Niklas Frykholm <r2d2 / mao.acc.umu.se> wrote:
:>Games! You're going to write games in Perl. You like a challenge don't you.

: It's my understanding (but I'm not in the gaming industry, so I may
: be wrong) that most games today are written in a two layer-architecture
: with a C/C++ engine in the bottom that does all the heavy stuff and a
: scripting layer on top that controls the plot.

Oh ghod, how I wish it were so.  The smarter groups in the industry do    
this, for instance id & Unreal takes this approach (UnrealScript, for
instance, is based on Scheme, IIRC).  I guess that means that things are
slowly moving that way, but it is going to take a while, 'while' meaning
about as long as the shift from assembly to C.  For instance, Abuse, in
1995, incorporated LISP -- in 2001, most games are still straight C++.

I spent the last several months working with a PC game company, and it
seems to me, that across the industry people are so swamped with their MFC
woes and whatnot that researching other languages seems insurmountable, at
least from a time-allocation viewpoint.  The exceptions all seem to come
from outside influences or extra geekisms -- Unreal's Tim Sweeney, for
example, seems to be a language nut and has written some articles on
writing games in functional programming, once focusing on Haskell, for
instance.

It would be easy to blame sucky game AI on this mindset, but that horse
has already been flogged.

The game media isn't helping much; their concept of 'scripting language'
seems to be limited to MSDOS .bat files.  From a gamasutra article:

	This ease of use is also reflected in the engine's scripting
	language, UnrealScript. Calling it a scripting language is a
	misnomer; it's actually a lot like Java. Weapons, pickups, level
	events, AI nodes, and other world actors are all independent
	objects. A weapon can be added to the game without touching any
	source files but the new object definition. This highly extensible
	language meant that each programmer could add extensive new
	game-play features with a very limited set of potential side
	effects. In the end, 90 percent of Unreal Tournament's game-play
	code was written in UnrealScript.

....thus proving the architecture's value, whilst at the same time
denigrating its components.  I haven't seen journalism this poor
since..oh, wait, I have the american media.

That's all the rant I have in me on a Saturday.  Anyway - teach a gamer
LISP today!