Ask @brett_douville:

What's the best games engine in your opinion and what's your personal favourite?

Whatever engine gets you as close to realizing your vision in the resources you're able to commit. I probably had the most fun working in the engine we wrote for Starfighter, because I knew it intimately and the three senior programmers on it all had a similar philosophy of how to build code at the time, though we've all evolved in different directions I'm sure.

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Stupid question but i guess as lead programmer who have to a great people person? must have been challenging?

Must have been challenging because I'm not a people person? :) Ha. Yes, in general, being a lead is often more about developing the people you're leading but also about providing technical direction and vision, and acting as a technical sounding board for what the team hopes to achieve. The people aspect of it is one I take very seriously.

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Has programming games changed much? become easier/harder? longer/shorter?

It has changed to the most degree with the introduction of concurrent programming, with the addition of GPUs and the PS2’s architecture at the beginning of my career. That’s probably the biggest single change but it’s an enormous one - in a way, you’re often working on problems that at one time would have been problems for operating systems programmers. And concurrent programming is significantly harder than single process programming. So in that sense it’s harder.
Longer/shorter is a tougher thing. It takes longer to make the AAA games, but they’re also bigger (and have the challenge described above). Apples to apples? I can code up Asteroids or something in an hour or so, in C - but I don’t have to think about the hardware to do so (and of course, the design is established).

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It seems i need a journal/diary to record daily key tasks/events (old age,brain rot not sure) did you use anything to record daily tasks at LucasArts,Besthesda etc if yes what?

I've always kept my task list in a laboratory notebook or journal of some kind. Toward the end of production on SWRC, programmers would send each other 5-1 emails (five minutes to write, one minute to read) that indicated what they had done that day, this was useful for connecting the dots if something broke (oh, so and so was in this code but so was this other person). Can't really go into BGS's production methodologies, but those are things I've always done, I maintain a task list journal today and often use the task descriptions from the journal as my check-in notes to source control.

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ve read many reports of gaming companies/studios,people involved in game development suing each other.Do you think the industry is too sensitive,fickle and should let things go?

Sounds like a leading question. We live in a society where lawsuits are often required to protect one's interests -- in the case of trademark or copyright, if a company doesn't challenge this stuff, they can lose their TM or CR altogether, which could lead to anyone being able to make a thing that has the name The Elder Scrolls, for example (if BGS didn't protect its trademark). If Nintendo didn't sue to protect its licensing model, the market may have collapsed altogether again (as it had with Atari, who did not protect the integrity of their system in that way). So lawsuits can be useful both for companies and for consumers.
That said, as my school motto says: Laws without morals are in vain. A lot of the reason why our law books are so complicated/enormous/expansive is because there are so many bad actors and you have to try to do something to constrain them and protect against unfair competition or predation. Regulations arise from specific actions that corporations generally take, to maximize profits, that damage people.
So on balance, we have a system where lawsuits are the mechanism by which people and corporations find their creeping way towards a just society. It's not perfect, it doesn't always work well, but it's what we have. There's probably a more specific example that you're frustrated about, would be happy to speak to that.

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what different parts of a game interest you the most? for example coding,problem solving to make it,the graphics,the gameplay. I guess most people won't have an interest in the coding part but parts from the finished game.

Ah, I see. I'm kind of a generalist as far as programming goes, but I particularly enjoy systems programming (low-level sorts of things, generally, maybe platform support or doing things that require a good understanding of what the hardware can deliver, or optimizing for memory or performance), or supporting designers to produce gameplay, generally preferring programming game systems rather than tools, though I have been involved in both. Graphics has become so specialized that I'm only really useful there to think about architectural issues, not shader specifics.

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What programming languages do you know?

I'm most fluent in C, C++, and C# and have used these or variants of them through my career.
Hard to say to what degree I know the other languages I've used, because I just sort of pick them up again if I need to use them and they come back pretty quickly, but they don't get frequent usage. I've used web stuff (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, some of these are more languages than others), database stuff (SQL), scripting languages like Lua or home-grown ones. I've used some Python and a long time ago I used stuff like PERL and LISP and ML, and even before that I used stuff like Basic, Forth, 6502 assembly (when I was a kid)... Basically I'll use whatever gets a job done, and learn or re-learn enough of it to do so, I'm probably missing one or two.

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Yes the dev sworn to secrecy question was referring to game development.Fallout 76 made me ask you,are interested to see where the games you worked on progress?

For years after leaving LucasArts I played everything that anyone I had worked with worked on; after a while it gets difficult to keep track. BGS makes great games, I look forward to whatever they put out, though I will be less likely to play MP games (I'm a dedicated single-player gamer).

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Which aspect of David Cage's games you find to be quiet commendable?

I like the kinds of moments you don't find in other AAA games, usually quiet moments, but sometimes a type of interaction that pushes some emotional buttons. Time spent playing with the kids, or doing a little work around the house. A party that you just don't fit into, that ends up going wrong. Sitting in your apartment playing a guitar. These sorts of things work pretty well and try to provide a normalcy that will make the more off-the-wall stuff coming later stand apart.

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