Nek0's Blog

Escapism

Posted on by nek0 in english

Hi again. First off all, I wish you a happy new year. Between finishing one part of my rehab, holidays and the Chaos Communication Congress I attended I forgot to write a new post here. I am deeply sorry.

During that time I was also programming a lot, especially on my game engine and example games, or technical demos, for said engine. I do game development in Haskell. For fun.

Why game development? Why in Haskell? These are questions I regularly hear from people, when they get to know me and what I do. Somehow There seems to be a notion, that game development is not real development and that Haskell is either an unfit or even impossible choice for that. Both notions are not true. Game development is a very complex matter (You’re doing real time Simulations of a world) and Haskell is very fit for the Job. I could be seeing results faster in different languages, but that’s not the languages fault. I have to write a lot of the tooling myself, which slows me down. But it’s a great learning experience.

But why do I do that? Well, I like creating and developing worlds. You can see that in my writing section. But writing sometimes is limited when it comes to interaction with the world. In games the player usually can explore the world to a deeper level. The immersion is different.

That’s what I always liked about the games I played. They let me escape to a different world and go on my own adventures. In RPGs I could take on the role of a brave adventurer, in RTS games I could lead a faction to victory on the battlefield. Those are the game genres I mostly played.

Nowadays I play less and less, but I do more game development. At the current stage my knowledge and tooling do not suffice for the kind of game I have in my mind for quite some time, so I try to take smaller steps. But ultimately I bring my escapism of past days to a new level. Now I don’t escape into virtual worlds created by others, but I am in the process of creating them myself. Sometimes it’s a frustrating experience, but sometimes it’s awesome.

For those of you interested in my games, I can show you at this point only haskelloids. Not the most original name, but It’s the first real game that runs on my own engine, which you can find in its own Github repo, together with some small example programs.

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