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Great post. The 'Four Steps' book you cite – is it the same as this?:



The very same.


Hooray. Loading it on to my phone because I can't justify a Kindle because I want the next iPad.

Although my Air might mean that I can't justify an iPad which means that I might be able to justify a Kindle after all.

So many choices, so little actual money. Hmmm.


Here's a logistical question: if low-productivity, high-performance languages like C++ were replaced with high-productivity languages like Haskell or Ocaml, in which programmers can be 3-5 times more productive easily, would the 4-coder minimum be relaxed, maybe to 2 or 3?

The game industry loves C++. For high-performance, cutting-edge graphics, this is the right choice of language. On the other hand, I think there are a lot of games, especially toward the low-budget end, where the focus is on gameplay and more productive, higher-level languages would be very useful. Such languages, although inadmissible if a product requires cutting-edge graphics, would allow the designers and programmers to see the big picture, thus improving gameplay quality.


Possibly, but I'm inclined to think not. The 4-coders thing is more to do with the people dynamic, morale and the robustness in case anything should go very wrong.

Thanks for the commnent.

Tynan Sylvester

Tadhg, I've enjoyed many of your articles, but this one strikes me as strange. It's like a very well put together argument explaining why chicken eggs are all white.

My only response would be to point out some brown eggs:

Super Meat Boy
AI War
DEFCON, Uplink, Darwinia
World of Goo
Bejeweled (the original)
Atom Zombie Smasher
Gratuitous Space Battles
Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers
Dwarf Fortress
Rollercoaster Tycoon
The Dishwasher

Hell, why not throw Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM on that list too?

"You need 4 coders" seems extreme. More accurate might be "It's really, really good to have 2 developers", for all the motivation-related reasons you mentioned above.

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