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Member Since 18 Oct 2007
Offline Last Active Jun 28 2014 06:45 PM

#5160450 What to do now?

Posted by Satharis on 14 June 2014 - 01:36 AM

What advice would you like to give me?

Set realistic goals.

It sounds like you're either getting frustrated or just tired of working on the same project. Spending 5 months just getting rendering working is a little strange to be honest, unless you've been working at it VERY rarely.

What I would do:

-Decide if you're fine with adding a lot more code to your game, if you are, then sit down and figure out what your goals are with your game. If you're having trouble deciding what to work on then do the "what would I play" test, think about the order of things you can add to your game that will make it fun to play around with. Is the game going to have enemies to shoot? Well networking is probably second of importance then if you can't even shoot enemies or be killed yet. Is it all networked and only PVP? Networking is probably a higher priority then so you can start testing the actual mechanics.

-If you feel like you're gonna snap if you keep working on your game for much longer, then sit down and think how you could round the game off. You could probably do without sound for example, or some very basic sound, focus on adding the few features to the game to make it more like a game. If anything the worst part of putting months of work into a project is the temptation to just abandon it, at least make it so when you pop it open again in the future it acts like a game.

Personally I would focus on making the shooting game have actual shooting and defeating enemies before the other stuff, add stuff either in gameplay order or in the order that most interests you if you're working by yourself.

#5159709 I hate my code....How do you structure your code for a game?

Posted by Satharis on 11 June 2014 - 02:55 AM

In my opinion the most important thing you need to tell yourself while coding(at least the one that bothers me the most) is that your code won't ever be perfect.

Personally if I don't end up rewriting lots of code or second guessing myself I at least THINK about doing it. A lot of people preach a lot of best practices here, and they are good to follow, but in reality the only real rule about coding a game is that the game has to work. Its a thing that a lot of us tend to forget and get hung up a lot on specifics. A lot of code for AAA games that seem all professional and nice are tangled webs of awfulness sporting every bad coding practice you ever have seen.

So basically, even if it nags at you crazy that you are being a bad coder, just try to focus on making it work and then thinking of ways to improve it later on.

#5158273 Is working in terminal/console really a waste of time?

Posted by Satharis on 04 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

It was not my intent for this to become a language/ide/OS flame war. I simply wanted to see if I was being antiquated in not agreeing with his point of view. I have always thought of anything you can program as a learning experience, but saw so many say it was a waste that I started to wonder. This thread has made me realize that I'm not antiquated at all, but seem to be among many that think it is a very good thing to learn if only just to have the experience. Thank you all for your feedback on that matter.

The whole "everything is worth learning" line is rather nonsense in reality. If we all had unlimited lives and unlimited time that might ring true but the reality is in many cases, especially when teaching yourself, that you are going to sacrifice learning one thing in order to learn another.

There is the completely realistic possibility that a new programmer could spend 6 months making console based games when they could have been making 2d ones instead, and although they would likely have learned a few things making those console games, I would say the experience gained from making the graphical one would be much more beneficial in the long run.

More experience always tends to be helpful, but not if it has opportunity cost. Its not like making console games past the very basics of learning a language is like learning arithemtic for math. You don't need to know how to make a roguelike in order to make a graphical game. Everything is worth learning but some things are more valuable to your productivity than others, if your goal is to make 3D games you don't necessarily need to master the console to begin that.

#5158044 Do all 2D games do this?

Posted by Satharis on 04 June 2014 - 03:05 AM

2) How do I know how many tiles my computer is capable of rendering?

You might as well be asking us how far you can throw a baseball. Even if we knew specific details about you it is very hard to quantify such a thing, there are too many variables involved. Nobody really "knows" how much fps you'll get in different situations, thats why performance is often guaged off of benchmarking on a few different hardware setups.

A better line of thinking is to draw as many as you want, and if you run into performance problems then look at your options(cutting down on rendering, improving performance through profiling, etc.)

#5156851 how to design my programs and games structure?

Posted by Satharis on 29 May 2014 - 05:50 PM

Structure is probably the entire challenge of programming IMO. When you know what you want to do its usually trivial to just write out the directions to do it, designing how everything will come together is really the heart of the puzzle.

#5156655 Selecting a new slot for an item in an inventory.

Posted by Satharis on 29 May 2014 - 02:42 AM

You probably should seriously reconsider your code design if you need a comment on every line or every few lines explaining what each thing is doing. Even if your code is meant to be a tutorial or something its a little overboard.

