Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

FREE SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY

We have 4 x Pro Licences (valued at $59 each) for 2d modular animation software Spriter to give away in this Thursday's GDNet Direct email newsletter.


Read more in this forum topic or make sure you're signed up (from the right-hand sidebar on the homepage) and read Thursday's newsletter to get in the running!


forsandifs

Member Since 27 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Apr 08 2012 05:44 AM

#4801572 C++ for 12 year old?

Posted by forsandifs on 22 April 2011 - 05:06 AM

I ned a starting point or maybe a plan of learning things for example
1) learn c++ basics
2)learn win 32 api
3)learn direct x 9 with c++..
but i don't know resources or if thta plan is right


You don't need steps 1 and 2 to achieve your aim of learning C++. Steps 2 and 3 are separate aims imo.

---

I would recommend,

1.) installing a good editor and compiler (I recommend Visual C++ which has both included, is free, and seems to be the standard at the moment).
2.) finding and following a good resource to guide you through learning the basics of C++ (I would recommend http://newdata.box.sk/bx/c/ , its useable by complete begginers and its free)

I would say that's enough of a target for anyone starting from scratch in C++.


#4800286 Thumbs up, bro!

Posted by forsandifs on 19 April 2011 - 04:02 AM

EDIT: IMO the like buttons on the front page are unneeded clutter. In fact I think the front page would have far too much clutter even without those like buttons.

EDIT: For me everything on the front page, apart from the latest forum posts section, goes without a second glance because it seems like the worst kind of spam and thus I apply a very effective mental filter to it. I say the worst kind of spam because most of the content on the front page seems to be a flood of advertising disguised as news, where the disguising as news makes it not as good as, and less effective than, honest and undisguised advertising spam. But I suspect it only seems like that because there's too much of it.

I would like to see a dramatic decrease in quantity of content on the front page coupled with maintained or increased quality. Failing that I would like to be able to personalise the front page by choosing which modules are displayed for me.

While I'm at it, I would also like to be able to chose a less blindingly bright theme for the site as a whole.

Having said all that I would like to express my gratitude to gamedev.net. The quality and value of its community seems to be great and unique.


#4797026 I feel so alone...

Posted by forsandifs on 11 April 2011 - 03:42 AM


Optimists:
...
Pessimists:
...


I am of the pessimist kind at work too, and I like your description of them. But your description of optimists is quite harsh. Maybe you suffered from such attitudes, but I wouldn't say they define optimism.
The only problem about optimists is that they expect things to go right, while we all know that they never do :)


There are advantages and disadvantages to both optimism and pessimism:

EDIT: Pessimists will tend to play it extremely safe which can be good for stability and dependableness, but is not good for creativity and stimulation.

EDIT: Optimists will tend to be very risky which is not good for stability and dependableness, but can be good for creativity and stimulation.

But surely its better to be neither optimist nor pessimist and instead try to make wise predictions and decisions? Making wise decisions will take advantage of the benefits of pessimism and optimism where possible, and avoid the disadvantages of both where possible, EDIT: in fact its probably better than both at the advantages of both.


#4796739 Game controls

Posted by forsandifs on 10 April 2011 - 11:22 AM

Except it doesn't work that way. It doesn't read your thoughts, but rather it tries to read the same kind of signals the brain would send to the muscles to move them. This works because the brain can treat the entity on screen as an extension of the body. This would mean that in the example I gave, it'd be equivalent to trying to move a part of your body up and down at the same time... you just can't (though no idea how it works if there isn't a physical impediment - maybe the brain would consider it like stretching the entity vertically?).


1. The way you calibrate the device is by thinking a thought, which means a certain brain pattern, so you emit certain signals which the device reads, and then associates with an action. But if we skip the intermediate steps it essentially becomes thought = action. EDIT: So actually in a way it does read your thoughts/brain patterns, the ones that its been trained to recognise.

2. Like I said, there's no reason to associate "slide" with the thoughts/brain patterns associated with up and down.

In any case, my point is that such an action doesn't make sense at all and would only bring in confusion (and thereby unjustified frustation) to the player.


So why did you consider it? There are better ways to implement a platformer "slide" control with the Emotiv headset, such as assigning it its own thought.

I was under the impression the headset could read multiple signals at the same time (in fact this would be required to support diagonals in the direction-based actions, for example).


