Open source gamers are in denial of technological progress
Submitted by Duion on
This is kind of a part two of the open source gaming community in denial. There are so many aspects to this problem, that I probably need multiple articles about it. The last blog post covered the problem that the open source gaming community is in denial of them failing in terms of market share and this one is more about how they do not even understand the concept of improving in technological progress, like most of the rest of the world does. You understand? One primary method of improving your market share is in technologically improving your product, besides marketing of course, which is probably more important, but after marketing, you need to focus on actually developing something that can be marketed.
To me it looks like almost all open source games never progress technologically in a significant manner, some even seem to get worse over time. Why is that so? Well a long time there was no big way on having open source tech available to make up to date games with, then some quake like engines got open sourced and the community went with it, but it never got developed further. Then there was a long time nothing and then more up to date engines were open sourced or developed and the open source gaming community did not even bother to pick up the latest tech to develop with, which is the definitive proof of their denial of technological progress. Among normal game developers it is one of the most common thing to see people switching tools, often without thinking much about it, since the temptation of having a technological advantage is so big. There is a real race for everyone to get their hands on the latest tech and stuff, but not so in the open source gaming community, where it is almost the direct opposite, not only do they not care to get better tech or technological improvement, some even intentionally seek to downgrade the horrible backwards technology they already have, which looks like total insanity to me.
Let me tell you my story into game development, it started back in the day with Half-Life 1, that shipped with a level editor, which I used to make my own levels with and it quickly became more fun to make my own worlds and play them, than to play the original game. So I tried to improve my skills and what is technologically possible with the engine, but I had to soon realize the extreme limitations of the engine and old tech and I dreamed that in the future with more powerful computers and more modern game engines there would be so much more possibilities to create realistic looking game worlds on a large scale. Due to the closed source nature of the old Half-Life 1 engine, it quickly became outdated and it became impossible to improve with it, so I stopped making levels and modding and kind of gave up.
Later Half-Life 2 was released, but it did not offer significant improvements, so I did not even bother with that. Around the same time however another game was released called Far Cry 1 which offered significant improvements regarding game world size and graphics so I picked that up and made a bunch of levels for it. However observing the mapping and modding scene of Far Cry 1 I noticed it was already significantly smaller than the one for Half-Life 1. Overall the total amount of custom maps made for Far Cry 1 was about 1000, but 95% of them were outright useless crap, so you were left with like 50 playable levels and mods were almost nonexistent for it. Compared to Half-Life 1 this was almost nothing, I never counted it, but it was easily more than 5000 maps and over 50 mods made for it, it was a whole universe for itself. So then Far Cry 1 became outdated and hard to work with and later Crysis was a huge improvement graphics wise, but it was a pain to work with and its proprietary nature made it even harder to work with, so I gave up on that as well.
The whole open source shooter world I did not even bother with, since it did not even meet Half-Life 1 quality, so it was completely uninteresting for me. Later Torque3D was released as open source and I immediately knew, that this was the chance of the lifetime to finally realize the dream of having open source realistic 3D shooters. It seemed that I was the only one in the world to realize that one in a lifetime chance, since the whole open source community totally ignored it, not only that, but they ignore any new tech newer than Quake3 level or so, so they were already in denial long before. To me it was a total no-brainer and it objectively it is a no-brainer as well, however the open source gaming community was totally blind to this obvious fact that new engines could harness more processing power putting out much more quality.
I cannot even count the amount of times I tried to have debates with those people trying to convince them about the obvious benefits of newer technology and harnessing more processing power. Modern engines using modern hardware are not only a little bit better than old ones, but they are better by orders of magnitude. I remember back in Half-Life 1 days you had a polygon limit per scene of 600-1000 for level geometry, which was really not much, but nowadays you can easily put a million polygons onto the screen and there is no problem with it. That is an improvement by factor 1000. The max level size with Half-Life 1 and other Quake derivative engines was I think around 200x200 meters and it never really improved up to this day, which results in 0,04 square kilometers. The default level size in Far-Cry 1 was 2x2km which resulted in 4 square kilometers, which is a 100 times larger and today this is still kind of a standard size, you can also go up to 4x4 which is 400 times larger or even 8x8 which is 1600 times larger than using old Quake engines.
However I do not bother here do bring up more proofs and math to back it up, since I noticed my debate partners would just deny basic reality and claim Quake 1, 2 or 3 engine can do the same and is just as good, even though nobody in the world ever demonstrated any of it. It went so far, that if you show those people screenshots of old games vs new modern games that have a thousand times more polygon complexity, they would say, that there is no difference between those two games. They literally cannot see the progress that was made in the last 10-20 years. They think all those millions and billions of money spend and thousands of people working over the years, even over decades, cannot do any better, than a few guys with no money in the garage back in the day of the first PC games.
Even after you admittedly destroyed all their arguments, they would switch to other irrelevant arguments or topics and would start to argue about software freedom and morality, or how those new games are not compatible with old hardware and that they are so poor they cannot afford new hardware. Some guys I talked to even went so far saying, that yes they could afford new hardware, but they chose old hardware, because it will save them electricity, because hey, why would you waste electricity, when you can have "fun" with retro games.
I don't even know how to help those people, they are so in denial, they are completely disconnected from reality. They fool themselves into thinking they are having the same fun with the games now that they played 20 years ago, ah I have to correct myself, not the same games, but open source ripoff versions of those games, that are often even inferior to the commercial versions that existed 20 years ago or so. That they are having fun with that, can easily be easily disproved, since fun comes when you experience something new, you get a dopamine kick out of it that over time decreases, then you need something new or better again. Almost all halfway sane people operate on this basis, they always seek the latest and best entertainment they can get, to have the most fun, but not the open source people, they don't do anything other than being in denial and getting stuck in a loop where they do the same boring thing over and over and denying the real world around them.
The dissonance between them and the reality becomes so big, that many of them have to admit, that they are far backwards, but then they excuse this by justifying themselves with that they are so much more moral and that the past was better anyway and that intentionally going retro is cooler, this means intentionally producing degraded products to consume is better.
You see the difference between me and them? I was going for open source for practical reasons and to improve, but almost all other people in the scene just go for it for ideological reasons and to get off on the fact how moral they are, not caring about reality and making any actual progress, which then in return hurts their cause more than it helps them, because outsiders will look at the scene thinking "Those people are all insane, I don't want have anything to do with those weirdos, they are all backwards".
I know this for a fact, since I was also called a weirdo, when I tried to argue for open source, because people thought I was one of "them", but I'm just a normal person going for open source, because it is superior for my case for practical reasons.
I had to write this down into the internet, in hope to find a sane human being who is also able to see this obvious problem, otherwise we will never get over this.
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