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Showing posts from March, 2018

GDC Rant

It's almost a tradition for me to get grumpy on the last day of GDC, and even though I had a great week this year there are some things that I would like to shine some light on.

A lot of people seem to think of GDC as this cuddly, educational industry event, by game developers for game developers. It might have been in the beginning, but nowadays it is not. GDC is run by UBM Tech, a global, non-transparent corporation, organizing dozens of different conferences for profit. They don't care about the games industry, they care about making money. Every year the passes get more expensive and every year something is excluded. Since last year you don't even get free coffee unless you buy one of the more expensive passes (and as a side note they probably don't even pay for the coffee – look for that "sponsored by" tag).

As a speaker you get a free pass, a shiny tag on your badge and a couple of lunch boxes. That's it. They don't pay for travel or accomodati…

Hot reloading hardcoded parameters

Here is a trick that I cannot take any credit for, but that I finally implemented. I remember reading about it online several years ago, but I cannot find the reference again (it might have been on mollyrocket), so I'll write up the idea:

Everyone uses hardcoded parameters sometimes because it's fast and easy:

float someValue = 5.0f;

Once you have a parameter in the code, it's likely that you sooner or later want to tune that into some kind of sweet spot. With a hardcoded parameter the process often involves recompiling and restarting (unless you implemented code hot reloading, in which case it still involves recompiling) many times to try out different values. A popular approach is to add some form of config file to get rid of the recompile step. Config files can be hot reloaded to also get rid of the restart step, but config files require some extra work for each parameter. You need to name the parameter, and you need to add it to the config file.

The idea of parameter h…