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Shaquil

Member Since 03 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Mar 16 2014 06:56 PM

#5136444 Do any commercial games use the free sprites?

Posted by Shaquil on 04 March 2014 - 08:57 PM

Hidden In Plain Sight, the XBLA/Ouya game uses free art, and it's pretty successful.




#5136304 I wanted to enter into this vast mobile game development world but unaware

Posted by Shaquil on 04 March 2014 - 08:19 AM

Here's a great tutorial you should check out any time you want info on getting started in mobile games:

 

http://bit.ly/1c4NfgB




#5134756 Can you talk the programming techno talk?

Posted by Shaquil on 26 February 2014 - 08:35 AM

SE/SO is where highly intelligent programmers go to get back at all the kids who bullied them in school.  If you happen upon SE/SO to find an answer to a question, or look up some other bit of material you'll probably miss this point.  Those that frequent it regularly though, have probably seen the divide in almost elementary school-level antics and drama that swirl within the moderators and top users. 

 

It is of no misunderstanding that the SE/SO veterans are good at what they do and highly intelligent, however most are condescending in their answers, as some even to the point of harassing or insulting - for this, while I browse SE/SO, I very rarely ever post - to avoid some sex-deprived DBA for laughing at me because I didn't use the word tuple instead of trying to describe an unordered set. 

 

A good example of this is Jon Skeet, the often-sung superstar of SO.  He knows his shit, I enjoy the books and blogs that he's written, he's very precise with his answers and his knowledge of C# is probably unmatched.  However, he's a complete dick.  Time and time again I've viewed him giving answers on SO that were, for-lack-of-a-better-word, cruel.  It is for this, that while his skill in undeniable, if he ever walked into my office for an interview I'd walk him back out as that level of solo heroism has no place in enterprise development. 

 

You find this a lot on SE/SO, and if you plan to play with the big-dogs I'd suggest learning the academia portion of computer science just as much as the applied portion - that and a bit of Shakespearean satire.

 

I've sincerely never experienced anything but friendliness on stack overflow, yet I often see comments like this. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.




#5132024 Designing a "quest" system for top down 2d rpg

Posted by Shaquil on 17 February 2014 - 08:42 AM

-I spend last day/night learning lua watching tutorials and to be honest it is pretty not safe... allot of things could go wrong, and knowing me smile.png oh well.

So i decided for currect project to keep lua out, at least until i get to know it allot better.

 

Just curious. What do you mean it's not safe?




#5114162 Something I've noticed

Posted by Shaquil on 03 December 2013 - 04:23 PM

 

I suggest that someone organize a pool of people looking to create an engine from scratch. We build one team at a time, seperate into specific projects that are similar where people can make some compromises in order to get some finished product created.

 

Don't you think that's a little crazy? That's a lot of work, and you "suggest" that "someone" does it, instead of doing it yourself?

 

 

Although I doubt you're still reading this thread, I just wanted to be clear that I didn't mean to sound like I was piling on. I just think you should go do it. It's a retarded idea, but if you think it's so great, just do it. Suggesting that someone else does it is just pretending that you want it to happen. I mean, you posted it on a forum. At least ask someone in specific, if you really believe in it but don't want to lead. That's all.




#5114002 Something I've noticed

Posted by Shaquil on 03 December 2013 - 06:14 AM

I suggest that someone organize a pool of people looking to create an engine from scratch. We build one team at a time, seperate into specific projects that are similar where people can make some compromises in order to get some finished product created.

 

Don't you think that's a little crazy? That's a lot of work, and you "suggest" that "someone" does it, instead of doing it yourself?




#5107302 I'm stuck, haven't gotten any better at programming in months

Posted by Shaquil on 05 November 2013 - 05:55 PM

There've been some good responses already, but I think there's one thing that's gone unmentioned. There are plenty of little tricks you can come up with to force yourself to work, but I think the most important thing you can do is sit down and define why you're doing what you're doing. You need something to remind yourself of, when you're about to delay writing the Next Great Mobile Game to watch some cat videos. Take advantage of your weaknesses. How would you trick yourself into working if you were someone else?

 

As an example, here's what I do. I'm a very competitive, agitated, narcissistic person. Instead of changing this, I acknowledge it and use it as a weapon against myself. I used to have a severe problem with finishing projects, until one day I read an interview of some successful CEO. May've been Bill Gates. In the interview, the guy indicated that he thought that people who didn't finish projects just weren't smart. That it takes a certain IQ level to have the motivation and drive to see things through to the end on your own. I have a relatively low IQ (especially compared to most engineers), so I took offense. To this day, whenever I'm about to sway on a project,  I remind myself that successful people will look at me and say it's because I'm stupid, and I go back at it with more fire than when I started.

