# Is it even possible to improve complex questions?

How to improve games programming questions that need to take many aspects into account before being answered?

I asked How to program destructibles? and it has been (more or less fairly) put on hold due to "too many questions". It requires an expertise of someone experienced in the field of data structures who worked with many of those "destructible" objects (or similar stuff). I implemented only two of those over the last month and mentioned some (because there were many) of the issues that arose during that time in hope of avoiding committing further mistakes. If I don't mention them, all I'll get are answers like this one which is obviously not what I came for.

Basing on the community reaction, I realized questions regarding complex programming problems are above the level of advancement this community is willing to analyze. Should I take such issues to SO even though game development related?

As far as I can see the main problem with your question (in last edit) is the last line: Is this the same as with a destructible terrain in other games?

The original question was actually a combination of multiple smaller question. I do agree that a comprehensive answer might (should) answer all those smaller questions, but then again, with new format even answers that are not that detailed are welcome.

In general, as far as I can tell, you can ask complex questions, but you shouldn't force any formatting to answers. But I usually am accused of being to permissive, and I'm not a mod, so we should wait for higher ups to respond.

Sure it is.

Basing on the community reaction, I realized questions regarding complex programming problems are above the level of advancement this community is willing to analyze. Should I take such issues to SO even though game development related?

Complexity isn't an issue, but broadness is. StackExchange isn't a discussion forum, and overly broad questions don't tend to have single objective reasonably-concise answers. Instead, they tend to generate discussion, which is excellent, but not something SE wants to host (and indeed, not something the resulting site software is well-suited for).

Generally if one could write a book (or several chapters thereof) on the topic of the question, it's going to be too broad. The original revision of your question certainly fits that bill.

• You're asking if things are a "good choice." It is a rare thing in game development that is always objectively the best option, and so a good answer to this kind of question usually involves back-and-forth discussion of a lot of the nit-picky details of one's projects, and/or an extensive breakdown of the list of pros and cons to a particular choice in a vacuum and long discussion of potential alternatives.

• You're asking multiple unrelated questions. Each of your original four main questions could be a question on its own, and in your subsequent paragraphs you often pose one or two more questions.

• You're asking us to see the future. "Will this bite me later?" for example, is not something we can objectively answer in a way that improves the site's index of knowledge for posterity (we can only really say "maybe, maybe not").

• You don't scope the questions well. You don't provide a lot of detail that narrow down the problem space; without doing so, answerers need to contend with any possible scenario.

Addressing these issues will improve the question without really reducing its complexity (destructible objects are still a complex topic not matter how you slice them). Focus on explaining what you tried, what you want, what you got instead. The more specific and directed you can make your question, the better, as long as it doesn't so specific as to be "here's all my code, fix the problem please."

You'd likely run into the same barriers on SO. You're certainly free to try to ask there if you don't want to improve the question here, but I suspect you'll be met with the same result. In the original form you posted it, your question just isn't well-suited to the SE model. A site like GDNet, though, would work well because it is a discussion forum.

• I guess I wanted to start a discussion because I find the subject interesting and was trying to get another perspective before I commit to a final design. So... yes, you're absolutely right. I still think questions like: "will this bite me?", "is this a good choice?" are always implied but then, since they are, they can be omitted. Is the final edit of the question more or less okay? – cprn May 31 '16 at 9:22
• @CyprianGuerra It's fine to imply those questions if there is also some other concrete question there. Questions like "here is my plan, I will do X Y and Z, will that hurt me in the future?" just aren't a great fit here. I think with the edits the question is more reasonably scoped, and it already had three reopen votes, so I reopened it. – Josh Jun 3 '16 at 16:36