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Gian-Reto

Member Since 21 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:32 AM

#5296596 Need some advice.

Posted by Gian-Reto on 15 June 2016 - 03:37 AM

Maybe you would be a good candidate to work in a Team?

 

Given you seem to have a lot of dedication working on games, but seem lack the focus to stick to a longer project, and you seem to be mostly good at programming, why not look for others that share your passion?

 

Now, let me warn you, this is quite hard to pull off. Finding others to work with you FOR FREE is almost impossible outside of opensource projects or the modding scene....

But why not try to get into modding? I know there are some larger scale mods where people have cooperated on completing it. That might be a good fit for you? You have an achievable goal (as you just modify an existing game), you are able to work in a team and you might find contacts that could be potentially useful should you once again move into creating original games, be it as teammembers or as publishers (some Indie games started out as successfull mods).

 

 

Other than that, just stick to a project longer, and try to sort out problems if you run into them instead of dropping the project altogether. Sometimes dropping aproject makes sense, sometimes you should try a little longer.




#5296451 What's the difference between studying computer science and studying game...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 14 June 2016 - 03:34 AM

two things to keep in mind:

 

1) with a CS degree, you will be able to find a job as a programmer in ANY industry. Given how scarce jobs in the games industry are and how many are trying to get into that industry, that is a big boon should you either not be able to find a job as a game programmer, or grow tired of the industry (the rate of people switching to other industries seems to be rather high too).

Granted, the longer you work, the less worth your degree is compared to your work expierience. Given you work in the games industry for a long time, your choice of degree will no longer matter if you try to switch industries. That choice between CS or Game Programming as a degree pales compared to 10+ years of expierience as a game programmer. You will most probably not be as highly rated as a specialist in the industry you switch to, but given demand for programmers is high enough in that industry, you will land a job (given you don't suck at interviews and the whiteboard tests). You are a senior programmer, and while most probably not specialized in the skills the employer is looking for, should be able to quickly adapt to the new role.

 

2) You will most probably have just as much of a chance finding a job as a programmer in the games industry given you can show related personal projects. Which you should do anyway, as no school in the world a) trains you nearly enough to be a competent programmer, it will just teach you the basics, b) will give enough "realworld projects" to really build a portfolio of work you can show (and given how competitive the games industry seems to be, you really should have a portfolio ready if you look for a job).

If you do a CS study, you will need to learn the games specific parts in your freetime and try to build some games and showcases, both to deepend your knowledge and have something to show.

If you do a Game Programming study, you will need to deepen the games specific parts in your freetime and try to build some games and showcases.

 

In the end, both studies will give you almost the same: just the basics. A game programming course might give you a little bit more basics specific to game programming, but you shouldn't expect college/university to train you indepth in game programming. To really become competent, you have to sink a considerable time into working indepth in a certain field. Colleges/universities always try to cover a broad range of basics, with never enough time to really get indepth.

If you really want to become attractive for future employers, you will need way more than just that basics and the degree.

 

 

Thus the choice of your degree shouldn't matter too much for what you have learned in practical skills at the time you finish your studies. Most of the skills you learned will not be learned during school hours.

The question is if you want the added job security of a CS degree or if you are ready to put everything on one card, and as Sean said above, if you are interested in CS enough to study it without a strong game related focus.




#5296335 When you were starting out...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 08:38 AM

What helps ME most is not just reading stuff... but working on an actual project and having to use/implement that stuff in it. Then, and only then, it will stick for certain... given we are talking about the solution to a problem I was fighting with for hours, the solution, once found, will be superglued into my memory :)

 

Just reading books is a very bad idea, at least for me. I usually read something (or parts of it), or watch a tutorial (or parts of it) when I need it, and try to implement what I learned next to it. If I just read it somewhere, and then a week later need it in a project, I am dead certain I will have to go back and re-read it, because in the meantime I only remember I read SOMETHING about it a week ago.

If I did something practical with it just next of reading it, it will still be present a week later.

 

 

That is what works for me, YMMV.




#5296318 Positives and negatives of publishing a game on Xbox One as opposed to a PS4?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 06:22 AM

 

Why the XBox is able to pack 50% more graphics power is anyones guess.

