Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

A Poor Craftsman Blames His Tools…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 13, 2010

… But I never claimed to be a good craftsman.

One of the advantages of using “mature” technology is that it is SUPPOSED to have fewer bugs than the new stuff, right? Fewer bugs, fewer compatibility problems, fewer unimplemented features planned for a future release, etc.

But when I end up spending half my time working around “undocumented features” or trying to decide if the blemishes in my game on account of the engine or tool failure is “bad enough” to  warrant avoidance, or looking at alternatives to solve the problem, it gets frustrating.

It’s kinda like getting the “almost” perfect car that looks beautiful, has an outstanding sound system, incredible comfort, all the safety features, low gas mileage, great power, everything you could possibly want in a car – oh, except the engine will quit on you whenever you make a left turn. Just, you know… plan your route so you are only making right turns, or make sure you only make a left turn when you can coast and don’t have to stop for traffic or anything long enough to get the engine started again, and you’ll be fine, right?

That’s pretty much how I’m feeling these days.

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: 14 Comments to Read

  • Xenovore said,

    Quote: “…except the engine will quit on you whenever you make a left turn. Just, you know… plan your route so you are only making right turns…”

    And you try to get the manufacturer to fix the problem, but they just tell you “not our problem, we’ve got a new car to design… deal with it.”

    Good thing the auto industry isn’t like the software industry! =P

  • Califer said,

    I guess as long as you’re willing to run around in circles it should be fine!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Heh – yeah, that’s exactly it. “No longer supported. And no, you can’t have the source code to fix our bug.”

  • slenkar said,

    what language/engine are you having problems with?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I was deliberately cagey to protect the guilty. But as Frayed Knights is being developed with the Torque Game Engine, and I’m even using Torque Constructor for building levels, you can probably take a wild guess at the source of this rant… 😉

  • slenkar said,

    oh ive never used that one personally i always use blitz products

  • Bad Sector said,

    Well, since the Torque Engine comes with source, i bet that the issue is with Torque Constructor :-P.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that Bad Sector… 😉

    Although I do find myself continually working around TGE’s issues that were never fixed and I really don’t have the time to figure out and fix (though I’ve tried a couple of times).

  • Craig Stern said,

    I sympathize. I can’t speak for Torque, but Flash is a delicate little princess who you have to treat just right, or else she flips out and wrecks your apartment.

  • Pisces said,

    As a TGE,TGEA and T3D user, i’m sad to report that T3D is still everything you said. Its wonderful, has wonderful features, but man oh man ! The bugs !

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Bummer. I’ve already kinda dismissed T3D as my next engine, based upon how they kinda dropped the ball on TGEA (although I *know* it’s not really the same company any more), and because it’s immature technology. However, I still have a soft spot in my heart for TGB / T2D. We’ll see.

  • Pisces said,

    One note if you intend to get the new T2D. They are actually working to bring T2D closer to the T3D code base, so from current information, Its closer to T2D then TGB. A TGB project will therefore NOT be easily ported over. At least based on current information.

  • Greg Tedder said,

    I brushed across this tool a while back and was pretty impressed at a glance. It’s too expensive for me, but for someone who seems to execute a great marketing strategy, this would be worth looking into. Full source!!


    If by chance I ever become a decent caliber game developer I will probably start using something like this, but for now I am trying very hard to build my own simple engine so I have full rights and am not getting angry at third parties all the time. TGB boggled my mind with what looked like over-complexity in the code, and debugging the simplest thing was insane. Unity was excellent, but made me nervous because if somethng happened to the company I might be out of luck on future platforms due to the fact that I can’t afford the source.

    And Torque as a company just rubs me the wrong way. They have all this man-power, yet nothing ever happens. And they called it quits on updating TGB a few years ago, yet nothing has risen to take its place??? Very promising engine, but it never lived up to its hype.

  • Stringycustard said,

    Oh I know that frustrating feeling. I use Flash (like Craig Stern above) and have built entire libraries to fix it’s… inadequacies. It’s a little frustrating to have to layer so many fixes on top before you can even work on the actual product (game, etc.)