Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Amerigo Vespucci

I'm still in the US for a few more days.

GDC ended and here are the pics..

Being on a business trip, or a trip in general, for some reason takes away most of the time that I usually dedicate to do my home coding or even just to fiddle around with web sites and blog.

When away, I'm in an actual office less, but I have proper meals and perhaps I'm more socially involved than on an average day at home.

By "proper meal" I mean meals at proper time. While the quantity of food in the US is anything but proper.
I'm having a hard time to digest anything I eat. I suspect because I'm used to the smaller Japanese portions and my stomach is just generally used to hold smaller quantities.
Quality is perhaps an issue.. too many fast foods available, too much emphasis on quantity over quality..  but there are some good restaurants here too !

On a completely different topic (and before rushing to take my early-morning shower)... apparently a "certain" company is making again a big fuzz of how it's going to make a superkickarse nextgen engine, and it is openly looking for people to work on it (with spots on TV, I hear !).
The same company that made a big deal about making some superhot engine and eventually released only one (?) game based on it.

This is pretty stupid.. making a successful and reusable engine is not that easy. It requires tons (most) effort on supporting the game teams that will have to use it. It's going to be a nightmare and most likely it's going to be a   waste of money.
Especially because this next gen engine is supposed to be on cur gen consoles... so, by the time it's done, 1-2 games will be released and then many things will change sensibly for the next generation of hardware.

It's not nice to be this negative.. but I've worked and developed ...enginesssss... for so many years and I think I understand these things better than many other people that instead have the power to waste money after these silly dreams.

If you are a game company, make games first, and see if some sort of reusable stuff comes out as a byproduct.. if you instead really really want to make an internal superengine, then treat that project as something that you need to see to the outside: what's your competition ? What's your support ? Do you have a message board, a lively community, a proper toolset, a build system, a proven development cycle ?

..beginners !!



  1. Not too kind with that former employer of yours [FF8PC] ^^;

  2. Mr. Anon,

    ..it's not just my former employer....
    ..that's why it pisses me off now.. I see headless chicken running around without any real direction.
    The biggest an most famous companies get many things fantastically wrong

  3. sarcasm mode: on

    What do you mean? Enginezzz will $ave u$ all!! Everyone's doing it! Games aren't about gameplay or fun anymore ... just technology and buzzwordzz and slidezzz at conferences that (ultimately) waste time!! Silly programmer!! We'll show you!!

    sarcasm mode: off

  4. Mr Ragin,

    As you know, I've been caring for the tech more than the gameplay myself.. however I think that for games one should focus on ease of development.. on productivity, when developing assets.. and that's not done getting some kickass engine or API.. unlike the programmers like to think and the bosses like to believe.

  5. Mr. Kaz,
    I agree 100% with what you said. My sarcasm was a poor attempt to express the sentiments that seem to be current in the industry. 8P

  6. Well, you need to have something in place that runs the game. So I am not exactly sure where you are both going with all that. Do you want to have a way to somehow develop a game without a game engine?

  7. Of course it's not all game-play programming... but the so called engine should be meant for one game, and not as a general solution for multiple games across different game teams, different platforms and for different game types.

    Reusability to some degree is implicit in proper game programming, however one thing is to be able to reuse some system code and build pipeline for another game, another is to start from the idea of making some kick-arse megaengine.

    That's what I'm against.. putting "the engine" before the game.


  8. I think those mega-engines are meant for teams that lack the time or the knowledge of building the fundamental system code and build pipelines.

  9. ..but the mega-engines, more often than not, try to do much more than the basic system infrastructure.. like the whole asset building pipeline, etc.

    That's implicitly limiting and requires serious support or customization.
    Epic has been doing that for a while and it's devoted to this.. larger developers that try to do something like that are bound to fail.

    Facking engines ! 8)

  10. Thats because the basic system infrastructure by itself is not very marketable. People want to see what they can build with the tools/engine straight 'out of the box' before they pay to license it.

  11. Paul,

    I'm not against engines or building them. I've just learned from personal experience that without a focus of some sort, such an endeavor is likely to fail or be long and drawn out. It's one thing if the goal is to make an FPS then build an engine catered to that. I think it's simply an issue of engineering. Setting out to build a fighter jet produces a different set of requirements for the aircraft than trying to build an aircraft that can be a fighter jet plus everything else that flies. :)