Multi-core CPUs, the internet, testability, and text adventuring.

What in the world does AAA game technology have to do with text adventures? In my view, quite a lot. But, it takes a supporting trip through web development, and maybe some unit tests, to get there.

The web is data

I’ve long been curious about how to apply lessons from web development to the making of games. Games used to lead the way in new techniques and technologies -- but now there are plenty of leading edges out there: web, mobile, search, social, ar, robot drones, private space industries; it’s a big list in computer-land these days.

Games may be keeping pace ( sometimes just barely ) but game development hasn’t.

Take a look your current project. Can you easily validate every car has a proper set of physics values? Can you quickly present graphs comparing “rate of fire” versus “character level”? Can you show every encounter on a Google maps version of your world? Can you record the falling death of every member of your QA team? ( Virtual death, I mean, virtual death. If your QA team is jumping out windows, you may have other more serious problems.)

There are plenty of teams which don't have access to this kind of metadata. Plenty of teams which can’t process and test this kind of information in an automated way.

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A novel style of programming

It's been a few years since I did the regular blogging thing.

I was in Japan, working at Square-Enix for a bit, now I'm back in the states, and working on a sort-of interactive fiction engine called "Sashimi" (さしみ、刺身 ?) My hope now is to start writing a bit about the development process. I tend to write a lot for my own sake when coding something new; so I figure, why not share?  ( Sashimi itself, for what it's worth, is all open-source. )

I say Sashimi is "sort-of" an IF engine because my ultimate goal is to create a system for writing in a straight-forward IF fashion which can drive a variety of modern game styles far beyond just text adventures. This follows from my feeling that while developers, over the last ten years or so, have created awesome reusable libraries for graphics, physics, sound, animation, etc. what we haven't managed so well is the gameplay side of things.

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