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April 19, 2012
[off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
Hi,

just wanted to announce that Sony has finally made the new Playstation
Vita SDK available, as we were discussing some months ago.

http://www.playstation.com/pss/index_e.html

The gamming industry seems to be slowing moving to C#. Would we still
be able to convince developers to move to D instead?

--
Paulo
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
"Paulo Pinto" <pjmlp@progtools.org> wrote in message 
news:jmpl39$1oa1$1@digitalmars.com...
> Hi,
>
> just wanted to announce that Sony has finally made the new Playstation
> Vita SDK available, as we were discussing some months ago.
>
> http://www.playstation.com/pss/index_e.html
>
> The gamming industry seems to be slowing moving to C#. Would we still
> be able to convince developers to move to D instead?
>

Yes. I suspect that the movement to C# is somewhat of a compromise due to 
the fact that C/C++ has been the *only* real systems language usable for 
most gaming systems. Obviously, something better than C++ is needed, and 
thanks to the moronic VM/interpreted obsessions from the last decade or so 
that rendered most new languages impotent, there was no real alternative to 
C++. So, I suspect, that's why they made the compromise of going with C#.

But D is *real* systems language, unlike C#. And frankly, it beats the snot 
out of C#. I'm not just saying that subjectively as D fan: Five years ago 
(if not less) I considered C# and D tied as my favorite languages. But the 
more I used both, the more I got fed up with C#'s dumb limitations and MS's 
disinterest in addressing them, and the more I liked D.

If D can't be made to attract game devs away from C++/C#, then I'll loose 
what little faith I have left in mainstream games development.
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 03:37:38PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "Paulo Pinto" <pjmlp@progtools.org> wrote in message 
> news:jmpl39$1oa1$1@digitalmars.com...
[...]
> > The gamming industry seems to be slowing moving to C#. Would we
> > still be able to convince developers to move to D instead?
> >
> 
> Yes. I suspect that the movement to C# is somewhat of a compromise due
> to the fact that C/C++ has been the *only* real systems language
> usable for most gaming systems. Obviously, something better than C++
> is needed, and thanks to the moronic VM/interpreted obsessions from
> the last decade or so that rendered most new languages impotent, there
> was no real alternative to C++. So, I suspect, that's why they made
> the compromise of going with C#.

Yeah, I've been working with C++ for almost 2 decades, and I really
can't say I'd recommend it for new projects. At my day job, for example,
we actually migrated from C++ back to plain old C, due to an incredibly
over-engineered C++ codebase that was slow, bloated, and unmaintainable.
It sounds laughable to the casual observer, but I have to say that there
was actually a lot gained by this migration. We are much more productive
with the new C-based system than C++. There are just too many ways to
write bad code in C++. C makes everything simple and clear, if a bit
tedious at times (due to basically partially reimplementing a class
system in C).

Simply put, C++ was a good idea, but it simply could not live up to its
promises in real-life projects.

In my own personal projects, I've discovered that C++ is best used as a
"C with classes" language, not a true OO language. Its OO features are
just so broken that anything beyond the simplest textbook examples are
rife with all sorts of unnecessary complications, hacks, and workarounds
that dramatically reduces programmer productivity. I used to say that if
you wanted real OO, you should be looking at Java or Eiffel (or
something along those lines), not C++.


> But D is *real* systems language, unlike C#. And frankly, it beats the
> snot out of C#. I'm not just saying that subjectively as D fan: Five
> years ago (if not less) I considered C# and D tied as my favorite
> languages. But the more I used both, the more I got fed up with C#'s
> dumb limitations and MS's disinterest in addressing them, and the more
> I liked D.

I've never programmed in C#, so I can't really objectively compare C#
and D. I *will* say, though, that in many ways D feels like "C++ done
right", or "what C++ should have been". In that sense, I think the
factors that drove game devs to abandon C++ should be what drives them
to adopt D.


> If D can't be made to attract game devs away from C++/C#, then I'll
> loose what little faith I have left in mainstream games development.
[...]

Well, the Manu's of the world are still clamoring for some missing
features in D that will finally convince them to adopt D.  :-)

But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
left commercial games since id's DOOM days.


T

-- 
I don't trust computers, I've spent too long programming to think that they can get anything right. -- James Miller
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On Thursday, 19 April 2012 at 18:21:30 UTC, Paulo Pinto wrote:
> Hi,
>
> just wanted to announce that Sony has finally made the new 
> Playstation
> Vita SDK available, as we were discussing some months ago.
>
> http://www.playstation.com/pss/index_e.html
>
> The gamming industry seems to be slowing moving to C#. Would we 
> still
> be able to convince developers to move to D instead?
>
> --
> Paulo

Yes I believe D will eventually rule in this area, if some of 
it's weaknesses are addressed. People are moving towards C# 
because it's easy and natural to use, while sacrificing very 
little performance or power (see System.Runtime.InteropServices : 
Marshal). Plus, your code is very portable.

