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Member Since 16 Jun 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 05:51 PM

#5233931 Not Getting A Degree...

Posted by shadowisadog on 09 June 2015 - 04:37 PM

I agree with Josh. A degree is more than just the classes that you take. It takes a certain level of motivation to earn a degree and it shows right away that the person who earned the degree had the ability to complete something that they started.


Also taking a variety of classes expands your thinking and makes you a more well rounded person. For example I believe that classes such as technical writing and courses on computer ethics/law/and security are important classes to take.


I would personally view a job candidate that did not have a degree and only had taken classes that interest them as someone who might not stick through the game creation process. There are parts of making a game that are really fun, but there are other parts that take a lot of determination and motivation to get through. Some parts of making a game require a determination to struggle through difficult, boring, or tedious tasks.

#5222348 An engine to use with teens with no programming knowledge

Posted by shadowisadog on 09 April 2015 - 10:27 PM

Let me start by saying that I am speaking from a position of experience in this field. I have written technical training for summer camps, taught for three years a summer camp teaching game design/programming using Game Maker, and currently mentor high school students in using Game Maker to design and build computer games.


I am not sure where other people have been getting two days from since it appears you mentioned that the camp will last for two weeks. Two weeks is a reasonable amount of time for a summer camp program.


There are a number of factors to consider when picking technology for a summer camp project. The most obvious question is what sort of computer resources are available? School computer labs are usually fairly substandard. Also IT typically has computer lab computers locked down pretty tightly and fighting the administrations to get the correct software installed can prove difficult. If you are going to use a 3D engine and especially a modern 3D engine then you will need to ensure the computers have modern video cards (on board graphics for something like Unreal Engine 4 probably won't cut it).


I originally tried C#/XNA with my middle school students but that proved very difficult. The hardest part was the typing speeds of the students. I was not only trying to teach how to program and how to make a game, but in some cases I was having to teach basic computer skills and typing.


Game Maker is a nice choice because you can start the students off with the visual scripting and then move on to the more advanced GML scripting. It allows the students to be productive fast and that keeps them from becoming bored or frustrated.


I have avoided trying to have students make a 3D game because of the complexities introduced with regards to the math and the graphics. 2D art assets are far easier to draw and the programming is simpler. I think it might be hard to explain things like quaternions, rotational matrices, and shaders to that age group.


I know you said you must make a 3D game but this is just my thoughts on the matter. My main advice is just to make sure you know what the system specs on the machines you will be using are and to test any candidate software on the computer to ensure that it will work.

#5220083 wanting feedback on two design ideas

Posted by shadowisadog on 29 March 2015 - 08:59 PM

My general advice is to start with programming small games and creating small projects.


You need to learn how to program first, but you can learn programming while making small, simple games.


I recommend making the following games in roughly this order (although this is just a suggestion).


1. A guess the random number game.

2. Pong

3. Breakout

4. Asteroids

5. Tetris

6. Pacman

7. A 2d side scroller like Mario


Guess the number teaches random number generation and if statements.


Pong teaches collision detection, drawing graphics to the screen, making objects move and how to make objects collide with one another. It also teaches basic "AI".


Breakout teaches managing collections of objects in addition to using all of the same concepts from Pong. Breakout also teaches how to have multiple levels (potentially).


Asteroids teaches how to make projectiles, how to randomly generate levels, how to handle the ship leaving the outside of the window, and how to generate asteroids and/or play animations.


Tetris teaches how to use arrays, how to code game logic, and how to increase difficulty level.


Pacman teaches how to construct levels, 2d collision detection, and a reasonable amount about game AI.


Mario teaches scrolling, defining complex levels, and managing game states.


After making these games you will have a pretty solid background from which to start designing and creating your own games.


This is just my recommendation.


Also I will agree with ByteTroll: You will not gain proficiency in programming by reading books. The only way to get good at programming is to program. You must write lots and lots of programs and to really learn things well will take time. It will very likely take you years of working with languages to really get a solid grasp on what you are doing and why.

#5220077 wanting feedback on two design ideas

Posted by shadowisadog on 29 March 2015 - 08:44 PM

Here is my feedback:


Mogul 1 - high school hustler:


This game design would really benefit from some sketches. Sketch out what the map looks like and use pictures to convey ideas rather than words.


