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Stani R.

Member Since 18 Apr 2005
Offline Last Active Aug 14 2015 01:49 PM

#5242230 Good Scripting Language for C

Posted by Stani R. on 23 July 2015 - 12:58 PM

That's a rather generic question and answers will vary a lot depending on what you want to do. But generally speaking Lua would be a safe bet for many use cases. I'd go with C++ rather than C for making games (or with a different language entirely, if your goal is not working in the industry), and I'd go with learning one language at a time in order to not get confused. For any game project you'll also have to learn a bunch of APIs, adding a scripting binding on top of that may just be overkill unless you have a specific reason for it (for example if you are working with non-technical artists and want them to create gameplay functionality).

#5241899 Book for learning modern OpenGL?

Posted by Stani R. on 22 July 2015 - 04:57 AM

Also the OpenGL SuperBible, 6th edition.

#5241798 LWJGL exported JAR; Texture Flickering

Posted by Stani R. on 21 July 2015 - 04:58 PM

Sounds like some sort of z-buffer trashing problem. Are you by any chance doing something like adding more and more objects at the exact same location without removing the old ones? Also, try drawing the layers at an offset to each other (ie object layer few units higher than tile layer on the z-axis).


As for the crash, sounds like you're running out of memory (which is why I suspect that your object generation is out of control). Try monitoring the memory consumption.

#5241356 Dialogue System in XML, Lua or ...

Posted by Stani R. on 19 July 2015 - 06:37 AM

You can do quite a lot in RenPy (see Sunrider for instance, notionally a VN game but also a tactical space combat sim) and VNs are not computationally complex so I would actually go with RenPy as first choice of engine if I were to write a VN. There are some other interesting tools available for VNs as well - TyranoBuilder, Twine, Novelty, Belle, I've even seen some VNs made in Unity (and they have a plugin called Visual Novel Toolkit now). Probably there are many more out there, especially in Japan.


As for rolling your own, when I tried using XML in my projects it always ended up as a convoluted verbose mess. I would consider JSON or Lua (or any other scripting language but Lua is indeed the first that comes to mind) as good formats. I've never done a VN but conceptually I think on the C++ side I would create some sort of command buffer (like a tree structure, or a linked list if your game does not have any branching) which is populated with nodes based on the JSON/Lua input. Then you can step through it back and forth (so you can support the common VN feature of log/history replay) and also keep track of your current state/flags and position (to support saving/loading).


#5241351 Is there software that creates Game Design Documents?

Posted by Stani R. on 19 July 2015 - 06:07 AM

I use a (physical) whiteboard as well, I set aside a wall of my home office for it a few years back and found it invaluable both for my day job and for game dev.


With all due respect to ModernToMe, I think he is solving a problem that doesn't really exist. If your GDD fails to be of use to you it will definitely not be because you forgot to include the company name or team size. And like braindigitalis said, you need to keep it flexible because the design can and will change.

#5241104 Is there software that creates Game Design Documents?

Posted by Stani R. on 17 July 2015 - 02:07 PM

Apart from MS Word? happy.png


You may want to employ a combination of Word, Excel (or Google Docs/Sheets) + some mind map software for brainstorming + wireframe software (Balsamiq, Pencil, etc) for sketching screens + diagram software (Visio, Dia, etc) for game flow + possibly some UML software for architecture design.


All of these can be part of a game design doc but I have not seen any software that combines all of this in one package (probably would not make much sense either).

#5239716 EBITDA multiple for video gaming industry?

Posted by Stani R. on 11 July 2015 - 05:18 AM

Financial projections of a startup are generally wildly inaccurate no matter how hard you model them. And you do not have stable positive cashflow to calculate EBITDA. Any sort of DCF or multiple method is basically useless until you are regularly generating hundreds of thousands of dollars. 


The more fundamental mistake is that you want to offer a valuation to investors. Many startups fall into this trap. Do not do that. Ask them to offer their fair valuation instead, and compare what different investors offer you. Just how you should have the terms in mind but not offer a termsheet - wait for theirs. Otherwise, you run the real risk of ending up with worse terms than what they might have offered to begin with.


Of course, valuation is not the only criteria for selecting investors, and you may chose to go with an investor who offered you a lower valuation but brought more benefits (deeper domain expertise, better connected, better lead, etc). Same concept applies to liquidation preference, voting rights, etc.


Factors that affect your valuation at this early stage include your and your co-founders past track record, team composition, project stage, current traction, current sales, future expectations/projections (remember, they are looking for unicorns so if you project a 2-3x return for them you are out), ability to execute your idea, good chemistry, whether some similar project recently raised an obscene amount or showed great success (VCs love to jump on the bandwagon), mood of the VC, and alignment of the stars.


$2m is also an amount that could conceivably be raised from angels and/or via convertible notes. You would need a strong and well-connected lead investor for this though. And it's unlikely that you can raise so much on a capless note, so the discussion about pre-money valuation will just turn into an equivalent discussion about pre-money cap. 

