If you’ve ever wondered about the patch…

If you’ve ever wondered about the patching process that goes on to support a game, this post will make it clearer. I hope.

Having been involved with WordPress MU for many years (which involved merging code from WordPress core to MU after each new release) I can only dread the amount of effort required to figure out what changes in the cooked data files were benign or not. Merging PHP source code would have been a doddle compared to examining binary files.

The post ends on a somewhat positive note however. DICE will continue to support Bad Company 2:

We want to continue supporting the game, but if we want to change anything else than the game executable itself, we will need to spend time on figuring out how to do so with a less error-prone patch generation procedure … and preferably without generating as large patches.

There’s no point asking them to release smaller patches more often. When the data is “cooked” it doesn’t produce the exact same files each time. Even small changes will create cooked files that are vastly different to each other.
I presume this is similar to how lossy compression like Jpeg works. Save a file as a Jpeg twice and you’ll have two different files.

(via reddit)

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

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