Chris joined the game industry in 2007 at Jagex, and spent 13 years there shipping various titles and working on RuneScape as an engine developer. He went indie part-time in 2019 (full-time in 2021) and is working on his first solo title, puzzle game Hexahedra.
While some part of almost every game needs to be tightly bound to a graphics (and perhaps physics) engine, there are benefits to minimizing this coupling and writing as much as possible as "pure" code, such as ease of refactoring and testing, portability and reuse, and protection against 3rd-party changes. For some styles of game it's possible to reduce the core engine, whether Unity, Unreal, or something else, to a means of gathering user input and displaying results to the player. Here I'll take you through how I structured a Unity puzzle game, Hexahedra, in exactly this way and the benefits I was able to reap by doing so. Hexahedra's architecture resembles the OSI network model, where the puzzle simulation (pure C# provided as a DLL) and the Unity implementations of game elements, in a hierarchical structure (puzzle, factory, workstation, device), are able to communicate with each other with message passing through a single link. The puzzle simulation passes a series of events to Unity for display, and Unity collects user input and passes it back through to the simulation. This allows the puzzle simulation to be reused to power a backend stats server while also making it particularly easy to refactor and unit test. The event-driven system also makes additional gameplay features such as rewinding time much easier to implement. I'll also highlight considerations that make this approach unsuitable for some types of game.
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
Develop is the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
It’s really nice to see some of the younger people in our studio come to Develop, interact with other people in the dev community and make new contacts. I think it’s really important to learn from other people.
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
Develop is a really great way to network, it’s also great for going to talks and finding that little tip that you didn’t know before and thinking – oh I’ll bring that back to the team!
One of the things I like about Develop is it brings people together from across Europe and the whole world. There is a very high level of professionals here, so you have company leaders having drinks with juniors from their community.
Dr Mata Haggis-Burridge
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
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