The original PS4 has 50% more graphics power than the original XBone, by simply putting 18 CU's on the die rather than 12 CU's (1152 vs 768 "shader cores").
The PS4 die is only slightly larger and they're both made with a 28nm process, so that was more of Xbox's blunder than PS's secret sauce -- they chose to sacrifice 1/3rd of their CU's in order to fit their ESRAM in there...
This time around, if your rumors are right, maybe PS has chosen to put something extra in there, like the xbone's ESRAM, or MS will go to 20nm while PS stays on 24nm -- which would nearly double their density.
I wouldn't put too much faith in hardware rumors at this point though.

 

Well, given the rumours for the PS4 Neo turned to be spot on, I give the XBox ones a little bit more credit (at least all the newer PS4 rumours were, but then the early rumours where just that "a more powerful PS4 will be coming", with all the specifics then being a whishlist (Funny enough nobody saw a 2.2 times perfomance improvement coming :)))... The rumours from about 3-4 months ago already had the specifics down to the core count, and the architecture correct.

 

While the new XBox, if we believe the rumours, is farther out still (specifics might not leak out until next year, they might not even be certain to MS yet), I tend to believe the rumours THAT a new XBox is coming. Given we know that Sony IS upgrading their console, it would make the XBox One's life even harder if they wouldn't even try to compete.

 

Also, someone on Gamasutra made a good point as to why MS might actually kill off the XBox One and bring a completly new console. Given the XBox ones dissapointing sales, that would make sense. At this point in time, MS might really want to get it over with the current console generation and start fresh with a new one.

Given the shuttering of Lionhead some time ago and the story behind it, it seems MS is really restructuring their XBox division and do not seem stop making bold moves (like shutting down a 20 years old studio with a big fanbase just because their newest fable got overscaled because of MS Execs).

 

As to the rumoured power of the XBox, given the release a year later the console SHOULD be able to pack in more power. You could be right that this time MS tries to one up Sony by going with a bigger die. I also guess this time we will see no bundled Kinect, no always online shenigans or the "Xbox Two" being promoted as a Media Center first, Game Console second... but that is just my very personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

will hopefully make them as powerful as they would have needed to be 3 years ago for 1080p/60Hz gaming, and might make them VR Ready, if only for low end VR expieriences (the 5 TFlops projected by AMD seems pretty low even for the current low resolution 1st Gen VR goggles, thanks to two screens and 90+ Hz refresh needed).

PSVR is 120Hz, but most games will probably interpolate from 60Hz rendering (Vive/Oculus support interpolating from 45Hz rendering too, but it isn't great...). A bunch of PSVR prototype games that I've played have also just done single-eye rendering and post-processed it into stereo, which honestly works almost as well except when objects are almost touching your face  :lol:
It will be interesting to see if PSVR ends up locked to Neo or or not. If they do lock it to Neo, it will certainly make the life of VR devs a lot easier :D

 

 

120 Hz... ouch. Cool indeed, but not with this hardware. At least not for anything more taxing.

Yeah, I remember that was why some people claiming PSVR to be superior the the Rift and Vive.

 

Well, given that I predict MANY VR Games and "expieriences" to be not pushing high-end graphics at first (because most probably AAA studios will stay the hell away from it until more people have bought the goggles (and people not buying the goggles wanting AAA content first.... catch 22)), I don't think locking the old PS4 from PSVR completly makes sense.

Maybe they will bring two tiers of PSVR compatibility, with the basic one being available on both versions of the console, and the higher one only on the Neo? Games could then choose to only implement basic support (so the expierience runs the same on all consoles, for very simple games that can be played at 120 Hz even on the old PS4), to implement basic support and a Neo mode (so the game would run at reduced rates on the PS4, and at full 120Hz / better resolution on the Neo), or be locked to the Neo as the game is only running at 60 Hz even on the Neo.




#5296304 Positives and negatives of publishing a game on Xbox One as opposed to a PS4?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 04:46 AM

Audience: bigger on PS4. http://www.hngn.com/articles/175002/20160201/ps4-outsells-xbox-one-89-ea-executive-reveals-sales-figures.htm

 

Emerging Tech:

Yeah well, hard to speak about that without resorting to rumours.

 

 

Be aware there are hardware refreshes incoming for both consoles. There will be a new "PS 4 Neo" this year (confirmed, name also), and there might be a newer XBOX One version next year (not confirmed yet but highly likely).

