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#5244598 Game Documentation

Posted by on 05 August 2015 - 12:59 AM

What are the requirements for your project?

Submit whatever you need to for your assignment -- if you don't know what the requirements are you should probably speak to your teacher.

#5243317 Is social networking/PR for everyone?

Posted by on 28 July 2015 - 09:50 PM

I have a question regarding content and the process of building an audience. Among the many marketing resources that I've come across, I noticed a few recurring themes (related to Twitter posts and updates). In short, many stated that you have to post at least 5 or more times a day to engage your followers or they will stop following you.

Missed this the first time around.  I saw that same advice when I started running GDNet's social media, and tried it out; the response was terrible, most likely because it was somewhat obvious that I was really struggling to find real content for those updates, and generated more negative feedback than anything.  Your mileage may vary and I would encourage you to try different approaches to see what works for you, but for me we got a much better response once I stopped trying to push out a minimum number of updates and instead concentrated on trying to push out the sort of updates people really want to see, whenever there was something available.  For me that's normally still a minimum of 1 post per day, and sometimes up to 10 posts on a busy day, but occasionally nothing for a couple of days in a row; if I don't have content that's genuinely likely to be interesting I've found I get better results from simply posting nothing than I do from pushing out some sort of update just for the sake of it.



We've also received a lot of great feedback about keeping the accounts "human"; responding to things with an actual opinion rather than just PR talk, posting things as we find them rather than setting up an automated feed, just leaving up the occasional mistake with an apology and correction in the comments rather than trying to make everything perfect.

#5243162 Is social networking/PR for everyone?

Posted by on 28 July 2015 - 06:54 AM

I wonder if social networking/PR is something that can be learned

Absolutely!  I had no real idea about this sort of stuff when I took over the GameDev.net Facebook page, but after a few months of experimentally posting and paying attention to what worked well and what didn't I got the hang of what our audience seemed to respond positively to, and the page is now fairly active and very popular with over three times the number of fans as I started with a more following us every day.


Both Facebook and Twitter provide analytics with quite a bit of detail, so you have solid data to learn from: if a certain type or style of posting drives away fans you'll see it right there in the analytics, and likewise for things that work well.


You can also read up as you have already been doing to benefit from the experience of others and gain some general tips to get you started.

#5242335 How many downloads have you had in the first 2 weeks? - Android Market

Posted by on 24 July 2015 - 01:09 AM

Moving you to our Business forum since you're looking for marketing advice rather than announcing something. :)

#5240240 Has anyone got a feeling of this when you were starting as game developer?

Posted by on 14 July 2015 - 08:08 AM

Do you sometimes times think that a "real game developer" start from the scratch

Of course not.  "Real game developers" make games, whether or not they use an engine has no bearing what-so-ever on that.  An engine just provides basic features, you still have to do a lot of work to make a good game, so it's not cheating at all -- it's simply choosing to take advantage of existing technology rather than spending your own time and effort to create the same thing.


All of these games were made with Unreal Engine, including Deus Ex, Bioshock, America's Army, Thief, Unreal, and many many more.  Similar lists exist for any other popular engine.  Do you think these weren't made by "real developers"?



If you want to start "from scratch" (for fun, or for the educational experience) or you need to start from scratch (because there isn't an existing engine that meets your needs, you can't afford the engine you need, etc.) that's absolutely fine, and working at a lower level is also a perfectly valid path, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of an existing engine, and many of the professional developers behind your favourite AAA titles regularly do so.



Does that help? :)

#5238402 OpenAL play sound

Posted by on 04 July 2015 - 10:53 PM

Are you checking for errors with alGetError?


If you're working based on any examples it's quite likely that they probably omit error checking so that it doesn't clutter up the example and confuse you further, but you should be checking for errors after any call that can potentially fail.  You'll find some documentation for this on page 14 of the OpenAL Programmer's Guide (linked above).



Have you used vectors in graphics, or covered them in maths at school?  Do you not understand the concept of using a vector for direction, or just the specifics of how it's applied to openal?


PS: I target desktops (linux/osx/win)

Are you using any other libraries for windowing, input, etc.?  This is important for properly answering your question about playing a second sound after a delay, as you will either need to use a timing function provided by another library or by the underlying operating systems.




I was looking for the openal programmers guide.

Looking where and how?  Even understanding that Google gives personalised results and you might be seeing different results than I am, when I search for "openal programmers guide" five of the results on the first page are it.  When I instead search for "openal documentation" it appears twice in the results as the second and sixth result.  If I instead search for "openal tutorial" it only appears once on the first page of results, but it's still there.  Results with Bing and DuckDuckGo are very similar, as I would assume those from any competent search engine to be.


I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't have found it very quickly if you were actually looking for it.  It doesn't help anyone to pretend you had previously been trying if you weren't actually putting in the effort, but now that you've actually started answering our questions rather than just complaining about the "what have you tried" link we can start to work through your problem. :)

#5238344 OpenAL play sound

Posted by on 04 July 2015 - 08:00 AM

and I ran into another problem on how to set source direction:
alSourcef (Sources[1], AL_DIRECTION, 0, 1, 0.0 );
I get "too many arguments but I cannot find any doc about that.

I searched for "openal documentation".  The first link was to the OpenAL Specification, which although very detailed may not be all that approachable, so I moved on.

The second result was to the Creative OpenAL Programmer's Reference, which explains the function in question on page 16.  Just as your error message says, you appear to have too many arguments; the function only expects three arguments and your code snippet has five.  Are you perhaps wanting to use the alSource3f function (found on page 17) instead, which does take five arguments?

