In the first edition of our bi-weekly developer interview, our awesome community team took some time to sit down with Alvaro Jover, otherwise known as Vorixo – coder and build manager for Galaxy in Turmoil.
(Pictured Above: Vorixo)
Vorixo, who in the seven hells are you?
I’m a successful youtuber (www.youtube.com/vorixo)
I notice that this channel isn’t in english, where is it that you are from?
I am from la bella España
[Editors note: Translation: The beautiful Spain]
So you do spanish music videos?
I do tutorials about music production on my youtube channel
Is that your role in Frontwire, music production?
Actually, I’m a coder for Frontwire. Youtube and FWS are separated. [To be honest] I should have different a nickname for FWS so I don’t mix the two, but who cares.
Let’s take the opportunity to get to know you a bit better...How did you get into things like Spanish music production, and coding?
Music came into my life 9 years ago, as for coding more or less since I was 10 years old… well 9-10.
Coding since you were 10. That’s quite a feat! How do your family feel about your endeavors?
Well, they’re are proud of me (I think).
Can’t imagine what that would feel like..
I’m sure your parents love something about you. Your hair for instance.
Well my father hasn’t spoken to me for 18 years. So…Let’s lighten it up a bit. Are you studying anything at the moment? University/college?
Yes I am studying computer engineering as well as computer science and computation. I’m going to specialize in GPU programming.
GPU programming is pretty specialized. Do you want to take a moment to briefly explain what GPU programming is all about for those unfamiliar with it out there?
Well we all know what a CPU is, it’s the central processing unit, it is essentially the central component of a computer. The cpu is the part responsible for carrying out all the operations of a computer, and these operations processed by a cpu are sequential, take for example FIFO strategy (first in first out) which means that the instructions first sent to the CPU are the ones that are executed first. Now obviously the CPU’s we have today are more advanced and they give priority depending on the exact nature of the instruction.
Now you’re likely wondering why I explained this to you, the answer is because a GPU can be the most wonderful helper of a CPU. With GPU you can perform multiple operations at the same time, depending on the kernel that you are working on. So take for example operations that require a lot of calculations such as a normal baking, they benefit massively from having numerous operations done simultaneously on a GPU as opposed to a CPU. There are many instances in which algorithms can be processed on a GPU in the fraction of the time it’d take to process on a CPU. As you can see the threading of the GPU is makes the processing of the algorithm far far more efficient.
A lot of people are not aware how GPU’s are constantly evolving in ways that allow for more than better graphics, they are evolving in such a manner that they can be utilised to do more calculations in less time.
Now in a lot of universities you will find that they have a numerous GPU’s connected in parallel as a means by which they can recreate the behaviour of a cell. And I think that this is absolutely huge! Imagine being able to easily accurately simulate how a cell would act under different conditions! So for situations that require a colossal number of calculations it may well be better to use a GPU instead of CPU.
I don’t think the general audience will understand any of that buuuuuut ok let’s see...What are your feelings about pivoting away from Star Wars to Frontwire’s own original universe?
For me it is a bit sad because I wanted the Battlefront 3 that we were making to see the light of day, but… to be honest this is an opportunity to have something original, something from us. And as you can obviously see I’m still working as I always was whilst knowing this, so I think for me it is bad and good at the same time. I want to make this, no matter how many difficulties we will have to face down the road.
What do you think will be the next biggest difficulty you face. Now you’ve faced your worst nightmare and being C&D’d?
Well I would say that receiving the C&D was sad but it is not definitively the worst nightmare, for me the worst nightmare will be making [a perfect] AI because of the high standards I set myself… I mean I simply can’t do something that will be only “good”, it has to be spot on. If I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it. No matter how many hours I have to spend in front of my computer thinking and annotating algorithms on my whiteboard.
It would seem you’re truly very dedicated to this project.
The word is determination, I have determination. I spend almost 6 hours per day working on GiT.
As a coder you’re responsible for a lot of important game features, are there any you’re particularly proud of or excited about?
Well that’s a really difficult question for me because as you know if I am not inherently proud of something I’ll erase it and start over. For example, I remade the health [robot] three times over because there was a little aspect that I didn’t like about it. Instead of tweaking the code [and] everything in a sketchy way I prefer to start over. I think a lot of programmers know that is the best solution in certain situations.
What would you say is your motivation for working on GiT? Is it about practice? The support of fans? Establishing a name?
I feel my life has changed since GiT came into it. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had is working everyday here with my teammates. Sharing knowledge, talking with people experienced in the business, as well as having people supporting me daily. I mean, for me… there is not a single bad thing about it.
So you could say getting to work in FWS is like a dream come true for you?
Yes, definitely. It’s not just because we’re making the game it’s… working hand [in] hand with people like Posi, Wowelite and Euden (my department buds) that is giving me life and a making me smile every time I speak with them.
You mentioned how you’ve being involved in GiT since the early days, can you remember what led to you joining?
I saw a youtube video a while back and I guess I just decided to explore… I dropped in my CV and I just sort of came in instantly, at the time we were a very reduced team so back then every bit of help was welcome.
Would you care to share a little known fact or crazy story about GiT’s development process thus far?
Oh yes. The misunderstandings between Posi and myself are wonderful. When we start implementing a mechanic we discuss how we’re going to implement it. Sometimes because English isn’t my first language I find myself unsure how to express myself and Posi ends up misunderstanding me completely. For example once we spent almost [an] hour unknowingly arguing [over] the same thing.
Let’s finish off on a lighthearted note, what’s your favorite food?
I can’t choose, I love pizza, lasagna, cannelloni, spaghetti, pasta salad…
Thanks for reading! Be sure to keep an eye on the Frontwire blog for our next developer interview!
-The Frontwire Community Team
<3 Lex, FuZaH & EvoSteven