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lithos

Member Since 20 Apr 2009
Offline Last Active Oct 18 2013 05:57 PM

#5074409 Approaching career as a lead designer

Posted by lithos on 01 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

If you don't see more than 1 of yourself being useful to a 3-5 member team(Meaning 1 to 3 other people with different skill sets).   You're not going to be a designer for a small team.

 

Look at joining other teams.   There is a positive side about this that small-indy/hobby games fail frequently, and often.   Which means you're going to be able to get onto 2 to 5 of them in a year of time.   So this is going to get you two very valuable things: first you can learn from others mistakes, you also meet people that are actually useful(so you know who to contact later).




#5073306 Sectors & battles (strategy)

Posted by lithos on 27 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

 

While it will make things more of a pain one thing the modern military is concerned about is where to put the latest technology and newest equipment.

I'm not sure how to approach this. And what level of control over military to give to the player (the game is about being a space emperor, so military can't preoccupy you fully).

 

Should there be different kind of fleets (units composition)? Or should the player just decide what percentage of fleet (where each fleet has identical composition, just different amount of ships) should be positioned in a sector?

 

 

If I were playing a board game I'd expect there to just be a simple token that says +10% bonus to an attribute of the fleet(number of units, attack/defense power, or just changing how the AI will approach/flee the fleet).

 

I personally would limit the player to having only one of them(that can be rebuilt/reclaimed after making a new fleet).   Essentially you'll make it more valuable, and don't get false optimizations from the player getting more than they should.




#5072565 How to Publish a PC Game and make a money from it

Posted by lithos on 24 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

There is A LOT of helpful advice around.

 

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/business/breaking-into-the-industry/advice-for-aspiring-indie-game-developers-r3231  And other articles on this site.

http://www.gamasutra.com/  So many articles here and other advice, and many sister sites to help you even more.




#5072458 Sectors & battles (strategy)

Posted by lithos on 24 June 2013 - 04:33 AM

While it will make things more of a pain one thing the modern military is concerned about is where to put the latest technology and newest equipment.




#5066885 Entity storage, ArrayList or HashMap?

Posted by lithos on 02 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

You can do both.  

 

When you put something in a list you're putting the reference in there, rather than the object(A reference tends to be 32-64 bits, but the size isn't guaranteed.  And references to other parts of the list and management won't hurt you too badly).    

 

If you can only do one it's trivial(though resource intensive) to convert a Hash Table/Map to an Array List with collections.




#5066285 Protecting an idea

Posted by lithos on 30 May 2013 - 06:51 PM

http://www.gameproducer.net/2011/12/17/heres-why-i-cannot-steal-your-game-idea-even-if-you-want-me-to/




#5065390 Java 2D Programming

Posted by lithos on 27 May 2013 - 08:15 PM

Generally you're going to be setting up a game loop.    Then in that game loop you're going to be updating everything, drawing everything on a buffer image, and then drawing that image onto the screen.

 

The game loop is just a purposeful infinite loop that manages timing and forces itself to "pause" so that the java thread scheduler can let other threads like controls(key/mouse input) and drawing the screen to run.   Your game loop also needs to be the absolute boss, so things like a player pressing keys need to be a "request" if it happens outside the game loop.   That logic will make it a bit easier to track down bugs since you won't have a key control event happening in the middle of your gameloop/logic processing.

 

You're drawing on a buffer image to save a little bit of time.   Essentially the process of drawing on an image in RAM takes a lot less CPU time than drawing on the screen.   Also with the wrong threading drawing straight onto the screen means the player could see the screen blip with half the objects drawn.

 

http://www.cokeandcode.com/index.html?page=tutorials

 

http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/game-loops/24220/view.html\

 

http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/basic-game/21919/view.html

 

http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/2136/Double-buffer-in-standard-Java-AWT

 

http://www.apl.jhu.edu/Notes/LMBrown/courses/605-481/notes/Concurrent-Programming/Double-Buffer-Example.html




#5064747 Why cards in a game design?

Posted by lithos on 25 May 2013 - 05:39 AM

Because it's understandable and familiar.   Everyone just knows how a deck of cards work, so when a player gets lucky/not they don't get upset(where as if you hid it was played as a deck of cards they'd see the game playing against them).




