A couple short anecdotes to start off this post. The first is about Chris Crawford, who is a legendary game designer and created some of the earliest computer strategy wargames in the 1970’s and 1980’s, including a tank battle game called “Eastern Front” which was developed in 1981 for 8-bit machines like the Atari 800.
Chris later wrote an article in 1982 for Byte Magazine about the development of this game, including a problem he had with tanks getting stuck in “U-shaped” lakes, where the AI code would send the enemy units into areas they could not path find around. He tried to solve this with better AI code, but had trouble, given the limited processing power and memory on those machines. His solution? Get rid of “U-shaped” lakes. He redesigned the battle map to just avoid the problem, left the AI as-is, and shipped the game.
Second anecdote is about my first job in college, working for the audio/visual center which at the time dealt primarily in film and film projectors. As employees of this school department, we would roll projector carts around from various depots to classrooms, show movies, and then take the projectors back to the depots when the film was done. (God that sounds so old-timey, even to me.)