Also know your audience and make sure that the ideas that you come up with and that the game ideas that you develop are ideas that you are comfortable bearing your name forever. What I mean by that is you have mixed high school students with illicit drugs and porn magazines and it is personally not an idea I would probably want my name on forever.


A flow chart would help make the game play logic clearer here.


Generally people don't like games where they can't win, but this is obviously up to you.


It needs more details and it seems to be a bit poorly organized. Try grouping things together. For example your "Play Process" should be broken into sections. One sections could be "Loss conditions" and describe all the was that the player can die. This helps make it easier to find information.


Seven Endure an Epic Quest:


This phrase:


"Two of the most interesting features in this game, inspired in part by classic RPGs and also by Limbo is 1) the player's ability to really interact with his/her environment. And 2) the literally hundreds of secret items which enhance and enable certain powers/skills and combine with various facets of the character to evolve this character into a unique person, designed for the most part by the player."


This game just from that one paragraph describes years of work for a large team of people. Every item has to be made, every environment interaction defined. You can not simply say there will be hundreds of items, you have to actually MAKE hundreds of items! That means drawing them, animating them, programming them, balancing them, and testing them!


Using tables for the character attributes would improve readability. The numbers are really going to change during the play testing phase.


You need several hundred more pages to describe each and every piece of the environment, and each and every item and their interactions and effects. You also need diagrams of the game play logic and graphics (sketches) for each and every item. You probably want to have diagrams for each potential environmental interaction.


brick dropp and stabb:


Once again sketches and mockups would really help convey the ideas. Words take time to process and it is difficult from your words to really get a solid idea of how the game will work.


For example:

"the environment is similar to a platform game like Super Mario Brothers or Sonic: the Hedgehog. The third robot, Trisha, takes the mechanics of a tetris game and makes it physical."


I have absolutely no idea what this means at a glance. You do mention the different modes, but it is really difficult to follow what you are talking about.


"And the environment gets progressively more difficult to walk through."



"The more the puppet walks, the more difficult the scenery becomes and the more difficult it becomes for the player to keep the puppet from falling. If the puppet falls the play is over, the puppet returns to sitting position and the toy turns off."

How does the scenery become more difficult? What elements are introduced to increase the difficulty? For that matter what scenery is there?


"Instead of traditional animatronics where the strings are on the inside, tiny motors are attached to cables that work the puppet from above, externally."

I am not sure what information this is really telling me. So it is just a puppet?


"The controller, Jensen steps onto the balance board and the laser emits the backdrop."

I have no clue what the laser emits the backdrop means.


You need to add more details, use images to explain concepts, and to fully explain all aspects of the game.

#5178640 Help Starting on Code for an iOS Game

Posted by shadowisadog on 06 September 2014 - 10:02 PM

Personally I would start off by making a game design. Plan out what features your game will have.


Then create a prototype of the game design. Create some levels by hand and test to see if the game is "fun'.


When building the prototype build it up gradually. If you are making an iPhone game then the first task might be to draw a simple sprite to the screen....


After you have a working prototype and you are happy with the mechanics, then you have the option of modifying it to add randomly generated levels or starting "over" and designing the same game to use randomly generated levels.


I don't think you should work on random levels until you are fairly confident that you have the core game mechanics worked out.

#5174600 Help me, i can't understand well :)

Posted by shadowisadog on 18 August 2014 - 07:44 PM



It is a bit hard to understand what you are asking for help with. As others have suggested you should go at a pace through the tutorials where you can understand all of the concepts being taught. Do not move on to other lessons until you understand the concepts of the previous lessons. Practice using those concepts in your own programs.


When you call print_a_line for the second time it takes two parameters. The first parameter is current_line which started with a value of 1 and was incremented to a value of 2 right before the second print_a_line call. The second parameter is the file to read. When you call the print_a_line function then you are printing the first parameter (the value 2) and the return from calling the readline method on the python File object passed into parameter 2 (current_file). The readline method will return the next line of the file object when called. Every time you call it you will get the next line in the file.


You can think of the seek(0) like a "reset" that allows you to start reading from the start of the file.


Keep in mind that having us tell you the answers might not be the best way for you to learn the concepts. You might want to try to really try to understand before you ask for help.


Also when asking for help, please try to do the following:


1. Ask specific questions. You are more likely to receive help if you have a specific question that can be quickly answered. Broad questions are difficult to answer and may not receive a swift and/or helpful response.


