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Member Since 27 Aug 2003
Offline Last Active Today, 10:03 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Flowing water is indeed in Mars.

30 September 2015 - 02:32 PM

One of the bigger reasons to live underground on mars is more to do with impact risk rather than solar radiation. The most logical choice seems to be using advanced probes that would go ahead of colonists and begin mine projects, collect and process metals on site, and then when the humans arrive they move into the tunnel systems built from mineral extraction. 


Stuff that just makes a pretty light show on earth would be at risk of causing structural damage to a colony built on the surface, and also small enough to make it awkward to track reliably. So, digging in lets you kill two birds with one stone, three if you get a good mine yields out of the process as well.

In Topic: Shadow of Mordor... OMG! Why?

29 September 2015 - 05:51 AM

Yes, Context Sensitive controls are a good thing, but only if they're used correctly and in a logical manner.


Will your game design be such that while in a given position there will only ever be a single logical option to choose? If I'm standing somewhere, will your game design be such that there couldn't possibly be a reason why I would want to use Option A rather than Option B? If so, then congrats, having a button for 'event', which triggers Option A or B based on where you are can make sense.


However, if your game design is such that I could be standing next to a wall, and at any given time I, as the player who is supposed to be in control, may want to:

Hold against the wall for cover in a gun fight

Climb the wall

Sprint away from the wall to cover elsewhere

Lob a bomb over the wall

Roll on the ground from that wall to a wall on the other side of a small gap

go prone and shoot around the corner of the wall

Apply first aid to regain health

Etc, etc, etc


Then there had bloody well better be distinct control for all those things, otherwise they're not actually CONTROLS, it is throwing bloody dice!


Now excuse me while I go find friends to play boardgames with.

In Topic: How do I know what Android version to target?

28 September 2015 - 08:03 AM

Dig around on google for 2 things:


1. User stats, what devices are actually being used in your target region.

2. Testing services who can cover all, or at least most, of the devices in the list you made from the above searching. 


Given how many devices there are out there, and how widely the performance and differ, it really can pay to just hire someone else to do your basic testing. Think of how much it would cost you to buy the half dozen or so most popular devices, and then think about how much it will cost you for ten hours of testing to get someone else who already owns all those devices to do an install and basic play sweep. (Pro tip: Design your application for a robust "debug" build system. If the testers can jump through to the different parts of the game from the main menu it really speeds up their testing. Especially if you run into a bug like "App crashes when doing X in level [very high number]", then they can jump right too that spot on the next build. Also means testers can confirm that the error is something with playing the level itself, rather than playing for x amount of time or something, which just happens to end up putting you in the same level consistently.)

In Topic: Currency in post-apoc / zombie world?

26 September 2015 - 03:43 PM

Since the topic of ammo has come up, I think that taking time, possibly in another thread (and possibly on another forum actually, not sure how well a detailed discussion on making ammo would go over here...) to talk about what it would take to make 'important things' in the kind of game scenario a given game might be using, such as making more ammo after civilization has pretty much ended.


So I would have to say that the hardest part about producing your own ammo is going to be your chemistry, not your physical dimensions. Making a bullet that is sized to a given firearm is really fairly trivial once you're set up for it, and even forming brass casings isn't that hard of a job, and it can all be done with just hand tools if you're really pressed for it. Reliable primers seem to be one of the tricky things, seeing as it isn't a well known technology even among people who deal with firearms.


I don't even own a gun, but I can make a moderately reliable basic black powder simply because I'm a history geek, and I know enough that I could probably cobble together nitrocellulose for a more modern product. (Oddly enough I learned about making that mostly from exploring early photography rather than weapons.) However making a reliable primer? That's rather tricky from what I can see. One of the biggest problems is that the stuff, by nature of its use, needs to be easy to set off, which in turn makes it rather tricky to produce due to how easily you can screw up and do unpleasant things like blowing your fingers off, or worse.


With a bit of googling it appears that lots of people seem to know a fair bit about the making of old black powder, far fewer know much about producing smokeless powder, and fewer still seem to have much to say about the subject of making primers or percussion caps. So that can make producing ammo a rather interesting problem, and could possibly cause tech to split in two directions. Some communities might fall back to using blackpowder in modern style cases with a weird revision on a flint lock and flash pan firing method, and other communities with better chemists producing modern smokeless powder with modern primer caps. 



Thinking a little more about the problem and the risk of poor powder resulting in under velocity rounds is leading me toward the idea that a break barrel rifle might have a lot of value due to being able to quickly check that your barrels actually cleared before reloading. 



To me, small details make a huge difference in game lore.

In Topic: Why didn't somebody tell me?

25 September 2015 - 08:01 AM

Good to know! It'd be alot more user-friendly if you could just select it, or if there was a URL link: "Search for this message online" that automatically opened a webpage with the search results (plus it'd drive traffic to Bing ), or for a known Microsoft error ID, brought you strait to Microsoft's help page for that error.
...I should add that to the Assert() dialog box of my own game projects. It'd probably make user-support easier.


Error: Something about system networking not functioning...