D is even more this way. It has very nice syntax, and a wealth of 
productive features for modeling and debugging. What it lacks is 
good (bug-free, full code-completetion, etc) IDE support, cross 
platform compiling (read Android, iOS), and proper documentation 
(it's getting there). Plus I think a few semantic issues could be 
address which would make D easier to swallow at large, but I 
won't reiterate what I've already said on the forums elsewhere.

At the end of the day, it's about what features and benefits a 
language offers to developers. How will switching to D make you 
more productive? I think that pound for pound, D offers more 
usable core features and control than C# does. This is why I'm 
here. However, D can't compete with the level of support C# has 
at the moment. I have confidence D will overcome, but it's an 
uphill battle.
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
"H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@quickfur.ath.cx> wrote in message 
news:mailman.1939.1334865913.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
> On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 03:37:38PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>>
>> But D is *real* systems language, unlike C#. And frankly, it beats the
>> snot out of C#. I'm not just saying that subjectively as D fan: Five
>> years ago (if not less) I considered C# and D tied as my favorite
>> languages. But the more I used both, the more I got fed up with C#'s
>> dumb limitations and MS's disinterest in addressing them, and the more
>> I liked D.
>
> I've never programmed in C#, so I can't really objectively compare C#
> and D. I *will* say, though, that in many ways D feels like "C++ done
> right", or "what C++ should have been". In that sense, I think the
> factors that drove game devs to abandon C++ should be what drives them
> to adopt D.
>

Right. Agree totally.

As for C#: I've always seen it as...maybe not "Java done right" because I'm 
not sure that's possible (if "done right", there wouldn't be much Java-ness 
left)...but "Java done much better". It's really just "Java with less suck".

C# *is* merely Microsoft's Java as many people have accused, but it's a much 
better Java. A Reduced-Fat Vanilla Latte, if you will ;)  For example, at 
least it *HAS* pointers and delegates, and it had foreach, [gimped] generics 
and auto-(un)boxing *long* before Java did.

>
>> If D can't be made to attract game devs away from C++/C#, then I'll
>> loose what little faith I have left in mainstream games development.
> [...]
>
> Well, the Manu's of the world are still clamoring for some missing
> features in D that will finally convince them to adopt D.  :-)
>

Yea, D *does* still need some work for game devs. Most notably, mature 
non-x86 toolchains. The custom allocator stuff needs to be finished too, and 
a better way to avoid accidental use of the GC.

> But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
> left commercial games since id's DOOM days.
>

Yea, pretty much. With a few exceptions (Splinter Cell 1 though...3 or 4, 
and some Japanese stuff), I see the mainstream industry as mostly a 
"Pixar-wannabe high-def-animation factory" these days. They don't care about 
gameplay anymore, just storytelling, animation and emulating Hollywood. Yes, 
emulating Hollywood. Seriously: Just browse through almost any issue of 
"Game Developer Magazine" from the past 5 or so years - half of it's a bunch 
of very *deliberate* and unapologetic "How can we be more like Hollywood?". 
It's an outright insult to the medium of videogames (Not because of 
Hollywood sucking, but because any medium that tries to ape another medium 
is inherently being untrue and disrespectful to itself).
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On Apr 19, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

> "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@quickfur.ath.cx> wrote in message 
> news:mailman.1939.1334865913.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
> 
>> But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
>> left commercial games since id's DOOM days.
>> 
> 
> Yea, pretty much. With a few exceptions (Splinter Cell 1 though...3 or 4, 
> and some Japanese stuff), I see the mainstream industry as mostly a 
> "Pixar-wannabe high-def-animation factory" these days. They don't care about 
> gameplay anymore, just storytelling, animation and emulating Hollywood.

I've switched from calling those games to calling them interactive cinematic experiences.  Some are actually enjoyable from a story perspective, but overall I think they're an evolutionary dead end for the game industry.
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On 04/19/2012 06:31 PM, Sean Kelly wrote:
> On Apr 19, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>
>> "H. S. Teoh"<hsteoh@quickfur.ath.cx>  wrote in message
>> news:mailman.1939.1334865913.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>>
>>> But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
>>> left commercial games since id's DOOM days.
>>>
>>
>> Yea, pretty much. With a few exceptions (Splinter Cell 1 though...3 or 4,
>> and some Japanese stuff), I see the mainstream industry as mostly a
>> "Pixar-wannabe high-def-animation factory" these days. They don't care about
>> gameplay anymore, just storytelling, animation and emulating Hollywood.
>
> I've switched from calling those games to calling them interactive cinematic experiences.  Some are actually enjoyable from a story perspective, but overall I think they're an evolutionary dead end for the game industry.
My personal favorite is the new Jurassic Park game, where most of the 
content is a quicktime event. Honestly? I love a good story, and I like 
my games to have a plot that keeps me interested in it, but it also has 
to have GAMEPLAY that keeps me interested.
I agree, I don't see that type of game going much further.
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On Apr 19, 2012, at 3:40 PM, Matt Soucy wrote:

