Becoming a Game Developer - - Lesson 7
By: Kurt Knudsen

Well, it’s certainly been a while since I’ve talked about my progress at I decided to take a break from the GI course work to concentrate on graduating; I’m proud to announce that I have graduated and am now a certified Computer Science graduate. Since December I’ve been trying to find a job doing some programming or IT work but I haven’t found anything since this town is technologically inept. Lesson 7 is an entire chapter devoted to camera systems and has taken me quite a while to actually learn it. I had to hop online during the classroom meetings and ask Adam to explain it in different terms. After he finished it all sunk in, I finally understood what this chapter was about.

Lesson 7 has a ton of information and is essential to know and understand if one wants to have an easier time making games. It’s all about converting from one matrix to another and the reasoning behind it. The reasoning is what was lost on me initially but now that I look back it’s very simple. With Adam’s help and the examples and details given by the book made it so much easier to learn. This chapter is much smaller than the previous chapters but talks about things I’ve never done before.

The beginning of the chapter introduces the concepts that are used later on. It talks about rotation, translation and converting between matrices. It goes into so much detail about the different matrices and their purposes that I had to re-read it a few times to fully understand it. After all of the matrix talk we look at the different camera systems and their uses. Next we turn to the frustum and how it is used to determine whether or not something should be rendered or even put through the rendering pipeline.

This chapter doesn’t offer a whole lot of code and I have nothing to show for it other than the chapter’s demo. The accompanying program shows off different camera systems after some simple terrain has been rendered. The demo uses the ideas and concepts from the book but still uses far more code than we’re used to at this stage.

The workbook has a LOT of code and explains everything that this demo does. It is an absolute must read and brings closure to the chapter. Without this workbook the textbook would seem a bit lacking since the demo does things we’re not used to. This chapter relies heavily on classes and without previous knowledge one would be completely lost. It seems this single chapter of the workbook could be its own book since it has so much information.

I’d have to say that this chapter has been the hardest to learn and because of that many people might be discouraged from continuing. With the help of the staff at the GI and the workbook and lectures it shouldn’t be a problem to fully understand how a camera system works. With this chapter we finally get past the boring spinning blocks and produce something that’s worth looking at.

Now that I’m back into the swing of things and finally done with this chapter I should be making frequent updates. I am sorry about the delay and to those that have been looking forward to the next installment should be happy about this news. The Game Institute is continuing to impress me and making my dream become a reality.