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Member Since 05 May 2007
Offline Last Active Oct 16 2014 11:08 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The 2014 Steam summer sale thread.

19 June 2014 - 10:57 PM

I want to get South Park the Stick of Truth but I'll wait to see if it's going to get lower than 33% off.

In Topic: How much time do you put into programming after your day job?

15 June 2014 - 08:30 PM

These days I mostly do artwork and 3D modeling after work. I'm quite the artsy programmer myself, and after spending 8 hours programming per day, I usually don't have the juice to keep programming after work, and I'd rather relax and do some art. I'll do serious game programming on rainy the week-ends if I need to, but I have most of my game (C++) and editor (C#) already coded anyway so when I am coding after work, it's usually just to improve something that's already there, or to refactor my code and place it into reusable libraries that I can use for other projects.


Besides, I'm working at a large gaming company, and I'm pretty sure I'm operating under a "all your code are belong to us" contract, so even if I wanted to write a lot of code, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to write a lot of it while being employed there.

In Topic: Is your IDE hot or not?

14 June 2014 - 02:18 PM

I don't care a big deal about font as long as it's monospace and not stylized. (I don't want to read code in Old English!) I care a lot more about the colors than the actual fonts.


My editor of choice is Visual Studio 2013 with the dark theme and most default settings. The only change I made was making the XML doc comments another color, and the XML tags within them very dim so when I read the comments I'm not distracted by the XML formatting. I'm a library writer so I write a lot of XML doc in order to produce a clean API reference.


Other IDEs I use, I don't use them nearly enough to customize them. I use Qt Creator for Linux-specific code, but I try to write code standard enough to not have to do that in the first place. I only ever use Xcode and Eclipse when writing and debugging OSX/iOS or Android specific code, otherwise I'll just write it in VS 2013 and then use a little program that will wrap the code and send it to be compiled.

In Topic: How Many Mobile Devices Use Java Now ?

12 June 2014 - 01:14 AM

I doubt Google will be stuck in Java 6 land for that much longer, prolly they'll launch their own language or something, maybe they'll get into some sort of agreement with Oracle about JavaME, but my bet is on "Grab another existing language, extend and tailor it to Android, make sure no one will sue us for it."


I've been thinking for a few months that they should just grab Mono and show Oracle their middle finger. Of course they would never do that because .NET is a Microsoft technology and Google and Microsoft hate each other like cats and dogs and it would mean Google would use a MS tech, but I can spot at least 3 big advantages to adopting Mono:


1- C# is the closest language to Java (not counting J++ and J#) and, thanks to Java's very slow evolution over its years of existence, C# is way ahead of Java in terms of language features. What this means is that C# can do nearly everything Java does. (Speaking strictly about language capabilities; libraries are another topic.) It makes it easy to adopt C# for Java programmers.


2- Want to use native? No more annoying JNI and ugly glue code! Just make a C++/CLI project for interop with Android and code your app in native C/C++. I think you wouldn't even have to use a lib for the interop layer. I'm pretty sure there are #pragma instructions that allow you to specify what should be compiled to native and what should be compiled to managed code. So you'd make it native by default and wrap managed code with #pragma.


3- J# and it's Java compatibility library make it really ridiculously painless to reuse Java code with no (or almost no) change. It's not perfect because 1- it was an old version of Java and 2- the point of J# was to help developers migrate their apps from Microsoft's defunct Visual J++ platform to .NET which was full of Microsoft-specific language extensions. But Google could take care of making J# support standard Java 6.

In Topic: Can an employer legally own work that you create outside working hours?

08 June 2014 - 11:03 PM

Where I work it's pretty common to have people work on their "toy projects" at home, and everyone knows it. Game designers toying with Unity to try new gameplay ideas, programmers coding their own home engine at home, etc. In a few cases, we had people leave the company to work on their project full time, and then their friends still at the company even write mails to others to fund their kickstarters! Nobody cares.


The thing is, the production value of the typical indie game is orders of magnitudes below that of a triple-A title, and makes less profits by orders of magnitude as well. Unless your game turns out to be the next Angry Birds and you are sitting on top of a multi-millions IP, in that case, the big company will obviously try to get its share of the millions, companies being companies and all that. And even then, I bet a lot would be more interested to get you back to working for them and release the next game under their banner since you obviously know how to make good games. And honestly, in that case, you have already won the jackpot so as far as I'm concerned, this is a good problem to have. But if you have a more modest success, I highly doubt they'll care. They're not patent trolls.


Companies have reasonable reasons to be worried. You pay for someone's training and then he quits and joins the competition. I'm aware of a company that has paid the balance of someone's university, and right after the guy got his grad, he quit. I don't have a lot of love for ZeniMax quite the opposite (I hear it's an horrible place to work at), they basically got their senior software engineer working on a seemingly small project that suddenly became huge with Facebook's investment. Again, companies being companies, it was obvious they would sue.


On the other hand, picture that you're an indie developer working on a game on your time, and then you ask your friend programmer who works at <big game company> to help code something, and then whoops! your friend didn't think of his contract and now <big game company> supposedly owns part of your IP. To you this is nothing short of highway thievery and IP trolling. This is probably how Occulus Rift sees the whole issue. They asked for help, Carmack got interested and gave them suggestions, and now they own part of their IP and technology to Zenimax?


I'M NO LAWYER OR JUDGE, but if I were to decide in that case, I would say that Zenimax is only entitled to what was/would have been given to Carmack by Occulus. Did Occulus offer shares to Carmack for his help? And did Carmack's work contract gives Zenimax the rights on everything he did. It yes to both, then I believe Zenimax would be within its rights in claming shares for Occulus (whether it's moral is another thing), otherwise it is between Carmack and Zenimax to figure out whether there the work contract was violated, and Occulus or Facebook owes nothing to Zenimax. Again, I'M NO LAWYER, just trying to use common sense here... Which is probably futile with US IP laws, come to think about it... In any case, I hope this case goes to court because I'd like to see that kind of work clause challenged in a court of justice.


And speaking of lawyers, you should consult yours if you are working on something you find promising and have serious concerns on whether your employer would be entitled part of your hobby work.