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#ActualL. Spiro

Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:06 AM

Enough of the “write games, not engines” mantra.

4 words do not express the idea correctly. It is an over-simplification of a fairly complex subject and is extremely misleading.
I have seen people on here who look at this overly simple mantra and have gotten the impression that writing engines is to be absolutely avoided.
He isn’t the only one, and the first reply by Ravyne supports my current point exactly.

The content of the original article is mostly fine.
But the title was a horrible choice of words and an absolute disservice the actual idea that was trying to be portrayed.
Every time you repeat that horrible choice of words a kitten dies.


That mantra has done nothing but confuse people or in the very least lead them off track.

If I am going to make a 3D game, it’s obvious I will need a 3D file format and 3D graphics rendering pipeline for that format.
I will need an animation system with skinning support.
It is obvious that I will need a sound engine for any game I make.
Most 3D games are indoors, outdoors, or both, so it’s obvious that I will either need a terrain library or building/indoors library, if not on this project then on the next.
All games should be broken into states, and should have some kind of scene manager to manage all the objects in the scene.
And most 3D games have some amount of physics.

That is about an entire engine right there, and yet without having made anything resembling a game all of it is useful. Anything I know my game won’t use (terrain, for example), I don’t add.

This is the normal thought process of a normal human being.


Then someone comes along and says, “Make games, not engines.”
Normal human #1: “Huh? Was my planning all wrong up to this point? I should panic and try to think about how I can have all these features without them being considered an engine!”
Normal human #2: “Huh? Was my planning all wrong up to this point? This all seemed so logical. Then how is a game supposed to get made? I don’t see how to continue from here, since all of this made sense, but is apparently wrong.”


You are not helping anyone by saying, “Make games, not engines.”
Stop using catch-phrases and start explaining the concept, avoiding those 4 words as much as humanly possible. They sound catchy, but they don’t help. They hurt. They only hurt. They do no good for anyone, and kittens die from them.


Do carefully note that I did not say the concept was wrong. I said those words are wrong. And they are. They misrepresent the concept and they mislead people.
Enough already. It was catchy 1 time 5 years ago. Let it die.
If you want to help people, explain the concept, omit the mantra.


L. Spiro

#1L. Spiro

Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:20 AM

Enough of the “write games, not engines” mantra.

4 words do not express the idea correctly. It is an over-simplification of a fairly complex subject and is extremely misleading.
I have seen people on here who look at this overly simple mantra and have gotten the impression that writing engines is to be absolutely avoided.
He isn’t the only one, and the first reply by Ravyne supports my current point exactly.

The content of the original article is mostly fine.
But the title was a horrible choice of words and an absolute disservice the actual idea that was trying to be portrayed.
Every time you repeat that horrible choice of words a kitten dies.


That mantra has done nothing but confuse people or in the very least lead them off track.

If I am going to make a 3D game, it’s obvious I will need a 3D file format and 3D graphics rendering pipeline for that format.
I will need an animation system with skinning support.
It is obvious that I will need a sound engine for any game I make.
Most 3D games are indoors, outdoors, or both, so it obvious that I will either need a terrain library or building/indoors library, if not on this project then on the next.
All games should be broken into states, and should have some kind of scene manager to manage all the objects in the scene.
And most 3D games have some amount of physics.

That is about an entire engine right there, and yet without having made anything resembling a game all of it is useful. Anything I know my game won’t use (terrain, for example), I don’t add.

This is the normal thought process of a normal human being.


Then someone comes along and says, “Make games, not engines.”
Normal human #1: “Huh? Was my planning all wrong up to this point? I should panic and try to think about how I can have all these features without them being considered an engine!”
Normal human #2: “Huh? Was my planning all wrong up to this point? This all seemed so logical. Then how is a game supposed to get made? I don’t see how to continue from here, since all of this made sense, but is apparently wrong.”


You are not helping anyone by saying, “Make games, not engines.”
Stop using catch-phrases and start explaining the concept, avoiding those 4 words as much as humanly possible. They sound catchy, but they don’t help. They hurt. They only hurt. They do no good for anyone, and kittens die from them.


Do carefully note that I did not say the concept was wrong. I said those words are wrong. And they are. They misrepresent the concept and they mislead people.
Enough already. It was catchy 1 time 5 years ago. Let it die.
If you want to help people, explain the concept, omit the mantra.


L. Spiro

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