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Journal Journal: Keep Games Closed Source

My goodness. Whatever happened to the good old games, like rogue? Now designers are more concerned with flashy graphics than solid gameplay (which rogue didn't really have either, it was the Myst of its day).

At least we've still got ADOM, Ancient Domains of Mystery. For a while I was worried, almost never seeing updates, and fearing it had gone the way of so many neat projects. But it's back, yahoo! Thomas, the author, has even started more work on the sequel as well. And the game rocks.

I would assert fairly readily that this game is so good because it is closed-source. I don't want to know all the secrets, and I don't want other people to know them, too. Nethack may be a cool game, but all the secrets are revealed, everything is known. Also, is the current incarnation of Nethack really something an individual would want?

Thomas is right for keeping the source closed. For any game I design, I shall probably keep the source to myself. Utilities' sources I might release to the public, but security programs and games will always be mysterious black boxes to my end-users. It is my code, not theirs, and I intend to keep it that way. I don't want some chopped-up, mangled version of something as beautiful as a game (that was originally mine) wandering about the net. I don't want to have to answer for that.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.