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Member Since 27 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Jun 11 2014 10:11 PM

#4813699 Hoy es mi cumpleaños!

Posted by Khaiy on 20 May 2011 - 06:17 PM


#4813551 If you could see any movie made into a video game

Posted by Khaiy on 20 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

Honestly, I'm not often pleased with games made out of existing film franchises.

A movie is relatively short and contains a very definite, defined plot. There aren't a whole lot of places for the game version to go then-- it's often either very on rails and predictable (being exactly like the movie, just with me pulling the trigger rather than watching someone do it), or it starts undoing the movie's plot via retrocons or flat out inconsistencies. A TV show has more space for a game to fit in because they are much longer, so there are more tantalizing story threads to follow without shredding the canon.

That's not to say that they can't be balanced, but just that it's very hard to do. For example, I liked the second Matrix movie well enough, but I did not like Enter the Matrix. It focused on characters who were mostly irrelevant to the films, reduced others to gimmicky caricatures (Persephone will give stuff to anyone as long as they kiss her? So much for her deeper characterization in the movie), and set up events which I knew for a fact could not have any impact on the story, because things worked out in the movies without any of the game's characters actions being involved, even indirectly.

The setting of the Matrix movies would be a very interesting place to play a video game, I think. But it would have to take place before the films, since the movie plots were already dense and messy by the end-- and this is especially true because you don't get to play as (or even interact with) Neo.

Movies can be interesting and good, and sometimes have interesting premises that would be fun to explore in a video game medium. But a game version of a movie seems a lot less fun to me in general.

That being said, there are a lot of concepts in movies that might be fun. If you could come up with a good game mechanic, Memento's premise could make for a fun and interesting game.

#4813142 Learning Multiple Languages

Posted by Khaiy on 19 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

That absolutely does help. It seems Java is much easier to pick up even though the syntax for C++ looks cleaner to me. As I said though, I'm still working with console applications and haven't moved on to working with libraries just yet. So I'm pretty sure I'll stick with Java for now and pick back up on C++ when I feel comfortable with it. For the most part, I understand the language itself, but one thing I can't seem to grasp is memory management. Is that something I should get an early start with or should I just continue with the learning process and hope it will come second nature?

Glad I could be of help.

As far as memory management is concerned, it's a useful aspect of programming but not necessarily one that you'll need right away, especially if you're still learning the language and working in the console. Aside from general stuff like syntax and grammar, learning a programming language is largely something where you'll learn about stuff when you need to use it.

If memory management isn't coming up for you now in a very substantial way (and it shouldn't be, from the sound of things), then you would probably do well to focus on the stuff that you are using and become more skilled with it. There's plenty of time to fiddle with memory management when you need it, no reason to do so if you don't since you have other stuff that you can learn.

#4813111 Learning Multiple Languages

Posted by Khaiy on 19 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

I think that you'll be better of focusing on learning one language at a time, especially if you're new to programming. For basic programming concepts your current approach might not be so bad, but it'll keep your skills shallower in both languages than they otherwise might be.

C++ and Java have different strengths and styles. You can get similar results for a code sample in each language, but as you progress to more complicated material you're more likely to code up what you want badly in both languages. You shouldn't try to write Java code in C++, nor C++ in Java, because you'll be ignoring the different capabilities that each brings to the table.

When you have a deeper understanding of either language, you'll be able to program good code in it, which you can then look at porting it if you want. You'll also start getting a feel for when to use which language, and for what.

#4812640 XNA questions

Posted by Khaiy on 18 May 2011 - 11:59 AM

XNA is a managed DirectX wrapper. When you start an XNA project, there's already code there that will open a blank window without you typing anything. That's it.

After that, you'll be writing 100% of your own code for everything in your game, as well as having to explicitly do all hardware related tasks (although those will be done through the XNA framework with their pre-written classes). XNA provides libraries to help you work with with hardware while avoiding the blow-my-brains-out complexity of DirectX, and nothing more. From what I saw in your other thread, I think that XNA might be exactly what you're looking for.

But take a look at some of the sample games in XNA on AppHub, that'll give you an idea of what you'll be doing with C#/XNA.

#4810487 Need opinion on available Beginner books 2011.

Posted by Khaiy on 13 May 2011 - 06:08 PM

However the examples appear abit lame and it's hard to visualise why he's creating those references.

But I don't yet know...

I have this problem. What do I need to use to solve it?

I need some kind of project where the goal is set and the implementation carried out.

There are lots of great tutorials that show you good code examples. But doing them too early won't necessarily make you a better programmer; it will make you a better copier. There's plenty of copying involved in being a good programmer as well, but you also need to learn how to generate your own code to solve problems as you discover that you have them. Code examples are often lame, but they illustrate the use of language features fairly clearly, so later on when you've come up with a more interesting use you'll have something that you can reference.

