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Writing articles is good for "YOU".

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#1 AllEightUp   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4268

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:14 AM

An old saying, which is very true: If you can't explain something then you don't really understand it yourself.

 

I've finished up, for the time being, a series of articles on how to build a cross platform build environment.  You've likely seen them, the big "CMake" labelled things.  As my first real effort writing a series of articles outside of internal documents, I think they went over (are going over) fairly well.  I knew folks liked my documentation at work in general and there were no horrible complaints.  So transitioning to writing publicly with more than say 20 readers, I feel pretty happy with the results.

 

But, the thing I forgot about before writing up articles, is how good it is for me, personally, to go through all the details and describe them in a proper manner.  If you think you know something 'well', write an article and find out how much you generally 'gloss over' in your day to day use.  For my set of articles I actually had to clarify my usage against actually understanding the real workings of certain things.  I used things like the dependent options but I rarely really considered what I was doing with them until I had to describe it in plain English.  Putting the usage into plain English forced me to really think about why I was doing things in a certain way which actually led to re-evaluating a lot of things I do lately.

 

If folks didn't consider me knowledgeable about CMake prior to the articles, I think they may consider me that way now.  But more importantly, I know I am fairly knowledgeable in that I can clarify details based on anything described in the article since I had to deep dive and make sure I really understood the features in order to describe them.  (NOTE: I could have written things correctly and *STILL* misunderstood some minor details, it is possible and I accept it.)  In saying this I suggest leaving the term "expert" out of your vocabulary.  There is no such thing as expert, very very knowledgeable yes, but expert semi-implies infallible.  As programmers we all know that is not realistic.

 

Edited for clarity since this is now linked from the front page.. (EVIL Michael! :))


Edited by AllEightUp, 12 April 2013 - 01:03 PM.


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#2 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2126

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:53 AM

I think you did an excellent job writing those articles. Any more series in the work?



#3 AllEightUp   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4268

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

I think you did an excellent job writing those articles. Any more series in the work?

 

I'm currently looking at doing a math library article, as a transition from the fundamental infrastructure to actually making a game.  Math libraries have been done over and over of course but I hope the inclusion of side by side normal and vectorized versions targeting SSE and Neon instruction sets will make it a bit more interesting. ;)



#4 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2126

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:09 AM

Sounds great, can't wait to read them.



#5 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:32 PM

I'm surprised nobody else replied to this yet..  I'm really hoping we as a community can begin to pull together for this effort.   I know it will take time though and a little bit of stumbling but we are in a good place to do it.



#6 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2126

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:37 PM

I think we have a great start. I'm definitely learning something.



#7 AllEightUp   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4268

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:34 PM

I'm surprised nobody else replied to this yet..  I'm really hoping we as a community can begin to pull together for this effort.   I know it will take time though and a little bit of stumbling but we are in a good place to do it.

Well, you are totally cruel in handing out punishment.  Linking to this on the front page, eeeepppp.. :)



#8 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:15 AM

I'm surprised nobody else replied to this yet..  I'm really hoping we as a community can begin to pull together for this effort.   I know it will take time though and a little bit of stumbling but we are in a good place to do it.

Well, you are totally cruel in handing out punishment.  Linking to this on the front page, eeeepppp.. smile.png

 

Well you certainly raised some valid points in your original post and others could really follow your example.   I personally would love to see a few shorter articles based around some fragment of code.   Just post the code and explain some background on how it works.



#9 AllEightUp   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4268

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:18 PM

 

I'm surprised nobody else replied to this yet..  I'm really hoping we as a community can begin to pull together for this effort.   I know it will take time though and a little bit of stumbling but we are in a good place to do it.

Well, you are totally cruel in handing out punishment.  Linking to this on the front page, eeeepppp.. smile.png

 

Well you certainly raised some valid points in your original post and others could really follow your example.   I personally would love to see a few shorter articles based around some fragment of code.   Just post the code and explain some background on how it works.

I hope to get to that point, right now I'm chopping off the big chunks of "before you even think about a game" types of things. smile.png  I feel build environments and core starting bits are every bit as important as having a plan/design/goal before you start really working on the game.  Obviously knowing you want to write a game and some idea of the target is required or the setup is pretty useless of course.

 

Given I always work cross platform, it takes a significant amount of setup before you even begin coding.  That or you end up with an environment where getting a server setup is like playing the 6 degree's of Kevin Bacon where you go to one person to figure out what to install, then you go to another person to figure out the XML configurations, then another person that knows the JSON configurations and oh now you deal with this wacky web interface that rsyncs a starting chunk of data, oh and now point at some Oracle DB over there, run this and that and eventually you have no idea what you did but it may actually work.  God forbid if you screw anything up in such a mess though.  (This is NOT a made up case!)  Even when there were instructions for such an environment, they were usually out of date, missed key points (one reason I'm so detailed in my writing) or generally made absolutely no sense.

