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Paul C Skertich

Either I'm feeling burnt out or losing sight

6 posts in this topic

Upon dissecting the HPL 1 Engine, Doom 3 Engine and looking back at my engine...As far as coding skills are consern I have a lot to learn! The whole entire framework is whacked. I am going back to read the Game Engine Architecture. It helped point out a lot about the design of an game engine. 

 

In addiition, a API or SDK are just tools laid out for the developer to build a game. A house wouldn't be built without tools, right? Game is the house as in tools are the game engine's api or sdk.

 

What I've noticed is the Doom 3 engine uses a lot of macros definations and HPL 1 Engine uses a lot of macros. I thought you want to stay away from macro definations as best as you could?

 

Why in the world reading through someone's elses code so confusing? HPL1 uses a lot of interfacing; a lot of polymorphisms and don't forget the macro definations.

 

Remember that callback question that I asked about? Yeah I found out how that one works - never looked at the HPL Engine source code closely like today.

 

A lot of the time I was searching within the project how they co-relate to eachother. Callback function is all the way over to another header file, that  gets used by a lowLevelSystem header file and then over the script header file.

 

It's like connect the dots - literally! Over here and over there and over there and over there!

 

Aren't any API or SDK suppose to make sense or do they literally have the whole "Connect The Dots"? Or do they purposly do that to prevent others from dissecting their code and making a better engine then theirs?

 

man: It's like here's a bunch of nails, screws, bolts, washer, a some wood and scrap metal - there you go! Have at it - now build a shed.

Builder: Where's the instructions?

man: There's no need for instructions just go with what you feel best!

Builder: Huh?!

 

How many revisions do a game engine undetake anyways? This is perhaps my fifth or so.  I'm just venting - don't mind me! TIme for a smoke.

 

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The Doom 3 engine was frequently noted for being a disaster. It is battle-worn and contains a lot of ugly little growths that mature code develops. Don't use it as an ideal.


As for how many revisions an engine requires, it is up to you. For something on your own, I would give it exactly one revision every time you released a game. Grow it with the game. Add features as you need them. Shift features over from your game to your engine as it seems appropriate, or the other way if you want.

For a series of games I worked on (we had five in the series) we started with a small existing engine and built a game out of it. After the game was finished we brainstormed all the things we didn't like, prioritized the list, and added/removed/adjusted those features. We moved over all the game parts we wanted to reuse over to the engine library, and then set to work on the second product. When we finished the second game we took a similar list of changes, added features we found useful, and created the third game. By the time we hit the third game, the list of major engine changes was fairly small as was the number of features to migrate over. The fourth and fifth titles we were able to spend most of our time working on fun game features rather than infrastructure as the game engine was solid for our style of game on that platform.

If you don't make games with the engine, then the engine is really just an academic exercise.
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I can actually understand now how any API can get messy, especially when the project gets big, or when it is complex.

A topic I have looked into is "API Design" (a term I thought up).

I think it is better to present an API in a table format, rather than an outline.

There are many other ways to represent large amounts of interconnected data.

Taking the tool analogy, perhaps all "fasteners" should be grouped together and set at a certain level, and all "tighteners" should be grouped at the same level, adjacent to the corresponding fastener.

So you have a hammer and all of the potential objects it can be used with.
Then you have the wrench, and all of the potential objects it can be used with.

And the form of use is detailed under each object, exmples included.

Good and clean naming conventions matter to me too.
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Thanks for the awesome feedback! I've been hitting pass those sluggish times where I want to take a coding vacation. Weirdly enough, the volumetric texturing had me do a lot more research than I ever did before! I think I actually learned a lot more than I had like two days. Back to the interconnecting of the engine - that's still undergoing it's way. Still working on the current issues. Today I cleaned up some code crude that I didn't need. I commeted the ones I can use later. I learned a hell alot more about memory allocation and provide better means. I kept on getting a stackoverflowexception than I figured out what I was doing wrong. I stopped that and sit back think why did that give me an exception.

 

A lot of the times it's just keeping the eye on the goal and never looking back. Hell, if my game doesn't sell nor work out as well I can always build an electronic equipment that uses 3D mapping like gdar - it sends radio waves through the grown when detecting hidden rooms or caves or some shat like that.

 

I wasn't thinking of Doom 3 as ideal goal - then again I think focusing on my own would be better than focusing on other people's engines.

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Wait I downloaded the Doom3 - BFG Source code along time apparently, it was in my github folder on my desk top. There was another ID Tech engine I think I looked at - not this one though.

 

I'll have a look at this one again. I still stand by this ideal - API \ SDK are just tools to allow the developer to develope the engine or game. As in in OpenGl, DirectX, BUllet Physics Api, Nvidia Physx and others. If I keep this in mind - it will help keep me on focus on what's important at hand. I'm still keeping my eye on the goal as I stated. Sometimes though; the burnt out feeling is from hitting blocks - like writers hit blocks when writing stories. Coders run in to the same thing. Especially when they have external bull crap like family in law related issues running rampant. I say Eventually the Hard Work Will Pay Off At the End. It's all a progress. Once the Engine and Creation Tools are out of the way then I can focus on the fun stuff like creating a masterpiece of a horror game.

 

About building an electronic device that maps out in 3D - I can even use my knowledge what I learned about 3D Graphics in that arena as well! I just wanted to point that out too.

 

The Chubu - I'll look at the source code. I'm on my second cup of coffee but I'll look at it. Thanks everyone for chipping in their wisdom.

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Don't worry about how you feel reading someone else's code. Heck, I sometimes look at code I wrote three months ago and concluded that I am not smart enough to understand--let alone write it.

 

As far as design and layout, and general rules like "staying away from macro's," the guys who build great stuff have their own vision and often ignore community dogma; if something gets the job they need done, they just do it and don't look back.

 

Unfortunately, that can also cause a codebase to trend towards what's in the developer's mind more than a clean solution to the problem, but I digress :-)

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