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TANSTAAFL

Member Since 14 Jun 1999
Offline Last Active Jun 09 2015 03:40 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Scared, I have ideas, but know not what to do.

19 May 2015 - 07:24 AM

Bear with my allegory for a moment. It'll pay off.

 

P.S. Yes, it's really me.

 

I live in Racine, WI.

 

I have in-laws in St. Paul, MN.

 

Upon occasion, like weddings and such, there has been need to travel from where I live to where they live.

 

It is about a 5.5 hour drive according to google maps.

 

I don't know how to do a five hour drive. Its too long. Its too far. If I think about it, I'll just quit.

 

So, instead. I drive to Madison, WI.

 

That's only a 2 hour drive.

 

Once I get there, I usually stop for gas, snacks, drinks, and to pee.

 

Then I drive to Tomah. Then to Eau Claire. Don't speed through Eau Claire, BTW.

 

And finally, I drive to St. Paul.

 

Why is this germane?

 

There are things that I am confident that I am able to do.

 

There are things that I consider impossible for me to do.

 

And there are things that I think I can probably do, but need to stretch my comfort zone a little.

 

See what I'm saying?


In Topic: Game designs of questionable ethics

02 September 2010 - 02:59 AM

You have stumbled into the realm of serious games.

Whether you want to explore this realm artistically, or whether you want to return to a more abstract less cerebral sort of game is up to you.

For example, if you change it to breeding different colored and shaped blobs, and breed red and purple blobs to make red/purple striped blobs who don't like green blobs because of pheromones that the green blobs excrete, you've got an interesting abstract game that no one will have issue with.

If, however, you decide to go the serious game route, you need to put a little more into it.

First, your winged elf/centaur mix don't like cat people. Since presumably the winged elf/centaur combination doesn't happen in the wild, and likely needs some sort of "magic" to enable, I find it unlikely that there is some sort of societal norms nor necessarily any sort of affinity towards their own kind, as they are not only an enslaved race, but also one bred in captivity. The union, for example, may only produce one gender, like the real life case of the mule, liger, or tigon.

So then we need to explore WHY they don't like cat people? Are they all allergic? Do all kitten children pester the winged elf-centaurs from a young age? There has to be a *REASON* for the racism, either something that stems from reality, or something perceived.

Historical and modern racism (and similar stereotype problems) are often institutionalized over generations, but just having your father not like a particular group is not usually enough for you to dislike the group , there will be some sort of behavior observed(an usually misinterpreted) that helps to reinforce the stereotype.

So, really, your game can explore all of these options, if you want.

Or not. In which case, make it a Blob Breeding game. It is safer that way. It is also less work.

In Topic: A single large tileset or Multiple tiny tileset?

19 August 2010 - 06:00 AM

This is a balancing act.

On the two extremes there are:

1) put every single tile into one gigantic image
2) put each tile into its own individual image

Option 1 works up until there are a certain number of tiles.
Option 2 also works on a lower number of tiles.

However, as you increase the number, each option leaves you a bit of a maintenance nightmare, as editing a huge image is hard to do, as is herding a zillion little individual images.

What to do?

Either organize them into multiple multi-tile images where the images should probably be related.

or

Still go with individual images, but organize them into folders.(I do this a lot in Silverlight)

The key here is "logical groupings"

And by logical grouping, I mean groups that are unlikely to be on screen at the same time, like your grass/snow/desert logical division.

For performance, it depends on how you are rendering

If you are using a 3D api, or a 2D api that uses 3d rendering, then you probably want to have some larger images, as texture switching is expensive.

If you are using a 2D rendering api that does not use 3D rendering, then you need to be careful of the capabilities of the rendering hardware (most modern graphics cards will do fine with whatever you want to do).

If you are using a library that composites UI images into a hierarchy of other visual elements, then you'll want to use individual images.

In Topic: Um.. Feeling a bit overwhelemed I have a question for vets...

18 August 2010 - 09:13 AM

I'm not telling you not to use tutorials. (And it doesn't sound to me like others are telling you not to use them, either.)

Tutorials show how things are done.

Tutorials do not show you how to do things.

A tutorial can tell you how a window is created, how directx is initialized, and how graphical primitives are rendered.

These are important things to know, especially if your intention is to make windows, initialize directx, and render graphical primitives.

Your Data Structures professor (you mention in your OP) is attempting to teach you to think like an engineer.

His example is that you don't memorize data structures. This is true. It isn't important for you to be able to implement the equivalent of std::vector or std::list or std::map. What is important is to know in what circumstances each one is the better choice, and the trade-offs between them.

The same thing goes in directx (or any api like it).

It isn't important how you draw the primitive. It isn't important for you to know how a triangle is rendered on screen, or to know how a triangle list versus a fan versus a triangle strip is implemented. The important thing is to know the trade-offs and when each should be used.

Unless you have a 1 on 1 mentor to observe and pick up subtle tricks, you are left to your own experimentation to develop these skills.

In other words, find a more knowledgeable friend who can show you what to do, or keep hitting the tutorials, and you'll get it eventually.

To be clear... it *WILL* take longer than you'd like it to.


In Topic: Game Programming Questions ...

18 August 2010 - 07:01 AM

Your question is too vague. We know nothing of what platform/api/etc you are using to do your rendering.

The answer is probably "some sort of timer", but without knowing more information, we cannot help.

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