 

I would not want to force such an environment on anyone if at all possible.  Knowing they exist and how they grew out of some simple starting point is why I started where I did.  smile.png

 

 

NOTE: I fibbed, small focused article on the way.. :)


Edited by AllEightUp, 13 April 2013 - 01:13 PM.


#10 george7378   Members   -  Reputation: 1291

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:58 AM

Hmm, I am liking all the articles that people are posting! Most are genuinely useful or interesting to read (not just space fillers!). I'd love to do one myself - I did make some article-style posts on smooth/sliding collision handling with cylinders and walls, so maybe I should do an article about that!



#11 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:17 PM

Go for it!   You can help us build a pretty awesome library of articles.   With enough help we can really cover a ton of topics and start to get a decent amount of depth on each subject.



#12 Endurion   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3685

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:29 PM

I'd have expected more feedback about the abysmal code editor and a few of the other bugs.

 

The code editor sometimes starts to add my entered keys twice, albeit at different locations in the current text.

Also, the code or preview tags really like to screw up the text in between (line breaks get missing, ASCII art gets fubared).

The "Save Draft" button on the buttom doesn't do anything, the one on the top right however works.

 

 

Besides that, a lot of new and interesting articles have appeared. Keep them coming!

I'm also currently writing an article about the C64 game series I had in my journal.


Fruny: Ftagn! Ia! Ia! std::time_put_byname! Mglui naflftagn std::codecvt eY'ha-nthlei!,char,mbstate_t>

#13 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:24 PM

Could you post a Gist of the ascii art you are trying to post?   (or the source)   We're using codemirror for the editor, which is hugely popular as a source code editor but we're also running the results through html purifier which is jacking up the text sometimes.



#14 Endurion   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3685

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:17 AM

It's the diagram at this site:

 

http://www.c64-wiki.de/index.php/speicherbelegung

 

 

Putting it in works fine once, but if you keep re-editing and saving the article it gets messed up. If it makes a difference, I'm either using IE8 on XP or IE10 on Windows 7.


Fruny: Ftagn! Ia! Ia! std::time_put_byname! Mglui naflftagn std::codecvt eY'ha-nthlei!,char,mbstate_t>

#15 Cosmic314   Members   -  Reputation: 1260

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:18 AM

I ran through the article lists.  There's a lot a useful stuff!  Thank you for starting and encouraging future articles.  Gamedev.net is definitely better for it.

 

I want to write an article but first I wanted to solicit my idea to see if it would get any interest.  I already read the article about the CPU pipeline, which focuses on the Intel architecture.  Would there be any interest in a similar article about the ARM pipeline and processor?  Mobile devices are heavy users of this architecture so it does have some direct relevance to Gamedev.net.  I work with ARM processors, but like the OP said here, there's really no such thing as an "expert".

 

Is this the place to ask or is there a more appropriate forum for article writing?

 

For graphics mark-up and article writing,are there any good documents describing the tools available?

 

Thanks!



#16 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5275

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

This is the forum to ask, but you should start your own thread about it


Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


#17 J. Faraday   Members   -  Reputation: 439

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:19 AM

Pretty cool. This post totally goes with this article I read the other day. I really enjoyed it and could make a lot of connections.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenkotler/2014/01/24/maximum-brain-leverage-how-to-get-the-best-roi-from-reading/



#18 mondongorongo   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

An old saying, which is very true: If you can't explain something then you don't really understand it yourself.

 

 

That's one of the main reasons why i started my own blog when i decided to become a game designer; i have to actively talk about what i study in order to get a better grasp of the subjects i'm currently studying, it helped me when i used to teach database design and programming and it has definitely helped me as a game designer(but also you have to, like, make games :P).

 

Just last night i spent a whole bunch of hours researching and writing about "What is a game?" and it helped me to contribute with my own concept at the end of it(without it being the original goal of my blog post) and it has gained some traffic to my blog and a good response not just in my usual readers but also some referrals of people in the educational side of games. That kind of acknowledgement is a great motivator.

 

Hopefully i'll contribute something to GameDev someday, when i feel like my skills are up for it. 



#19 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4998

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:06 AM

And I'd like to mention that once in a while, someone (cough) will write a couple of articles and they are so well received that they end up writing a book!  Having the courage to put yourself out there.  Awesome.


I think, therefore I am. I think? - "George Carlin"
Indie Game Programming

#20 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5782

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 07:00 PM

Analaura, please keep the comments constructive. Explain to use how you make money off of them?







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