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Member Since 25 Sep 2002
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#5237088 Your thoughts on the value of profilers and debuggers?

Posted by jbadams on 27 June 2015 - 07:32 AM

A profiler or timing code can provide you with actual measurements of performance.

Yes, this takes skill to interpret and act upon and can be used to reach false conclusions in some cases; the fact that some users may make mistakes does not make it a bad tool any more than a hammer is a bad tool because some users may mistakenly hit their thumb.

Can you live without a debugger? Absolutely. You're missing out on some great functionality that can make your life easier though.

Can a debugger be used lazily? Sure. Again, some lazy or uneducated users don't mean the tool itself is bad.

If you don't want to use modern tools that's your decision, but counter to your experience all of the best programmers I have worked with swear by both profilers and debuggers.

#5237057 what is best way to check a code is more effiecient and runs faster than others

Posted by jbadams on 27 June 2015 - 02:42 AM

The only sensible approach is to actually measure the performance: there's a reason we call it "computer science" rather than "computer voodoo".

Use a profiler or do your own timing (never just guess), measure things in context (i.e. not isolated snippets), and either use real data or data that is as close to real as possible.

Note that code that is faster on one machine may be slower on another, so for meaningful results you also need to test with the environment your code will actually run in whenever possible.

#5236470 Do you comment Above or Below your code?

Posted by jbadams on 23 June 2015 - 06:18 PM

One case where I used below is to clarify what a part of a statement "means." Comment below sorta serves as my post-script. 

area=width * height
print("The area of the triangle is %.2f" %area)
#.2f sets a float with two decimal places
Agreed with ChaosEngine, I would normally put that sort of comment alongside the line of code.

#5236268 Help creating sim game

Posted by jbadams on 22 June 2015 - 11:53 PM

Your game sounds a bit like Interactive Fiction, so the above suggestion of Twine might be a good one; it's free and open source software that publishes directly as HTML.  Stories are created with a visual system and can be extended or enhanced with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


Similarly, you could also look at Inform, which is a similar option for interactive fiction, or BYOND, which is not specifically built for interactive fiction but would probably be well suited to the task.



If you wanted something a bit more "game-like" then Stencyl or Game Maker might also be good options.



Of course, there's always the more "DIY" option of learning to program, in which case you would just need to pick a language and start learning the basics; if you wanted to go this route I would probably recommend C# or Python, but really any programming language would be fine.



Does that help?

#5235993 Help creating sim game

Posted by jbadams on 21 June 2015 - 04:02 AM

If I might add to frob's suggestion, your game idea isn't overly ambitious and is absolutely something you will be able to achieve if you put in the work.  It's just not something you should attempt as your first project.


By choosing small and simple projects first you can practice the basic skills and learn the things that are common to all games without getting bogged down by the specifics of your main idea.  It'll be easier to learn, and you won't be unhappy with the results of your project because it isn't your dream game.  You can then move on to your proper project with a better handle on the basic skills of development and a better idea of how to approach it.



As for suggestions of engines, etc., if you check the faq and do some searching the answers given to any other beginner are likely to apply to you as well, but if you want specific suggestions tailored to your needs we'll really need some more information to make informed suggestions:

  • Do you have any prior experience with development outside of games?  If so, what have you used?
  • Do you have a budget for buying tools, or do you need or want to stick to free options?
  • What target platform(s) do you want to aim for with your idea?

#5235967 Do you comment Above or Below your code?

Posted by jbadams on 20 June 2015 - 10:27 PM

As with the above two posters, a short comment about an individual line goes alongside, and larger comments go above.


It's extremely uncommon to find comments below a section of code, and if I came across such a thing it would probably take me a moment to figure out exactly what was going on.  You shouldn't go against common conventions without a very good reason for doing so.



I haven't voted in your poll because it wasn't really possible to express both above and alongside but not below.