Writing your own programs from scratch is what solves the above for you (well, you solve it for yourself, but you know what I mean). You should write as many programs as you can, using whatever information you've covered so far in your education. You can go back and re-factor those projects as you learn new things (another useful skill), and write ever more complex programs as you learn enough to take advantage of the options C# gives you.

Your goal is whatever you want your program to do. It doesn't matter what the program does, or if it's stupid or impractical or poorly coded-- you just have to do it, and get the program to do what you want. It's the most valuable educational experience you'll have with programming. The first program I wrote from scratch to completion without lifting any code from anything else was one that simulates the Monty Hall Problem, and could be used to determine whether or not switching doors really does cause you to win more often.

It had tons of bugs at first. It's not a very useful program. It ran extremely slowly, though I sped it up quite a bit eventually. But I cemented a large amount of the stuff that I had been learning about the language up to that point in a way that I wouldn't have otherwise. If you don't write your own programs but instead just read books and look at tutorials, you'll end up in a bad place where you can read code fairly well (not a very useful skill), but can't really write it or use it to do any non-trivial tasks.

#4810406 Game Engine or not?

Posted by Khaiy on 13 May 2011 - 02:14 PM

(Full disclosure: I am a hobbyist, not a professional programmer. And I'm not that good, either).

To the OP, your position seems a bit arbitrary to me. You're fine using SDL because it abstracts away stuff that you don't want to deal with, but what makes abstracting away that portion (and no more) the exact, magic right amount to still be "really programming"? Why are you OK with using C++ and its abstractions and conveniences rather than writing direct machine code?

As far as practicality is concerned, that's always going to depend on your goals. If you want to learn and don't have to worry about time and budget concerns, then it would be plenty practical to code up whatever you want and never use and external library. If you are running a business, it would likely be wildly impractical to spend extra money and time developing tools that you could license and extend for less, while getting the same end-result functionality.

If middleware has reached the point where game makers don't need to know all of the lowest level stuff to actually make games (however you want to define middleware and lowest-level), then we'll have reached a point where there is a bifurcation in those fields. More CS/engineer type programmers will do other things, for which there will definitely still be a need, and other people will use more narrowly focused knowledge to do other things. One isn't worse than the other, they'll just be focused in different areas.

For the discussion about knowing what's happening at the lowest level being useful, it may well be to some degree and some of the time. But people like mechanics and artists do not necessarily, in fact, know things at that level. A mechanic probably knows how a combustion engine works, but may not know about the chemistry that that makes it work. Is such a mechanic useless, or less desirable than one with a PhD in chemistry? How about in mechanical enginerring? Does my mechanic need to be a highly trained physicist who can deliver a lecture on how the energy transfer coming from the oxidation of refined petroleum makes the car go? In some situations that may be the case, but I don't want to have to pay for a PhD mechanic just to get my brakes done. It might be useful to have such a person, but it is in no way required to get the majority of stuff I might need done to my car taken care of.

And that's just the maintenance side. Does the mechanic need to know about how every machine works on the assembly line to produce my car to be considered a good mechanic, despite its total irrelevance to the work that the mechanic actually needs to perform? Or can I accept the fact that at this point it's OK to be specialized, even if a given specialization is considered too high-level by some, and still get stuff done? I don't need a CarMaster who knows absolutely everything that there is to know about cars, their operation, manufacture, maintenance, and so on in many, if any situations.

If you want to write code, great, do it. No amount or complexity of tools will stop you. But to say that anyone who makes a game with anything less than an arbitrary level of interaction with the code itself shouldn't make that person less a programmer (or game-maker, if you insist on a distinction) than it would make a construction worker less a construction worker for not knowing how lumber is cut or milled, let alone actually doing it.

#4810012 Testing Social Game Design Ideas

Posted by Khaiy on 12 May 2011 - 05:41 PM

I don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for, but you can always make a rough board game to prototype it. You can do a playthrough with your current designs, and feed the data into a basic calculator-like program to test the algorithms that you need as they come up. It's a little ad-hoc, but at least you can see how the formulas you've written will work in a playthrough and get some tweaking without having to code up a whole testing environment. If you want to test more stuff though, it may not be as suitable.

#4810011 4x population mechanic - worker experience.

Posted by Khaiy on 12 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

It would take more programming work, but you could look at a system that doesn't necessarily require the direct, personal intervention of the Emperor to handle population demographics and distribution.

For example, if some planets (or even cities) have certain amenities or other attractions that cause population units to move from place to place, then the population will naturally handle itself. The player can affect this indirectly by manipulating those incentives (giving a big education subsidy to Planet X -> better schools -> incentive to immigrate there, and population will shift accordingly along with other factors like income, employability, what have you). You could also allow the player to displace population at will, maybe with some consequences.

