Saturday, October 3, 2009

Classy or Primitive code

This question doesn't seem to come up as much nowadays as it used to. I think it is because games have gotten more complex and any system that needs to be written has to be flexible in ways that would have cost too much memory in the past. as well as memory of course they take up time.

Designing how the features work and what features are needed and how to control all these features in the amazing classy routines that needed to be written. To clarify things a little i will explain more of what i am doing and what all that gibberish means.

I am working on the intro part of the Dreamland chronicles Application for Xbox with XNA. the intro is a simple movie style intro where logos fade in and out over each other. they do not have many requirements. Where, fade speeds and timers are just about all that is really needed. Now i was going to initially write a nice classy approach to handle this. Make it nice and table driven for expandability etc. then as i was doing it i realised that it was a huge waste of time. All i need are a bunch of constants to layout timings etc and just hard code the indices for each image i will use etc. This of course has gone really fast and now all i need to do is finish up the timings so i like them. I am also going to add some scaling now, because it will simply look better.

So this got me to thinking that all those games out there with their dedicated systems that have been designed and written have been a huge time sink. Ok, so a sequel will get the systems re-used, but apart from that. Sometimes designing and writing what you really want is so much faster than designing a system that someone else can manipulate to their hearts content.

Of course this is only possible for me as i am the designer and the programmer, so i do wonder if it would have required an editor had i been working with someone else on this.... hmm...

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