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Member Since 14 Dec 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 13 2013 03:41 AM

Topics I've Started

International business

18 March 2013 - 01:36 PM



I have a few questions regarding international business and selling games (by digital distribution) across borders.


When you sell a game, what taxes do count? The taxes of the country you are in, the taxes of the country where the server with the website/shop is located or maybe the taxes of the customers country?

For example I know that if you are located in the EU you don't have to pay VAT for customers in other EU countries (only for customers from your own country). However if you are outside the EU and sell stuff to an EU citizen, you would have to add the VAT of the customers country (at least that's what the EU want's, I don't know if any non-EU company actually pays these taxes or if everybody ignores their demands).



Same problem with the age verification. What law does apply, the customers country law (which would mean for a product that's sold worldwide you would have to get dozens of age verifications) or the law of the server where the transaction is done (as above) or the law of the country where the company is registered?


It is pretty expensive to get an age verification in some countries (at least for a small developer) and you are practically forced to do it (by law). However could I just setup my server in a less strict country and avoid the costs of getting an age verification?


Another problem is that you have quite different things that will get censored depending on the country which law applies. E.g. we Germans are crazy about violence or anything related to our not so bright recent history (showing a swastika in a non-documentary is not only a no-go, it's against law in many circumstances). While US Americans and Japanese seem to be afraid of sex, prostitution, alkohol (what's with the bottle in the bag, everybody knows it's supposed to be alkohol, who are you kidding?), drugs and many other fun things. And even other countries will have other stuff that can't be sold (india and kashmir and so on).


Note: registering the hole company in another country would only possible by leaving my country, since in most regards they will assume that it's a local company and tax you like one if the command and control is living here. I'm assuming that in that case they will also apply all the other laws to the company as if it's a local one.


Disclaimer: I'm not planning on releasing wierd stuff and let kids play it. And I believe it's right to protect children from certain stuff.


It's just so expensive. Take a look at the usk page http://www.usk.de/en/extramenue/login/publisher/material/cost-overview/ some of the stuff is to be payed regularily, e.g. per year other stuff is to be payed for each piece of software (imagine episodic content or many small low priced games). And still you would have to make sure that people don't enter your website that are to young. Do you know how expensive it is to get a customers verified age? (Aside from the time it takes to actually get it, which sucks if someone just want's to buyand start playing your game.)



Maybe you have some expirience and can give me a few hints. I know if I do actually start a company I will have to get a lawyer, but until the I would like to collect as much information as possible. Some of the stuff might influence what's in the business plan, so I would like to know a bit more before I write those sections.


Thank you in advance.

payment provider, in-game purchase and payment

16 March 2013 - 06:09 AM



this is a somewhat newbish question, but I'm trying to find out a bit more about payment, payment providers and so on.

I've found a lot of payment providers with various options. But none that sounds right for myself. Do you have any experience with payment providers you would like to share (things like, what to look at, where you have to be carefull)?


At the moment I'm actually looking for a provider that does in-game payments. The problem is, the existing ones are almost all geared towards web developers (html, actionscript or java).

I don't want my players to go out of the game to purchase stuff on a website just to get back in the game to see what they have purchased and I don't want to add an in-game browser just to show the providers payment page.


Do you know any payment providers that allow the developer to collect the data in their own form and then go from there?


Did you ever used a payment provide for purchase of in-game items or did you find an alternative?


And one more question, what do you think about credit cards? Accepting payments by credit card is pretty expensive for the merchant and in many countries credit cards aren't that common (e.g. in Germany many people don't have a credit card, myself included, most people only get one when travelling). Would you just ignore the whole credit card payment stuff and rely on other payment methods or do you elive it's essential to accept credit card payments?


Well, I guess that's all at the moment. I would love to hear what you're thinking.


font rendering

20 January 2013 - 06:30 AM



I have a few questions regarding OpenGL font rendering. But to generalize it:

1. What's the current state of art regarding font rendering in OpenGL?


I have many sub-questions as well as many own ideas and requirements, but I would like to hear how you do it and what the advantages/disadvantages are.


