Nitpick shield: Games don’t “need” a language, but such a thing would be useful. I’m not complaining about the person who titled this article. I had the same problem yesterday when I said GTA V was “Banned” instead of more correctly stating it was “un-stocked from certain retailers in one country in response to an internet petition”. It’s really hard to cram complex ideas into pithy article titles. I’m okay with a bit of conceptual slop as long as it still conveys the basic idea. The only downside is the prevalence of people who argue with article titles without reading the article. Those people make me sad.
That’s a two-hour talk by developer Jon Blow about why he thinks game development needs a new language, why the existing languages don’t quite cut it, and a few things he thinks the new language ought to do. It’s pretty heavy-duty in terms of technical jargon, so if you’re not a coder I don’t know if you’ll get much out of it.
My column attempts to explain the mess we’re in and how we got here, and is aimed at non-technical people who can’t follow what Blow has to say.
I have a half-written post where I go over Blow’s video point-by-point, annotating it for non-coders. I’ll finish it one of these days.
And finally, I’m going to start taking reader questions in my columns. I’m looking for questions about programming. Stuff like, “Why do we have to keep updating our drivers for existing graphics cards?” or “Why do consoles still use checkpoint saves?” or “Why do Skyrim and Minecraft have thousands of mods, but most games have none?”
Note that these questions are for the Escapist audience, so try to keep questions relevant to that. Don’t ask about stuff like Good Robot, because most of them have never heard of it. Don’t ask overly technical stuff (“What do you think of how C++ handles exceptions?”) because that’s going to be too big and complex a discussion for The Escapist. You can ask about non-programming stuff, but it should probably be focused on videogames in some way. If you’ve got a question for the column, you can send it to [email protected] If you send it anywhere else I won’t know it’s for the column and I’ll probably put it in the Diecast pile. Please bear with me, this job is confusing.
Steam Summer Blues
This mess of dross, confusion, and terrible UI design is the storefront the big publishers couldn't beat? Amazing.
Silent Hill Origins
Here is a long look at a game that tries to live up to a big legacy and fails hilariously.
Programming Language for Games
Game developer Jon Blow is making a programming language just for games. Why is he doing this, and what will it mean for game development?
Games and the Fear of Death
Why killing you might be the least scary thing a game can do.
The Best of 2013
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2013.