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Sometimes, within a game you find programmable entities. A great example are the Turtles of Computer Craft, a minecraft mod. If I had a question about programming Turtles, or anything else that's programmable, WITHIN a game, is that on topic or off topic?

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This isn't one that I think will be black-and-white.

Raven Dreamer points out Minecraft Redstone, which we definitely cover. It's essentially a sort of logic gate construction setup, but betwixt construction concerns and other oddities to the system, it's the kind of thing that works here.

When you reach things that go beyond that, and into facsimiles or replicants of existing programming languages, the feasibility to go here depends a lot on the question. Basic things, especially in line with a task in-game, those would most likely remain on-topic. Going beyond that into either esoteric or extraordinarily complex things to which it's less about how to set it up in-game as it is how to get the code working in the first place, Stack Overflow is likely to be far more helpful in that department. Remember that the ultimate goal is to get a good answer for yourself - even if it's in a game and it might be on-topic here, you as an asker may be better off asking somewhere else for the more complex stuff.

Basically, don't look at it as "Is this programming?". Look instead at "What kind of programming knowledge do I need to solve my problem?" - that will answer whether it fits with us or not.

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  • So where do we draw the line with something like computercraft, which is programmed I believe in Lua. Sure, simple turtle programming or something like a locking mechanism would probably be appropriate, but you can get into some pretty complicated stuff, especially if you add something like wireless redstone or other mods. – MBraedley Sep 15 '13 at 17:39
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    @MBraedley For example, "My turtle isn't pulling from Factorization barrels right, here's the code, what's wrong?" would likely be on topic, while "I'm cloning Vim in ComputerCraft Lua, why isn't my implementation of the join command working, here's the code?" would likely be off topic. If the problem doesn't touch on the game itself in any capacity, "in a game" is just background context and not part of the problem or solution. – SevenSidedDie Sep 15 '13 at 19:43
  • I see this as a very similar parallel to questions about Chess/MTG. If the question is about the "video game part", on-topic. If the question is about the "non-video game part", off-topic. Of course, just like those questions, there will be some gray area. Also, just like those questions, you can expect some folks to judge your question based on the title - so you'll have to choose your words carefully if you want to avoid downvotes and close votes. – EBongo Sep 18 '13 at 13:09
  • I like to look at it this way. "For this problem, would I ask my gamer friends or my programmer friends?" Gamer friends are here at Arqade, Programmer friends can be a number of other SE sites. – Batophobia Sep 24 '13 at 19:40
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Yes, as long as it's an intended part of the game.

As @RavenDreamer has already mentioned, redstone mechanics are on-topic - these are intended to be part of the game.

Javascript hacking in Cookie Clicker? I'm inclined to say off-topic, as it's not designed to be part of the actual game.

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    Hacking cookie clicker is totally part of the game. It even has an achievement! – Batophobia Sep 24 '13 at 19:38
  • @Batophobia Perhaps fredley is distinguishing between games which support custom programming (for example games which allow you to make your own levels and stories) and those where custom content is not supported. In short, programming using the games supported content mechanics is usually allowed (though for more technical issues you should use StackOverflow). – Trisped Sep 26 '13 at 3:28
  • @Trisped I realize that. A better example might be Halo's Forge (map editor) vs. making a mod for Skyrim for the Steam workshop. – Batophobia Sep 26 '13 at 14:50
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I'm inclined to say yes, it's on-topic.

Specifically for minecraft, we already handle , which is programming (though perhaps not in the way folks tend to think of it).

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