 

Both new version make the (currently quite underpowered) "next-gen" consoles considerably faster (bringing them inline again with midrange gaming PCs in 2016 (PS4) and 2017 (XBox One) again). This will hopefully make them as powerful as they would have needed to be 3 years ago for 1080p/60Hz gaming, and might make them VR Ready, if only for low end VR expieriences (the 5 TFlops projected by AMD seems pretty low even for the current low resolution 1st Gen VR goggles, thanks to two screens and 90+ Hz refresh needed).

 

PS4 Neo is projected to bring 4 TFlops of Graphics power. That is roughly 2.2 times as much as it has now. It is confirmed to use the newest 14nm AMD tech...

 

The weedy 8 core Jaguar CPU gets upgraded to Zen, hopefully bringing way better IPC, MAYBE SMT (the general name for Intels hyperthreading, which would give an 8 core Zen CPU 16 logical threads it could work on in parallel). Additionally to a better architecture, the Clocks get bumped to 2.1 GHz from 1.6 GHz.

 

The amount of Shader cores gets doubled to 2304 cores, and the architecture gets updated to polaris. That is exactly what the rumoured RX 480 graphics card will bring to PC starting at 200$, which is AMDs non-maxed midrange card for 2016 (maxed should bring 2560 shader cores, might not come out soon as Apple is rumoured to buy up all the fully enabled Polaris chips)... so the new PS4 would bring midrange gaming PC performance, if not for the hit the clocks took because the GPU is now part of a SoC instead of being on its own die. The rumoured 1266 MHz clocks of the RX 480 have been cut considerably (to the 900-1000 MHz range), which is why the new PS4 only brings 4 TFlops of graphics power while the RX 480 is rumoured to pack 5,5 TFlops.

 

And before anyone burns me at the stakes for my comment up there: Midrange PC GPU performance for 2016! Which seems to pan out to be between 5-7 Tflops, if we judge that looking at the AMD offering RUMOURS (Nvidias GTX 1070 might have a hard time this year seeing how it only packs 6.5 TFlops for a Performance Card price).

4 TFlops was only found in Performance card territory in 2014, for example the GTX 970... its nowhere near "bad" given the GTX 970 will most probably run most games on high settings for some years (just not in 4k or VR), and how the current version of the PS 4 soldiered on with considerably less since it came out.

 

You can expect the console to bring 4k image outputs (AFAIK the old PS4 didn't have the capability but I could be wrong), and HDR capabilities thanks to the new GPU architecture.

Of course, it still has nowhere near enough power to run a modern 3D title at 4k, even 30Hz would be a stretch. But for less taxing titles, 4K rendering might be possible now.

 

 

The new XBox one is projected to be 50% faster than the PS4 Neo at least on the graphics side, with 6 TFlops of graphics power. That, and the rumoured release date in 2017 is all that is rumoured by now. You can expect it to also pack a faster CPU, most probably upgraded to Zen cores.

 

Why the XBox is able to pack 50% more graphics power is anyones guess. Given the new 14nm architecture might clock quite well, with an improved SoC design and better power delivery (speak, higher TDP), the same GPU as used in the PS4 Neo might actually be tuned to output 50% more power just by clocking it higher. It could also use the fully activated Polaris 10 chip, AND faster clocks.

Or it might be using a more expensive Vega chip as its base, which should be coming out in fall, and add AMD PC GPUs for the performance and high-end sector for 2016. Given the console comes out in 2017, maybe it already uses a next-gen architecture that increases the power available for the same tier card (given the XBox One.5 cannot cost more than the PS4 Neo to produce, it is not very likely they will buy vega chips from AMD... even in a SoC, AMD would charge more AFAIK).

 

 

As for the model Sony and MS might choose for supporting two console "half-generations" at the same time, Sony will force all game devs to also support the older console version, and only enabled graphical tweaks if the game is played on a PS4 Neo (you know, actual 1080p/60Hz instead of 1080p/30Hz, AA, additional effects).

Nothing is certain about how MS will go about, but some people speculate they might actually ditch the current XBox One and come out with a "XBox Two" in 2017. Backwards compatibility (its a x86 PC with a modded Windows on it, after all), but not forward (so SoL for current XBox One owners).

 

 

Moving on to VR, be aware that MS is rumoured to bring the Occulus Rift to XBox One. If that will also be possible with the current XBox Ones, or only for the faster model available in 2017 is anyones guess. Given the non-impressive stats of the current console, I guess it will not be supported.

 

Of course, the projected price of the PS VR Goggles is about half what an Occulus currently costs for PC, so unless MS lowers the price for the XBox version somehow, that will not go down well with the console audience.




