I personally like that people are open-sourcing messy code. that's what a lot of real, practical code looks like. "good code" is an American-dream-like illusion that is used to sell textbooks.

if my part of the fediverse missed it, Terry Cavanagh published the source code for VVVVVV: and with the existing subset of the assets for level creation being freely distributed, you have yourself a nice fun set of things to play with and port to ATMs:

I mean... have you seen the open-sourced DOOM code? I've studied that code in depth and, yanno, it's not the best. Yet, it has allowed that game and its culture to stay relevant and adapt with new systems and ideas. Absolutely a win for all of us.

Wait. Should... I... do a DOOM source-code case-study in my intro to C class??? hmmmmm

@wilkie thanks for sharing this, I missed it! I like seeing other people's code, blemishes and all - makes me feel more human for my own.

@wilkie keep in mind this is source available not open source like stated. non-commercial without a different license on the code/level data and strict personal use only on art assets (although he might be willing to budge on that one to non-commercial)

this is more 2 tamper expectations, this is really good for game preservationists and people who like porting things 2 atms regardless.
@wilkie whoa!!!!!!!!!! i never expected this but VVVVVV seems like such a perfect game to port around
@alayna @wilkie it got quite terrible code, mostly because it was ported from flash with some awful practices
@abi @wilkie oof
tbh i didnt even see the first post in the thread cause i just saw it got open sourced and was like AAAAA

im surprised it came from flash!
@alayna @wilkie most of his games were made in flash tbh, I think only some of the newer ones

@wilkie I haven't studied it but a former coworker did. He described it as inspiring: imperfect, but simple and efficient without the layers most programmers would add. Good practical code.

(Or maybe that was Quake, but I don't imagine there's a lot of difference in theme.)

@wilkie imo there’s a pretty big difference between a game, where it’s relatively acceptable to not really work on it after it’s done aside from bug reports, and software that is going to keep getting feature requests and have new needs and so on. i’ve been suffering a *lot* at work because of a ‘good code doesn’t matter’ mindset.

@wilkie I'd argue that real "good code" is just "the program does with the creator intended" even if that is as the result of spaghetti or cobbled mess. Plenty of great games are utter messes underneath the hood like you were saying. And I think in order for a game to really thrive it's gotta have a community around it. Doom's a great example like you're saying. It's lasted because of going open source & the mods and tweaks

@wilkie messy code often has years of battle tested bugs and edge cases baked in.

The propensity for developers to want to throw things away causes us to lose these nuances.


it can be a nightmare to document or maintain if it's not your code, especially in corporate environments

but that begs the question "is that because of the code, or the corporate environments themselves"

@wilkie I've learned more from messy, uncommented code snippets than I have from any programming course.

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