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Ex-Valve Developer Criticises CS:GO’s “Ancient Code”

Aditya Singh Rawat
24/Nov/2020 06:44 am

Former Valve developer Richard Geldreich criticises CS:GO's code by calling it "ancient".
He claims that nobody human understands the whole thing anymore.
Geldreich points out why game features are delayed and why developers do not fix anything unless absolutely necessary.

The CS:GO community has often had to wait a long amount of time to see a few necessary changes being made to the game and when the update finally arrived it brought with it numerous bugs which again required time to be fixed. This cycle has been the trend for the last 20 years and the reason behind it was recently revealed by former Valve developer Richard Geldreich who claimed that no one human can understand CS:GO’s “ancient code” completely.

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Former Valve Developer Criticises CS:GO’s Code

Geldreich via a series of Tweets explained the state of CS:GO’s code because of which it has become extremely challenging to add new game features and is also a big reason why there are no changes implemented “unless absolutely necessary.”

He stated that on the Source 1 Engine one can observe “mountains of ancient code that nobody understood anymore,” further claiming that “No one human understood the whole thing. It was impossible.” Geldreich went on to explain that this is a big hindrance for the developers as it becomes very difficult to add new graphical features to CS:GO “without breaking the universe.”

While explaining the delicate process of adding a new feature Geldreich stated that the developers do not have the liberty to disable what they felt like or break code simply because they “didn't understand or think (it) wasn't actually needed,” because there was always a chance that the code “was used somewhere in a way you couldn’t predict.”

Continuing on the topic Geldreich was even more critical of the ‘renderer’ as he explained that if anyone tinkered around with it even in the simplest of ways and later a ‘rendering bug’ was encountered then “you would be blamed and have to fix it. Even if the bug had nothing to do with your change.” 

This particular practice started acted as a barrier for programmers who did not feel motivated to go forward and implement a particular change as there was a chance that it would lead to more unnecessary work. So the “programmers did not change anything unless absolutely necessary.”

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This first-hand experience shared by a former Valve developer himself sheds light on the numerous problems that the CS:GO development team faces when it comes to adding any sort of feature to the game irrespective of how big or small it is.

It also focuses on how the developers themselves feel hindered to go ahead and fix certain known problems unless they are absolutely game-breaking because they do not want to face the extra burden of solving bugs every time they do something to fix the game. Could this be a reason behind Valve choosing not to fix the ‘CS:GO Spectator Bug’ which according to multiple coaches had been reported to them via all possible mediums.

RELATED:  ForZe CS:GO Coach Discovers Potential New Spectator Bug



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Aditya Singh Rawattwitter_link

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Aditya Singh Rawat is the in-house CS:GO editor at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.