Games people play

Lutger lutger.blijdestijn at
Wed Sep 27 18:26:01 PDT 2006

Georg Wrede wrote:
> Seems to me that while D is marketed as a Systems development language, 
> it will be quite some time before anybody has developed a System with D.
> More plausible should be that one day games developers will find D /en 
> masse/ because everything in D really is perfect for games development. 


I'm not a prof. game developer, but I sure agree that D is perfect for 
it. Just the other day I was looking into the C++ source of civilization 
4 (they released a good bulk of it) and thinking how nice it must be for 
the developers to turn this 125.000 LoC monster that takes more than 15 
minutes to build into D. And then that is even a small part of the total 
code. (and oh my god, how ugly it is)

Just wondering whether it is a new language feature that game developers 
want. Tool, library and company support, general acceptance, marketing 
etc seems to be an important part of the equation.
 From some developers at I understand that it is even the 
opposite: D is not a proven language and might have too much, not too 
few language features. Allow me to quote from a thread over there:

"Compared to C, C++ is a really really big language. It has a lot of 
features. It is so complex, in fact, that its features begin to interact 
in unintended ways. A great example of this is the thread on default 
arguments and virtual function binding. Who knew that those two 
features--which theoretically are unrelated--would combine to form 
unexpected-looking behavior? Or that template arguments could break 
preprocessor macros? There's plenty of examples of this, many chronicled 
on GotW and many more still being discovered by hapless C++ students and 
intrepid Boost developers.

And D goes so, so much further. The designers have a "why not" attitude 
towards adding useful-sounding features, with the result that D's 
feature list makes C++ look downright minimalist. Many of these features 
are new to the entire extended language family, or have been implemented 
in radically different ways than previously in the extended language 
family. Are mixins going to cause a problem with lambdas? Is liberal use 
of slices going to make DBC unmaintainable? Who knows! Who's going to 
find out? The early adopters.

I hope that D gains traction among some large body of hypothetical 
developers who, despite not being rabid D fans, end up using it in large 
applications with a long lifecycle. I hope this happens, because this is 
the only way to vet a language. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe D will all hang 
together and the features will turn out to mesh perfectly and I'll come 
to terms with the syntactic features I dislike and everything will be 
great. I just don't think that it's likely."

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