I was thinking lately what a good market middleware is

  • Write once, sell many times
  • Focusing on a specialty lets you beat out companies that do that one thing incidentally
  • Even as an individual with no marketing, you can outperform large companies that spend 100x what you do

And thinking to take that to the next step, with a game engine. I’ve noticed that game engines get many times the attention of individual libraries, much more so than the sum of their components. Imagine a game engine where each component is a specialized best-of-class library. RakNet times 7, the other 6 being graphics, physics, audio, AI, UI, and tools. If I knew 6 other developers or small companies that had the same quality as RakNet, at a similar price, it would be a great venture to join forces and make an engine as the integrated sum of those libraries. Such an engine would dominate the market immediately in terms of quality, because no existing monolithic engine, no matter how good, could beat a specialized company that focuses on that a single aspect. If you were to take all these specialized companies together then, all other engines would be fail because none of them could compete in any area.

It’s sort of like how you can take any default Windows application and find a better substitute on the net. It’s not that Microsoft did a bad job, but that their focus was on an operating system. Specialized companies turn around, find a niche market for that application, and beat Microsoft because that is their core focus. If you’re not going to do a way better job then there’s no point in entering the market.

If these libraries could be integrated seamlessly, with the full feature set for each library exposed, it would like astounding.

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