Handmade Hero » Forums » Code » Where is this headed?
37 posts
#15021 Where is this headed?
5 months ago

On the other hand, I actually like the fact that this is the case. So, instead of seeing how this show ended up as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing because frankly, I find engine programming and the type of problems that Casey has had to solve on the stream to be interesting, entertaining, and educational.

Personally I love the direction that HMH has veered off in (focusing on advanced niche topics for extended periods of time), but then I watch more for background entertainment than for any kind of learning purpose so I'm probably not in its "target audience" to the extent that Casey intends HMH to be educational. So how I feel personally is besides the point...

A catch-22 seems to have arisen whereby HMH is now largely beyond the technical reach (in the sense of being able to follow along easily, having sufficient prerequisite knowledge, etc.) of a large portion of the audience that it was presumably originally intended for (novice to early advanced). More advanced devs are probably going to tend towards skipping around to topics that are relevant/interesting/entertaining to them. And to the extent that there are any novice/intermediate developers somehow hanging on to the series through all the advanced lighting/SIMD stuff/etc., I'd argue that they're grossly misallocating time that could be spent focused on far more fundamental things. Aside from being a great reference tool and potential entertainment/idea source for more advanced devs, HMH seems to offer its greatest tangible educational benefits to a very narrow segment of advanced but not too advanced developers, while wholly cutting out intermediates and novices.
1 posts
#15043 Where is this headed?
5 months ago

It may be too late, but there was/is a way to avoid this discussion/problem/misunderstanding.

Like Casey said on stream a few times, writing code is iterative.
And maybe the development should have been, too.

In the first development pass a base-game could have been written, instead of diving deep into engine features, like OpenGL/GPU-related stuff, advanced lighting, etc. A base-game that is not the actual 'Handmade Hero', which is going to be shipped, but a light-weight version using the bare-bone engine, with limited gameplay & engine-features.
This way a first impression of how to develop the whole palette from prototyping layers, over rendering, math and AI, up to game-specific programming (and porting to other platforms) would have been delivered in a somewhat basic, but condensed way. With a glimpse of how to optimise the then-written codebase.

Afterwards the more specialised work on GPU-rendering, more complex AI, better random numbers, lighting, and extensive optimisation at the end, could have built up on the base-game. Maybe even adding editor-tools for modders to create new game content. Catering to those who didn't come just to have coded something from scratch and to have seen the process involved, but to learn more advanced techs. Sequentially adding new gameplay-features in the process, to show-case and compare the additional engine capabilities.

Whether this is still a valid option, or whether it's already too late for a bare-bone engine base-game, is difficult to say though. Since the project has already come so far....