2. Use complete sentences. I understand that English is not everyone's native language... and I also understand that not everyone will write perfect english on a forum... however putting some care into your sentences will aide in making your posts readable. Also writing as well as possible will help show your maturity and that you are serious in asking for help.


3. Understand that it is not just you who are receiving help. These topics stay around for quite a while. It is very possible that someone in the future may find this thread and have similar questions. Following the previous two pieces of advice can help people in the future as well.

#5174308 3dTBShexagonalTroveClone

Posted by shadowisadog on 17 August 2014 - 01:25 PM

I have no idea about coding. I made a game by using 2d RPG maker. How can i mod a game? Where can i learn coding for free? Which programs do you use for moding games?


It is good that you were able to make a game using 2d RPG maker. That should give you some idea as to how games are made.


You can learn coding for free with a number of resources and free books on the Internet. There is a wide variety of programming languages and game engines out there for creating games. Search around and find one you like. A quick google search will turn up tons of results. At your experience level what matters is just selecting something and getting started.


Every game is different with regards to mods. Some have provided tools to create mods for the games... others are closed and you will not be able to mod them. They are implemented in a wide variety of languages and tools.


My idea is combining all existing games with each other. Yes this is imposible but i decided to do that. I have no idea about programing but i will learn it in 2 years. All games are boring and life is boring, i will make my dream game. I released my book it was have 367 pages; so i always do what i want to do. My idea is combining this games:


Yes it is impossible. Even if it was not impossible you would legally be unable to do anything with it. You can not violate other people's copyright/intellectual property as much as you wish.. You will be sued if you achieve any level of success.


Games are not a combination of elements... They are elements combined together in a balance. A lot of times the mark of a truly great game designer is not what is added to the game, but what is removed.


A minecraft clone with not cubes but truncated octahedrons so 3d hexagons.


This is perhaps possible but it will take some experience to do. Keep in mind that cubes are simple and relatively lightweight to render. You are adding complexity and I am not sure what you would really gain from the choice.


An Skyrim clone but turn based bcause if you make an realistic MMORPG, people always use glitches and game repeats itself and everything gets boring. So we will not make Vindictus, we will make turn based Vindictus. You have a moment distance based on your speed and climb angle and a climbing speed. You cant go far away from your starting point until next turn. And next turn you cant go faraway from your position at when turn was started. So you can only move a limited distance each turn. Each ability will have a reach distance, also you can upgrade your distance for reaching more.


There are lots of turn based RPG games. A recent one is Divinity original sin which is doing well on Steam right now. It is similar to Skyrim (open world) but turn based.


Characters will be cyborg or zombie or homonculus so we will collect randomly dropped body parts and those body parts will make our abilities, characterictics. We will use an unquie system. I made this new system. It will be too balanced and random. So it will be really enjoyable; game will not repeat itself and you will make your characters by combining randomly dropped body parts so everything will be random.


In my experience this will be anything but balanced. It is an interesting idea but you have to make the parts similar to one another to share animations and artwork between them... otherwise you are going to have to do a ton of work to create all of the art assets and it will take years.


There will be alive echosystem and planet. Even planet will grow up mountains or rivers. And living things will eat, grow up, mate, have child. Also you must eat for being alive. Some characters dont eat. Some characters must eat more. Some characters drink blood, blah blah blah....


I generally get frustrated by having to mundane things in a game. Also having an alive ecosystem and planet, ect is going to be very computationally expensive.


For making this game which programs must i use? How can i mod games for testing my coding skills? Which coding language is best for me?



#5174300 list index out of Range

Posted by shadowisadog on 17 August 2014 - 12:29 PM

pls help sad.png



i tried like what u say before

 but i want to know 

i should see :

Copying from test.txt to new_file.txt
The input file is 21 bytes long
Does the output file exist? False
Ready, hit RETURN to continue, CTRL-C to abort.

Alright, all done.

when i try to write anything in Ex1.txt  i see : error not defined 

i try to write anything but as string i put " "
and i see that !! :'( :

like the pic nothing happened sad.png 

Ty all for helping me smile.png



Ok so in the code that you posted you are now trying to set three variables from only two:


script, from_file, to_file = argv[0], argv[1] 

is not correct. You had it correct with your original post.


You need to call the script like:

python BoB.txt from.txt to.txt


(Side note, your python files should end in .py and not .txt!).

Notice there there are not one, but two arguments there. argv[1] contains the first argument you passed ("from.txt"), and argv[2] contains the second ("to.txt").