EDIT: In the video I linked (EDIT: at about 16 to 18 minutes in) Marvin seems to try and make the cube rotate and dissapear at the same time but cannot. Probably because combining "disappear" wth "rotate" generated a different brain pattern (and thus different signals) which the device had not been trained to recognise yet. EDIT: In other words I don't think the device can dynamically interpret combinations of thoughts. On the other hand he didn't have much time or freedom to experiment and I would be interested to see an example of character movement control with the Emotiv headset, or rather character movement plus another action.

Maybe it will be a case of simply thinking the moves we want to make and associating them with character movements and also thinking the moves plus actions we want to make and again associating them with the equivalent character actions. That's the way we learn to multiple things at the same time in RL at any rate. We learn to walk, then we learn to turn while we walk, then we learn to throw something while we walk, and all these probably require different brain patterns.


#4796313 Why is it such a hassle to use DirectX API?

Posted by forsandifs on 09 April 2011 - 06:41 AM

This has to do with the fact that filling and drawing to a window is a much more complicated task than performing a numerical addition.


Another comparison then:

Using DirectX if i want to perform a simple summation on every processor on my GPU I have to write lots and lots of complex code.

Using C++ if I want to perform a simple summation on every processor on my CPU I only have to write a few lines of simple code


#4796289 Why is it such a hassle to use DirectX API?

Posted by forsandifs on 09 April 2011 - 05:35 AM

Errm.. assembly has nothing todo with this... it's all about the level of control on the hardware (without even touching hardware specific code) exposed by the API which affects how complicated it is.


Hmm,

If we take C++ as an example, it is complex in the sense that you mean but in another sense it is simple and well designed because it doesn't force you to do very complex things to perform simple tasks. For example a summation requires only a main program loop, and one line like int x = 3 + 1.

DirectX is complex in the sense you mean, but also complex when it comes to doing simple things. Even filling a window with it requires seemingly ridiculous ammounts of code. And drawing anything inside that window again requires more seemingly ridiculous ammounts of code.


EDIT: the reason I asked about assembly is that (knowing almost nothing about it) I wonder if perhaps it would be more like the C++ type of complexity rather than the type of complexity DirectX has.


#4796281 Why is it such a hassle to use DirectX API?

Posted by forsandifs on 09 April 2011 - 05:09 AM

I disagree, for the level of control you get it's not really that complicated; lower level would be more complex, higher level would remove the level of control it brings.

It's not the perfect API and it certainly has issues (mostly with the driver backend) but it's certainly the best choice for low level control.


I know nothing about assembly tbh. But I think the only thing that stops me from trying it at the moment is that one then has to account for all the different hardwares right? How difficult would that be? I assume we would have to write different code for each set of cards with its own drivers?

Having said that would the algorithms we implement be different for each driver set or only the boilerplate? If just the boilerplate couldn't that be wrapped up? Are concepts like "wrapping up" and "boilerplate" actually meaningful when talking about assembly?


#4791428 You know you're a nerd if...

Posted by forsandifs on 28 March 2011 - 12:13 PM

... you post in the gamedev.net lounge.


#4791397 [Hypothetical]We made a game that made money...

Posted by forsandifs on 28 March 2011 - 11:02 AM

Let's say you hire someone to work for a week. They won't complete the work, the project takes years total. So you hire some more people for a week, and more and more. After dozens of people, you have completed a year's work. Each of those was paid zero, but you have a completed project.


You seem to chose to ignore the contracts drawn up when the contributors contributed their work. Under the system we propose said contracts would legally enforce a sharing of any monetary gains amongst the contributors proportional to the contribution they made. The workers are not paid zero.

You make the point that the owner has added value because not only does he get his fair share of monetary gain he also owns a project which he can use as he sees fit, which is not the case for the other contributors. But that is the case with any company, regardless of the remuneration model.


#4790988 [Hypothetical]We made a game that made money...

Posted by forsandifs on 27 March 2011 - 09:58 AM

You could assign a value in credits to every piece of work - a 3D model, an hour of coding, whatever; you 'pay' these credits to the people involved so they accrue a balance... and you know the total number of credits issued. Now each $1 of profit is split between all credits existing at that time. So credits can keep being created... like real money by banks... and work is automatically valued.


Yes, something like that could work, and is along the lines of what I was aiming towards explaining in my two posts.

EDIT: but I think that the profits should be divided by the final number of credits. That way a small and simple concept drawing submitted at the start of the project is not worth more than for example ten large and complex concept drawings in the middle of the project.


This idea makes as much sense as measuring contribution to aircraft design by weight added.


