Weekly Links #298



Dear makers of video tutorials: cut it out. Cut it out with your "learn gamedev with X and Y in Z lessons" series, where you have beginners copy-pasting bits of code before they know why indentation matters in Python. You're perpetuating a culture of instant gratification that's destroying the world. They're not going to get bored if you first teach them how to make, dunno, a guess-the-number game. In text mode. Using input. And they'll be grateful later. So will the rest of us, when we don't have to spend much of our time pointing people at, you know, the beginner-level tutorials they should have started with in the first place.

Conversely: dear beginners, code is just text. You don't need a fancy IDE that will sing and dance and make your coffee. A humble text editor is enough to get you started. Just get Geany or something. You want to set up your language and libraries independently of your editor anyway. Other people won't have it! Besides, you need to know what's happening behind the scenes anyway. Otherwise you'll be helpless when things go wrong. When, not "if". You'll go asking for help, and people will try, but you won't even understand their explanations.

Education is like building a house: you have to do it right. Otherwise it will come crashing down on you sooner or later, and many people will bear the costs.

In the way of game development news, I'm afraid this week is kind of thin on the ground. We do have a couple of game design lessons worth reading though. Not so much comments:

Otherwise, there's my new direct-to-wiki interpreter construction tutorial. Which gave me a lot of ideas, so languages will be my focus for a while. Hopefully not to the detriment of games, but you know how it is.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Sunday and see you in a week for the next-to-last newsletter of the decade. Thank you for reading.


Tags: education, game design