The course I listed is both free an interactive. If you are having these sorts of problems then perhaps the course I mentioned will help you and then you can go back to learning python the hard way after that.


I also recommend a better Python IDE like I mentioned. The one I listed has code completion but more importantly PEP syntax checking to help you find errors/unused variables in your programs and a built in debugger.



#5174192 How do I achieve these type of Graphics?

Posted by shadowisadog on 16 August 2014 - 06:32 PM

It appears that the graphics in the link you mentioned are created using pixel art. The artist picked a limited color palette of of grey and red colors. It looks like there might be some pixel shaders or just a semi-transparent image for the red lights. The foreground layer looks slightly blurred and as if its pixels are a bit stretched... this was probably done using a pixel shader. It also looks like there is a scanline/CRT pixel shader effect applied: http://filthypants.blogspot.com/2012/07/customizing-cgwgs-crt-pixel-shader.html


http://www.gimp.org/ is a free program for creating pixel art.


Typically to preserve transparency you will save your characters and HUD elements (score, lives, ect) as PNG files. Backgrounds can also be PNG or JPEG as long as the rendering artificats caused by JPEG compression aren't noticeable for your game. If the background contains pixel art and is low resolution it is best to use PNG but if it is a large image with lots of colors/high resolution then JPEG is probably better due to the file size.


You can start by making some sketches and mockups of your ideas. Then you can determine the games resolution and color palette. You would then draw out the characters and shade them, draw the backgrounds, draw the HUD, and draw the other level elements. You would put all of those things together, add some pixel shader effects (optional), and you would have a start.

#5170727 Very new, where should I start?

Posted by shadowisadog on 31 July 2014 - 04:47 PM

Your welcome :) .


Here are some other things I thought of:


1. One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome when I started was the fact that there is no "best" language. There is no "best" design approach. Some techniques and designs are "better" (of course this is quite subjective, but in this case I will use it to mean more maintainable) than others, but you will find that everyone has a particular preference and style.


2. Use existing tools and technologies where possible. Lots of new people try to make their own engines and/or own tools from scratch. This can be a great learning exercise, but it will really limit your productivity if you attempt to code everything yourself. Using the work of others is how we are able to build bigger and better games and systems! Remember that for a lot of tools and engines have had many brilliant and experienced people working for many years to develop them.


3. College/University for computer science/software engineering is very valuable. You will learn a lot, but more importantly the people you meet and the things that you do will be very valuable to you later!


4. Learn every day. I am STILL learning new things every day and I have a degree in computer science and I have been working as a software engineer for a number of years. Never stop learning new things!

#5170683 Very new, where should I start?

Posted by shadowisadog on 31 July 2014 - 02:49 PM

I think the best advice I can give to someone just starting out is the following:


1. Understand that the field of game development and computer programming is HUGE. It is perfectly ok to not know everything at once and you shouldn't feel like you have to learn everything at once.


2. Start small. When I learn a new programming language I start with a small program and gradually increase the complexity. I might start off with hello world, make a guess the number game, program a text adventure, write hangman and nim before even starting with anything involving graphics.


3. Programming a game is programming. To learn to program a game you must learn the fundamentals of programming. The fundamentals transfer well between different languages so learning new languages should become easier with time.


4. A good software developer should know a wide variety of languages and technologies/techniques. They are your tools and you should pick the right tool for the job. A carpenter does not use only a hammer! However if you only have experience using a hammer then all jobs might seem like proper things to use a hammer for.


5. Failure is fine as long as you learn from it. Giving up should not be ok with you if you want to be successful.


6. Use the language that you feel most comfortable with using... Don't use a language just because it is what the industry uses... use it because you can be productive with it... only when you gain some experience then you can worry with what the industry uses!


Just my advice :).

#5168541 is multimedia fusion 1.2 for programmers?

Posted by shadowisadog on 22 July 2014 - 07:16 PM

I have a lot of experience with Multimedia Fusion (I have used KNP, TNG, MMF, MMF 2, and Jamagic).. I recommend using the latest version (MMF 2.5) that is available from the website (http://www.clickteam.com). If you have an older version they might have upgrade pricing available. The newer versions provide features like hardware acceleration and support for HTML5, Flash, Android, and IOS exporters.


