By Casey Muratori
In 2007 I was invited to give a talk to the students of MIT’s GAMBIT game lab (which I believe has now expanded and become simply “MIT Game Lab”).
Although this was several years before I started Handmade Hero, I was already feeling troubled by the lack of core, low-level programming skills I was seeing in most newer generations of programmers. I wanted to try giving a lecture that explained in more detail why it was so important for people to understand programming (and math) at a deep level, and not just learn to use premade things as abstract tools.
It was not recorded, so only the 30-or-so students enrolled in the program at the time saw the lecture. Recently (in 2018), I tried redoing the lecture on my Handmade Hero stream:
Noticeably absent in this lecture is a discussion of the complexities behind producing the normal maps themselves. This would also be a great window into why it’s so important to understand things at a deep level, since there are a number of really interesting problems involved in that part of the process, too. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to do such a followup yet.
I am currently working on 1935 and Handmade Hero.