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The developers who made  Rust  are rebuilding it from scratch
The developers who made Rust are rebuilding it from scratch
June 26, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

June 26, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
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    8 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production



"There were a lot of decisions made when we didn't know what game we were making."
- Facepunch Studios founder Garry Newman describes why the Early Access game Rust is getting an overhaul.

“There were a lot of stupid decisions made in the old codebase,” said Rust developer Garry Newman in a recent interview with PCGamesN. “That's probably unfair. There were a lot of decisions made when we didn't know what game we were making.”

Newman and his team at Facepunch Studios have ceased updating the current version of Rust -- which was remarkably successful after its release on Steam's Early Access service last year -- to focus their efforts on rebuilding the game from scratch with a new codebase.

According to Newman, the brutal post-apocalyptic survival game has its origins in an unreleased prototype for an open-world assassination game tentatively titled Cash4kills. The team wound up building Rust on top of that game's codebase, leading to a lot of troublesome development issues -- issues that it is now sorting out in front of the thousands of people who paid for alpha access.

"There's a lot of systems that are integral to Rust, that are 3,000 lines long, that could be 100 lines long,” said Newman. “So every time you go to change something you have to chase around finding how these five different systems that it doesn't really need work, then you change it and it breaks 4 different systems that you thought had nothing to do with it.”

Now the development team is focusing its efforts on building the new, "experimental" version of Rust, which has been integrated into the main game so that players launching Rust on Steam can choose to play either the established (and stable) version or the new, experimental build.

Going forward, the studio plans to keep the current version of Rust available for play as a legacy branch when it feels comfortable rebranding the experimental branch as the main game. The studio will still keep an experimental branch open after that as a means of letting players test new features before they're added to the main game

For more details about the studio's design goals and plan for redeveloping Rust from scratch, check out the full story on PCGamesN.


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Comments


Daniel Jovanov
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Wow, that is interesting! Can't wait to eventually try it out in its optimized form.

Bruno Xavier
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Sounds like Game Development 101.

Amir Barak
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http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

Wendelin Reich
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Agree. A rewrite of a shipped, working product (however buggy it may be) is something you do when you can afford to let a small new team work on that while the old product is maintained. If you cannot afford that, you refactor. But refactoring is difficult and boring, and game-dev is supposed to be fun! ...

Rust was written in Unity, and Unity tends to invite bad software engineering (at least by beginners) by making it so easy to write simple, entirely component-based games.

Benjamin McCallister
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Silo engineering at its worst.

Justin Driscoll
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I wish them well. I've personally found it's incredibly easy to underestimate the amount of things a code base actually does until you try to rewrite it.

Dave Hoskins
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The reasons for large and unwieldy code is often due to bad algorithms. I'm not buying the 'it started out as another project' excuse at all. It's just bad programing, but it's great to hear people learning their craft by reiterating through older code. They will learn so much from doing this, but they should really be working on something new at the same time.

Joseph Cook
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You basically said "I'm not buying what they said. It's probably just because of ". What, exactly, do you think "bad algorithms" means?

You sound very cynical, naive, and inexperienced. What the Rust developers are describing is basically what happens every developer in the world. Except for that the Rust developers are lucky enough to have been successful enough to go ahead and do it.

Game development is never some Point A to Point B process. Their explanation is not unreasonable at all. 90% of game development is just figuring out what you want to make, and the last 10% once you figure out what you want to make takes 90% of the time.


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