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comment Couldn't all games avoid post-start loading?
As an example, Batman Arkham Origins uses loading screens just before cutscenes and when entering entirely new areas. Its story-driven, progressive nature lends itself well, and gives the user a natural break. This works especially well due to the very expansive areas with very high-definition assets. It would be very time-consuming to code and test this feature for little benefit.
comment Simple Diminishing Return with Cap
Approximation of a curve that doesn't require much math, and simple to change. I like it. :)
comment Pure functional programming and game state
IMO, functional languages are poorly suited for writing games. This is one of many problems that you will need to solve. Games require very precise control of performance, and rarely have good concurrency, due to the unpredictable way events naturally occur. (Pure) functional languages are notable for being trivially parallelizable, and hard to optimize. A game is HARD to write, and I recommend just doing it in a typical language, before taking on something just as complex (functional programming).
comment How to represent projectiles in video game?
Technically, a ray is a start point and a direction. This can be determined WITH a start point and another point, but this is not part of its definition. By definition, rays are infinite, and have no end point.
comment Why four buttons rather than two?
I can't imagine playing Mega Man X with 2 buttons or 6 (in the right-hand thumb location). My thumb is on Y at all times to charge the blaster, and resting on A or B in preparation to Dash or Jump. I don't think I can reliably push more buttons without having to move my thumb.
comment Book on designing game architecture?
Everything becoming "hardcoded" isn't necessarily a bad sign -- you may just be following YAGNI/KISS. Adding new features can mean having to refactor your code. That being said, it's always a good idea to plan and design the game first, so that you don't have to rewrite too much.
comment a simple 2D rectangle collision algorithm that also determines which sides that the rectangles collide?
Are you using discrete or continuous position updates? (are you updating your velocity by the acceleration once every frame and then calculating the position, or using a function to extrapolate the position)