#5239565 Non-Circumvention Agreement for Composer?

Posted by Stani R. on 10 July 2015 - 12:40 PM

It's a bit difficult to say without seeing the actual text, but the first rule of business contracts is that everything is negotiable. There are no "standard" or "market" terms, despite what many lawyers will try to tell you. But if they have significantly more negotiating power than you, it may be more difficult - for instance, if they use the same contract with 100 other composers then you may have more difficulty changing it, as they may want to use their cookie cutter contract without paying their counsel to change it on a case by case basis. 


But normally, if the other side wants your product enough, they will work to reach consensus. Similarly, you should keep an open mind and be sensitive to the underlying causes / their needs. That clause is in their contract for a reason, whether it's to protect a legitimate business interest or because their lawyer copy-pasted it from a different contract. Once you get a grasp of the full picture, negotiations should go smoother.


So I would start by asking about this first. Don't go in with a negative "no no no" attitude, go in with a positive attitude, saying that this makes you uncomfortable because it excessively restricts your business and you want to find some way to accommodate their needs without hampering your future business.

#5236071 Do you comment Above or Below your code?

Posted by Stani R. on 21 June 2015 - 04:36 PM

Like almost everyone else, big comments describing intended usage and caveats go above the code block so that the IDE can interpret them (supported almost universally) and smaller comments inline go either directly above or on the same line. I try to keep this to a minimum though as comments tend to go stale fast - as much as possible, I prefer to write self-commenting code and use descriptive class/function/variable names. "// TODO" stubs are my most frequent use of comments happy.png

#5235933 Open World games?

Posted by Stani R. on 20 June 2015 - 04:34 PM

If you're dealing with a game world the size of the USA you better be prepared to handle positions relative to some nearby, local origin. Otherwise your physics and rendering will break down as soon as you get a few hundred km away from the origin, due to precision loss in your floats. As far as I can tell, this is possible to work around in Unity.


The other thing is asset streaming. You need to be able to continuously asynchronously load and unload assets as you move around the game world. From a cursory internet search it seems that Unity does not support this sort of streaming too well but that some changes to this are planned for Unity 5.


Edit: I didn't realize Unity 5 is already out. You might want to look into whether they added this support of not.

#5235816 Browsergame Combat System

Posted by Stani R. on 20 June 2015 - 01:30 AM

If I had a system with 200 stats and I needed to get rid of 190 I think I'd still keep HP at least. You can't get much simpler than HP for representing a very rough power level. 


Your pairing mechanic sounds like the classical rock-paper-scissors approach to combat (ie swords beat spears, spears beat cavalry, cavalry beat swords). It's a very simple system but has been used to good effect in many games (think Total War for instance).

#5235798 How do I fake windows looking outdoors?

Posted by Stani R. on 19 June 2015 - 07:46 PM

The light beams look a bit unnatural going to the right. Maybe it's just me. I'd try to angle them to the left and maybe with a bit bigger angle.


As for the window panes, they already look good IMHO, but if you want to add backgrounds (maybe only for the occasional open window) I'd try pretending that the ground levels out at that point (since looking at the grass would be boring) and maybe add a static background image with something thematically appropriate (hills? castle? a village?) that scrolls slower than the main game scrolls (to make it look like it's off in the distance).

#5235223 Laws/edicts system for 4X

Posted by Stani R. on 16 June 2015 - 07:00 PM

Consider a system like in Rome2/Attila. You assign governors to regions and can also pass edicts in those games. Edicts are region-wide (in your example, they could affect all planets in a system, for instance). Edicts give some small bonus to one or more game features - increased happiness, increased tax income, more unit recruitment slots, cheaper production, better spies, increased scan range whatever. The possibilities are literally endless and depend mainly on your game design and balancing. You could counteract it for balance purposes as well - for instance, maybe a "Technocracy" edict gives a bonus to research on every planet in the system at the cost of reduced tax income (money is funneled into research grants).

#5235218 Uses of curves in graphics?

Posted by Stani R. on 16 June 2015 - 06:13 PM

When I think "particularly cool use of curves in graphics" the train sequence in Uncharted 2 comes to mind. They used curves (Catmull-Rom splines) to drive the train movement. There was a GDC presentation about it (look for Multiprocessor Game Loops: Lessons from Uncharted 2).

#5235214 Why didn't somebody tell me?

Posted by Stani R. on 16 June 2015 - 06:00 PM

Talking about phone companies, local provider Drei has a so-called "Hui Flat" rate for mobile phones. The first word in that combo happens to be a particularly offensive term for male genitalia in another language, not to be uttered in pleasant company. Naturally, the combination with the second word is especially a killer. blink.png


On a more personal note, in middle school we used to watch MTV, naturally censored, and I thought the long pauses in the rappers' lyrics were intentional and placed there for added emphasis. None of my friends disabused me of that notion, either. happy.png