Please see point 2 in my second post in this thread.

b - project is profitable - why pay - the product is done, the workers transferred their rights, owner has pure profit

...

There is never any rational reason to pay for anything that is not, by definition, a charity. Might as well give money to red cross.


Unless, as has been suggested in this thread a few times, a legal contract is drawn up guaranteeing a share of the profits to each contributor proportional to the contributions said contributor has made.

This is actually not an uncommon buisness practice in new trading companies in London City. Workers are sometimes given a choice as to whether they want a steady wage, or a share of profits, and the worker makes the choice based on whether they need the money now and on how successful they think the buisness will be. The latter choice can make them millionaires in the right company.

In fact the whole concept of owning shares, which every single company participates in, is based on profit sharing.

Here is why all these "when it makes money" schemes fail and a very real world example why it caused the current recession.

If you feel your idea has market value - take a loan and pay the people.


If not - then give it away for free and state that there will be no payment.


People working for a share of future profits did not cause the recession. What caused the recession, in part, is people and governments taking out loans they could not repay due to inadequate investment of said loans.

Investing a loan into a project that has a significant chance of failing is a very unwise decision, especially when you don't have the safety net of a long track record of success. I would therefore strongly recommend against an indy team doing that.

Instead, for an indy team, I would recommend working for a share of future profit (enforced by a contract) supporting yourself in the mean time through other means, and when you achieve a commercially successful project, decide on whether or not to re-invest the profit into future projects.

Further, there is a glaring inconsistency in your post. If a team can afford to work for free and give their work away, then they can more easily afford to work for a share of profits...


#4771339 Sandbox MMORPGs: advantages and problems

Posted by forsandifs on 08 February 2011 - 08:04 AM

TLDR (short) version:

Sandbox MMORPGs offer unparalleled freedom and depth of gameplay. The reason they have not been as succesfull as Themepark MMORPGs is not due to a problem with the concept of Sandbox MMORPGs but due to poor presentation, design, and implementation. Sandbox MMORPGs need to be as accessible, or more, than their successful Themepark counterparts.

---------

Full version:

There have been many articles written on the topic of sandbox MMORPGs, their advantages and disadvantages, and with comparison to their antithesis, theme park MMORPGs. I am no expert on game design however I feel I have something to add to the topic which I have not seen expressed before in any such articles, namely on the subject of perceived problems with sandbox.

Firstly, what is a sandbox MMORPG? Simply put it is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game where the player is given certain gameplay elements which they can use in a flexible way as they see fit. These elements non-exclusively include things such as gathering and crafting, shapeable environment, Player vs. Player (PvP), and Player vs. Environment (PvE). PvP is usually a major element due to the extremely rich variety of depth of potential interactions possible. These games tend to have skill based character progression. Such games include but are not exclusive to EvE Online, pre-trammel Ultima Online, pre-CU Star Wars Galaxies, and Darkfall Online.

I mentioned also theme park games in the opening paragraph. A theme park MMORPG is a game that essentially runs on rails. The gameplay content includes but is not exclusive to, gathering and crafting, PvP and PvE. Notice the poignant absence of shapeable environment... The players are not allowed to use these gameplay elements as they see fit. Instead there are very strict hardcoded rules as to what can and can't be done, and players are almost always guided as to what to do and when to do it. Character progression is usually level based. Such games include but are not exclusive to World of Warcraft, Everquest, Runes of Magic, and countless other clones. It is worth noting that two very notable games that used to be classed as almost paragons of sandbox have now adopted a much more theme park style, namely Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies...

What are the advantages of Sandbox MMORPGS? The advantages to such game are essentially, freedom, flexibility, and depth. This can lead to an exhilarating and deeply satisfying gameplay experience beyond what can be achieved in theme park MMORPGs. Having a lot of options open to you, all of which have depth and interconnectivity to each other can make a player feel really immersed in and excited by the game world. Stories of player intrigue, politics, wars, and epic battles are common place. Sometimes, as in EvE, these stories can make mainstream news headlines. Crafting is usually very meaningful and players can chose to make it their main occupation. And let me tell you a story about exploration and shapeable environment in such games in the next paragraph...

