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Member Since 29 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 07 2016 07:07 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Following the Train Tracks or Plumbing the Depths

06 July 2016 - 07:21 AM

I think it all depends on the type of player.  The problem I see with many games, especially MMOs of any sort, is that they tend to only shallowly attempt to cater toward different player motivations - Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers.  I enjoyed WOW immensely for a time, again until I realize how manipulative the exploration aspect of the world was when I attempted to explore beyond the boundaries of my quest line.  Entire zones bereft of any interaction besides aggression simply because I had no quests there.  And the story within quests had little bearing on the quest itself, outside telling you where to go and what to kill.  There was very little to figure out.  I never really EARNED anything.


To answer your point on lore...have you ever played a game so good that you just want to read anything and everything about it?  You keep looking for more and more information and explanations and history because you just can't get enough of the setting?  If not, then you're probably not an Explorer type.  For me, there have been a few games where all I've wanted to do was scour the Internet for theories and lore.  I've continued playing games long past the time when I've beat them because I'm trying better understand the BBEG's motivations or learn more about how the current political climate came about.


As for Google...you are ALWAYS going to have people who aren't interested in figuring it out for themselves, but you also have to have the people that DID.  Also, a lot of the problem with puzzle solving or figuring out tricks to monsters has to do with the fact that they are inherently game constructs, rather than lore constructs; in other words, they were designed simply as a way to change things up for the player, rather than something that appears to grow forth from lore or environment.  I think many players have grown to expect this from a game, especially early on when the game proves it to be that way, so instead of looking for answers within the game to solve the problem, they turn to Google. 


Imagine instead, if players were given the ability to pen instructional manuals within the game itself.  This would take some of the strain off of developers by placing some of the responsibility of filling out the lore into player hands.  How To's and Walkthroughs will still get made, but they will be written as part of the game rather than a separate entity.  It's also another way for players to get famous, providing another draw for the Achiever type.  It would give a good outlet for the Explorer type, now that information is even more valuable.  Some lore would require adept Killers and Achievers in order to survive the areas where the information lies, and a good social network would be necessary to provide access to the each of these types.  To be honest, giving incentives to keep info in-game would only make the game itself and the networks within it more valuable and interesting.

In Topic: Game Engine Architecture: what's after that?

21 February 2016 - 01:47 PM

My advice is NOT to focus on one specific book. My advice is to first write an outline of what you want out of your game, then focus on what you need to do to make each part work - put something on screen, make a sound, process input - and then just start coding.

There is no better experience than to learn by doing, and failing, and adjusting, and redoing. Seriously, NO BETTER EXPERIENCE. Start looking at different sources of information only when you come across a specific problem you want to solve. Then, when you starting reading, read MANY different peoples' solutions.

Best thing I've ever read in the programming book. There is no such thing as a right answer, just many different less wrong answers to choose from.

In Topic: Game dev theory pointers

08 February 2016 - 11:53 AM

One of the best things I've ever read in a computer programming book was this: 'There is no one right answer to anything. Just a collection of answers that are each less-wrong.' Or something like that.

Alright, stay with me. I'm going somewhere with this. I've been where you are. I'm STILL where you are. There are a lot of voices out there yelling out the proper way to do things, the best way, the most efficient, the cleanest, the least memory intensive... But programming doesn't always work that way. I've found, in most cases, making something work is infinitely better than getting it RIGHT.

So I just did what I wanted. I came up with a game concept, and I started working. And I failed. Over. And over. And over. And over. But it's been a few years now, and my massive online text adventure that I'm working on is actually starting to look like a game. I'm still having to learn new concepts every day, but it's easier and easier with each new concept, and I understand them faster and faster.

See, what I've learned about learning programming, is there are three stages to really understanding a concept, be that from a book or a forum or a teacher.

The first stage is being able to look at some example or some explanation that's given and just being able to understand what the hell they are saying LOL. I'm talking understanding Vocabulary, intent, what the heck a semicolon is for. In the beginning, this takes forever. And when you're done, you're like well I'm never going to use that, not in my game. Why did I need to learn this? Because you don't really get it yet. This is just the first stage.

The second stage is when you look at what they're telling you and you're like wow! That really makes sense. I see exactly what he's doing here. You look at it and you're like, I could totally put this in my game and use it. Like, the whole idea just makes sense. This stage is problematic because it gives you a false sense of security. You feel like you really learned something. And then when you try and put it in your code, you can't seem to make what they are doing work for what you want to do, because it doesn't really fit. It's his interpretation of his solution, and it doesn't apply to your problem. For me, I got stuck at this stage for so long because my ego told me I was smarter than I was LOL. Then I finally discovered the third stage.

It wasn't until this year that I really understood the third stage. The third stage is when you can look at a problem and not only understand the verbiage and the terms, and not only understand what he's using it for and how it works, but you can understand the underlying theory and the implications of the knowledge. You can literally boil down what is being said to what is happening, and abstract that out to 200 different scenarios. This to me is the beginnings of mastery. Because you can look at their solution, and take that back down to the problem, and work from there toward your solution.

When you first begin, the distance between stage two and stage III is massive. Like, you can't even see stage three and understand it even exists at first. Then one day, after going over some example for the 1500th time, you're like holy crap! And it clicks. And then every single time you get to a new concept that distance between stage two and three grows shorter and shorter and shorter. And then you can start seeing how different theories and different concepts tie together and everything just suddenly starts making sense. And it's awesome!
You're like holy crap! And it clicks. And then every single time you get to a new concept that distance between stage two and three shorter and shorter and shorter. And then you can start seeing how different theories and different concepts tied to gather and everything just suddenly starts making sense. And it's awesome!

My advice to you on that is, when you find a concept that you want to understand and implement, go find about 10 different people doing it their own way. Try to figure out what they're doing and why they're doing it the way they're doing it. And then really the more people you understand the closer and closer you will be to understanding stage III of that topic.

But above all? Just get started. Program. There is no better way to learn than to try an idea, and fail at it miserably.

In Topic: Pathfinding and Databases

20 January 2016 - 01:52 PM

No, no.  It's not problem.  I was a bit tired last night when I wrote that.  Woke up this morning and reread what I and you wrote and was sort of like....eh?  Didn't want to just delete it as I wasn't sure if it had been read.


As for the above, that makes sense.  Didn't realize I wasn't clear about loading my database into memory for calculation purposes.  Sorry about that.


I think I've probably got this figured out now.  Again, thank you for your time.  Apologies again for MY tone.  Back to the grind!

In Topic: Pathfinding and Databases

20 January 2016 - 07:11 AM


I am curious though, where are the other four edges coming from? I only count 16.

Entries and exits of the room.

Ah. I figured that may be what you meant. However, in my game, I would potentially need nine more edges on enclosed rooms, and.... A whole lot more on open terrain. I did that so you could have multiple doors on one wall, allowing players to enter and exit a room from multiple spots.

Mad props on that graphic though.


EDIT - Holy crap!  I just found the other four edges INSIDE the room.  Blind as a bat...Thanks!