I Just Saw A Flying Fish

In game dev (and I suppose in life) it’s probably pretty easy to get stuck on doing things as they’ve always done. If I have certain rituals, or certain ways to do game dev… I probably keep doing them. I consider myself pretty experimental and I think I’m often open for new ideas and even might test them for a week or two to see if they come handy.

Nevertheless, I most likely have some beliefs and thoughts that are so rooted in me that I might not be aware of them. These beliefs are just something I carry myself and “know to be true”.

Today I saw a fish flying. Well… it perhaps was “gliding” on top of water (without actually touching water) so in my books that’s flying. If a fish can go above water without touching the water for 200 meters – that’s enough flying for me.

It was even flapping some “wings” – or wingslike things.

And I haven’t eaten mushrooms or anything like that.

In fact, there’s a youtube video about a flying fish (if you pause that vid at 00:15 you can see it pretty well how it goes). I saw this flying fish first in television where one guy was explaining how it requires much energy to leap above the water, but then the fish can continue “gliding” for quite long.

Anyway. I had always thought that (1) (most) birds can fly, and that (2) fish (usually) don’t.

Instantly, my biology based belief was gone and now I know that also fish can fly.

I started pondering: how many similar beliefs I carry with me regarding game dev? Perhaps I should start taking a look at things in game dev that I know to be true. And then take a closer look at those topics.

Perhaps I’m missing something crucial.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Great post, questioning the unquestionable truths in our lives can be liberating and lead to great breakthroughs.
    What game truths are you questioning?
    AAA games must have 20+ levels?
    All storyline choices should still allow the player to complete the game?

  2. Flying fish, my worst nightmare…
    It’s only a matter of time before there will be flying sharks!!

  3. Interesting. I was wondering where you were going with the flying fish business. But then you put it all together in the last paragraph.

    It’s kinda like in my current 2D game Prague, I’m trying to fake water reflection. The way to do it in BMax is to usually capture the water area and then apply some distortion function then paste it back. But this is hard on the FPS. Since the water in Prague is only reflecting the clouds, all I did instead was distort the original cloud image and then paste it at 0.25 alpha onto the water. It ain’t the best but it’s FPS friendly and better than nothing.
    As they say, it always helps to think out of the box .

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