A tale of two questions

Author: George Hayes

Recently on Facebook I seen two questions posted that had the same general flaw. This article isn't meant to pick on the two individuals who posted the questions or to make fun of new programmers or to discourage asking questions.

The first question was basically, "what game engine is best next to unity." The second question was, "Which State Machine is used in modern games or should be used?" These two questions have the same general flaw. There is no one correct answer for either question though the question is written with the expectation of a simple answer.

Both can be given different answers based on different criteria. Neither question provides any of the criteria. What game engine is best depends on the type of game you want to create and the types of features you want to have in the game. The best state machine or one you should use will vary depending on the task you are trying to do with it.

First off there is nothing wrong asking a question. When I see questions like this I simply explain the question isn't that simple to answer and why as I am doing here. However, these individuals could do a little thinking before righting the questions and a few minutes of searching on the internet these days and then provide a question that may get them a better answer.

If for example the individual asking what game engine is best thought about first the type of game, what tools he wants to use with it the features he wants to have in the game graphics and audio wise and what type of licensing he is looking for then he probably could get an answer that narrows it down to a few options if not one.

If the person asking about the state machine took some time to see what type of tasks various state machines are used for which there is examples on the internet they would have probably found their own answer or asked a different question.