I tried Darkfall Online the other day, and at first I was a bit lost in what seemed to me a very large, complex, unfamiliar and unfriendly world. But for the first time in I don't remember how long I was actually excited by a game! But I did need some guidance and so I joined a player guild. They were very kind and gave me equipment, a mount, and a basic intro to essential mechanics such as banking and the finer aspects of controlling my character. Then they told me to head to their player built hamlet far away to the north. They told me a few towns I should head to on the way, and that eventually I would reach a stone hill with a lake carved into it. In the walls of the lake there was a cave. I should head into the cave, and swim along it until I got to a waterfall... I should allow myself to drop off the waterfall and thus I would find their hidden settlement, complete with player built housing, shops, etc... I eagerly undertook this quest, for an epic quest it was. I travelled for two days (we're talking real time here) losing my mount half way, and having to run the rest of the way, amazed by the beauty of the landscape and eluding its dangers. It was not easy, but for the first time in any game, I actually felt like a character in a book, really felt it. When I got to the hamlet it surpassed my expectations. Darkfall Online took me back to that long lost feeling I used to have when playing games as child, unjaded. None of the advantages mentioned in this paragraph could be achieved in theme park style MMORPGs; they have no real sense of adventure, very little flexibility, and a pretty meaningless gameplay experience.

Now, what are the problems with sandbox MMORPGs? Why are they a relatively unsuccessful design when they can offer such amazing experiences? I put it to you that there are no inherent problems or disadvantages to sandbox games. I put it to you that the sandbox concept for games is perfect. It is a valid concept which can be realistically implemented, and which has a lot potential fun attached to it, with no inherent downsides. I put it to you that the reason sandbox games are relatively unsuccessful is because there are little to no sandbox games that have been properly designed and implemented. The fault is the developers fault, not the concept itself.

Usually people say that most people can't handle too much freedom, that most people need a lot of hand holding and direction because otherwise people won't know what to do and will get bored, and that the harshness of PvP interactions will alienate most people. I will only grant the validity of the last point. Truly open PvP can only ever appeal to those that enjoy PvP, and certainly not everyone enjoys PvP. However I strongly refute the validity of the other points. People enjoy freedom, and only enjoy freedom. The more freedom a player has the more they will enjoy their game, even if they aren't interested in 99% of the options available to them, they will enjoy the game more, simply because of the excitement such a plethora of meaningful options provides, and because it will make their choice all the more meaningful. What people don't enjoy however is being overwhelmed with information... Also people don't enjoy being left without a clear and concise clue as to what might be fun/good/best for them to do next and how to actually do it... These factors are of paramount importance. But the successful consideration of these points is not exclusive to theme park games! Sandbox games can take them into account too! And if these points are taken into account in a sandbox game, then the generally perceived "disadvantages to sandbox mmorpgs" disappear!

For an illustrative example of some of the points in the above paragraph let me tell you why I for example don't play Darkfall despite the truly amazing experience I had with it... It's because overall it’s a terribly made game! It fails badly on the basics. The character control is extremely clunky. There is no easy way to find out how to actually play the game. There is absolutely no hint as to what you might enjoy doing. They don't have a decent communication interface. Even the weakest mobs are too strong for a good player with a starter character. And things essential to surviving in such a harsh environment like for example finding the bank so you don't lose all your stuff when you die are almost impossible to do unless you are in a small town that is therefore possible to explore in minute detail, or you already know where the bank is! And I think this kind of thing is what hurt UO and SWG so badly, not the fact their game had amazing freedom and interactivity, but the fact they failed to implement any kind of user friendliness, something that is perfectly possible in a sandbox game. People might counter that "well in real life you don't get a flashing icon on your minimap telling you where the bank is". Who cares about real life in a game? Sandbox games aren't exclusively simulators; they are first and foremost games. And games are meant to be fun, right from the word go, all the way till you chose to stop playing in satisfaction, or at least, they have to be if they want to succeed on a massively multiplayer scale...

Would it be so hard to make sure basic and essential stuff such as character control was smooth and easy to learn? Would it be so hard to have a variety of enjoyable tutorial quests that the player can choose from to learn different game mechanics they are interested in? Would it be so hard to have a decent communication interface?! Would it be so hard to have some comprehensive content available to truly N.O.O.B characters that they can actually take part in with enjoyment? Would it be so hard to make it painless for players to find what they absolutely must find just to play? Judging by past sandbox MMORGs apparently so, but I put it to you that it's not difficult. It’s a must for any game, and can be achieved for any game. And if you don't manage to do that you haven't made a game, you've just made a big, steaming pile of mess which relatively few people will waste their time playing, never mind paying for. So, get to it ;)




PARTNERS