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Member Since 08 Feb 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 04:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Best C# engine for beginners

03 November 2014 - 02:46 AM

I want to second HappyCoder's recommendation to look at MonoGame. It will allow you to get to grips with the technology as you need to use it, without presenting you with a flood of options. It will, however, require more work and an appreciation for working in the code. It will also require you to consider how games are put together, from an underlying technology standpoint, rather than simply how you can implement your mechanics and content.


However, if you want to work in 3D and use C#, then Unity is a good choice. It has some idiosyncrasies, many of which I dislike, but it's a solid piece of technology that can help you create almost any game idea and will, at least, help you learn how such technologies work. Just being able to identify the aspects you like and dislike will be a great advantage in considering game development.


Otherwise, I have heard that you may be able to use Mono with Unreal now. Does anyone have more knowledge about this?

In Topic: Dual-Purpose Transform Hierarchy (2D)

03 November 2014 - 01:58 AM

Hi HappyCoder,


I have thought about this approach and, instinctually, I don´t like it. However, it does seem like a good idea at this stage. As it stands, the GameObject class keeps track of a a GameObjectID (name and hashed integer ID), a handful of flags, and a velocity.  I'll almost certainly add an optional collection of collider components, and I'm considering adding an optional physics component, but I may keep that away from the base class and simply have objects which require physics to instantiate their own component and subscribe to the physics system. So the overhead shouldn't be too high.


The reason I don't like the approach is because I will certainly create a number of object types, most often GUI devices, which need to track a number of sub-objects such as labels or frames. Some of these could be achieved easily without a Transform, but in many cases a Transform would be easier. Certainly I could make these sub-game-objects, but conceptually I prefer them treated as a single object. However, considering I don't currently have a better solution it may be that this is the approach I'll need to adopt.

In Topic: Player character emotion.

02 November 2014 - 09:55 PM

I simply wished to comment that you appear to be seeking to impose the stages of grief upon the player. This is an interesting concept that I've played with before. However, it is important to note that the 'five stages' Kubler-Ross model has drawn some very valid criticism. Most importantly, not all people experience the same stages nor is the order necessarily consistent. Furthermore, it is quite possible to move back and forth between stages, rather than progress in a linear manner.


This doesn't invalidate presenting the stages sequentially, but it does raise some problems for any attempt to impart those same emotional states onto the player, as the player may react differently to the events of the game than would be predicted by the model. As general recommendations, I would recommend attempting to impart the stages vicariously, rather than by, or in concert with, observation of the character's emotions or by emotive techniques such as music.


People react very differently to the emotional state of others than they do to direct emotional stimula. As noted, we also cannot necessarily predict a player's reactions to direct emotional stimuli, at least with respect to complex reactions such as the 'stages of grief.' So, I propose two possible solutions. Firstly, attempt to engender in the player a direct connection with the character or, secondly, break down the stages of grief into their components.


People react differently to emotional stimuli because they process that stimuli in different ways. They have different thought processes, memories and learned behaviours that they use in processing stimuli and formulating both an emotional and practical response. One way to overcome these differences is to attempt to standardise them by providing the player direct insight into the character's "emotional pipeline." If you can convey to the player the reasoning behind the character's response, and the factors being considered in concert, then the player will have a lens through which they can respond, and very closely empathise with the character. This can be done using a variety of reasonably simple techniques. Cutscenes and flashbacks, for their flaws, allow the player to construct a narrative and emotional context. Techniques can be more subtle, such as flashed imagery, voice over, momentary audio cues or even as simple as demonstrating changes in expression in response to stimuli. Text, diegetic or otherwise, can be quite effective.


The alternate approach is to break down the response you wish to illicit into its components. Bargaining, for example, requires the player to have accepted the fact of an imminent problem. The player must be emotionally motivated to avoid the consequences of that problem. However, the player must maintain a (tenuous) illusion that this fate is avoidable. In short, the three primary requirements are a belief that, in this case, death is imminent; some frustration at the failure of efforts to change the course of the game; and a belief that there remains some option to pursue. This last point might have significant game-play implications. By attempting to construct the response you desire, rather than provoke it, you can once again somewhat bypass the differences between people. I believe that game-play will have a much larger role in this approach, as the stages of grief require a perceived degradation of agency.


Anyway, my apologies for such a long post with only a handful of actual (obvious) techniques. I hope that it might be somewhat helpful.

In Topic: Best C# engine for beginners

02 November 2014 - 09:31 PM

If you can't say what you don't like about Unity then there's no guarantee you won't equally dislike the alternatives presented here. It would be worth devoting some thought to the matter.

In Topic: What can we do to help remove the industry misconception?

17 October 2014 - 08:31 PM

We can't fix it. The problem extends all the way down to early education and pervades all aspects of all modern cultures with which I'm familiar. The truth of the situation is complex. It's nuanced. That is something that people despise. Each camp seeks desperately to cling to a simplistic picture of the situation in which they are right and their opponents are wrong. The debate is, and will be, framed in such a way that only idiots or monsters could possible disagree with the position being proffered. Most people simply lack the objectivity and maturity to discuss the situation in a productive, reasonable manner and doing so, among those who lack those qualities, will make you the enemy of all sides.


As for what we CAN do, it's simple. Rather, it's a simple principle but exceedingly complex in practice. We do what is right and treat people fairly. When we see others failing to do so, we call them out on it. We don't generalise and we don't promote different treatment on the basis of gender. Instead we seek to correct those who act inappropriately, and exclude them if they refuse to change. Beyond that all I can recommend is that we don't inflame the situation and seek a solution rather than vindication or rhetorical point scoring (this isn't aimed at anyone in this discussion).


In my view, sexism in the industry and, just as importantly, the consumer base is a huge problem. However, the response has often been unreasonable and damaging. People also try to attach a range of other issues in order to add credibility or, alternatively, label all criticism as misogyny/SJW in order to avoid dealing with it.