> On 04/19/2012 06:31 PM, Sean Kelly wrote:
>> On Apr 19, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> 
>>> "H. S. Teoh"<hsteoh@quickfur.ath.cx>  wrote in message
>>> news:mailman.1939.1334865913.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>>> 
>>>> But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
>>>> left commercial games since id's DOOM days.
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> Yea, pretty much. With a few exceptions (Splinter Cell 1 though...3 or 4,
>>> and some Japanese stuff), I see the mainstream industry as mostly a
>>> "Pixar-wannabe high-def-animation factory" these days. They don't care about
>>> gameplay anymore, just storytelling, animation and emulating Hollywood.
>> 
>> I've switched from calling those games to calling them interactive cinematic experiences.  Some are actually enjoyable from a story perspective, but overall I think they're an evolutionary dead end for the game industry.
> My personal favorite is the new Jurassic Park game, where most of the content is a quicktime event. Honestly? I love a good story, and I like my games to have a plot that keeps me interested in it, but it also has to have GAMEPLAY that keeps me interested.
> I agree, I don't see that type of game going much further.

I think it's going to take some time for studios to realize both that gamers don't want movies, and more importantly that the techniques for telling an effective story within a game are different from those within a movie because games provide choice to the player.

Alan Wake, for example, uses classic cinematic techniques for scaring the player, and to make sure they're experienced, railroads the player through the predetermined route, even if the rational choice would be to do something else.  In movies this technique is effective because seeing the protagonist do something stupid creates a sense of tension as the viewer anticipates the Bad Thing that is sure to happen.  In a game, the player just has the choice that should be provided to them taken away, creating a sense of frustration at not being able to do something sensible.  What follows is a tedious plod towards the inevitable Scary Moment, which still relies on the player walking along the correct path so the event is triggered from the intended position.

All of this is aside from the fact that the game industry seems to be making all the same mistakes the movie industry made in the 80s and 90s.
April 19, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
"Sean Kelly" <sean@invisibleduck.org> wrote in message 
news:mailman.1942.1334874732.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>On Apr 19, 2012, at 3:20 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@quickfur.ath.cx> wrote in message
>> news:mailman.1939.1334865913.4860.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>>
>>> But IMAO, indie gaming is where it's at these days. True creativity has
>>> left commercial games since id's DOOM days.
>>>
>>
>> Yea, pretty much. With a few exceptions (Splinter Cell 1 though...3 or 4,
>> and some Japanese stuff), I see the mainstream industry as mostly a
>> "Pixar-wannabe high-def-animation factory" these days. They don't care 
>> about
>> gameplay anymore, just storytelling, animation and emulating Hollywood.
>
>I've switched from calling those games to calling them interactive 
>cinematic
>experiences.  Some are actually enjoyable from a story perspective, but
>overall I think they're an evolutionary dead end for the game industry.=

The funny thing is, such things are *exactly* what sunk the Sega/Mega CD. 
There were good games on it, but the ones Sega really pushed were the 
Digital Pictures ones that put cinematics/etc ahead of gameplay. As a 
result, it sunk the system.

But now, the whole damn industry has gotten it into their heads to do *the 
same thing*. They *think* they're not repeating it just because now they're 
using realtime CG instead of FMV. But the FMV is a red herring - Yea, the 
production values made B-movies look like blockbusters (which I actually 
kinda liked), but the *core* problem was reducing gameplay to "backseat" 
status behind movie-mimicry - *exactly* what the game studios are obsessed 
with doing now.

It worked for Dragon's Lair, because that was so novel at the time. Nobody 
had played a game like that before, nobody had *seen* a game that looked 
anything like that before, so it worked primarily due to its uniqueness. But 
it *can't* be reproduced because we've *already* had Dragon's Lair - it's no 
longer novel, and can't be novel again. And Zelda Wind Waker proved that 
real-time graphics have already exceeded Dragon's Lair on *last* 
generation's hardware. So that's it, the "Dragon's Lair" approach to games 
is dead, dead, dead.

I'll take another game with a "Save the princess" backstory, or even *no* 
story at all, over a game driven start-to-finish by a less-than-spectacular 
story any day. Hell, it's much better replay value like that anyway: 
Listening to the same story over and over really kills replayability.

Does anyone care why MegaMan's trying to defeat Wily? Or his "emotional 
growth and struggle" while doing it? Hell no, they just enjoy doing it.
April 20, 2012
Re: [off-topic] Sony releases PS Vita SDK
On 4/19/12 3:05 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> Yeah, I've been working with C++ for almost 2 decades, and I really
> can't say I'd recommend it for new projects. At my day job, for example,
> we actually migrated from C++ back to plain old C, due to an incredibly
> over-engineered C++ codebase that was slow, bloated, and unmaintainable.
> It sounds laughable to the casual observer, but I have to say that there
> was actually a lot gained by this migration. We are much more productive
> with the new C-based system than C++. There are just too many ways to
> write bad code in C++. C makes everything simple and clear, if a bit
> tedious at times (due to basically partially reimplementing a class
> system in C).

This is interesting. We use C++ at Facebook all over the place, and 
gainfully. If we were to use C, we'd have major difficulties with e.g. 
containers. The thought of using a hashtable in C... ouch.

Andrei
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