9.06.2008

More Performance, Less UI

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Hehe, I've bought a limited edition of the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky today and was very exited, because I loved the first game extremely. And yeah, they improved the whole thing, polished some graphics + more performance. The problem at all is: I can't move the mouse! Fuck.
A Shooter without mouse? Damnit! Ok, Ok, lets try the "keyboard" mode... (Stalker is one of the rare games with support for mouse-replacing keyboard functions). What a horrible idea. I can't click away the first ingame message... Damnit, damnit, damnit! A fresh game, first release day and no help in sight...

For that fact I hate PC games: you just can't get aware of hidden, stupid, one-day-patched game errors.

9.04.2008

I know you know nothing

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Writing programs using premade engines/programs is quite simple - unless it's getting bigger. The main difference is probably another spread of work. If I'm doing graphics stuff, I usually focus on exact result, simple extension, high performance and structuring. But if there's an engine that does all the work for me, I tend to polish my code part more and more without caring about multifunctionality. That doesn't mean fundamental engine coding generates bad code - it's more simplification in form and function.

I compared my 1D-Game HDRR-Engine (C++/SDL) with another project of mine, a music program (Purebasic/BASS) - the results are very interesting. Using BASS and Purebasic to get simple GUI stuff and great sound ouput is just as easy as stealing a baby's lollipop, using C++ and SDL to produce a quality game interface is much harder. There's is no GUI toolkit, no fast prototyping, no simple code exchange! Purebasic made it a lot easier for me, it's just pleasant. I'm hacking in all the stuff i need to get it work - and it works! Unfortunally it lacks OOP features, such derivation and class templates - things that could make complex things damn easy. I shivered by the fact, I wrote +80 single variables for window creation and unique content updating code. Couldn't it solved better with OOP and lists? Yeah, it could: with C++ (and without all the nice easements).

If I only could use these features with purebasic, I could write short, effective AND polished code. What a dream! And a nightmare. Yes! Imagine hyperfast, supereasy and uberpolished engines, improving your base code without informing you about the made mistakes. You wouldn't even know how to avoid technical collision or hardcode bugs, because your engine/language does it on its own. You would know nothing about good coding style, effective alghorythms and optimized calculations because you don't even get the chance. Looking back to this entry's beginning, I would say the seperation of more complex, difficult coding and less complex, simple coding is a much better way.

Keep the difference in mind - it could save your work from getting messed up!