My ten year old 2021 predictions revisited

Back in 2011 I wrote a blog post imagining what game dev might look like in 10 years. I figured I’d take a look at my predictions and see how I did.

1. Kickstarter allows refunds: WRONG!

I’d imagined after a coming spate of crowdfunding failures, on order to maintain trust, Kickstarter would be forced to allow backers to vote for refunds.

Instead people did lose trust in Kickstarter for video games, but Kickstarter didn’t do anything about it. Still works great for board game print runs though!

2. Game engines have deterministic session playback: WRONG!

Some people have implemented this, and it’s really useful, but it’s not the industry standard I thought it’d become. Great swathes on the industry are on Unity and Unreal, and neither seem to especially value determinism.

3. QA can save off VM containers of crashes: WRONG!

What’s better than a stack dump? The whole goddamn machine. While there’s lots of containerisation off in business IT, there’s not much in games. There are some mobile compatibility testing operations that have device farms, but even then you get remote access to real hardware rather than a VM image of the problematic device.

4. Lots of people work remotely: RIGHT!

I wish it could’ve been under better circumstances, but I kinda nailed that one.

5. High DPI displays used to show commit text in a margin: WRONG!

I don’t know what I was thinking. That sounds horrific. Hovering over the blame margin and getting the log in a tooltip works great!

6. Major code subsystems bought second hand: SORTA!

I got the mechanism wrong: when a sizeable game project fails, there are no auctions where they hock all the assets. But every year the asset stores grow, and I imagine a lot of that stuff is from dead projects, so the reuse I envisioned is happening.

7. Bodice rippers become a major game genre: WRONG!

Nope, could still happen though. Maybe next decade?

Score: 1.5 / 7

Dismal! Lotta whizbang technology predictions in here. I think I looked back at the period from 2001 to 2011 and saw the technology go from UE1 and id engines to UE3 and Unity 3, and expected a similar leap.

I guess we’ve had a similar leap for graphics, but I expected the industry was also going to have to become more efficient at debugging. This turned out not to be the case! I suppose on the big projects where you might attempt these things, the big spend is on art instead.

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