18 June 2010

Swedsoft meeting

Last week I attended a meeting between DICE and ABB with additional participants from Volvo Cars and Ericsson as well as some from academia. The meeting was arranged by Swedsoft.

I know nothing of the game industry so it was especially interesting to listen to the presenters from DICE, who all worked with the development of their game engine Frostbite. Some things were of particular interest:
  • There is a fairly strong architecture for the Frostbite engine. Both for the runtime architecture (client-server) and even more important for the development architecture where the runtime architecture is just a "small" part besides e.g. the FrostEd editor for game objects and the build database(s).
  • They use extensive knowledge about the game (domain knowledge) to minimise necessary information sent to/from the server and the clients (the latter being the software you buy at a gaming store and run on your Xbox360/PS3/PC).
  • The run-time architecture uses parallel processing in multiple cores and distributes "jobs" between the cores dynamically.
  • They use continuous builds, i.e. as soon as a programmer checks in new code it is built into a working program. This for the game developers always to have something to run.
  • They only do positive testing, e.g. the program shall have this feature. No test on the program shall not...
  • The Frostbite team consists of 19 developers and they update and maintain 1.5 MLOC for all 3 platforms (Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows). It is like we would maintain the entire in-vehicle software with 20 people.

I hope I didn't misunderstood anything...

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