Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jun 2013 17:52 UTC
Games "MineAssemble is a tiny bootable Minecraft clone written partly in x86 assembly. I made it first and foremost because a university assignment required me to implement a game in assembly for a computer systems course. Because I had never implemented anything more complex than a 'Hello World' bootloader before, I decided I wanted to learn about writing my own kernel code at the same time. Note that the goal of this project was not to write highly efficient hand-optimized assembly code, but rather to have fun and write code that balances readability and speed. This is primarily accomplished by proper commenting and consistent code structuring." Just cool.
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RE[2]: Comment by aligatro
by Morgan on Tue 18th Jun 2013 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by aligatro"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

Spoken like someone who doesn't get Minecraft. The "crappy" graphics are a feature, not a bug. It's designed to be a block game, therefore the tiles are meant to be blocky. If you don't like the default texture it's a snap to change textures and there are a lot of great, photorealistic ones out there.

Edited 2013-06-18 00:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by aligatro
by Alfman on Tue 18th Jun 2013 02:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by aligatro"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Morgan,

I think the point still stands though.

Most of today's software isn't optimized like it would have had to have been in the past. Every generation of hardware gains seems to get robbed by software which continues to become less efficient.

We take ever faster hardware for granted. I wonder, in a scenario where hardware had not improved so dramatically over the years, what would the software landscape look like today? I imagine there would not have been the drop in demand for efficiency minded programming skills that I'm finding prevalent among clients.

Edit: Not to attribute "blame" to anyone, it's just a simple cost analysis. Upgrading hardware is often cheaper than paying programmers to produce better optimized code. The big question is: to what end can/should this inefficiency continue?

Edited 2013-06-18 02:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by aligatro
by kwan_e on Tue 18th Jun 2013 02:52 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by aligatro"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The big question is: to what end can/should this inefficiency continue?


Efficiency still matters, but it's now in server farms. Whereas on the desktop and consoles gross inefficiency doesn't cost too much, in server farms, a little bit of inefficiency multiplies hardware costs.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by aligatro
by JAlexoid on Tue 18th Jun 2013 11:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by aligatro"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Most of today's software isn't optimized like it would have had to have been in the past.

Because it's too expensive to optimise most software. The software that needs optimizations(low-latency applications, high fault tolerance applications and similar critical applications) gets optimised no less than 30 years ago.

Every generation of hardware gains seems to get robbed by software which continues to become less efficient.

You are missing the point where those gains allow for more software to be written, that would not be written 30 years ago. The hardware gains were not wiped out, we got either better software with more features or software that would be too expensive to write on a hardware restricted platform.

I imagine there would not have been the drop in demand for efficiency minded programming skills that I'm finding prevalent among clients.

There was a drop in HPC oriented developers?!?!?! When did that happen? A not well known HPC oriented developer can get up-to GBP110k in London.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by aligatro
by Morgan on Tue 18th Jun 2013 14:06 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by aligatro"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I understand the point you're making, and you're right: A game like Minecraft shouldn't consume as many resources as it does for all of its apparent simplicity.

Clones like Minetest show just how efficient a block based game written in a lower level language like C can be; that game (while not very fun right now) can be played at high framerates on any computer made in the past 12 years. Minecraft on my quad core i5 with 8GB of RAM is just playable with the built in Intel video, and requires a midrange Nvidia card to be really enjoyable. That, to me, seems to be either inefficient coding, bad choice of language, or both. But I'm no programmer so I can't say for sure.

Regardless of all of that, being a block/tile based game with simple graphics can indeed be fun, which was my point to begin with. I've had more fun playing FTL, a very simple sprite based top-down space sim, than I had playing DOOM 3 or Crysis back in the day, amazing visuals or not. Graphics alone don't make the game.

Reply Parent Score: 4