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ProfL

Member Since 15 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Jul 12 2015 05:28 AM

#5234377 Founding a game studio

Posted by ProfL on 11 June 2015 - 05:45 PM

yes, that's very true and I think it's important to point that out to people who ask, it's not an impossible thing, because, obviously some people achieved that goal. BUT it's a question of investment.

 

John Carmack has incredible skill and spent every bit of his time to make things happen, while his friends made the business side == 50% skill, 50% time, 1% money

bill gates created Microsoft/dos: he bought from another company DOS while making a deal with IBM: 50% skill, 1% time, 50% money

I wont make an example for 1% skill, as that might sound a bit offensive and judging. (and it doesn't mean someone has 0% skill, it just means 1% of the investment for the success of something particular is skill)

 

if time == 0, but infinite skill and money, obviously you won't get it done, 0 days of investment is not enough. even if you'd consider to hire a person to do all the work for you, you'll need some time to find that perfect person

 

if skill == 0 but infinite time and money, you won't create it yourself, you also won't be able to hire anyone who can do it as you cannot judge other skills without having at least a bit of them (it's like trying to find the prettiest girl friend while being blind).

 

if money == 0, but infinite time and skill, you won't be able to buy food for the time, buying equipment or marketing.

 

but on the positive side, if you have infinite time (because you're unemployed) or infinite skill (because you're genius) or infinite money and a little bit of the other skills, there is a good chance you could make it.




#5232822 Founding a game studio

Posted by ProfL on 04 June 2015 - 01:45 PM

  • Do you think is it possible to realize something like this?
of course, it's just a question of investment. investment is time * skill * money, you can compensate one with the other.
 

  • I ask you again,  what's the minimun number of people that I'd need to get everything done in a few years?

Minimum is just one, you. There are a lot of one-man-studios that create indie games.
 

What roles (art designer/programmer/consultant/audio...) should I search when I'm looking for people to put in my project? (Ik the question sounds bad)

that purely depends on what part of it you cannot do.
if you are a one-man-studio, you can do all, you really don't need to hire anyone else.
in contrast, if you are an idea-guy and you cannot do anything, you might need to hire a producer first that will organize all the work and will tell you, based on your ideas, what people need to be hired.
there is no default setup. you might say you want some 8bit chip tunes for everything, you might hire one cheap retro hobby composer. in contrast, you might want an orchestral theme like homeworld, then you'll need to hire 20 highly skilled musicians.
 

  • May I need a publisher or working and selling a game as indie is the same? What are the benefits and cons of having a publisher? (I can't really find the answer to that)

publisher are those that will deliver the money, usually also the producer and will distribute the game as well as advertise the game. But usually it's not your decision to have a publisher, you rather advertise to a publisher either your game in development, or your studio. but in both cases publishers will evaluate how skilled your people are and what value the IP has that you own and based on that you'll get a deal offered.
Publisher for a Studio is like an Employer for an Employee


#5232563 VB.net limitation question

Posted by ProfL on 03 June 2015 - 08:20 AM

Its very clear that c# is superior to vb.net for game development, but I make very small games in vb.net(comparable in size and complexity to pong clones), and have not had any issues with vb so far. My questions is: At what point is performance noticably affected by the language, compared to the same game coded in c#? Does it become bogged down when handling complex graphics? The way it interacts with hardware? all of the above?

c# is another syntax for the compiler, but the same optimizations and backend. When Microsoft lost in curt, because their J++ made extensions to Java without permission, they simply created a new parser for java alike syntax for the VB compilers, called it c#.
The reason why some people claim VB is slow, is because it was always slower than C++ written code, that's why it had a very bad reputation back then. Obviously, MS cannot push c# with that bad reputation, that's why they claimed things about c# and stopped talking about VB. (That's also why they had to rename the VB runtime, it was a big reason for the performance problems e.g. garbage collection. now you call it .Net).

Now some think "MS says c# is just as good as c++, then it must be way faster than VB", which for technical reasons is nonsense (as explained).

So, everything you can achieve and do in C#, you can do in VB. The only differences are syntax and politics, you can ignore what differences others try to find.

happy codingcool.png 
 




#5218946 Cross platform GPU computation for real time ray tracing rendering engine!

Posted by ProfL on 24 March 2015 - 06:37 PM

I'm sorry, but

11 replies and 3 of them you post about OpenCL and Spir-V, although it's really not relevant to the request for a cross platform compute solution targeting XBox and PS4.
I think people don't vote you down because they dislike you, it's rather because you're off topic. I agree the down-vote is sometimes mean, because you don't know why people do it, but the point is not that you'll get used to it and continue posting. It's probably more of advantage for you if you deduce why it happens.

I'd wish people would be man/women enough to always tell why they voted down, random punishment does not help or lead to anything.


#5216345 Array of structs vs struct of arrays, and cache friendliness

Posted by ProfL on 13 March 2015 - 04:07 PM



You can also use hybrids, particularly for position data. For example the following layout is a cache friendly SoA:

 

xxxx yyyy zzzz xxxx yyyy zzzz xxxx yyyy zzzz xxxx yyyy zzzz

 

Assuming they're all 32-bit floats; the Z component of a vector is 16 bytes away from its X component. This means when you load the X component of a vector, you'll be loading its Y & Z in the same cache line (most x86 CPUs use 64-byte cache lines; some rare ARM devices use 32-byte caches though).

 

The approach doesn't scale well to higher width SIMD (i.e. AVX-512) unless the standard cache line size increases as well (which AFAIK, doesn't); however it's still an improvement over the original SoA which will always need 3 lines per Vector3.

It's SIMD 4 register friendly, but not very cache friendly. a tuple of 4 vectors is 24byte in size, thus sometimes the x y z components are crossing cache line borders, and in that case you could just as good use pure SoA.

