How organized is the code for multi-million lined games (WoW, CoD, Diablo 3, etc)?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Tosty, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Tosty

    Tosty Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Does anyone know how organized professional developers keep their code? As soon as my games hit a few thousand lines I feel it just becomes a hot mess. How do professionals do it?
  2. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Have a look at: (it is the same logic not matter what platform you are using)

    Just make one class do one thing. Take advantage of inheritance (ie all your monsters should just extend your base monster class). Comment your code, start each class with a short comment of what it does.

    The pros work the same way with the graphics engine giving an API to the people coding the gamelogic layer. They separating the engine from the logic is common.
  3. Rogue

    Rogue Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Feb 9, 2011
    Games Developer
    Brisbane, Australia
    It really depends. I have worked on stuff that was very modular and I have been on projects where things were just slapped together with hacks on hacks. I don't think there is really a right or wrong answer for this. Project scale also plays a factor to be honest as well as what constitutes the game's unique code and what is shared between projects (eg: Rendering Engine, Physics System etc).
  4. Dewfreak83

    Dewfreak83 Active Member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Indie Developer
    Baltimore, MD
    Honestly, it mostly has to do with the company culture and team size. The game engineering team on ESO was very small for the type of game it was (MMO) - perhaps around 8 core engineers. With a small tight nit team I can say that the code was very clean and well maintained. Sure there are always a few spots that are a little rough - but overall it was put together very nicely.

    Although I've never worked at other MMO companies, I've heard through the grapevine that the starwars MMO (can't recall, maybe SWTOR), had a pretty large team. And while they got things done quickly with so many engineers, the code base was a bit of a nightmare (too many cooks in the kitchen). Of course I don't know this from experience, more like second-hand rumor.

    Another factor that plays a large role is how many hands the code base changes. In other words: how often the lead engineers are changing, how often new engineers are being added, or entire teams being traded out.

    And of course, experience always plays a large factor. ESO had a very senior-heavy team, which I think played a strong role for its strong code base.

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