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Give us your Dirty Coding Tricks!

The "Dirty Coding Tricks" articles have been among the most popular on Gamasutra, and that's why we're asking you to share your stories -- so we can do a part 3!

August 11, 2015

1 Min Read

Dirty coding tricks: ugly hacks that are absolutely necessary to get a game done.

Culled from the pages of Game Developer magazine, these valiant stories of messed up programming techniques have proven to be some of Gamasutra's most popular articles; they shed a light on the secrets we don't like to talk about -- but when we do, they're fascinating.

There's the 2009 original, and the 2010 follow-up; each shares a wealth of amusing stories, like this Wing Commander hack from Ken Demarest:

Back on the first Wing Commander we were getting an exception from our EMM386 memory manager when we exited the game. We'd clear the screen and a single line would print out, something like "EMM386 Memory manager error. Blah blah blah."

We had to ship ASAP, so I hex edited the error in the memory manager itself to read "Thank you for playing Wing Commander."

Here's how Game Developer's former editor in chief Brandon Sheffield originally described them:

Programmers are often methodical and precise beasts who do their utmost to keep their code clean and pretty. But when the chips are down, the perfectly-planned schedule is shot, and the game needs to ship, "getting it done" can win out over elegance.

In a case like this, a frazzled and overworked programmer is far more likely to ignore best practices, and hack in a less desirable solution to get the game out the door.

We want your stories -- so we can bring you a third installment of the franchise.

Have a good one? Please send it to [email protected] with the subject "Dirty Coding Tricks." Submissions can be anonymous if you wish. We'll print the best in a new Gamasutra article.

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