Re: [stella] VBLANK or VSYNC first?

Subject: Re: [stella] VBLANK or VSYNC first?
From: "Roger Williams" <mer02@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 18:40:46 -0700
> Oh!  No no no!  Not at all.  I've just been feeling very angsty about the
> current state of the video game industry.  A crash is looming.  I feel it
> in my bones.  Just mindlessly lashing out at programmers, though it's not
> really their fault.  Someone was telling me about an article from some
> magazine that said today's games are all great, and it's hard to find a
> bad game and I was in a bad mood in the wrong forum.

I've been feeling like that since, oh, around 1988.

Modern games aren't games.  They are mini-movies where the price
of admission includes the requirement that you solve a Chinese
puzzle box.  They rely heavily on graphic design and all seem to
use the same devices.  What game play is there is cluttered up
with unnecessary graphic elements that only confuse the play.

What modern games lack is elegance.  Consider some of my
favorite games from when I still played them a bit:
--> Asteroids
--> Missile Command
--> Breakout
--> Battlezone
--> Tetris
All these games have a high concept which is not driven by
graphics (and often driven by the limitations of the graphics of
the day).  Would Asteroids be a better game if the rocks
were lovingly rendered in 3D with craters and natural lighting?
Would Battlezone (a technical triumph in its day) be a better
game with more natural tank motion and such?  It might be
a different game but it wouldn't be Battlezone any more.

I won't even ask how many of those modern "great" games
would fit in a 16K set of ROMs...

> Anyways, didn't mean to scare anyone.  I've got a big birthday coming
> and I'm been taking a lot of shit from my (much younger) friends.  And I'm
> at MIT and I have to listen to "coders" talk about their 1337 j4v4 ski1z
> all day.  These guys (not all of them mind you, just the noisy ones)
> know a real piece of software if it jumped up and kicked them in the

It is distressing to see how many so-called programmers
don't have the first clue how a computer actually works.
"That's the compiler's job."  Funny, if I thought the compiler
was smarter than me, I'd look for another line of work.

--Roger Williams

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