If you're looking for additional documentation, the third result of my research was the OpenAL Programmers Guide, which also appears to be quite detailed.





I still have no idea on how to play a sound only once.

What have you tried?



You also still haven't told us what your target operating system(s) are...



This was edited in to your post after I posted this reply, so going back to retroactively respond to it...

I've tried something alike but I gave up and look for source direction like I've said before:

...that's just the thing -- you didn't say that before, and it's important information for us to try to help you.

#5238331 OpenAL play sound

Posted by on 04 July 2015 - 06:34 AM

Is he trying to sell me stuff? I didn't even bother to read that spam.

No, it's not trying to sell you anything, and you're wasting our time by expecting us to provide you with an answer without putting in any effort -- if you bother to read it you'll find some really good advice that it seems like you really need.



...and if you tell us what you've already tried, we'll see if we can help you out.  


You have already tried to solve your problem haven't you?  You're not just hoping for us to solve your problem for you without any effort are you?

Did you try searching for resources?  I just typed "openal play sound" into Google and the first page is filled with promising look links [1, 2, 3, etc.] -- have you tried any of those and are having problems we can help with?

#5238319 OpenAL play sound

Posted by on 04 July 2015 - 01:05 AM

What have you tried? http://mattgemmell.com/what-have-you-tried/


What have you tried?

I normally wouldn't add an extra reply simply to reiterate an earlier post, but given you (FGFS) saw fit to report the above post as spam rather than responding to it I'm taking a different course of action.

Did you actually read the link? It explains why you should expect to be able to answer the question "what have you tried" and why it is (usually) bad to simply ask for a solution rather than asking for help with the problem.

This is a discussion forum, intended to provide you with help and advice, not just a place to be handed solutions. Asking what you have tried can be an important first step in making sure any advice we offer is actually relevant - for all we know we might otherwise offer a solution that is incompatible with your existing project for some reason. Trying for yourself is also a great learning opportunity, and we generally aim to help people to learn for themselves.

...so ...what have you tried?

(Also, you didn't tell us your target operating systems, which may be relevant for this question.)

#5237171 Your thoughts on the value of profilers and debuggers?

Posted by on 27 June 2015 - 05:02 PM

This topic stems from a few posts he and I made in another topic, in which he reported one of my jokes to him and of which several admins/moderators/staff notified me.

From someone who was originally looking for ways to slow down your down-vote spiral of death, fuck off.

Lactose! has stepped forward as someone who reported the post in question -- I won't break their confidentiality, but suffice it to say that between the post in question and the post I'm replying to a number of members have reported your posts citing things such as "offensive language", "bullying", "directed profanity", etc., and none of whom were Graelig.


We absolutely appreciate all of the time that you put into helping others here, and even the idea of bluntly and directly telling another member (Graelig) that their behaviour is not in line.  The same thing could be achieved without the bad language and insults however, and that's all we're asking.  I think most people are on board with the sentiment of what you have posted, but some are offended by small parts of the specific content -- and we do have a rule against specifically directing insults or swearwords at other members -- so we would appreciate if you could try to temper your posts to not include some of the profanity and to avoid potentially upsetting subjects such as rape or abuse (example only, I don't believe you joked about abuse) when responding to posts.



That being said, Graelig has been reported many more times recently and is obviously offending a lot more of our community, and I do think your assessment of his behaviour is largely fair.  In line with that, Graelig has been temporarily suspended and issued with multiple warnings, while you have simply been given a short-expiring warning.



Do remember also that members like Graelig unfortunately often don't turn around their objectionable behaviour and end up getting themselves banned, and then go on to post in other communities about how bad GameDev.net is, spouting similar claims to those he has already posted here about how people are offensive know-it-alls who aren't really qualified to back up their posts.  We all know that you're highly qualified and experienced, but someone who follows a link to this topic that Graelig shares elsewhere may not, and based on what they see here may agree with his (in my opinion) incorrect assessment of our community -- it would be a shame for others to miss out on the benefits of joining our community when they believe those sort of claims because you or another regular member have lost their temper when responding.




All of the above in mind, I do also agree with L. Spiro's assessment that this topic almost certainly wasn't posted as a good-faith effort to learn, but in an attempt to gather support for Graelig's position that wasn't well received in the other topic.  Honestly, I would still be happy to respond to it in that case because it can still benefit other members or future searchers who genuinely have similar questions, but paired with the fact that we're now really off-topic, I'm going to nip this one in the bud and close it here.



We would appreciate if everyone could mind their manners and be aware of some of the more potentially offensive subject matters going forwards.  Disagreement is welcome here, but it can be done without swearing at or directly (or indirectly) insulting anyone, and I'm genuinely very disappointed that I'm having to type out a warning to such a wonderful contributor to our community because they have been baited into an angry post by another member who has made a habit of the very same behaviour of insulting other members.


A quick thanks to all of the members who took the time to report any posts for moderation recently; on a set of forums this large the moderators simply can't see everything right away, and we appreciate the notice so that we can try to deal with things more promptly.



If anyone is genuinely curious about either profilers or debuggers you should feel welcome to start another discussion, or if anyone wants to discuss how myself or other moderators have dealt with this situation you're welcome to post in the Comments, Suggestions & Ideas forum, to contact me directly, or to contact another moderator you trust.

#5237088 Your thoughts on the value of profilers and debuggers?

Posted by 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 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 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 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 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?