#5296299 Simple RTS

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 03:48 AM

When I hear "I want to create an RTS" and "I cannot program" in the same sentence, I think of this: https://springrts.com/

 

This is a free engine specifically designed to support RTS games. IDK how much it will let you do "hand-off" when it comes to programming, but most game engines tailored for a specific use case are lighter programming wise when you use it for their targeted game type.

 

For example there might be pre written code for certain game entities (like units, or weapon effects), and you can just drag and drop them into your scene and configure them. Don't know really, never used spring. Still, check it out, see what it can do... maybe its the solution for you?

 

 

Failing that, yes, you need to learn programming. Don't worry though, while it might take you some time to learn, its nowhere as impossible to learn as some people think.




#5295797 Mock ups and copyright

Posted by Gian-Reto on 09 June 2016 - 09:08 AM

Well, it is still illegal. Not matter what you use it for.

 

As long as you only use it internally I see no way you could get into trouble for it. As soon as you make it public SOMEWHERE (yes, also here on gamedev.net), there is a chance someone owning the copyright sees it and makes a move against you.

 

If you are only doing layout work, why can you not either mockup the images yourself (work with boxes and other proxies instead of the real thing), or use free images you can find aplenty on the net (takes more time to read the license agreement, sure...)? I think it would make a better impression used in a professional environment (like here on gamedev), and given you most probably want more finished art first before trying to generate interest (you only get to make one first impression after all), you will not want to use your mockup art for that anyway.

 

I would advise you to only use your current mockups which are infringing upon copyrights internally, and translate that into a new mockup made with non infringing art for showing to outside people.




#5295746 Animation-heavy game design [is it possible to design code]

Posted by Gian-Reto on 09 June 2016 - 03:50 AM

On the 3D Animation side:

 

3D Animations for one require you to be quite comfortable with 3D Modelling, Rigging and animation. Has nothing to do really with 2D frame by frame animation (though the 2D Bone animation techique is quite similar to what is mostly used to animate 3D skinned meshes).

 

For "skinned meshes" (humans, animals, generally everything that is not a mechanical hardbody object), you will have to do the following:

1) Either model a mesh with good topology (placement of polygons), or download a free one from the internet that has good topology. There are plenty of tutorials on what exactly is good topology for meshes meant for animation.

2) Rig your model. That means creating an armature, placing bones in the armature, parenting the deformable mesh to the armature and painting weights to tell each polygon how much it is affected by which bones movement, placing control bones and using contraints to link the deform bones to your controls, setting up Inverse Kinematic chains for easier posing.

3) Animate your model. The most accessible way is keyframe animation, which slightly resembles 2D animation. You will define keyframes, which are poses the model will reach at certain points of the animation. All the frames between keyframes are interpolated, leading to a smooth animation with just a few keyframes.

All the controls and IK chains you set up during rigging are now speeding up your process.

4) Export the animation with the model, import to your engine of choice, and set up an animation controller to trigger your animations from script. The animation controller can be done in Unity without scripting (check out the documentation of mecanim)... to trigger the animations besides just looping an animation endlessly will need some codes though.

 

For hardbody meshes you can either do the same process and Setup an armature with bones, parent the meshes (hardbody objects should have separate meshes for each separate part) to the bones with every mesh only being weighted to a single bone (so the bone rotates/moves that mesh, without it getting deformed), and use all the same options for contraints, control bones, IK, and then doing keyframe animation as with skinned meshes. The only real difference is how bones are weighted, and that you NEED to separate parts into their own meshes.

Or you could just import the .obj or .fbx file containing all the mesh parts of your model as separate objects, which would translate into a different gameObject for each mesh part, and animate those gameObjects from script (be aware though that each separate mesh means a separate draw call, which would lower your games performance... there are tools in the Unity asset store that bake your model into a skinned mesh with automatic creation of bones and weights, but these are not free)

 

Of course, aniamtion from script is also an option for the skinned meshes. The armature will be imported as its own GameObject, with each bone being a sub-gameobject under the armature. You can now move the Bone objects, and the mesh will deform with it. This is for example done in locomotion controllers that prevent your skinned meshes feet from clipping through the ground with each step. The script will find the correct height of the ground at the place where the foot will fall (maybe even the surface normal to bend the foot), and adjust the animation accordingly.

