Archive for December, 2005

The evolution of game data

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

In the neverending battle for more configuration and less compilation, game data goes up a seemingly infinite ladder of complexity:

  • Int constant in the C++ source
  • Int constant in a config file
  • String constant in a config file
  • A script returning a string value, in a config file, evaluated to produce the string value

A good scripting language should collapse all of this into a single form: a single line of text somewhere saying “Gaul.Swordsman.MaxHealth = 80″. You wouldn’t write it in C++, because a good scripting language should never require you to write game code in C++. A good scripting language should be a good config-file language. A good scripting language should make the difference between strings and ints trivial, if not nonexistent. And finally, a good scripting language should make it possible to write “Gaul.Swordsman.MaxHealth = Gaul.BaseHealth * 0.8″ without too much trouble (e.g. explicitly including “GaulBaseParams.h” everywhere).

Subversion for Game Development

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

There are two things I need from Subversion to make it the perfect (for the price) versioning tool for huge art assets: wire compression for svnserve and getting rid of the pristine copies. The first sounds simple enough, but is dismissed by the Subversion developers with “just use Apache”; the second request elicits mumbles about refactoring the working copy code, mentioning a three-digit issue number (meaning very old, entrenched issue, which nobody wants to tackle) and not very assuring reminding of several people who have tried to do this and disappeared without a trace.