One of the things that programmers hate are designers who can kinda sorta code, and then use that to float wildly optimistic estimates for how long it will take to code a new system. For example, they might say “I can code a minipet system in 3 days!” And then they do. And then they claim the programmers who swore it would take 2 months were sandbagging.
Only it’s not a very good minipet system. The storage is inefficient, the additional pathfinding chokes the server, they somehow break certain boss fights, there’s no GUI for storing or extracting them, they don’t animate when idling, swimming utterly breaks them, etc, etc, etc.
So now the supposed sandbagging engineers inherit this code, which is now considered ‘part of the game’ because a producer somewhere saw it and said ‘make it so’, and now it takes 3 months to do because you have to deal with the horrible, rotten hacked code that made its way into the system, and any content or player data that depends on said horrible hack.
If you’re a designer, don’t be that guy.
All of this comes to mind from reading the SimCity programming lead’s patient explanation that, yes, it took six months to make SimCity run offline, and even though some modder claimed he could do it in two weeks, it turns out that conversion was… a tad incomplete.
This is just a friendly reminder that if you don’t develop games, you really don’t know how hard it is to do so. And even if you do, something that is trivial in one codebase may be godawful difficult in another.