 

One very convinient aspect of 3D animation is that you can mix different animations. You can let your character move, while moving his upper body freely to the left or right by mixing the move animation with animations for the upper body, or by animating the upper body from script.

 

 

Little glossary, even though you should rather look these things up separately:

 

Armature:

Structure holding the bones and constraints in 3D modelling programs. Gets converted into a gameobject hierarchy by Unity.

 

Bone:

An object that can be linked to other bones (thus forming a skeleton), can be freely transformed in the animation view of your modelling app (besides, when having another bone as a parent, not being allowed to be moved away from that parent), and can be set to deform a mesh (or multiple meshes).

Bones are also often used as control elements in 3D Modelling apps, to make controlling the other bones easier. In this case the bones are set to not deform anything.

 

Weight painting:

Modelling apps will give you a special painting mode where you can paint weights for every single bone. This way you can mark which polygons should be deformed if your lower arm bone rotates.

That sounds like a lot of work, it kinda is, but 3D Modelling apps often will give you the option to assign automatic weights. While that is most often not 100% correct, it is a good starting point that you can adjust yourself.

 

Bone Constraints:

Are used to tell the 3D Modelling app special conditions for a single bone, like "this bone should rotate more on the X Axis than 40° to -20°".... there are all kind of constraints. Don't know how exactly they translate to Unity, haven't tried that yet.

 

Inverse Kinematics:

This will allow you to form "chains of bones" you can control "inversly"... like a hand being parented to a lower arm, which again is parented to the upper arm. if you move the hand, the upper arm bone will not move at all normally. If you move the upper arm, the hand bone will move with it. That is the direction parenting works in.

 

Now lets say you want to tell your model to put its hand on that table (or a foot on the ground), without having to calculate yourself how the other arm bones need to be rotated so the hand can actually reach the table. You can set up an inverse kinematics chain for these 3 bones, with a control bone next to the hand bone. by moving the control bone to where the hand should lie, the 3D modelling app (or the game engine if you use IK directly in the game and not just to reach keyframe positions) will control the other bones ans calculates how they need to move so the IK control can reach the position you want it to reach, with the hand following the control.

 

Mecanim:

A visual scripting tool for setting up animation controllers in Unity.

 

 

 

There are many more advanced topics, like Shapekeys/Blendshapes, that are of interest for 3D animation... but I think this is information overload enough for today :)




#5295729 Parkour Game

Posted by Gian-Reto on 09 June 2016 - 12:43 AM

On the launch pad thingy: are you using the physics engine of your game engine of choice? If yes, your player character has a rigidbody that makes him react to ingame physics.

 

Besides reacting to gravity, you can also apply forces to this rigidbody (you most probably do already for making him move IF you are using physics... for a free running game I would strongly suggest you start using physics as long as the platform you build the game for has the power to run the physics engine (no problem on PC and console, don't know about mobile))

You could just have the launchpad apply a force in the upwards direction everytime you character touches the collider of the  launch pad (or an additional trigger added to the launch pad). Of course, be careful that you only apply the force once, even if the character does not leave the trigger shape in a single physics frame (maybe the force you apply is not enough to catapult the character away fast enough).

 

If you are using / planning to use Unity:

https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/Rigidbody.AddForce.html

 

Introductions to physics in Unity:

https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/topics/physics

 

A very rough code example in Unity C# (code snippet, to be used in a script placed on the launch Pad in conjunction with a trigger on the launch pad, and a rigidbody on the character(s)):

private List<Collider> launchedColliders;
 
Start () {
    launchedColliders = new List<Collider>();
}
 
OnTriggerEnter (Collider character) {
    if (!launchedColliders.Contains(character)) {
        character.attachedRigidbody.AddForce(transform.up* launchForce);
        launchedColliders.Add(character);
    }
}
 
OnTriggerExit (Collider character) {
    launchedColliders.Remove(character);
}



#5295594 College? Life? Urggg!?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 08 June 2016 - 04:30 AM

It would be great for me to have a job that is related with game dev however the market for games in our country is just meh. So I assume that game dev related job will give a pretty low salary which is not what I want since I want to give back to my parents. So I did a pretty small research and found out that software engineer currently is the best option for me, Still I don't want to spend my life following the human life cycle (Study > Work > Family > My Kids will study > They'll work > and the loop goes on) I want to have fun by doing what I want to which is to make fun games.

