I am interested in learning game programming, but I really have an interest in the lower level engineering in games. I have OpenGL experience, and I am really interested in learning more about implementing AI, Physics, etc. I have a computer science degree, so I really like getting into technical stuff.
Many times when I ask about this sort of thing, I get a lot of "Use an engine", "Use Unity3d", "Why waste your time writing code that already exists", etc, etc. My idea was to use simpler libraries such as SFML or XNA so that I could learn how to implement the more complex systems.
The thing is, although I do want to write games, I want to learn things that using something like Unity simply doesn't teach you. My goal is not to make a current generation quality 3D game to sell, I just want to make some cool smaller games and learn all I can about the programming side of game development.
Is this something that people just do not do anymore?
It seems like everywhere I turn people are using Unity or UDK or GameMaker. I fully understand why you would use a tool like these, but I cant see how they would suit my purposes.
So where does someone like myself turn? Am I trying to learn something that people just do not bother doing anymore? Is the innovation in this area gone and just all about gameplay now?
I'm sorry if this question seems silly, but I am genuinely interested in knowing more about this and meeting more people who are interested in this sort of thing.