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Sean T. McBeth

Member Since 11 Sep 2000
Offline Last Active Feb 28 2015 04:33 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Primrose - edit source code in a texture

30 January 2015 - 04:32 AM

I'm personally going to use it to experiment with virtual workspaces. I also think it might be cool for AI-bot coding games, ala a graphical version of CRobots or something.

In Topic: Smartphones/facebook - gone too far?

30 December 2014 - 06:35 PM

I've done it to intentionally be rude at gatherings I didn't want to be at. I turn the ringer and vibrate off when I'm with people I actually like. I can ignore checking to see if a message exists, but if a message exists it's extremely hard for me to ignore it.

In Topic: Design Contest for Upcoming Game

10 December 2014 - 02:04 PM


I am surprised you managed to get Socket.io + Node.js running on one of Microsoft's servers - that must have been a pain in the arse to do !




The ease of getting Node.js and Socket.IO running on both Windows and Linux is exactly why I use it over other platforms like Clojure or Scala.

In Topic: How do you email?

10 December 2014 - 08:14 AM

I don't know if this is standard for email, but it at least works for Gmail. You can add arbitrary text to the username portion of your email after a plus sign. So "my.name+blahblahblah@gmail.com" will go to "my.name@gmail.com". I come up with a different prefix for every site I register on, and then I get to keep track of how people contact me without having to create multiple accounts.


Also, gmail ignores periods in the username portion, which has given me many an opportunity to troll a few folks who were trying to reach someone else with my name. I once participated in a history class group discussion for my doppelganger. Apparently, I was more helpful than he usually is, though, which is pretty bad considering I knew nothing about what everyone was talking about without Wikipedia.

In Topic: I understand the language... I just have trouble implementing it into a game...

10 December 2014 - 06:25 AM

There is no reason you couldn't use Python to make games.


The problem you're facing is that learning to program is a lot more than just learning syntax. You have to learn how to use the libraries of your environment, you have to learn how to use the building and packaging and editing tools available to you, and you have to learn how to solve problems. All at the same time.


When I start learning a new programming language (about a quarterly occurrence for me, these days), I start by figuring out how to:

  1. Open a GUI window, bonus points for it being a native window for the operating system I'm on
  2. Put buttons in the window, and how to place them. The GUI button is the minimum of interaction that a GUI system can provide. If I can get a button working, I'm well on my way to figuring out how the event model works. It will also serve me when developing the program further, to have an easy way to plop controls on the screen to change things.
  3. Register mouse and keyboard events. Ideally, I want to be able to poll the keyboard and mouse, but that is often not the case, so usually I have to setup an event handler of some kind and keep track of the state.
  4. Perform an animation loop, the "infinite while loop" that also doesn't make the system unresponsive. In the old days with Win32, that meant an infinite loop which gave back time to the OS to execute. In Java, that meant a Timer object that had a Tick event handler. In JavaScript, you request a new frame of animation from the browser when you first start or after you receive an animation frame from the browser. So how a particular system does animation can be quite varied.
  5. Load files from disk. I'm going to want to store my images in files, foremost, and eventually my level layouts.
  6. Draw images to the screen. With the basic 2D graphics libraries that are available in most GUI subsystems, this is not too difficult. In all of the 3D APIs, there is a lot of setup code to get something like this to work. I usually focus on the 2D graphics from the GUI subsystem first, because usually that's all I need to start.
  7. Play sounds asynchronously. Audio has a huge impact on the enjoyability of a game. A really crappy looking game can be greatly improved by just some simple sounds, but even a great looking game is nearly ruined by having no audio. Depending on the system, making it so you can play multiple sounds at the same time, on top of each other, can be difficult. But once I've got it, it's usually easy to copy it around to all of my projects.

Once I have these tasks figured out, the rest of the job is mostly just figuring out how to put together the game. For a "first" project in a new language, I usually do Tetris for this reason, because I've done it so many times I don't have to think too hard about what needs to be done to make the game work.