 

2 Options really, if a low wage is what you are trying to avoid:

 

1) Relocate. Given you develop above average skillsets, have a very good english (or whatever the language is where you relocate to, for Japan japanese would be preferrable for example), really look and fight for jobs and have some luck, you might find a job in a region of the world where there are more job openings, and where game devs are better paid on average (be aware though that there are most probably still shitty jobs with low wages there).

 

2) Get a well paying dayjob. Make game development your hobby. Live with the consequences of having less free time than your friends besides developing games. You don't need to be inside the AAA Industry to make games. You do not need to have an AAA games career to become a successfull Indie (though I heard it helps, a lot).

You don't need to be successfull to have fun developing games!

 

 

As others have said, don't expect too much from College / university. You are doing it for the degree. While it might teach you some good basics, most of the important stuff you will learn on the job. Or, even better, in your free time prior to applying for a job. And depending on what you are applying for, you can build a good portfolio from these hobby projects (many game dev positions are easier to get if you can show an awesome portfolio, that can include programming jobs... nothing tells "I can program AI" better than a prototype with your self written AI code in action).

 

Do the college for the degree, but never forget to build your skillset above and beyond what college teaches you.




#5295583 Using game graphics from old games

Posted by Gian-Reto on 08 June 2016 - 02:24 AM

Just because you don't know who the rightful owner is, doesn't mean the rightful owner doesn't exist.

 

Not much to add really, most probably he knows very well who the rightfull owner is. For the two games he linked, most of the characters where famous sprites from the 90's. Even the guys not around gaming in the 90's will know who is the rightful owner of Super Mario, or Megaman.

 

Even if he picks sprites from less wellknown games, the publisher / dev is just a quick google search away. In the day and age of Big Data, there is no excuse like "I didn't know there was an owner"... everything that isn't in the public domain has an owner, everything that isn't opensourced is protected, and everyone has access to all the information there is about old games.

 

 

@ TO: Really, I might sound harsh or unfair again, if I do, I am sorry about that. Just do your own research (to find out IF something is opensource, or in the public domain, if its not, its protected), and make sure you don't ask obvious questions.

 

If the question would have been "how are these games getting away with it", you would have gotten a quite different tone in the responses. People would tell you the same thing ("they are infringing on someone elses IP"), but you wouldn't sound like you kinda plan to infringe yourself.

If the question would have been "I like to use old games sprites, no probs, right?", you might still have gotten slightly harsher response (as the question gets asked to often), but people would assume you just don't know better, and would have given you the same response, without the hint that you actually already know better.

 

 

One last thing to address: this again might be obvious, but there are some people that assume something that has become extremly famous and has been around for some time automatically becomes public domain (free to use for everyone)...

Like what happens sometimes with brandnames that become synonymous for the real name of the thing. It HAPPENS that judges rule a brandname to be "public domain" because it has kinda replaced the original word in the language (happened in switzerland with the Brandname our biggest telco gave to their cellphones).

 

But unless either the owner puts something into the public domain, there are EXPLICIT rules about when something becomes public domain (happens with books, for example, but only after MANY decades... I don't even know if there is a rule that the original author needs to be dead and no heirs to be found), or a judge rules about it (which happens very rarely, usually only for names), things remain owned by whoever created something, or bought the rights to it.

 

Mario might be a famous gaming character, it might be THE iconic gaming character. But its still actively used by Nintendo in current games, thus unlikely to be unprotected. Even if it wouldn't be used anymore, you can bet Nintendo would keep the rights, for the chance to revive an old character down the line.

Only if Nintendo would go belly up, nobody would buy its assets (like the rights to Super Mario), there might be a slim chance that Super Mario might be put in the public domain... but only if the rightfull owner decide to do so. Which is, again, highly unlikely.




#5295495 Using game graphics from old games

Posted by Gian-Reto on 07 June 2016 - 08:29 AM

Thank you all for your responses, it has been very helpful in clarifying this for me.

 

I don't understand the aggression from Tom Sloper, as I am clearly new and asking these questions in ernest.  I am just a hobbyist who has no experience or knowledge in these things, and I have seen very successful games like "I Wanna Be The Guy" or "I Wanna Be The Boshy" using almost exclusively graphics from games on the original Nintento Entertainment System.  I legitimately have no knowledge of what might be going on behind the scenes with these games legally, hence my question on this forum.

 

I don't read Toms response as being aggressive at all.

 

If anything, people are a little bit irritated by the amount of questions like these asked on this forum, given it should be obvious (or so you might think).