 

You might be a nicer, more caring person. Maybe you get super excited to do stuff when you know some specific person will really appreciate it. Write games for specific people you love, then. Or look into research that shows how games can help people in tough times. It'll give you a reason to wake up before your alarm clock and start coding. My thing is anger, yours might be compassion, someone else's might be greed. But I find this is the best remedy. Figure out who you are and use that knowledge like a weapon against laziness.




#5105384 Why use a Graphics Library instead of an Engine? (Ex: OpenGL vs Unity)

Posted by Shaquil on 29 October 2013 - 10:47 AM

Unity and other game engines make it easier to create games but there's two big trade-offs:

-You might want to implement a feature/effect that simply isn't possible in the architecture of the game engine that you're using. For example, is it possible to implement Forward+ in Unity? What about a custom GI technique? Or some game specific logic?

-Since game engines like Unity, UDK, are designed to support multiple types of games there's some optimizations that can't be made because it would reduce the engine flexibility.

 

Thanks for the perspective. I personally would still at least try to work within a prebuilt engine, or modify an open source engine that already does 50-60% of what I need, but at least now I understand why on earth someone wouldn't.




#5093996 CS Degree - Is it worth it?

Posted by Shaquil on 14 September 2013 - 07:49 AM

Having dealt with many bozos on forums who think snappy jokes are legitimate forms of long-term life advice, my experience has been that a number of them suffer from a syndrome I term "negative justification". People who suffer this syndrome tend to justify something they've done mainly through convincing themselves that things would have been worse had they not done it.

 

Symptoms include:

 

  • Justifying doing some action by denegrating the people who haven't done it.
  • Blaming the flaws of specific people you've met in your life on some arbitrary trait they all share, and assuming that the same flaws exist in other people who share that trait. (Ex: "engineers who have eschewed college ruin everything!")
  • Convincing yourself that all benefits from something you've done justify having done it. (Ex: Saying things like: "You can get industry contacts at school that land you a job!" As if you can't do that at conventions, conferences, club meetings, bars, and park benches)
  • Assuming, without justification, that you are currently better off for having taken some action than you would've been had you not. (Ex: "My CS Degree taught me problem solving!" As though you could not have learned problem solving as well, or better, without the degree.)

If you think you may be suffering from "negative justification" syndrome, please consult your nearest psychiatrist. If untreated, "negative justification" syndrome could lead to  working a job you don't love so you can pay off debt you shouldn't have. Eventually, you may find yourself writing unnecessarily argumentative forum posts to boost your ego during coffee breaks.




#5093778 Java books

Posted by Shaquil on 13 September 2013 - 08:05 AM

Bruce Eckel's book is good for a quick run through the language, but if you're a total beginner it's far too harsh:

 

http://mindviewinc.com/Index.php

 

Check out these tutorials on youtube. They'll save your life:

 

Derek Banas:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGLfVvz_LVvQUjiCc8lUT9aO0GsWA4uNe

 

Prof Gustin:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB4253C81CD49FF26

 

The best way to learn Java/Android is to just get started. Once you've learned all the basic rules of inheritance and polymorphism (which is infinitely easier in Java than C++), you should just start with Android. Those video tutorials can help you.




#5093777 CS Degree - Is it worth it?

Posted by Shaquil on 13 September 2013 - 07:59 AM

Many people here seem to think that getting a degree / complete certain courses like graph theory/set theory and stuff like that is a milestone, a 'goal in life'. It's not. Getting a degree or working is a means to the real goal: be happy, grow your family, interact socially with people you want to be social with (or whatever your true goal in life is). Don't focus on the degree, it's just a tool, like a hammer, it's lifeless, nothing more. What you can do with the tool/degree to achieve your true goals is what matters.

Can it help you with your goal in life? Then do so, otherwise, don't.
Also, a mentor is many many many times more valuable than a degree. The one way to find a mentor is to talk with older experienced people. You don't even need to know anything, only be motivated and he'll teach you and implicitly derive satisfaction from teaching you.

Some people are laying traps here mentioning subjects like 'graph theory' (or type in whatever subject) as being special/something you must know!!!! It really is not special at all. A consumer of your final product doesn't give one shit how it's done, just that it's working. When you face the problems, then you can learn these subjects. Perhaps the only thing you need to know is that it's there for you so you can learn it when you need to use it.

