Through out the years, I’ve came to the conclusion, that healthy limits very often end up improving the creativity of the person, that those limits are placed on. I could bring up countless examples both from my own life and from the human history, but since this is a development blog, today I wanted to talk about self imposed limitations as a way to make game development more fun and creativite.
We will be forever limited by something, and it can range from our parents when we are children, to the amount of matter in the universe, even tho it seems like an infinite amount, if you played Universal Paperclips, you know that it is not that much.
As humans, our brains are incredible at finding loopholes and clever ways around the rules, and you don’t have to go out of your way to find quite a few examples of that, big and small. And those solutions usually are pretty surprising and fun, much more interesting than the thing, that the rule implied you should not do directly.
And such is the case with game development. In the era of NES, you where limited very heavily by the toolset you had to use, memory you had available, even the palette and sprite count. As our hardware advanced, we, as developers, started to feel those hardware limitations less and less. Now you can code in C# instead of C or assembly, and (in mot cases) forget about the physical RAM, you can render complex 3d models without making most computers even trying to look busy processing it, you can have your game weigh tens and hundreds of gigabytes, where as just 30 years ago you had to fit your build on a 40kb cartridge.
And that might sound like a positive change, and it is undoubtedly so, but it is not as black and white as hardware manufacturers would want you to believe.
We can skip over the "lazy developers don’t have to optimize their unity games bla bla bla" bit, and talk about why does every single AAA game try and look hyperrealistic?