In order for followers/potential followers to get pulled in and not lose interest, the project needs some kind of momentum, a beginning-middle-end. If people sense that it's derailed, somehow "staled", or has no ending in sight, then they're far more likely to lose interest or never come around in the first place.
People not following (or stopping following) Handmade Hero because they don't want to spend time doing engine programming is good, not bad! This is not a popularity contest. We are not measuring Social Media Engagement Metrics(TM).
Engine programming is not for most people. Handmade Hero's engine has now had approximately 15 weeks of development time total. Including explanations. That is around, oh... maybe 1/100th of the number of man-weeks that go into a real game engine? So anyone who thinks 15 weeks is long in the tooth should steer wide and clear of engine development, that is for certain! If you think Handmade Hero has too large an engine codebase, or that it has "feature creep", or that it doesn't have "razer-sharp focus", heaven help you if you become a developer on a major game engine. The number of features in a general-purpose engine like Unreal or FrostBite is an order of magnitude larger than what we are dealing with here and several orders of magnitude more lines of code.
cmuratoriWhere'd this come from. Nothing of the sort was said or implied.
if you just want to ship something that is the same as something else
cmuratoriFalse premise. Last time it was about wanting to be a part of a cog machine.
it seems like a lot of work to do if you only cared about shipping a game and that game didn't need to do anything new?
The parts "which make Unity appealing" are exactly the parts which enable rapid prototyping (of both tech and gameplay) - instant feedback and fast turnaround times.
Tech which fosters creativity and experimentation.
Casey's decisions make perfect sense if the objective is creating a general-purpose engine thing, not a game. And that's a perfectly valid direction to take.
the focus ultimately is on the game and as such tech choices are way more tailored for a specific game at hand.I am updating the Handmade Hero home page soon, and I can definitely add some text that makes it clear that this is not what we do on the series, so there's no confusion. Something that explains the goal is to be a stepping stone for serious engine programmers (not necessarily "general purpose", but definitely AAA-level), even though obviously we are not going to be making a AAA game for obvious reasons :)
I get why the workflow of 3D engines is helpful, where you can drag and drop things visually, but when it comes to 2D those editor engines just get in the way.
I've also come to the opinion that 3D engines are a big waste of time, because the little indies can't afford competitive assets, and even mid-tier devs with millions more to spend, regularly complain that AAA companies run them out of business using superior production values. 3D is good for dreams, but little else.
I disagree with the notion that 3d engines are a big waste of time for indies. Look at the "competitive assets" of Minecraft, or Stephens Sausage roll. You don't need expensive assets to make something look appealing.
I have never heard of a Sausage roll, but I know players turn their noses up at games that don't have excellent production values. With 2D it is possible to compete with almost anyone on production values. With 3D it isn't possible to compete unless you work at a mega corp that makes FPS clones.
I don't think this is true at all, if anything the prevalence of successful 2D indies with very basic and simple graphics proves the opposite to be true. But maybe your idea of success is to realiably sell millions of copies, otherwise I don't understand why you are talking about "competitive production values". If anything I think simple or retro 3d-styles haven't been explored enough and offer opportunities for innovation and new styles of graphics.
Most of us would probably love nothing more than for HMH to continue on forever, and at the current rate it's looking like it might.
Every choice of what feature to include, and of how far to take it, involves a tradeoff. Lately HMH is leaning heavily towards technical/aesthetic purity and seems to be making very few compromises between doing things "right" and doing them in a reasonable amount of time (stream time, not man hours).
Now perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't see anything resembling working gameplay of any kind coming together for at least another couple of years - which is just fine by me as I enjoy the deep dives into very narrow technical areas.