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Member Since 13 Aug 2006
Offline Last Active Sep 23 2016 04:31 PM

#5312102 Why do most people recommend Python

Posted by on 23 September 2016 - 07:48 AM

Although I have only played with swift, it looks quite pleasant to use. However as a developer it is always required that you look outside the language to see what libraries are available, what platforms it can be used for and what is the future feasibility of it. I can try to answer these:


1) It only really has libraries available to it on Apple's Cocoa platform. I.e otherwise you are going to be spending most of your time writing binding layers for every platform you use it on. For example bindings would need to be written for it to use OpenGL or SDL on the Linux platform.


2) It is cross platform because it uses LLVM as its underlying technology but there is very little support on non Apple platforms. IBM was looking at getting it running on some of its enterprise operating systems but lets be honest, we wont be writing games to target them ;)


3) Lifespan... Nothing from Apple really has the best lifespan but it does look like they are committed to Swift. That said they are not going to be rewriting the OS to use Swift rather than Objective-C so you might want to stick with the latter instead. (You can also use SDL and OpenGL directly from Objective-C on non-Apple platforms ;)).


So sometimes it isn't about how easy the language is. It is about how useful the technology (and legacy) behind the language is. Otherwise, lets be honest, C would not be second from the top on the IEEE and TIOBE language stats ;).





To be honest Swift is no longer an Apple only technology.  It has been open sourced and as well as the IBM sandbox there are a few others.  There are also two other non LLVM compilers that support swift including ones for .NET, JVM and Dalvik.

There are also several Swift website frameworks already in development or already in use targeting both client and backend development.

However another reason why I dislike Swift is that because of the its dumb name (there were already a few IT technologies around called Swift before Apple used it) if you google any of these you get lots of unrelated content.

#5311761 Why do most people recommend Python

Posted by on 21 September 2016 - 04:14 AM

I am an iOS developer and I strongly recommend against using swift as a first language.   If you like the Swift syntax and want to play around with functional programming then choose Scala.   Swift is a language that I have to use because Apple forced it upon me.

My main gripe with Swift is that yes it does have some cool features but, in the real world it does not work the way apple tells us it does.  Yes if you demonstrate it in a Playground with some comp science 101 algorithm then it looks like it uses less code and looks pretty.  However when you actually use it in the real world with Apples libraries it ends up requiring a fuck ton of boiler plate code and looks ugly.  Something simple like downloading a json file from a remote server and storing it in a dictionary takes around 5 lines of code in Objective-C  doing it in Swift in a safe manner requires around 20 lines.
Also the language is continually changing and these changes keep breaking compilation.  Apple have said that from Swift 3 there will be no more breaking changes but, I really wouldn't trust them.

The reason people suggest Python is because it has so many uses and because it does have a huge community behind it.

Want to right your first 2D game?
Python can do it
Want to write a single page web app?
Want to right an extension Blender or Gimp?
Want to earn a 6 figure salary as a Quantitive Analyst?
Then you need to learn Python

#5307343 Is it inefficient to use Unity to turn 32kb of Javascript into a mobile app?...

Posted by on 23 August 2016 - 03:34 AM


They may not really need everything that std::string provides, but you may as well have it.


Hmm, its closer to pointing people towards Qt, just to use QString to concatinate two char* together ;)


But yes, I see your point but I still do see too many Javascript developers dragging in JQuery for very trivial things.



I see the opposite.  Most JavaScript developers I know treat JQuery as though it is part of JavaScript.  Some of the newer developers have never programmed JavaScript without it and most new introductory Javascript textbooks start with right from the beginning the main reason being that to access the DOM in a consistent way across multiple browsers requires a lot of boilerplate code.

#5305466 Estimating development time

Posted by on 12 August 2016 - 07:05 AM




I need tips on how to better estimate development time for games.


Also if I were to give you a project like this, how long do you it would take to develop it from start to finish? Assuming there is only one programmer and one artist and the game is being developed in Unity.