But I agree that using hybrids makes sense. That whole AoS and SoA is not a guide to how you have to do it. It should rather open your eyes that you can layout data completely different than a real world logical view of the data would suggest. The way to start should not be "how do I layout the data", but "How am I going to use this data" and then the "hybrid" comes into play, because you'll organize data in a way that makes sense. "Sense" doesn't mean strictly for performance. 

-If you have some complex structures and it's not critical to performance, then it makes sense to organize those the best way for your maintaining, this way you will safe your time and you can spent this time on optimizing critical parts.

-if you now have a piece of code that is critical, try to figure out what access pattern you will have. Try to figure out what ranges the data will be that you use and what quality you need. e.g. if you do all your heavy math on colors, those might not need to be float. You could have those in memory as 8bit/channel or as halfs. You effectivelly trim unneded bits from your variables and thus become cache friendlier, memory bandwidth friendlier etc.

 

And most importantly, especially if you are a beginner, don't assume what is slow and what is fast. Implement working solution and profile it, you will be surprised how often the things you thought would be slow are not the bottleneck and how often parts of the binary are slow that you haven't assumed. As a next step try to analyse why it is slow, don't fall in a trap like "there is a division, divisions are slow", it might be that the division operation first fetches data from memory and stalls for it, that might take way more cycles than a division. The same another way around, some fetches for random memory might be hidden by the cpu pipeline, don't immediately assume that's the problem, your compile might create weird opcode for innocent looking code.

And don't hesitate to ask senior programmers, you will see that every of them will tell you another reason your code is probably slow and another solution for it, this is a simple proof that profiling is the propper way to decide... that's also the case for AoS vs SoA vs hybrid solutions.




#5171625 spare time project IP

Posted by ProfL on 05 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

thanks tom, sadly there isn't much information, rather opinions. I'd really appreciate if someone could share some knowledge or reference to sources.
and also how it is handled in uk, france, germany or sweeden


#5116975 Convex hulls in modern games

Posted by ProfL on 14 December 2013 - 06:55 PM

I would say most modern engines collide on polygon level, but use various detaillevel of collision geometry. thats why you can buy objects with ccollision proxies in the unity asset store


#4983037 Is XNA dying and MS forcing to C++?

Posted by ProfL on 23 September 2012 - 04:42 PM

it makes me always sad to see how some people and companies try to handle languages and libs like religions :(
I like c++, yet for WP7 and Xbox-Indie I'd be forced to one particular language, although there is no reason something else wouldn't run. just like they've tied DX10 to Vista and a lot of morons spread the word "it's for technical reason, superior driver model and..." while every programmer knows that an API is just a thin interface, not really related to a driver model or internal implementations (that's why there is an interface).
While I'm sad for you XNA guys if it would be really true that it 'dies", I hope people learn from it, to not stick to one language, to one api, one lib, especially if it's build solely by one company and their marketing department.
Standards are the way to keep your freedom of choosing what and how you want to develop.

crossing fingers for you XNA fans :)


#4957868 OOP design question

Posted by ProfL on 10 July 2012 - 08:56 PM

In general, you should prefer methods that do not cause side effects.

do you imply that a function that is supposed to calc something based on members, is having side effects although it's on purpose?
otherwise I'm confused what you could possibly mean, could you make your reply more detailed?


#4957021 Hybrid Ray Tracing Feasability

Posted by ProfL on 08 July 2012 - 02:57 PM

that depends on the art and raytracing quality.
quite often you can combine both, rendering forward the usually ray to get a gbuffer and then use the gbuffer and raytrace all market pixels/fragments for reflections etc.


#4956138 Tedious bugs in my bidirectional path tracer.

Posted by ProfL on 05 July 2012 - 05:03 PM

I have to disagree, bi-directional path tracer should have a faster convergence, if you have smaller lightsources. They are kind of bad for light domes (IBL).
I mean, the noise is mostly visible in the in-directional areas, it shouldn't be like that. You might end up with some fire flies if you add specular surfaces, tho.

I'm not sure what your error is, but if both images converge to different result, it's clearly wrong. My wild guess would be that something is wrong with your probability calculations. check out:
http://graphics.stanford.edu/courses/cs348b-03/papers/veach-chapter10.pdf
and additionally
http://www.sjbrown.co.uk/2011/01/03/two-way-path-tracing/


#4956130 Is rendering to a texture faster than rendering to the screen?

Posted by ProfL on 05 July 2012 - 04:49 PM

your GPU just executes one render job at a time, spreading it to multiple rendertargets will rather make it slower than faster, as it has to switch at least twice. also notice that you cannot just use two threads to render with one device, you need to create a deferred context with DX11, which just records your commands, once you're done, you still submit it from the main context, so it won't make any difference, unless you are really CPU bound while creating your draw commands.


#4943302 [Theory] Unraveling the Unlimited Detail plausibility

Posted by ProfL on 25 May 2012 - 12:21 PM

there are some interesting paper about this, indeed.
best so far that I've found: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/hoppe/perfecthash.pdf


#4857749 Calculating outward pointing normals

Posted by ProfL on 05 September 2011 - 03:21 AM

I think I understand how it's done now. If all of the triangles are CW or CCW the outward pointing normals can be calculated correctly.

My terrain is rendered using triangle_strips, which changes the ordering of the triangles for each row. So I think in order to calculate my normals I need to swap the way I calculate the normals each time I change rows (which changes CW/CCW ordering).

I intended to optimize my index buffer for gpu cache coherency in the future. I suppose I should look into that before I hard code how my normals are calculated. Any tips on that are appreciated =)

keeping the order is especially important to have backface culling running, this saves you 50% of the rasterized pixel, low hanging fruit everyone should use (except on PS2 :D)


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