#5045994 Advice needed for Game design university selection

Posted by lithos on 23 March 2013 - 11:25 AM

Just make sure you look at the universities hire rates.




#5040108 What would you make armour out of?

Posted by lithos on 06 March 2013 - 01:59 PM

Paper armor did exsist in Asia.   However it was very very tightly compressed paper that was lacquered every layer, and depending on the culture with leather as well.

 

However often times it was used as a ceremonial armor, that was functional in the sense that it stopped arrows, was warm, and was really light.




#5030127 Lone wolf indie devs and making a living

Posted by lithos on 08 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

About Minecraft, it's also easy to forget that while he was alone at the start, and he managed to get people interested in it enough to start give him cash before it was done, it was not until he had the cash to hire a team that he was actually able to finish it.

 

And afaik he did have help with art and sound already before that.

 

There are really not that many true "lonewolf" developers out there that are successful these days.

 

He also had an established community that liked sandbox games from his development of WurmOnline.   On his 7 year "stint" on WurmOnline the game developed vocal community that liked crafting and world building, and got "outposts" from other major communities like Something Awful, MMORPG.com, 4Chan...   Notch also invested heavily into contest communities like the Java4K contest, and just other random places.  Communities and interest that lead to early investment, interest and gameplay feedback on minecraft as he developed it.    All which eventually allowed talk to happen about minecraft all over the Internet, which lead to features on news sites like Rock Paper Shotgun and similar.

 

Minecraft wasn't about burst and boom that most other people have seen.   It was about a slow build up to critical mass from a wide assortment of fans, and an obscene amount of community participation by the developer himself, experience the developer learned from a lot of hard work elsewhere.

 

edit:  In other words even with one developer, it was laughably not lone wolf.




#5017550 Getting team members and NDA

Posted by lithos on 04 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

If the IP rights of someone works transfers to you in some way, California requires you to pay for their time(min-wage to market prices depending) if you ever end up in a court dispute with them for any reason. Other states and countries have similar laws hidden around as well.

Really an NDA works both ways since you're acknowledging time/effort. At some levels.
__________

As for a personal level, if I'm given an NDA for "hobby time" I pretty much just laugh in real life then send a polite E-Mail saying I'm not interested. While it's unlikely an NDA is ever used at the "free indy" level, they can be Interpreted as the "owner" of the NDA having monopoly rights in particular fields against the person(IE: I'm putting myself at risk if I make another RPG, even if I never contributed to yours or used anything or yours because I signed an NDA).
___________

That said if you're doing something for money, it's going to involve money and legal work.

If you're working with Hobby Time just work with unrestrictive licenses for all work(CC, WTFPL, or whatever else), and plan on disputes over ownership/similar/direction in the future(Really people usually just disappear).


#5014960 How to recruit programmers?

Posted by lithos on 27 December 2012 - 09:47 PM

Lots of programmers with somewhat finished games that need art.




#5008165 Space game ideas

Posted by lithos on 07 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

Why is it upgrades for a ship that gets you further.

Even on one planet it's a PRETTY BIG DEAL moving from country to country, sure you can go plenty of places but not just anywhere or at least being able to do something useful anywhere on the planet. To make things worse your character has a spaceship, that's pretty much like saying "Hi I'm moving from country to country but I'm bringing several thousand people with, is probably the "mega-artillery of the future", and probably follows robinson's/jon's laws* ". Now you get to scarier things like import/export laws, bacteria/viral infections, taxes, paperwork, and racism...

Here's a nice website to consider if you ever want to research a space game, it's pretty disappointing more developers don't use it: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/


*Robinson's - Anything reaching 3KM(2Mi)/second packs it's own weight in TNT of explosive power on impact Jon's- Any sufficiently interesting form or propulsion is a weapon of mass destruction(IE cut other ships in half, move space stations out of orbit, set atmospheres on fire, and similar without remotely trying).


#4994560 How to Unsettle a Player

Posted by lithos on 27 October 2012 - 04:20 PM

Changing the players animation when something is about to happen. IE the players avatar senses it and the hint is it getting tense, and similar.

Having the players decide between fast areas that render you unable to attack(or use some attacks), and slow areas where you can.

Choosing between areas that you know will have an ambush predator, and one that won't.




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