The product is similar to Game Maker Studio, but where as Game Maker studio has a limited visual scripting system and then relies on the GML language, MMF 2.5 (and other versions) have a complete visual scripting system based on events in a grid layout. There are also a number of extensions that support various scripting languages (I at one point programmed a Lua extension for MMF 2, but this was a number of years ago).


One interesting difference that MMF has compared to Game Maker is that it has support for creating applications as well as games. This can be good if you want to create your tools in the same toolset that you are using to create your game. I worked for a time on an isometric editor that was created inside of MMF.


In my years of using it I found that it provided quite a bit of power and flexibility with its visual scripting system. I program in C++ for a living and while I probably would opt for a non-visual scripting system, for quick prototypes or for making games within a certain scope I might pick up MMF 2 again :). The toolset does allow you to leverage a lot of functionality in a short time span.


I think that you and anyone reading this will find that the "right" tool for the job often changes per project and per the requirements. In my opinion a great developer knows a wide variety of tools and uses the available tools to develop a product or solution in the most efficient manner.

#5147657 Using C++

Posted by shadowisadog on 17 April 2014 - 09:25 AM


Then you could make a text adventure game. The first attempt people have at doing this typically is quite terrible.


I think this is also bad advice. After seeing beginners trying text adventures for three years now, I'm yet to see any of them finish a particularly good one or learn very much from their attempt.


I disagree because often the subject of data driven programming gets brought up from the attempt. Failure is perfectly fine in this context, the entire point of the exercise is attempting to create something. Text adventure games are deceptively "simple" and can involve complex data structures, regular expressions, and various forms of file IO.


I don't see where we are ones to judge what people learn from attempting to create certain programs.


Anyway I have failed at countless things during my programming career so far, including quite a number of text adventure games. I DID learn a good bit from the attempts. I have lots of unfinished projects rotting on my hard drive, but that does not mean that any were a waste of time!

#5146623 Using C++

Posted by shadowisadog on 12 April 2014 - 07:50 PM

The path to learning how to program is to program. There are no tricks, no shortcuts, and no videos that will replace experience.


To learn any language to any degree of proficiency you must use them to write programs.


To learn C++ you start learning by creating console programs. You may wonder what writing a console program has to do with creating a game. You may say "but I want to make a game with graphics!". My response is that you must start from the basics and learn the data structures and design patterns involved with programming things.


Games are software. When you are ready to make a game with graphics you can pick a API or game engine and go to town, however if you must ask how to do so then you are not quite ready to make the leap.


So you start by writing a guess the number game or something like that. You have the computer say "Guess a number between 1 and 10!" and it selects a random number. You guess a number and the computer responds back if you are too high or too low.


Then you could make a text adventure game. The first attempt people have at doing this typically is quite terrible. Soon you have hundreds of if statements and you realize there must be a better way. You learn about data driven design practices.


So once again know that games are software, and learn how to write programs. Write small programs and then write more complicated programs. Write LOTS and LOTS of programs. Pick something you want to program and figure out how to do it! Then you will not need to ask the question of how to expand your knowledge of C++ towards game programming... because you will know.


Programming is essentially all problem solving. You have a problem and you break it into smaller problems. You break the problem down enough until you have something you can Google. Then you put all of the pieces together and you have a program. Then the program doesn't work and you have to figure out why. That is programming.

#5145230 Is GameMaker any good?

Posted by shadowisadog on 07 April 2014 - 10:15 PM

How does Unity support more platforms for less than Game Maker?


If you want to export a Game Maker game to Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, HTML5, Ubuntu, and Windows 8  you could purchase the master collection for $800. https://www.yoyogames.com/studio/buy


With Unity you would be paying $75 a month, plus $75 a month for Android and another $75 a month for IOS. That is a total of $225 a month for a subscription. If you purchased it all at once like with Game Maker, you would pay $1500 for Unity Pro, $1500 for IOS, and $1500 for Android. That is $4500. https://store.unity3d.com/products


I tried Unity 2D, but I personally found it more difficult to use than Game Maker. It is possible that I did not give Unity 2D enough of a chance. I have used Unity 3D and I found that good for working on 3D titles, I just felt that the 2D aspect was not as simple as some other tools.


For instance with Unity 2D (correct me if I am wrong) you have to place the sprites in basically what amounts to a 3D world (IE you still have a 3D camera). This can be really good and allow for a lot of flexibility. However I find that working with pixels in Game Maker it is more straight forward to place sprites in a 2d level.


I think that they are both very good tools and that both are worth a try.