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Electronic Arts' STL Implementation

If you're into hard-core C++ programming for games, you might be interested in reading about Electronic Arts' STL Implementation. They wrote their own implementation of one of the most intricate C++ libaries known to man.

Back when I was into hard-core C++, STL was not well supported by Microsoft's C++ compiler (Visual C++ 4.2, at the time), so I rolled some container and string libaries of my own while dreaming of one day being able to use the much more advanced STL. That day never came somehow as I moved away from C++ and programming.

My gut reaction to anyone announcing they are going to rewrite the STL would be to create as much distance as possible between me and the unfortunate fool (preferrably by ejecting said fool from the building). But this paper by EA makes a good case for why they felt it was necessary (and what makes game programming, specifically on consoles, different from other kinds of programming). The programmers at EA seem to know what they're doing.

Nevertheless, I am glad that these days I can use programming languages that come with all of this stuff built in. Programming C++ is like making bricks from clay and melting steel for beams when you want to build a house. Sometimes having this extreme amount of control over your building materials is great and allows you to do things you couldn't otherwise do. But more often this is how it's done because that's how it's done.

(Via Tobi.)

More complete, produced game design documents

I just got some more links from Tobi (thanks again). Radical Entertainment, a very well-organized developer in Canada, cooperated with the Computer Science department of the University of Calgary for a computer game programming course. As part of the course, they provided various game documents from their titles: game designs, high concept documents and technical game designs for titles such as Dark Angel, The Hulk, etc.

I added the info on where to get them to my earlier post.

Trailer voice-overs

To help you ignore the new color scheme... If you liked the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian:

You may get a kick out of Five Guys In A Limo:

Pardon the dust

Yes, I am trying to make some minor tweaks to the look of this site. Not easy as TypePad has quite a clumsy interface and it doesn't support Safari... Perhaps I will make the switch to WordPress sooner than planned.


I had never heard of Polybius before - it sounds a bit like a real-life Lucky Wander Boy:

[A]n unheard-of new arcade game appeared in several suburbs of Portland, Oregon in 1981, something of a rarity at the time. The game, Polybius, proved to be incredibly popular, to the point of addiction, and lines formed around the machines, quickly followed by clusters of visits from men in black. Rather than the usual marketing data collected by company visitors to arcade machines, they collected some unknown data, allegedly testing responses to the psychoactive machines.