In itself it is a valid question, but the answer is rather obvious, and given you already seemed to know the answer, Tom did have a point with his first paragraph.

 

 

Now, you are free to break IP laws of course. That is basically what all these guys did. Did some get away with it? Yes, the larger a brand is, the more infringement cases needs to be handled. Given the size of Nintendos brand, the long time they have been around and the sheer importance of their legacy, even a company very aggressively going after infringers will have a tough time fighting the tides of infringing games.

 

That does not make it legal. Nintendo could at any time decide to go after all these games, and the best these guys could hope for is most probably a cease and desist order. Worst case they would loose a very expensive lawsuit.

Looking at some pics of the "I Wanna Be The Boshy" game, I'd say it is very unlikely they could win a lawsuit. They are clearly infringing. Given that is is rather unlikely they got permission by Nintendo to use their property for free (Nintendo doesn't do that), or license it (Again, nintendo doesn't do that), and it is unlikely Nintendo did settle (Nintendo doesn't do that, has not reason to do so and the infringer most probably hasn't got the needed cash), they most probably are just infringers yet to be discovered by Nintendos legal team.

Expect swift action should that happen. You can expect the game to be gone in an instant, at least from all the storefronts if it is there. Might linger on longer on sharing sites and whatever, but depending on how badly Nintendo wants to strike, they might go after everyone that hosts it and punish them hard.

 

You need to understand that many on these forums are Indie devs, or working in the Games Industry, others are serious hobbyist. Neither of them is particularly fond of people "stealing" other peoples IP, because they don't want it to happen to them (when they most probably CANNOT afford to go after infringers the same way the big studios can), and because it is just that... stealing some elses (intellectual) property.

 

And then there is a TON of assets and code available online that others have made free to use and shared it with the broader community. First see if you cannot find LEGAL art before you complain about not being able to proceed with your project because of missing art.

 

 

TL;DR

 

1. It doesn't matter how old something is. As long as it is still protected, you are infringing.

2. It doesn't matter if you make your copycat free. You are still infringing.

3. It doesn't matter if your games are successfull or not. You might get discovered and sued earlier in the former case, you are still infringing in the latter.

 

If you are looking for good advice on these forums, these are about all you will get:

1. Don't infringe someone elses IP, come up with your original ideas, names and graphics

2. If you are no artist, either

   a) learn to live with your limitations and embrace the programmer art... its the new chic in some Indie genres

   b) team up with an artist... hard to do without expierience or money to pay them, but expierience and money can be built up over time

   c) become more competent at art yourself... yes, even someone with no artistic skill can do that. Might not be the next picasso, but that is hardly the target.

3. Enjoy the uniqueness your own ideas will bring to your game... I am sure your players will like that way more than the next lame Mario ripoff with original graphics and whatnot.

 

(4. failing all of that, search the net for free art, or buy cheap stock art. If you are searching enough, you will find practically everything you need.)




#5295453 CPC

Posted by Gian-Reto on 07 June 2016 - 03:42 AM

Users will accidentally click add.

 

Which sounds like a great way to piss off your audience. Many will just uninstall after that happened once, thinking your game to be buggy. Some will uninstall because they see that it was done on purpose. The ones that stay will get wary to click as they might hit an add (which is NOT why people play games)... they will stop playing at some point, and during their next app cleanup they will, you guessed it, uninstall your game.

 

 

A 14 year old made an easy game. Got 3 mil downloads. Didn't make money cause he had lack of experience in advertising. But if a 14 year old can get 3 mil downloads. So can I. And with the right CPC or CPM or pay to win method. Turns that 3mil downloads into $100,000 to $1,000,000. I see the gaming industry blooming with portable smart phone everywhere. I want to get into this. The real money is in 2 areas I see. Entertainment and sales. Entertainment use to not be a big money maker. But our day and age is remarkable.

 

Someone won the lottery. Got millions out of it. So can you. Play the lottery, sounds like a surefire way to make money.

 

On a less sarcastic note, and just to be sure my point is understandable, it doesn't matter who had what success doing whatever. Just because a 14 yo had a lot of success doesn't mean you will have. How many 14 yo failed? How many 30 yo failed? You are looking at a very lucky freak success and extrapolating your chances of success from that. Not a very sound way of looking at things.

 

The games industry might be doing well. Doesn't mean that individual developers are. As long as you are not one of the big, wellknown brands, you will struggle, and you need luck. You might still have not to bad chances of surviving. But don't look at freak successes and try to emulate them, because if that is your target, you will most probably fail.

