Studios really were something else. Look at the thoroughly commented logic of this, DOS game code from 1995:

AFAICT that's original, not touched up for the Remaster. I'd be happy to work with code at that level of abstraction and clear, intention-based commenting today. And I'm not part of a team trying to make a game to a deadline (even if only the breakneck pace of '90s PC game tech and genre shifts) that runs on a 66MHz 486.


For comparison, here's a roughly similar "handle getting damaged" in 1994's DOOM, in C:

And it's not like iD were *bad* at this. There's still a few good intention comments there "we're awake now...", and Carmack went on to nerd out hard about C++ and static analysis. My rough, maybe unfair, guess is these are far outliers into software engineering practice in '90s DOS gamedev.

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