No Time To Play

Weekly Links #189

by on Sep.24, 2017, under News

Hello, everyone! This week more than half the links are about looking backwards. Via Vintage Is the New Old we learn of a history of Nintendo arcade games, showing a less known face of the company. Their earliest effort was especially interesting. In related news, there’s a new effort to preserve videogame history, focused on a less-known form of marketing from the 1980s. Then we have a (reprinted) postmortem of Civ 5, and a look at Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 prototype from before the franchise was revived. Turns out, Chris Avellone prototyped the story in the form of a tabletop RPG campaign, long before he had an engine. Which not only took care of the game design early, in a portable way, but consider this: had New Vegas never happened, he would still have had a product, albeit in a different medium.

Speaking of game design, we have someone exploring how much rules really matter in videogames and not only, then some thoughts on how to stop players from hoarding — a detailed, well-considered analysis. I applied technique #1 intuitively in Escape From Cnossus, and it works great, by the way.

For the more technical developers out there, I’ll end the week with the story of an OpenGL shader and the trouble it caused. Keep in mind that fluffy is a professional with years of experience coding advanced experimental computer graphics. You likely aren’t. Are you sure you want the headache?

Until next time, use the level of technology you can handle and get away with.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • fluffy

    That’s certainly an *interesting* takeaway from my article, but not really what I was going for. It’s a programming mistake that could have happened in any environment – I just didn’t check the order of my parameters being passed into a built-in function, and was thus experiencing undefined behavior (which just happened to look correct on my reference platform).

    My main goal in writing that was I thought people would be amused by an anecdote where I made a dumb error and didn’t notice it. 🙂 It had nothing to do with being a shader, at least in any of the details that matter. Sure, better debugging tools might have helped prevent it, but honestly I could have also been better about writing unit tests or whatever (which are certainly a possibility for shaders!).

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