#5235944 Tiny Serialization Library

Posted by jbadams on 20 June 2015 - 06:56 PM

Well... there is a trick to avoid most of the work...

Any chance you care to expand on that so that EDI and others might benefit?

#5235432 Beginner in programming and game development!

Posted by jbadams on 18 June 2015 - 03:58 AM

but isn't unity for designers??
I don't know ,but should a programmer  use unity??

Unity is for people who want to finish games.  Unless you're using a third-party add-on for visual scripting you still need to program to make games with Unity, so it's absolutely fine.


If you're looking for alternatives you might also try using Unreal Engine.



If you want to experience lower level programming go right ahead and use a library such as MonoGame, SFML, SDL, etc., but there's no reason not to continue using Unity if you're doing well with it so far.



Especially given you mention not getting into "hardcore development" I think just continuing to make games is probably the best option for you.

#5234254 Writing a contract - ensuring everybody's interest.

Posted by jbadams on 11 June 2015 - 04:57 AM

You could give do contract() a go -- it's a free service that allows you to generate a plain language (i.e. not legalese) contract by selecting options and filling blanks.  I wouldn't call it "bullet proof", but it's a fairly well respected service created by a group of experienced developers with the help of industry lawyers.



There are also a couple of links to recommended lawyers for the industry in the faq towards the bottom if you'd rather hire someone -- which would likely still be advisable to check over your agreement even if you do decide to use contract().

#5232528 2d game - aerial view or view from angle

Posted by jbadams on 03 June 2015 - 12:03 AM

Consider the gameplay ramifications of your choice as well: in a typical tower defence game accurate tower placement is one of the most important things, and you want to make this easy for the player to do correctly so that their losses will be based on poor strategy rather than accidentally misplacing towers.

Accurately judging position on a grid is generally easier with a top-down view, especially if the grid is not explicitly shown.

Combined with the ease of asset production, I think top-down probably makes more sense unless showing character details is particularly important to your game.

#5232522 Article Idea: Gamer Ethics and The 8 Deadly Sins of Gamification

Posted by jbadams on 02 June 2015 - 11:20 PM

To be honest it sounds like some of your ideas are good ones (if perhaps a little one-sided) and would probably be very interesting to read about in more detail - the biggest issue is simply that "gamification" is not commonly understood to mean what you're describing - it's the wrong word.

If I were you I would take the suggestion to drop the term gamification and then go ahead with drafting your article; some of the ideas are probably worth sharing, and if you're able to take constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is offered you'll likely learn a lot as well.

...and as others have said, stop worrying so much about your reputation - people aren't going to stalk your Facebook profile and blacklist you from the industry just because of some misused terminology and some misunderstanding about the distribution of clean fresh water.

#5232517 Tips for Overhauling Indie Game Graphics on Limited Budget

Posted by jbadams on 02 June 2015 - 10:02 PM

Do they need to be exclusive?

Not at all - we discussed this amongst the staff when we launched the new article system, and while exclusives can help to support a site we don't feel they're really beneficial to the development community.

You're welcome to republish anywhere you like, and if you have originally published something on your own site/blog we're happy to include an "originally published on" link at the bottom of the article. :)

#5232335 Unofficial Gamedev Competition - The Week of Awesome III - Starting soon!

Posted by jbadams on 02 June 2015 - 03:16 AM

The Week of Awesome III is starting soon, and everyone is welcome to join in!


Full details available in the administration topic (currently pinned in The Lounge forum).

#5232039 Learning to create Art - by Riuthamus

Posted by jbadams on 31 May 2015 - 06:13 PM

Awesome! Cute puppies! :)

#5231960 Where to go from here?

Posted by jbadams on 31 May 2015 - 05:41 AM

You said that some of your ideas are for board games... have you tried making playable versions of these?  This doesn't need to involve any lengthy education or require any expensive items -- you just need a pen/marker, some paper or cardboard, and some scissors -- why not make some of these ideas and try them out so that you can refine your craft?