So the player gets to fiddle with the empire as far as infrastructure and directing funds, and other things that might be tedious to manage can be modelled as consequences of that fiddling. And for players that really want to, you can include options to intervene directly at those low levels. It might be hard to make good models of different combinations of things that the player can do, but I think that the payoff would be very interesting.

#4809543 What to do when a name you chose as a business name is taken

Posted by Khaiy on 11 May 2011 - 02:36 PM

You could also just pick a name that no one would ever, ever want.

Sexual Assaults, Inc.
Pedophilia Partners.
Explosive Diarrhea International.

And so on.

#4809033 How many of you have lied in your professional Resume?

Posted by Khaiy on 10 May 2011 - 11:16 AM

I've never had much need to lie. You can easily fluff yourself in the cover letter even while using only the truth, and you can tailor your resume itself for any employer enough to look good. A place that won't bother to check at all you probably wouldn't need to lie to with the above strategies, and a place where a lie would outpace those advantages is a lot more likely to check and find you out.

#4809002 Selling eternal life! Is anyone interested?

Posted by Khaiy on 10 May 2011 - 09:33 AM

I would absolutely live in a robot (me being my brain)! I would love an endless timeline to research, advance, build and create - it opens up vast possibilities in art, technology, exploration, etc.

It also opens up exciting possibiliies for super-crime and dominion over mankind.

#4807806 Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

Posted by Khaiy on 07 May 2011 - 03:16 PM

the overbearing presence of the United States acting as world police

We call the shots because might makes right.

I really do not understand why some people have hatred for Americans. :)
What about Interpol? Are they not the world's police force whilst American is the world's current biggest bully and warmonger.

Interpol catches criminals; it does not conduct military affairs. It's like comparing the New York police force with the US army.

People hate the US for a lot of reasons, some rationally deducible and others less so. The US has the power to choose what happens to a large degree in many situations. If the United States chose not to intervene in some foreign issue, that would be the United States deciding that what is right to do is not intervene under those circumstances. Might does not make right from a moral or ethical standpoint. But because the US does indeed have sufficient might, it also has the capacity to establish the framework for many practical matters, and inaction shapes such things as much as action does.

#4807750 Class Action

Posted by Khaiy on 07 May 2011 - 12:14 PM

The purpose of a class action lawsuit is to organize compaints in an efficient way. The best example that comes to my mind is lawsuits agains tobacco companies over the last 15 years or so. The allegation of the lawsuit was that the tobacco company caused harm to a lot of people through the same action/set of actions, and that many of the people harmed had a valid complaint against the company.

If each potential plaintiff sued the company for damages individually, a couple of things would happen. First, the tobacco company would have to defend against thousands of essentially identical lawsuits concurrently. This would be very expensive for them, and very slow for the plaintiffs. Additionally, the cost would be extremely high for each plaintiff, and no one plaintiff would have the financial resources to mount any kind of legal challenge against the massive, wealthy company. A class action suit pools together those similar complaints as well as the resources of the plaintiffs, to mount a single and more solid/well funded legal challenge. It also allows the company to deal with that challenge in such a way that it isn't bankrupted by trying to defend against 10,000 smaller suits. Additionally, a class action removes much the burden of weeding out frivolous lawsuits from the company itself, requiring the plaintiffs' representation to avoid taking shaky clients or risk tanking everybody's case.

The mechanisms of class action suits are strange sometimes. You have a lot of potential plaintiffs who can't be added to the case despite having valid complaints for technical reasons (such as not having quite the same type/degree of damage of the other plaintiffs, or the damage not being verifiable to a sufficient degree). There are also a lot of shyster law firms that spam ads for class actions to get as many people as possible to try and join in, even on dubious cases. It's also difficult (or impossible) to apportion any award any way other than equally among the plaintiffs, even if their situations might suggest a different distribution.

I don't have any personal experience with class actions myself. But there are plenty of well documented cases, if only because the damages asked for/awarded tend to be massive, and they also tend to involve scandalously bad conduct by companies. Google the Phillip Morris settlement for one example. Or if you like movies, you can watch Erin Brokovitch or A Civil Action, which while fluffy compared to the actual specifics of the stories at least cover class actions more or less accurately.

#4807010 Selling eternal life! Is anyone interested?

Posted by Khaiy on 05 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

You have to take into account the presently unimaginable pressure of immortality.

A human's entire span of existence has traditionally been ~40-50 years. It's only recently that it has become feasible for any given person to expect to live for 80 years or so. Discounting the jarring transition from having a body to having only thoughts, how long could your mind really tolerate persisting?

Would you run out of things to think about after 200 years of being able to do nothing but think? And you wouldn't be wasting any time sleeping either. I feel like the human psyche would need to be significantly altered to deal with existence on the order of centuries rather than decades, especially with the risk of death coming from so many fewer quarters. Would a human mind, transferred this way, survive for all that much longer without losing a grip on sanity? Would a mind that can successfully last in this state be recognizably human at all?