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Why Firaxis switched from Python to LUA?


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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4002

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 03:10 PM

Do you have any information why they switched for Civilization V? I tried to google it but so far only stumbled over flamewars regarding various scripting languages without the Firaxis' reason :)

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#2 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6323

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:12 PM

Its hard to give you firaxis' reason (unless one of their employees lurk around here), but there are many reasons to choose lua over python.

The main advantages i can think of are:
1) Lua is smaller and faster. (at basic arithmetics and function calling, it loses greatly at tasks which the python standard library handles)
2) Lua has a slightly simpler syntax (no strict indentation) which makes life easier for modders, allthough i guess those who modded Civ4 are unhappy about the change as they most likely get less flexibility and have to learn a new language).

If they wanted people to write Civilization mods that turned the game into a first person shooter then yes, Python would be a superior choice, but for setting a few values and flags at runtime it just doesn't make much sense.
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#3 ddn3   Members   -  Reputation: 1328

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:14 PM

I think it was due to speed. One of the original complaints about Civ 4 was it was too slow. Both Python and Lua are equivalent high level languages so flexibility wasn't the issue, imo. Lua in general runs about 4-5x faster than Python..

#4 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4002

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:09 PM

Sounds logical, thanks.

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