The only time you should really have to use comments in code is to explain -intent- of something rather than trying to write out what an actual line of code is doing. It makes a lot more sense to explain that a couple lines of code are a safeguard against potential hacks than it does to write a couple lines of comments explaining that line 27 puts some object into a list for some reason and then line 29 loops through it looking for some character you don't want, or whatever your case may be.

I recently commented on a similar topic to this about inventory in a game, as was stated above the presentation should really be seperate from the data, thats a concept that is very common in game development. Pretty much everything can be split up into: receive input, do logic, present results.

#5155313 How to make a simple unity2d inventory system

Posted by Satharis on 22 May 2014 - 07:21 PM

This question would probably best be asked on a Unity related forum, I don't have Unity experience in particular but a bit of advice about a generic inventory system.


Usually an inventory is little more than an array/collection of references to game objects, the actual implementation of building the inventory itself doesn't have anything to do with graphics or the platform really. Usually you'd make a class that represents an inventory, it'd have specific "interface" methods that allow you to interact with the inventory(sort it, add items to it, remove items, get an item in a particular slot) and your player object or something may contain an inventory object as part of its definition.


The only real part that would really be different in unity would be the graphical aspect, this varies a lot based on the game. For instance if you wanted to do something like Minecraft or a typical MMO or something where you have a "slot" based inventory where you drag pictures around, then you'd have an object representing an image slot of an item that could be dragged between slots in an inventory gui window, releasing an item would instruct the inventory to move the item(in code) so on, so forth.


The mechanical backend of any inventory will be similar across the board however, that should give you an idea of where to begin looking at least.

#5148428 Can a non-programmer make games?

Posted by Satharis on 20 April 2014 - 05:46 PM

Even if you don't code, for the tiny bits you might need, game coders are usually cheap or free. No-one gets a nobel prize for game coding, it's just not that hard.
Knowing about coding certainly helps a lot though.

Yes I just smack a rock against my monitor and code appears, who would ever possibly pay for that?

Sometimes I even smack a rock against my monitor for significantly more hours than other programmers while what I'm doing requires 10x the rock smashing complexity of anything they ever will, they even pay me less!

Its a good thing there are silly people like me around that like to smack rocks against screens.

#5148328 Why is the first spritesheet laid out like this? Seems harder to read the spr...

Posted by Satharis on 20 April 2014 - 03:59 AM

DiegoSLTS is incorrect in saying that texture atlases (did I mention that “sprite-sheet” is a term reserved for the uninformed?) did not exist in old days. Since the dawn of time texture swaps were expensive so texture-atlasing was one of the earliest and most primitive optimizations there was. Yes, they only read 8×8 blocks from them, so drawing Mario took 2 calls, but the calls read from the same texture. When newbies take screenshots and put together texture atlases (or as monkeys call them, “sprite sheets”) they may use whole characters in each sprite (that is why they are monkeys amateurs)

I must be a monkey then because I much prefer the term sprite sheet to texture atlas, not to mention texture wasn't(as far as I know) a term even used until about the time they invented the first primitive texture mapping to 3D geometry.

but professionals are much more efficient. Mario’s head would only be in 1 8×8 block, then a bunch of different lower 8×8 body parts. It would all still be part of the same texture atlas.

I'd have to call you insane here, there was nothing "professional" about the folks who developed mario, in fact mario was developed at a time where software(games in particular) was in such infancy that a lot of basement hackers had the same or better knowledge and skills than people working in offices with others. Really, Mario Bros came out, what, 9 years after Nintendo even got into video games at all? Heck it was Miyamato's like, 7th game he even worked on.

Not to mention the need to take such minimalistic approach to blitting had nothing to do with them wanting to be efficient it was because space was such a commodity that it made way more sense to split up characters into fragments instead of copying entire sprites for each pose.

These days there isn't much practical reason to not having entire character poses as a single sprite on a sheet. A lot of things done in early games were either to save work or for practical efficiency. There's a reason that almost every 2d game has side views of characters being mirrored(amazing how Link always holds his sword facing you!)

Did I mention that “sprite sheet” is a term that apes use to refer to inefficient texture atlases?
We are not apes on this site. We range from enthusiastic to authoritative, and we know better than to use child terminology.