  • IOS - Android

Single player

  • Endless survival runner
Online Multiplayer (cross-platform, real-time)
  • Up to 4 players
  • Pick-up random powerups
Social features
  • Link to facebook/twitter
  • Invite friends
  • Chat
  • Invite to a multiplayer game
  • Remove from friends list
  • Global leaderboard for Single player and Multiplayer
In-App Purchases
Thanks :)




Well if you are talking full time development work then I could probably get a prototype up and running with all these features in a couple of weeks.  It wouldn't be very polished.  After that the estimate would be entirely dependant on your game design but, to go from prototype to fully polished game would be a upwards of a month.


It is worth pointing out that one of your features is not actually possible anymore:

Facebook will no longer allow you to invite friends in a mobile game  (they won't even allow you to retrieve your list of friends anymore) unless there is also a web version of the game on the Facebook store and your friends have not disabled this feature from their privacy settings (most people have nowadays).  

There are other ways to invite friends such as Game Centre on iOS and various third party APIs or you can role your own but, they are all dependant on your friends using these services.  So it just goes to show even before you attempt to estimate for your time you need to do a little research as to what tech you are going to need to use because if you start developing and find out later then all your estimates will have been for nothing.




In the real world we don't always give estimates based on time.  A lot of companies use Agile systems such as Kanban or Scrum.

We give estimates based on how complex a task is.  This estimate is just a number (could be T shirt sizes, Fibonacci sequence, prime numbers etc..) .  At my current company we us 3 for small, 5 for medium and 8 for large.  Anything bigger than an 8 needs to be broken down into smaller sub tasks. Again this figures aren't an indication of how much time a task will take to do but, how complex the task is (actually this isn't true.  I'm actually over simplifying here.  The points are seen as units of work which should not reflect as time or complexity but, are simply there to enable the process).  This numbers are referred to as story points.


How then you may ask do we estimate time?


Well we know how many story points we completed the previous two weeks,  this is known as our "velocity".  After working for several months in a team you tend to get a feel from this velocity figure about how many story points you can fit into a Sprint.  So when you have all your features you sit down and story point every single one.  If you come out with 160 story points and you usually complete 40 story points a week then you can estimate 4 weeks of development time.

#5303051 Pokemon Go. Similar Ideas?

Posted by on 29 July 2016 - 12:41 AM

The GPS part of the Pokemon Go isn't unique or original.  People have been trying to make these kind of Map / GPS games since we had GPS available on mobile phone.
I can remember playing one called Triangles on my Sony Erricson back in 2005.  The thing is that other than Ingress none of them have really taken off.  

If you did a Google search for GPS games before Pokemon Go was released you would have found dozens of results (Its a bit tricky now since searching for anything to do with GPS and games will just return Pokemon Go stuff now).


In answer to your question No I don't think a large number of people would be interested in a similar game without Pokemon branding.


Ingress was OK but, at the time it was popular it was because it was owned by Google and they were pushing it onto anyone with an Android handset or a Google+ account.

Pokemon Go has done well but only because of Pokemon.  They could of released a Flappy Pikachu game and it would still have done well.

#5302893 Stackoverflow And Money

Posted by on 28 July 2016 - 04:22 AM

It is fairly accurate for a London developer working in "The City" or Canary Wharf but a little high for the majority of developers who work outside of finance.

#5302434 Help Deciding On New Language

Posted by on 25 July 2016 - 02:10 AM

You could try Monkey which is very similar to BASIC:





Or also Haxe which is also a very easy language to get to grips with:

#5298533 Is using one the switch statement better then using multiple if statements?

Posted by on 29 June 2016 - 09:49 AM

If you are using switch() statements for micro-optimizations, there are other tricks to be aware of also; putting your more-frequently used branches closer to the top of the switch() supposedly helps, though I've never tried it. 