 

 

Because you seem to be coming to a lot of weird conclusions: Entertainment industry was always big. I have zero idea what you mean with "sales" (Everything needs to be sold, even "entertainment products")... so your statement looks kinda weird to me anyway.

But the entertainment industry has been big since the gladiators made their owners ton of money (and actually were able to live the good life themselves if they were successfull) in ancient rome.

Some people made a ton of money with religious entertainment during the middle ages, composing classical music and writing secular fiction and plays later on, making old black and white movies during the 30's, and so on.

Games might have started small (because it was a kinda crude expierience at first, and as always was only attracting early adopters), but gaming overtook movies some time ago in raw sales AFAIK.

 

And last thing: don't think the big money lies in mobile phone games. While the audience might be big, prices have been raced to the bottom. Ads are not really that strong (they never have been AFAIK), and F2P is the only way to really make good money on mobile, while having to make a tough balance between NOT going to far pay 2 win, and NOT becoming an online casino abusing gambling addicts.

And don't even dare to mention flappy birds, because lucky freak success :)




#5294978 Best approach for a demo game in short time?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 04 June 2016 - 10:41 AM

Scratch anything MMO of your list. Not going to happen, like, ever, unless you are rich. Else > 100 manyears even for an expierienced dev.

 

Scratch anything complex 3D of the list unless you want to spend years in learning how to work with 3D objects, programming game logic, AI and whatnot.

 

Better scratch UE4 of your list if you want results in 2 months time. You might be able to complete some tutorials in that time, and build a VERY SIMPLE protoype based on those tutorials.

Given you have 2 months FULLTIME and use the first month to learn the engine, maybe you CAN achieve something small.

 

 

But to go back to the beginning: why do you even ask? You should be playing around with UE4 already and find out what you can do. See what you achieve after a week, and reduce your scope accordingly.

Really, the engine is free, and there are tutorials around. Just give it a go. People here will tell you to scale back your plans, maybe even go without the Unreal engine for now because of the initial learning curve. And they are right. But on the other hand, why not jump in and see for yourself?




#5294629 Code vs. drag and drop in Game Maker

Posted by Gian-Reto on 02 June 2016 - 06:19 AM

No expierience with game maker, but have used Blueprint in UE4 (guess similar concept). And had some exposure to similar tools in Unity.

 

Programming is programming, not matter if done through code or with a visual tool. While the second might seem simpler to unexpierienced people, might be easier to grasp at first, and might even allow some nice functions like macros and stuff, in the end you just swapped one syntax (C++ code) for a different one (colored blocks and links).

 

There are quite some drawbacks to visual scripting (like complex code getting hard to read thanks to the "formatting" of the visual language, unless you start to macro the sh*t out of it), and given you most of the time only get a small subset of the possibilities code gives you, its also limited at what it can do (or at least requires you so substitute simpler functions available through code with more complex combinations of visual constructs).

 

 

With that said, why exactly do you want to evade doing things the traditional way, through code? Given that this is how things SHOULD be done in a professional environment, save simple level, ai or animation scripts (where visual scripting actually does make sense)?

Really, if you or your students are able to learn the visual language, you are not that far off from learning to code the same thing.

 

If it is because you are afraid that students are more turned off by having to code vs clicking togehter visual scripts, I do understand that. But at that point, you probably shouldn't worry about the limited features you get from using visual scripting vs real code. Complex logic often needs complex code, unless you can substitute writing your own code / building your own visual script by using existing libraries.

 

 

Really, your students should learn to code. In 2016, everyone should try to AT LEAST get some basic knowledge of programming. Given that many jobs are in danger of being automated, you can bet the guys being able to program the robots taking over these jobs are employed the longest.

 

If we are talking game design students, learning to code should be a no brainer. Just had a friend of mine complain lately getting through a multi year game design course and only having been exposed to code for a week... a WEEK!

Its like an architect not knowing how a house is built... and of course, for her final assignment she had to develop and program her own game. Talk about throwing them into the deep end!

 

If we are talking students in undergrads or whatever, yeah, maybe go easy on the code with them. Still, having to actually write code themselves will be an additional thing learned while building these games. I would go the route of letting them program a part of the game, while providing the hard to program part with additional libraries (or let them use the visual scripting for that, IF the visual scripting tool is up to the challenge).






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