Borislav Kostov, Lead Programmer at Gameloft, for the responsibility and the sweet moments of his profession
In the following lines, we will introduce you to Borislav, so that you can learn what path he has taken in his professional development and what he expects from future students in the program:
When did you get into programming?
In early childhood because of Starcraft. An older brother of a classmate showed us what C++ was, we were able to write a program that would search the game resources and extract the cinematics so we could watch them whenever we wanted.
Why did you choose to do game programming instead of another type of software?
With games, you see the result of your work, it’s dynamic and interesting. You can have fun with what you’ve done. The product reaches millions of people and you watch their reactions.
Since when have you been a lead programmer at Gameloft and what do your duties include?
I have been a lead programmer for ten years. I had a few years’ pause while we developed internal training programs for new people, and then I was more focused on ways of easier integration and the development of new staff. At the end of 2020, I once again took the lead on one of the three major projects in our studio – War Planet Online. I try to organize and improve the work process. To give direction for the architectural development of the project and help colleagues with the design and development of new functionalities in the game.
What are your favorite projects you’ve worked on and why?
Favorite projects … I don’t know. I like almost everything I’ve worked on because it’s given me the opportunity to learn new things. When I was at Ubisoft, I had the opportunity to work with great professionals and learn a lot about consoles and programming in general. After I came back to Gameloft, the rapid development in mobile phones started, and besides the games themselves, over the years we have had the opportunity to RnD on a number of things – AI, social networks, cloud, extended reality.
And which are the most challenging and why?
To develop face recognition and tracking with the iPhone 4 camera 🙂 and maybe March of Empires because it was our first big MMO. Nowadays, camera and sensor technology is quite advanced, but 12/13 years ago when we were starting with the iPhone, it was definitely challenging to write an algorithm working with the small image from the camera, running on a not-very-powerful processor, while the game is running. March of Empires was a lot of fun to work on because we were doing something new for us. We were building servers supporting millions of interactions, and the responsibility of not making mistakes was greater, but so was the satisfaction in the end.
How does it feel to work on a game that will be played by millions of people?
It’s interesting. Our games are a living product, we’re constantly developing them and adding new things. And it’s not just games, the social element is very strong. Communities are created in them, various events take place. It’s responsible because you know a bad product will disappoint so many people. But the dynamics and surprising moments are worth it – from being part of the moment of people who met in the game, who eventually become family until you get a “wish” like “all your covid vaccines should be tested on you”.
What will you be teaching in ARC Academy’s Game Programming program and what would you like to teach the students?
I will teach courses related to algorithms and data structures. I would like to teach students the different ways to structure and work with data. Thinking and evaluating different ways to solve a problem. Optimizations and troubleshooting.
If you’ve always had an interest in programming and video games, then the Game Programming program is for you. Deepen your knowledge of C++ and participate in the creation of games in Unreal Engine in multidisciplinary teams with game designers, 2D and 3D artists. Apply to ARC Academy.