a nicer more professional way of course, but it was clearly a "Fuck Off".
     
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  20. Kaelic

    Kaelic Broke Indie One Of Us

    Well I got a response, which I have no problems sharing:

    'Even playing field'? I don't even...
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016