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AgentC

Member Since 16 May 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 09:16 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Mac or PC - Really, this is a programming question.

27 October 2014 - 11:26 AM

PC/Win and Visual Studio used here for most of the creative & intelligent work of programming.

 

Mac or Linux used mostly only when troubleshooting a specific issue for those platforms, most of the time the cycle is just CMake, make, run.

 

I do use dualbooting (Win/Linux and also OSX/Win on one laptop through Bootcamp) and also Linux VM's, though VM's are less usable in graphics programming due to the low performance.


In Topic: What can we do to help remove the industry misconception?

22 October 2014 - 09:04 AM

That kind of critique is not something that we need a "movement" or "consumer backlash" or outright hate campaign to protect us poor developers/gamers from. If someone makes a checklist that you don't need, you simply ignore it, not grab your pitchfork and join a lynch mob...

Ironically, we're seeing a protest movement that seems to be aimed at crushing critique and discussion, while claiming to be about exposing bias... sad.png

 

Indeed, I wholeheartedly agree that we should have both criticism (of games), and criticism of the criticism without resorting to virtual pitchforks or death threats. On the internet it seems that's unfortunately easier said than done.

 

I also find the "Tropes vs Women" analysis highly beneficial, up to a point. Overall, games still have some catching up to other forms of media in terms of avoiding lazy writing and unnecessary stereotypes. Some time ago I went back to some rather old games to check how they would fare in modern analysis. Some of the results were surprising. For example Turrican 1 + 2 (on the C64 and Amiga!) manage a compelling if formulaic scifi story, which only have the usual male supersoldier stereotype, while Turrican 3 adds a "damsel" for very little added value. On the other hand, the very first Monkey Island game does some interesting inversion of the damsel trope, and was kind of ahead of its time in offering a story on par with films or TV.

 

What I hope is avoided is over-analysis to the point where it becomes stifling to creativity. I don't even know if that's a real threat overall, but if I go far enough I can recognize it in my own thought processes. This is not an example from a game, but actually from one of my NaNoWriMo (write a book of 50000 words in a month) stories: Hero and heroine (both gun-wielding agents) get captured by the enemy. While the hero manages to escape due to some outside help, the heroine is implanted with a mind control gadget and is turned to the enemy side. Later, when they meet again and engage in lethal combat, the hero's only chance is to try to knock her out cold to get a short window of time in which to remove the thing, before it explodes. Oops, did I just condone and allude to domestic violence?

 

Also, because in today's climate it would seem that a female character in a work of fiction will be scrutinized more closely than a male, a cynical game producer might want to avoid female characters from a pure economical viewpoint: less design and writing resources needed, while possible controversies are avoided. That I personally hope not to happen, but rather for the progress of all kinds of characters in games to go on.


In Topic: Does Valve have a good working methodology?

19 October 2014 - 05:14 PM

I believe it's possible to replicate if you have a stellar initial set of people, are extremely diligent/careful in recruiting, and you have the critical mass to be financially able to pull it off and sustain it.

 

Here's however an interesting viewpoint of the culture which is not so positive:

 

http://www.wired.com/2013/07/wireduk-valve-jeri-ellsworth/


In Topic: Why not use UE4?

16 October 2014 - 07:18 AM

Without trying to turn the thread into a UE4 pitch ;) , the answer to 'quick game play logic' in UE4 is the blueprints system, which does come with a slight learning curve but does allow for some quick iteration.

 

Yes, the blueprints system indeed seems very powerful and flexible and I understand the idea of augmenting them with your own C++ code where necessary. However in my case, being so indoctrinated with writing game logic procedurally, I'd probably spend significant time exploring the blueprint / C++ interaction, rather than diving head first to just using them :)


In Topic: Why not use UE4?

16 October 2014 - 05:04 AM

I think UE4 has made a fantastic move of allowing anyone to see, at a very low cost, an actual complex AAA engine code base. Which means that more people will become educated on what working with such caliber of engine means in practice, without having to be an employee in a AAA studio that has licensed a comparable engine for a huge sum of money.

 

For me, I choose to not use UE4 because it represents an uneasy middle ground between writing my own and using an "easy" tool such as Unity. It's huge and complex, and taking it as is and starting to write my game logic compared to eg. Unity represents a much steeper learning curve, as I must learn how to structure my C++ classes to conform to UE4's structure. The plus side is that if I do need to get dirty and modify the engine, I actually could do that (of course with an even steeper learning curve to actually get familiar with the engine internals).

 

Therefore, I instead work on both extremes around it: in my day job I use "easy" engines (Unity, Cocos2D) when the project requires quick results, while I also build my own engine technology for learning purposes and hobby projects.


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