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Member Since 23 Oct 2009
Offline Last Active May 15 2016 12:08 PM

#5050832 how does a dodge&burn brush work?

Posted by on 07 April 2013 - 05:47 AM

Hi rouncer,


Here's a page with code for all of Photoshop's blend modes. http://inlandstudios.com/en/?p=851 It's written using C macros so it looks a bit weird, but the maths you want is all there, including dodge and burn. I used this info a while ago when I wanted to create a procedural animation using the overlay blend mode.


If you search for Photoshop blend modes, you'll find a lot more info out there.


(EDIT) Heres another good page on the blend modes: http://photoblogstop.com/photoshop/photoshop-blend-modes-explained

#5036177 List of Video Game Design Exercises?

Posted by on 24 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber is a great book on game design, with some interesting exercises.  I *think* it's based on a course run by the authors. There's a preview on amazon, so you can see if its the kind of thing you're looking for.


#5027850 Anyone here a self-taught graphics programmer?

Posted by on 01 February 2013 - 08:25 AM

Warning: Life story coming up: smile.png

I am completely self taught. I come from a British working class background where university wasn't even mentioned to me when I was at school. I had a bad time at school thanks to bullying and undiagnosed dyspraxia, which makes me clumsy and gives me poor handwriting. Most of the time at school my teachers fixated on my writing and awkwardness rather than the contents of my work.

I was pretty depressed during all this, and developed a kind of prison mentality towards school, where my only goal was to get through the day without trouble. Learning became something I did for myself at home, according to my interests. So I developed the self-taught attitude early on.

After I left in 1993 ( I am 36), I ended up in horrible, soul destroying menial work while I struggled to teach myself to code. I always knew I was a creative, intelligent person despite everyone around me who seemed to think that working my way up at mcDonalds was my best hope.
I struggled massively with confidence issues surrounding maths in particular, but the hardest thing was getting hold of programming information and keeping my computer up to date. In the 90's most of my knowledge came from programming articles in magazines.
I still think that if I had better access to tools and books I could have got a game development job in the Amiga era, instead of struggling to learn how the blitter worked by reverse engineering the Blitz basic compiler using a demo version of a disassembler off a coverdisk!

Maths was always a problem for me. I have no native ability at all, but by just grinding away and finding the right books I have made enough progress to convince people around me that I am good at it!

I work in business web app development at the moment coding in Java on Linux servers. Before that I was a director and lead developer of an early mobile gaming company I started with two friends. We were ahead of our time really. Our games were good, but we didn't make any money.
In my spare time I am working on an iPhone game, and I am planning a 3d PC/Mac game after. I also have a lot of writing on game design that I am working on.

My goals are either to make it as an indy or for my work to get me a job making games. I want to work for a smaller studio ideally. My background isn't really compatible with the machinations of corporate HR.

So , some advice from a loser smile.png

If you can go to university, do it. I hugely regret that I was unable to do so. I really feel that I missed out by not being able to come of age in a university. Honestly, sometimes I feel like my whole youth was just worthless struggle. Its not just about knowledge which you can pick up anywhere. The opportunities are here too. You are unlikely to hook up with people with relevant interests or tech venture capital on a f*cking housing estate.

Try and find mentors, people who are better than you who are willing to teach you and help you out. This was something I really craved when I was younger.

Cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit regarding getting things done, learning etc. always keep what you want to do in mind and don't get sidetracked by bullshit beliefs regarding what kind of person is supposed to do a thing. Your desire is your permission! If you can't do the above two things, then this is essential!

Study the lives of cool people from different eras. I find its easier to relate to Leonardo or Plato than modern success stories since their backgrounds are so alien they never become an issue.

I studied a lot of philosophy over the years, western and eastern, and I practice meditation in a secular context. This has helped me by enabling me to really get to the root of confidence issues and all manner of harmful beliefs surrounding intelligence, social background etc.

If you are studying maths, get many books on the same subject. Maths books are often really really bad and make all kinds of poor assumptions about what you should already know.

If you get stuck, be analytical about it. Dont tell yourself "I am stupid, this is a sign I'm not meant to be doing this" etc. etc. Thats all crap and it will derail you. Slow down, break things up and try and pinpoint the moment difficulty and unknowingness appears in the train of thought.

#4998163 First Person Melee Games: Why do these games use 1st person instead of 3rd pe...

Posted by on 06 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

I imagine that many developers choose to create a first person game first, then later decide that it will have melee combat. I prefer third person myself. It gives you a better awareness of your position relative to your opponent; you can be much more analytical about how you play, and you get to watch yourself perform cool moves while you do them. There is a visual performance aspect to it.

First person melee combat feels much more clumsy and desperate in comparison. (Of course, this may be what the designer wants). You can only see in front of you, and invariably the worst control method is used (pushing down on the analog stick is difficult when you are trying to move at the same time) In older shooters it was always a weapon of last resort, to use when you were out of ammo or suddenly ambushed at close range.

I do think things are improving. Combat in Dishonored was good though I was always more inclined towards stealth.

#4876941 Immersion

Posted by on 25 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

I think its worth distinguishing between immersion, which as you said is the sense of suspension of disbelief, identification with the characters and goals etc. and absorption which I would describe as the state where your mind is totally taken up with the logical form of the game. I know I am often absorbed completely in some puzzle games. It would be worth investigating these two related states.

I also think that the player brings a lot to the table. When I was a kid I would often make up stories around games that had none. I even acted out continuations of the game with toys. I'm sure a lot of people did the same thing, if you could ever get them to admit it:)
Is immersion something that depends on the desire of the player to be immersed?

I found Mass Effect 2 extremely immersive, even though when you break it down it is just a series of sub games taking place in quite restrictive environments. I think the main thing was that the characters were so attractive and well realized that the whole point of the game became to get to know them. The shooting and stuff faded into the background, but I *needed* to know more about Samara!

Depth is immersive; the feeling that the world you are in is not just a series of blank surfaces and useless props, but something you can interact with. Imagine walking through the streets in LA Noire. Now pretend that all the people you see have their own stories, that the buildings all have something real going on in them. This "background potential", this sense of unrealised possibility is what gives things their depth and mystery. It is a space where players can project their imagination.

It doesn't just exist in environments; characters have immense "background potential" thanks to the complexity of language and what they can express about themselves, what they allude to as you get to know them (Mass Effect again..).

Of course, this is difficult to do, but even little things help; The ability to hunt in Red Dead Redemption went a long way in making the landscape feel like a living place worth exploring, a place with "immersive presence" if you get my meaning.
I think weaving little interrelated networks of minor game mechanics into the fabric of the game world is something more developers should look into.

Sound is often overlooked. Good tunes and sound effects always draw me into a game.