Remember in the end you die and whatever you learned dies with you. Only what you've done for other people will matter after your life. You don't need a degree for that, you only need TO DO IT and don't be a lazy bum that clocks from 9 to 5.

There's more to explain but I'll just leave at this.

 

^^^This guy knows what he's talking about. The point of studying Computer Science is the problem solving, not the specific classes/subjects you study. If you can get the problem solving knowledge and experience without college, don't go. Simple as that.




#5092347 CS Degree - Is it worth it?

Posted by Shaquil on 07 September 2013 - 03:09 PM

Two years ago, I was in your shoes. I'm 21 now. There are two things you must think about when making this decision:

 

1. Is the school you're going to a "CS School"?

2. Are you confident enough in your abilities to not get a degree?

 

If the answer to 1 is "No," then no. Don't even bother. Especially if their CS department is small. The stress of dealing with subpar professors, and unenthusiastic students who barely remember the difference between << and >> will kill your enthusiasm for programming. Don't do it to yourself.

 

2 is there because, honestly, you don't need college for anything but help. Classes, professors and classmates won't make you better or worse. But they can push you in a certain direction (as mentioned above). Classes on any subject are only helpful if you weren't going to study the subject on your own as intensively. Otherwise, the school system's one-size-fits-all process will just slow you down. So think about it: Summer just ended--what were you doing? If you, say, started studying a topic that'd be covered in a CS degree (Algorithms, Programming Languages, Object-Oriented Design Patterns), or worked on a big project (even if you didn't completely finish it), then you probably don't need to go to school--you've got the enthusiasm and the internet. If you watched Let's Plays and screwed around not getting much done, a degree program with mentors, and a community of kids who share the same interest, might help you stay focused. Only if the answer to 1 is "yes".

 

The BIG takeaway:

 

At this point in my university career, I see more clearly than ever that if you want to improve yourself you need three things above all: Motivation, a mentor, and a community. It's hard to become a great Computer Scientist/Programmer without detailed, catered feedback from someone who already is one. It's challenging to keep focused when every time a friend calls you up, it's to talk about games they're playing rather than coding. It's impossible to improve without having the desire within yourself to sit down alone in front of a computer and debug code you're sure should be working perfectly. For hours. You have to supply the Motivation. But if the school can't supply you the other two, then it's not worth 4 years of a life you'll only live once, and potentially thousands in debt--something that can ruin you. Don't make the common choice; make the smart choice.

 

Good luck, and have fun.




#5062588 Designing A Points/Probability System

Posted by Shaquil on 17 May 2013 - 07:59 AM

A recommendation system shouldn't be based on categories; work at the level of individual SKUs. For example, Amazon is very explicit about what it proposes: "customers who bought/browsed this also bought/browsed ...". Recommend the items which are correlated in the real world, not in your abstract and arbitrary category system.

 

Relax. Amazon's recommendation engine sucks particularly because it only considers what you and other people bought, but has no idea why you bought them. There are many, many factors that contribute to bulk/related purchases that could have nothing to do with an individual user's tastes. The only correlation that matters is in the customer's mind; the real world doesn't matter. Working at the level of individual SKUs has got to be the craziest idea I've ever heard. You do realize that all 15 different Anniversary Editions of Atlas Shrugged are the same book but different SKUs?

 

Anyway, I'm looking for advice/a point in the right direction on designing the system in general. I came up with one method that I'm going to go with for now, though I don't like it:

 

When users sign up for the service, they indicate things about themselves. Favorite genre of music/movie/books, their job, their favorite celebrities, etc, etc. Using that info, points will be attributed to appropriate categories of books. When the user loads up the main page where the recommendations will be, they'll see 10 recommendations. Every single recommendation is calculated individually as a random draw. The system adds up all the points, and any individual category's percentage of being chosen is equal to its percentage of the total points. When a category wins, the system chooses a book from that category based on other rules that are irrelevant for now. On the next recommendation, the category that won the previous one is deducted a certain amount of points (its original amount of points will stay the same in the database, but the actual value we're using in the system will be decreased), and all losing categories will gain the same amount of points. The random drawing is then done again. The point is that the categories with 0 points will never get the first recommendation, and rarely get in the next 4 or 5, but might possibly grab the 10th spot at the end. A category with 0 points should have a chance to win because 0 doesn't mean "dislike," it just means "has expressed no interest." Negative points means dislike.

