Ten years ago I stumbled across a small indie game named VVVVVV — its aesthetic mimicked a game from the mid-80s on an early personal computer but its game play fully explored a simple game mechanic using everything “we” know about modern game design. Even in 2010 I didn’t really play games much but I played the heck out of this one.
Also, at the time, I remember being slightly amused that despite the game’s floppy disk era art-direction the game itself would have taken a giant pile of floppy disks to deliver. This makes sense — games were small and tight back then because they had to be, and it’s probably not the best use of a game programmer’s time to spend weeks or months cramming the life out of every bit and byte their game is using.
So it brought a smile to my face to see that the game’s original developers have put the source code online (with a source available, not open source, license) and shared some stories about the code and development. There’s not a lot of literature out there about humans evolving as programmers and Terry’s post express the rare healthy attitude of
Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do it like this again but this is how I did it and it’s great
It’s good to get better at the thing you do, but don’t ever be ashamed of something that’s ugly under the hood but actually does what’s it supposed to do.