To me, the thing that exemplifies "work smarter, not harder" is the Fallout 3 train hat - instead of creating an entirely new system for a train, they just have an NPC wearing a hat which is an entire train, hidden under the floor and running very quickly.

It's absurd, and someone could have spent a lot of time and effort on a new system to get the the same result in a less absurd way. But this works, so why not?

So my new motto is, "don't be afraid to wear a train as a hat."

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@matt the thing about these kinds of "smart" hacks is they need to be weighed in terms of how flaky they are. train hat may have saved a programmer the trouble of writing a proper system, but maybe the hack caused a lot of bugs that ended up needing equivalent programmer time to fix it. there's also the production axis, maybe the hack *does* suck but design bandwidth is plentiful while programming bandwidth is tight. it's all tradeoffs and true costs are often difficult to assess going in.

@jplebreton @matt i find it hard to believe this would be the easiest way to reuse the code, and aren't there other vehicles in fall out?
i feel like someone just wanted to make a weird train person

@radicalgraffiti AFAIK none of the Fallout games have functional vehicles. Fallout 3 didn't have *any* ground-based vehicles except for stationary bombed-out cars, the only moving conveyance was a helicopter, and I think it was just used in cutscenes. The train was added in a DLC pack.

@matt oh ok, i haven't got that far into the game
but i still doubt thats the easiest way to reuse the code

@radicalgraffiti @matt Strong odds that a designer rigged that up, not a programmer, so it's less "reusing code" than "plugging data into an existing system". Which from what I hear is kind of *the* primary development mindset at Bethesda. (which is not a bad thing IMO!)

@OlivierSchyns I like the one in Daggerfall the best, because you can strafe, and imagining what a horse strafing looks like makes me smile

@matt a lot of AAA games have these absurd fixes to work and build things using available code.

@matt this is great. But someone suggested a feminist speech on why this NPC is a female and I really would love to hear this speech.

@matt the only question is if you can kill the trainhat woman and what happens if you do

@Pyretta Your reputation with [commuters] is now [hated]

@matt I'm guessing the phrase "technical debt" is not one you have any truck with πŸ˜‚

@matt I would rather say something like "be lazier, let modders fix the bugs"

@matt ok but hear me out here

why not just make the train an npc instead of a hat?

@ben @matt because NPCs have to be either a man or a woman. there is no trainsgender.

@matt it is a very good thing to be adaptable and able to come up with a novel solution like this, but I've been too long in the computer mines to not cringe at the idea of a product manager saying 'well you got that to work by using a hat, why can't you do the same thing here?' and that's how we got epicycles to explain planetary movement. thank you for sharing this. As you can see I have "favorited" it, but I needed to vent a little as well.

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