My what amazingly aggressive and insulting wording for no real reason. You're also completely wrong there are a large number of people here that are either complete amateurs, indies, develop rarely or even are just people that stumbled in here from Google. I wouldn't even hold all the moderators to the standards of an AAA developer or something, because it just isn't true.

That said there are a lot of talented people on here and at the least quite a number that have decent knowledge on coding/general game development subjects.

#5148295 Negatives to Triple Buffering?

Posted by Satharis on 19 April 2014 - 11:38 PM

So both via Google and forum searching I've come up on wildly varying information about triple buffering and its impact, I'm trying to figure out what the legitimate information is.

I've read everything from it causing input lag(I don't see how it can) to even John Carmack tweeting that it is horrible and causes "lag and jitter" but again I don't see any reason why that would be. From an implementation standpoint it should always give higher FPS with vsync enabled(unless you're at the max fps for your refresh rate) correct?

I've also read conflicting information on whether D3D supports it, despite the fact dx11 and dxgi seem to be able to use more than one backbuffer and have different swap methods.

Guess my question is if there is any actual lag and what would cause that, along with how much of that is just misinformation.

#5148077 Can a non-programmer make games?

Posted by Satharis on 19 April 2014 - 01:20 AM

Usually coding will come up in one way or another. For instance even RPG maker has a few different series of more "casual-ish" rpgs like Aveyond(that have made some pretty good money as far as I can tell.) Game maker is the same way really. The thing is even using progressively more tools that remove the coding requirement, you'll probably have to learn some scripting at the least if you want to put unique behavior in your game.

Coding is always kind of there it just matters how much you'll delve into it. Of course there is an ENORMOUS gap in the knowledge required to throw a game together with an existing tool vs starting from scratch or libraries. Like Apoch said, if it really became an issue you could always look for someone to collaborate with.

Learning a little coding knowledge isn't bad though, it helps give more perspective on games and works your brain to react to logic better.

EDIT: If you're not much of a programmer there's always the possibility of switching your major. Just do what you're happy with, not what you think will be the best thing.

#5148029 Great laptop for game development? (Budget of +1200,- euros)

Posted by Satharis on 18 April 2014 - 06:34 PM

Are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you just not reading the posts you respond to?

I could say the same about half the things both you and him have replied with.

Not that arguing with people that are utterly biased has any real merit in the first place. I don't really care anyway, if you're happy being more limited and spending more money, by all means.

#5147948 Great laptop for game development? (Budget of +1200,- euros)

Posted by Satharis on 18 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

First off, my initial post in this thread wasn't to the OP, it was to you.  Specifically to your comment that you couldnt run Unreal Engine on one, to which I replied that was wrong, I can run UE just fine on both of my laptops.

Fortunately I'm not considering such an extravagent purchase as a baseline of whether or not most laptops can run a game engine. Not to mention that's being very vague, running the game engine isn't the same as having to say, run a game, developed with the engine, especially at high settings if you were doing any development related specifically to the visuals.

I was not recommending either of them specifically to the OP.  My only other comment was if you get a solid GPU, game development on a laptop is no problem at all.

Unfortunately that's a completely vague statement and would depend a lot on what you need to do in your development, god forbid you're doing engine development wherein performance requirements are probably higher than would be expected later on.

I'm not saying its impossible to develop games on a laptop I'm saying if that's the ONLY thing you do it on then you really should not pander all your advice to that statement, because a lot of people DON'T do that.

Everything else is a matter of taste and perspective.  *YOU* dont see that value in a Razer nor in portability.  Obviously many others do.

Luckily I'm not one of those "the consumer knows best" people. I wouldn't say that most of the later COD series games are "great" games just because a bunch of people buy them just like I wouldn't say that Razer laptops are a "good" product just because people buy them. People waste their money all the time, people buy alienware desktops that cost 3x the same price as the parts do, all the time.

Yes, you can get a better speced laptop for cheaper than the Razer... now find me one with the same weight, form factor and quality of finish.  You cant.

Weight? From what I can tell the Razer laptops are 4.4 pounds roughly, the same weight as most laptops. The heavier ones are lucky to go past 5 pounds. Form factor is one thing they market, its slightly thinner from top to bottom than a standard laptop, if that really is worth dropping all that money on, heh, yeah okay. Same with the finish, I would find it hilarious if you're actually suggesting it is a great value to pay that much more money for what is basically a pretty case. Apple thinking there.

