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A reminder

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It's March and I haven't mentioned this in a while, so it's probably time for me to make the official public service announcement. I see people falling into bad habits, so it's important that this be said.

Note that this announcement is not made lightly and is backed by the wisdom of more years in the industry than pretty-much anyone on this site. It is important that you read this advice and follow it. If you follow this advice, you will thank me someday. If you don't follow this advice, you will someday wish you had.

That being said. . .


If you're planning to write a game engine or are in the process of writing a game engine, stop now.

You're welcome.
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Why? It's not like it's a gigantic undertaking and a very daunting task...



well, it's fun anyway.

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Now I can honestly say that I have been told to do nothing! Time to go play Burnout 3!

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Because it's an utter waste of time, and time spent writing a game engine could better be spent elsewhere, like cleaning your kitchen floor with a toothbrush. At least if you clean your kitchen floor with a toothbrush, you'll have something to show for it, which is more than can be said for work on a game engine.

Trust me here. Move on with your life.

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Funny. Sounds like you've built a few?
Thank gods my kitchen isn't that big! To think I was going to waste all that time doing what I love. Thanks!

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I know what you're saying. I've been there several times and failed horribly. There's absolutely no point trying to reinvent the wheel for everything if you're trying to get a game finished.

However, if you're learning how things tick I can't think of a better way to learn. If anything, the process should kick you into wanting to use someone else's library or engine. The way I see it is like this: you're either writing an engine or a game, the two are pretty much mutually exclusive for anything other than the smallest projects... that is, if you intend to finish them. If you're writing a game then beg, borrow and butcher and code or libraries you can to get the task done. Do it, and do it now! This is all from personal experience.

All that said, I didn't learn until maybe the 4th attempt at writing my 'engines' I don't think anyone truly learns until they get stung by a bad design decision made at the engine level at least a couple of times.

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So, what's your recommendation to someone who wants to make a commercial game but has no engine, no money to license one, and also does not want to be stuck to an agreement that you can only publish your game with the company that licensed you the engine (ie. garagegames).

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Either. . .

1. Use a free one. There are plenty out there.

or. . .

2. Don't use an engine at all. Write code that talks to Win32, DirectX, SDL, MFC, wxWindows, etc etc etc.

In either case, you'll end up with a game to show for your efforts rather than a pile of code with at best an animated yawnworthy demo with a framerate counter in the corner.

Writing an engine is not game development. It's an excuse to avoid game development.

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