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.
The Best of 2011
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2011.
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.
Starcraft 2: Rush Analysis
I write a program to simulate different strategies in Starcraft 2, to see how they compare.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.