Video games tend to have a limited shelf life, but that changed significantly with the advent of internet and persistent online games. Just look at the likes of World of Warcraft and EVE Online, which have been running for over a decade and show no signs of stopping. We don't often get much insight into the inner workings of such epic software projects, but EVE developer CCP recently gave us a peek via the visualisation magic of Gource.
If you're not familiar with Gource, you feed it a project and it'll create "an animated tree with the root directory of the project at its centre". The tree grows as the project expands, with flashes of light representing changes by developers.
The video above shows CCP's work on EVE, starting in 2004 through to 2016. Gource condenses all this activity into a 30-minute animation, using EVE's Perforce repository as a base.
One of the more fascinating observations is that a vast majority of EVE's code is in Python (specifically, Stackless Python).
Understandably, its core is in C++, but once the engine work stabilises, Python usage pretty much explodes. Turns out, most of the client and server code is written in the language.
Honestly, I can't think of a better (or prettier) way to visualise the development of a sci-fi, space-based MMO.