lambda fairy

The game engine trap

This is part 3 of a trilogy. You might like to read part 1.

There’s a bit of a meme going ’round in the gamedev community.

A beginner dev has a great idea for a game. But instead of using a preëxisting game engine, they decide to build one themselves. Months pass. Thousands of lines of code are written. They still don’t have a game.

This is the game engine trap.

When I started building my new website, I thought I’d create the perfect static site generator for it. It would boast incremental and parallel builds, have a built-in preview server with hot reload, and above all—be 100% written in Rust.

It took a couple weekends before I realized my mistake.

The final setup is a lot less ambitious:

The only bespoke component is a small Rust binary that processes each individual page. Even then, most of that code is copied from another project, so it isn’t that bespoke after all.

The moral of the story

If there’s any conclusion that could be had from this, it’s: know what you want!

I realized early on that I didn’t care about how the website was built. By minimizing that part of the project, I could focus on what I really wanted to do: fuck around with CSS 😎