I thought this was just an optimisation for Java.  I can remember doing it back in the 90s when porting C++ code over to Java because the C++ compiler would optimise it away but the javac compiler wouldn't.

#5294631 Code vs. drag and drop in Game Maker

Posted by on 02 June 2016 - 07:03 AM

In game maker you can do everything that you can do in gml in drag and drop.  However as Gian-Reto pointed out just because you can do such a thing doesn't mean you should do it.  Once you start developing anything more complex than "breakout" or "space invaders"  your drag and drop will become unwieldy and ultimately harder to keep track of.



That being said...there are two books that I would highly recommend for learning to make games in game maker.
The game makers apprentice.

The game makers companion.


These will take the student from starting with the the simplest games using using only drag and drop and gradually getting more and more complex and actually identify the point at which you need to ditch the drag and drop and start with the gml and then teach it from the perspective of somebody who knows dnd.

#5292424 Best Programming Language for Simple Multiplayer Sport Simulation Game

Posted by on 19 May 2016 - 01:50 AM

For a mainly online and text based game I'd go for some kind of web technology rather than a native application.


Personally I'd use HTML5 and code in Javascript which would be the path of least resistance.   There are tons of other languages and technologies around but this is the default language for getting shit done on the web.  Also you'd probably be able to speed up your development by leveraging other libraries that are available for Javascript  (like displaying charts or spreadsheet style data).

#5292261 maybe it could, possibly, this pass, do THIS sort of thing, for now

Posted by on 18 May 2016 - 06:16 AM

Do you have a producer or project manager, as well as the designer?

Yes somebody should be pruning your tasks to make sure that they are ready for development.


How are you assigned the tasks?
Are you in some kind of Agile team.

If so how can your ScrumMaster even accept a story into a Sprint without a properly defined goal / criteria.  How are QA even supposed to test this if nobody knows what it should do?



Can you not just reject the task and assign it back to the designer until they've decided what they want you to do?




In short to answer your question.  No this isn't normal and you are entirely justified in complaining about this.

#5291831 how can neural network can be used in videogames

Posted by on 16 May 2016 - 07:17 AM

Article here about how Codemasters used a Neural Net for Colin McRae rally 2:




#5291117 A Brain Dump of What I Worked on for Uncharted 4

Posted by on 11 May 2016 - 06:45 AM

Awesome thanks for sharing.  Would be nice to see this posted as an article.

#5288098 How did you learn making games?

Posted by on 22 April 2016 - 01:52 AM


I mean nowadays if you want to code you can use the Web but, you are only going to find coding stuff if you are searching for it whilst back in the early 80s it was kind of thrust in your face.

A lot of that vibe seems to be present in the Rasp.pi scene, magazines there publish Python code to hack.
Robotics also seems to catch on nowadays.



Yeah the Raspberry Pi scene is pretty awesome also the new micro:BIT that the BBC has started rolling out in schools.

#5287738 How did you learn making games?

Posted by on 20 April 2016 - 02:45 AM

What was the language you used for for first?

ZX Spectrum BASIC,  then Amiga Asm, Then C++ and Pascal


How much time did it take to learn the language? (When were you able to do on your own, a game)

Not long. Surprisingly back then in the UK programming was more readily available.  There were at least two TV programs teaching BASIC coding, several magazines, every computer games magazine had type in code listings.  Even a lot of the story books in the school library had type in adventure games in the back (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is one that I remember).  Some mainstream broadsheet newspapers also had code listings.
​The school book clubs regularly features the Usborne programming books too.

I mean nowadays if you want to code you can use the Web but, you are only going to find coding stuff if you are searching for it whilst back in the early 80s it was kind of thrust in your face.


Are you still making games?

Yes in my spare time.


Have you uploaded the game to somewhere

I have published games on the App Store and also worked on several Console games.  Any of the stuff I did in the 80s and early 90s is gone due to all medicks and stuff getting stolen in a couple of burglaries at my parents house.