2. Are you using textured quads, tesselated outlines, maybe distance fields or something entirely different?

3. Can you scale your text freely or are you limited to a (few) fixed size fonts?

4. How cross platform is it?

5. Does your way of rendering fonts support vertex buffers or are you using the fixed function pipeline?

6. What about internationalization, do you support any language as long as the font contains the required characters or do you only support a fixed set of languages?

7. How hard was it to implement/build your solution?



For my own project I guess I would use tesselated outline fonts. Because of their scalability, the potential to use the vertex shader to transform them and because you can use the same anti-aliasing as you do for your other geometry.

I already started by building a small tool that creates a mesh for each glyph in a font. The tool will be used offline in the build step and the meshes shipped with the game, since I believe just loading a few thousand meshes is faster than tesselating them on the users computer. It's also much more deterministic, since I won't have to rely on the glu tessellator installed on the users computer and can test for exact output.

Now I do plan on using SIL Graphite to generate the positions for each glyph, that way I do have the same support for languages on all platforms that graphite supports. Even minority scripts in case I would really like to translate my project into some language that the operating system is not supporting.

That's my plan so far. Maybe when I have time I will actually put it in action.


Tile-based games. What kind of tiles? squares, hexagons, triangles?

09 January 2013 - 11:12 AM



I was wondering, what are the pros and cons of the various tile formats.



+ as easy as it gets

+ simple movement

+ both horizontal and vertical movement as well as diagonal movement can be a straight line

- looks sometimes squarish

- diagonal movement is not the same as horizontal or vertical



+ often look better than squares (maybe a bit subjective)

+ movement to any neighbour is always the same distance

- movement is more complicated than on a grid of squares

- on some situations picking can also be more complicated

- more possible combinations required because a tile can have up to 6 instead of 4 different tiles (materials/ground) as neighbours

- vertical or horizontal movement can be a straight line, but not both



+ less combinations, only three neighbours

+ movement to any neighbour is always the same distance

- movement can be a bit more strange than on a grid of squares, same with picking

- vertical or horizontal movement can be a straight line, but not both

- on some situations picking can also be more complicated

- never seen it in use, only for hextile games as subtiles


One thing I'm especially interested in is why people choose hextiles over triangles?

Is it just easier for the artists or is there another reason?

In my eyes triangles do have the same cons as triangles, however tringles can have at most three different neighbours which means the artists wouldn't have to make as many combinations as with hextiles.


Do you know of any examples that used triangular tiles (excluding the triangles used for actual rendering)?

Localizing procedural content

04 October 2012 - 03:31 PM


I would love to know if anyone tried to create some kind of procedural content, that had to be translated/localized.

Lately I was thinking about generating things like settlements, persons, houses with various attributes.
But one thing I really don't find an elegant solution for is naming things.

One could generate one or very few variations and translate them.
- Localization can be done by professionals.
- If you have only 1 or 10 generated world, you can bug test them much better. If you have 1 million you can only do general stuff.
- You could just skip the hole generatin thing and do custom content, which is ofter of higher quality.

Or maybe a multilingual name generator:
- Practically unlimited number of variations.
- Working with translators could become difficult.
- Quality might not be so great.

Maybe you can find more pros and cons for each of the above.

Idea for a multilingual name generator:
Lets assume the object that you wish to name has a few attributes. E.g. a settlement has climate, population and culture, history, ...
Now one could tag the building blocks of the name generator and can provide the translation for the building block instead of hole names.

Population: 300 human, 5 dogs, whatever your settlement generator is giving you... (Culture would probably be most interesting.)
Age: 400 years
Origin: Mining camp (maybe with the ressoucre mined)

Your application could now take those attributes and choose the appropriate tags.
Let's say the following tags are choosen:
Village (by population size, don't know if this would be correct), New (400 isn't that old), Mine

Your name generator could then radomly choose a tag and use it to create a name.
Cheap example the generator has choosen New. Now you can add the appropriate Prefix ord Suffix to the stem.
Choosen stem "York". Choosen Tag New. For English add "New " as prefix, resulting in "New York"

Now the important part, for other Languages the Generator wont generate new names.
It will use the same stem (translated) and choose the same tags.
E.g. in German it would add "Neu" as prefix, but theg tag would be the same.

Could this work? Or do you think it would become a nightmare?
How hard would it be to handle more than two languages?

Best regards,