1. 1

  2. 19

    I dunno, I got into programming to make computers do stuff, but if all you do is play on the computer it’s more like the computer is making you do stuff than the other way around. The saying is “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” not “all work and no play makes Jack burn out”. Burnout concerns aside, I can’t imagine that spending this much time programming and doing nothing else gives one much perspective on what actually needs to exist in the world when you spend so little time in the world.

    The author spent four years making a game engine in Go. That’s neat. I’ve been programming Go since r59, I work at a game studio where I program Go full time, and I’m in an MFA program for game design. I’m also a Zig sponsor and I’m highly interested in Zig. I’m very inclined to care about a game engine written in Go, excited about how Zig can be used for games (I think it might be a really great fit), and actively work on games. I’m writing this post procrastinating between programming tasks on my game design MFA thesis. I’m highly predisposed to like the author’s projects.

    I’m working double-time on a secret ten-year vision to upend the gaming industry

    ok cool, that probably needs to happen, but doing that requires a deep understanding of the game industry, which is not exactly on display.

    Several real video games, which I believe can be competitive with what AAA studios offer today.

    …what games? Where can I play them? I can’t for the life of me actually find a game of the authors to play. Am I missing something here?

    My vision requires only time and diligence.

    weee-oooo, weeee-oooooo, the alarms are going off, full klaxons blaring. If your vision is to upend the game industry, it’s really, really, really important to understand that programmers are not the majority of the game industry. Learning to work with artists and designers is incredibly important. Game engine developers are an even smaller portion of the industry. Your vision doesn’t only require time and diligence, it requires colleagues.

    Spending four years developing a game engine in Go is not alarming. I think Go actually does have potential as a gamedev language and the cries of “wah you can’t use a GC’d language and succeed” are a little ridiculous when the vast majority of indie games are made in Unity, which is garbage collected. What I find extremely alarming is spending four years making a game engine that, according to its FAQ, does not have a level editor. That is a complete non-starter for… nearly all people who make games.

    It’s not the time that I find alarming, it’s the lack of examples of games made by other people in the author’s engine that I find alarming, and the lack of games made by the author with non-programmers that I find very alarming. There’s a pretty huge difference between making games by yourself and making games with other people, and when someone has a github account but not an itch.io account… well… I wouldn’t place any money on their ability to upend the game industry.

    1. 9

      By far the biggest problem with game engines is tooling for non-programmers being lacking, so I really agree that the author’s claim to disrupt the engine industry without ever engaging with the non-programming part of production, or doing any research in what engines could be better at whatsoever. Smells of hubris at worst (I guess the implied “10X” here…) or naivete at best.

      Likewise, I suspect you can’t build an engine without a game to inform its design, or you just have architecture astronomy.

    2. 13

      I’m no longer able to live like this for the usual reasons (family, kids) but agree with everything here. I’m more likely to burn out from other responsibilities than I ever could from coding. Coding is my main relaxing activity, my main hobby, the thing I spend most unallocated time doing.

      Coding for “work” did break this in me for awhile. Just like reading for school can kill a love of books for awhile. But with some space from toxic environments like school and soul-sucking jobs they have both come back and now I read books and write code for myself again.

      1. 4

        I think that the analogy with reading is a great one. There’s a big difference between doing something because you have to vs. because you want too.

        I’m privileged enough that I still get high at work from coding, intense focus, deep concentration, complicated problems and a huge sense of satisfaction at the other side of the problem. But personally coding is something I do for a living but have a bunch of interests outside of it too (nature, music, reading, finances, radio, RC… kinda too many hobbies 😅)

        But I’m glad that the author enjoys what he’s doing!

      2. 11

        I’m honestly happy he’s living the life the way he enjoys. But the justification post for living that life? That feels off… I hope he diversifies a little bit, because the options are that either he really is exceptional and can live this way a couple more decades, or much more likely he’ll want to / be forced to make a change sooner and having something else in life will be welcome. There’s a lot of things we can happily do in 20s that go away quickly.

        1. 7

          How do you take care of your wrists and hands?

          1. 5

            This. I developed painful RSI in my wrists and elbows in my late 20s, and fortunately got workers comp and physical therapy, as well as starting to take ergonomics really seriously.

            I had a girlfriend once who, by her mid-30s, had fucked up her arms with RSI from over-coding, to the point where she could no longer use a normal keyboard or mouse, had lost a lot of hand strength, and had chronic debilitating pain in one shoulder.

            100 hours a week of typing is sweatshop hours. It’s not sustainable.

            1. 3

              Kind of this. Your body will begin to break in different ways eventually. I had to get deep into ergonomics. Also, ended up needing back exercises–good chairs can also promote being lazy in that area. Eye strain is a concern, but honestly is the easiest to deal with for me. The worst, which I can’t attribute only to typing, has been arthritis. Treatment for that is expensive and not fun and basically sets a timer on typing. So, I get to set in the air conditioning all day and not do hard labor, but my work still takes a physical toll on my body. You will get older, and things will happen. Mentally, doing 100 hours a week isn’t leaving much time to relax or enrich your mind or do many things you might regret missing out on later.

              1. 2

                I think we’re talking far less about this than we should be doing. Covid gave me serious RSI, shoulder and neck problems (or made it all come to light), because suddenly you don’t even walk to the coffee machine anymore, drive to work and talk to people. You can do everything online, including your hobbies. Which is very convenient, but will completely destroy your body. And all around me it looks like people are using computer mice like RSI is non existing, while I’m struggling to even write for longer times.

              2. 2

                100 hours of coding is very unlikely to be more than 50 hours of typing. At the most.

                1. 3

                  Even so, factor in the reading fine print and the mousing (if you’re a GUI IDE hippie like me) and sitting still in a chair … it’s bad news in the long run.

                  (The thing that messed up my ulnar nerve wasn’t the typing, it was sitting for long periods of time with my forearms resting on the armrests of my chair. Armrests are evil.)

            2. 6

              No time for books?

              1. 3

                I’m sorry, but how the heck are you able to program walking at 6 miles per hour? I can barely manage 1.3 mph