Apparently *you* dont value portability while others do.  Sometimes portability means simply being able to move it 10 feet from the office to the couch instead of across the country.  There are other advantages to laptops that you are overlooking other than portability.  If you lived on campus you would certainly realize that compactness is certainly one.  Integration is another ( speakers, keyboard, monitor, mouse, UPS all in one package ).  Generally quality is another advantage in laptop favours, especially on the higher end.  Finally, and once you start paying the hydro bills you will appreciate power usage as well.

You don't go to college forever(at least I hope not) in fact in general most people are not going to be developing games at college, which is almost the entire basis for why someone would pay for an expensive laptop rather than just a second rate one that works fine for taking notes and browsing and other stuff. I think you're being mildly delusional here in taking me as saying that laptops are useless. Which honestly leaves me not even really wanting to take your arguments seriously because at this point they just sound like you trying to back up spending your money.

Finally the concept of external mouse, monitor and keyboard seem to be completely alien to you.  I am currently typing this on an external keyboard, with a logitch g700 mouse on a 27" monitor.  See, when I am home I have all the luxuries of working on a full sized computer.  However, unlike you, if I wanted to I could take it out on my deck right now, or throw it in my backpack and head to the coffeeshop, or throw it in my luggage and go across the country.  Or I could sit here and play every single current generation game on high settings.

If you actually read my posts, which you clearly aren't, I've mentioned external keyboards and mice multiple times. I also mentioned their problems and why they are the complete opposite to portable. I find it kind of funny if you think it is portable to drag a bulky usb keyboard and mouse to the coffee shop. The mouse I can understand, sure, that's tiny. The keyboard not so much, and also takes up real estate since it has to be -behind- the laptop's keyboard, rather than off of to the side or something like the mouse. You're talking about needing a big table or counter to even set the laptop up on.

#5147874 SVG - Anybody using Scalable Vector Graphics and how?

Posted by Satharis on 18 April 2014 - 07:20 AM

Keep in mind you can use vector just for the art side of things and export different resolutions as bitmaps if you want. You don't actually have to render as vector in game to gain benefits from it.

#5147870 Great laptop for game development? (Budget of +1200,- euros)

Posted by Satharis on 18 April 2014 - 06:54 AM

I prefer a laptop in all cases, because it means I am not chained to a desk. Sometimes I want to write some code at the bar, relax on the couch while I play a game, or watch netflix from bed... None of those use-cases are fulfilled by a desktop.

Completely opposite from me, but hey, to each their own.

I work out of a branch office on the East Coast, which means travelling to the main corporate offices on the West coast at least every other month.

That is a LOT of travel quite honestly.

I'd actually argue that your slavish devotion to the Desktop places you in a dying breed - a breed who values minor savings over practicality.

Here is where you are completely wrong, not only do I do what I do by choice but I find a desktop much more practical than a laptop. I prefer to have a large monitor, I also like being able to leave my desktop on nearly all the time, even putting a laptop in hibernate mode constantly you end up either having to charge it a lot or have it tethered to a wall anyway. Gaming on a laptop of any serious variety also puts enormous strain on the laptop so the battery will go down like a joke unless, again, tethered to wall. I personally can't stand the tiny laptop keyboards, coding on one would drive me insane even if I can deal with using it for brief periods of time. I'd rather not have to lug around a big USB keyboard and mouse while trying to maintain the portability of the laptop. Seems kinda counter-intuitive.

Also, minor savings? You can pay about 900 dollars for the same specs as an 1800 dollar laptop, at least if you go off of Razer's prices. Even a more reasonable laptop, double the price almost is not a minor savings in my book, that's ridiculously substantial. Another point, upgradability. I can swap out a video card and get a performance boost while a laptop is essentially stuck with whatever it was developed with. Also, if you know of a laptop that runs any sort of substantial games on it without getting hot as an oven I would love to see it.

You can buy a cheap laptop for a few hundred dollars, or a plausible development machine for a couple of grand. That's roughly the same order of magnitude as the equivalent desktop machines, and the convenience cannot be overstated.

I would love to see where laptops are purchased for a few hundred dollars unless you're talking bottom of the barrel here. Honestly I would buy a desktop if they were MORE than a laptop, for the reasons I stated above. The price just puts ten more nails in the coffin for me.

I hope you're not going to tell me PC gaming is dead and the future is mobile next while you're at it. I honestly barely know anyone that doesn't favor their desktop over their laptops.