 

I recognize that the more categories there are, the more drastically the system will alter percentages for each next "drawing," but that's why I'm looking for input/other ideas, because it isn't very ideal.




#5060417 Text documents and video briefings as a reward mechanic?

Posted by Shaquil on 08 May 2013 - 04:25 PM

These are questions that a game designer should be answering him/herself, not asking everybody else. What you really need to ask, though, is the question you assumed an answer to: Does the player even care about these briefings and documents?

 

Let's say your game blows up, and it's a huge success. What happens to successful games? Every last second of the experience is recorded and up on youtube almost instantaneously. How much of a reward is it to get some video briefing, newspaper clip, or some other such piece of gameplay-extrinsic lore in the age of online videos and wikipedia? If I really want to know what happened in briefing #004, I'll go to youtube. It's certainly not going to be the difference between me playing your game for 5 more minutes or not.

 

If you want to reward the player for playing, reward him/her within the gameplay, not outside of it.




#5052797 Kickstarter Rewards- First Draft

Posted by Shaquil on 13 April 2013 - 07:48 AM

Good evening, 

 

In four weeks I will have a Kickstarter to fund the production of my game Necromancer, The Fight For Life. 

You can see some initial art and story here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/

 

And I have a blog here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/progress/progress.html

 

Below is my first draft for my Kickstarter rewards, please feel free to offer me any feedback on them. I like to think I am being quite generous compared to a lot of other Kickstarter's I've seen. I went for hats rather than t-shirts because I have heard horror stories of how expensive and complicated it can be to custom order t-shirts because people want different sizes which complicates matters.

 

$1- a warm email thank you.

$5- name in in-game credits, name in website credits, a sticker pack, access to exclusive development blog (different from personal blog).

$10- digital copy of finished game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$20- digital copy of Necromancer Field Guide (an art book in the style of a naturalist's field guide for undead!) plus an extra digital copy of the game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$50- a Necromancer cap or beanie plus above rewards.

$75- physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed) plus above rewards.

$100- your likeness and name as an in game NPC plus above rewards.

$200- your likeness and name as in game enemy necromancer or soldier portrait (visible in battle) plus above rewards.

$500- your likeness and name as a major in game character in a side quest, plus above rewards.

$1000- your name and likeness as an in game heroic statue in a town or city center with readable plaque, plus above rewards.

 

I would remove the "any platform it's developed for" language. Can't you break it off into options on Kickstarter? I remember vaguely when I paid for the RingBow that it had color options, and you specified your color in a text field. Having the users do that would be much better than "on any platform it's developed for." What if you port it three years later, and now all these people are entitled to a free digital copy? Now you have to keep track of who is and who isn't supposed to get a free one on whatever platform you port to for the rest of your life.

 

I would also push everything up a level and get rid of the $1 tier. Make the $1 reward the 5$ reward, make the 5$ reward the $10 reward, etc. If you're trying to charge 10 for your game, then move everything up, but keep the game at the $10 tier. That's just because I personally think a lot of the rewards below the $100 mark aren't very exciting, and seem to be there just because that's 'what you do' with a kickstarter--fill it out with a bunch of tiers.

 

There's also the matter of how high the rewards go. Try to ask yourself how many people you'd be willing to do these rewards for. Let's assume you only want to do the $1000 reward for 10 people max, just because it'd be a pain to put all that specific stuff in the game. But then, since it's a pain, you aren't willing to do it for just two people, because that might be a waste of time. So with that max and min, think about the reward and the audience, and say "Do I really think more than 2 people will pay for this reward? Do I really think fewer than 10 will pay for this reward?" If the answer is yes on both counts, only then should you do it. This goes for all the reward brackets. Less is more in this case.

 

Also, putting someone's name and likeness in the game might not be such a great idea realistically, and might not appeal to people who would otherwise donate that much. Some people don't want to be immortalized in your game, or any game. It's better when people say the donator can name a character, or at best design a character, or take some part in the creation of the character. But dealing with someone's likeness and real name is just odd. You walk into a town in the city and see two statues: One of Vilgax Thalmor, the great Dragon Slayer, and one of Tom Garfunkle, the kickstarter backer. Not to mention the trouble of getting good pictures of each person who backs you at those levels, and how you might feel about putting someone who looks like them in your game. It'd be a mess.

 

Look at the rewards for Planet Explorers for an idea of what they did, though I question some of their tiers too (the customer gets to design a side quest? Are you nuts?): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1757963851/planet-explorers?ref=category

 

Edit:

 

Also, good luck!






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