11/10/2004

11-10-04 - 1

11-10-04

I think one of the big mistakes people in game dev make is they put their best programmers on core engine technology, like rendering or networking, etc. Yes, that stuff is important, but once it's reasonably good, the user can't really feel the difference between good and great renderer programming. On the other hand, things like controls, camera, motion, input, latency, animation, these things provide direct feedback to the play experience, and even small improvements can make a big difference in the sensation of quality. Those are the things that really make a game feel polished and good, that make it like a Nintendo or Naughty Dog game - clean, responsive, pleasant to interface with.

Engine coding is fun because the technology is challenging, the algorithms are interesting. It's frustrating because an engine in itself doesn't show up on the screen - you need people to use it well, which rarely happens. Gameplay coding is fun because you can do features all alone and get cool results in the actual game. Gameplay coding is frustrating because you do 3 features that are cut for every 1 that's used, and you have to spend tons of time polishing silly little features and eventualities that the player will never notice.

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old rants