John Carmack has some helpful tips on preserving the game

Image for article titled More and more games disappear forever, John Carmack has some great tips on preserving

Screenshots: Star Wars | Kotaku

Death co-author John Carmack, Legendary game designer, rocket guy and VR enthusiasts, left Meta/Facebook late last year after a decade working on the company’s virtual reality efforts. However, just because he’s gone doesn’t mean the company’s decision To be out of your thoughts.

companion news last week that Meta blew away nearly 14 billion dollars because VR crap failed is to announce that VR . Echo—a game that was first released on the competitive Rift system before its developers were acquired by Facebook—is shutting down.

it’s gone the only game that was killed last weekwith Rumbleverse And City knockout suffered the same fate, their collective passing helps remind us that modern video games have a serious longevity problem, in that once removed by publishers, they are extremely easily disappear forever.

That’s a problem Carmack tackled recently, send a long statement to UploadVR last week covers all kinds of corners around Echo VR turn off. What interests me most, though, are all the little things about the importance of studios in keeping old games alive, and that cost and manpower aren’t that important. only one what they are thinking about when making those decisions.

“Even if there are only ten thousand active users, destroying that user value should be avoided where possible,” he said. “Your company suffers more when you take away something dear to the user than you gain by providing something of equal value to them or others.”

Of course, his experience with this stuff is largely built on his time at id Software, whose older games—like Doom and Quake—were slightly more popular than some random VR game with only a few thousand users. His basic point is valid though! As he expands on here, with some tips built not just around good PR, but solid development fundamentals as well:

Every game should make sure they still work at some level without central server support. Even when not looking at end of life concerns, being able to work when the internet is down is valuable. If you can support some level of LAN play for a multiplayer game, the door is at least open for people to write proxies in the future. Supporting user-run servers as an option can actually save on hosting costs, and also opens up various community creative avenues.

Be disciplined about your build processes and what you put in your source tree, so there is at least the possibility of making the project open source. Think twice before adding dependencies that you can’t redistribute, and consider testing with stubbed out versions of the things you do use. Don’t do things in your code that wouldn’t be acceptable for the whole world to see. Most of game development is a panicky rush to make things stop falling apart long enough to ship, so it can be hard to dedicated time to fundamental software engineering, but there is a satisfaction to it, and it can pay off with less problematic late stage development.

Please note, City knockout—one of the games I mentioned above—does exactly this. When its current version shuts down later this year, a new standalone release will shut down, allowing private servers, practically allowing people to go ahead and play the game until time up.

Like Carmack said, there should be more than this, please!


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