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Servant of the Lord

Member Since 24 Sep 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 08:53 PM

#5230611 Increased frame time with less workload

Posted by Servant of the Lord on Today, 03:53 PM

One's taking 2.67 milliseconds, and the other one is taking 3.61 milliseconds. FPS can give misleading measurements. Or rather, FPS makes the measurements seem more dramatic than they already are.

 

Losing a single frame from 20 FPS to 19 FPS is a much bigger deal than losing a single frame from 100 FPS to 99 FPS.

 

That said, you're still measuring some difference (one is taking 1 millisecond more per frame).

 

Your two screenshots look different though. One looks like the blocks are casting shadows (or is that AO?) with some gradient shading and rounded edges, and the other is really sharp with flat shading. They look significantly different, at least to my beginner's eye.

 

Are you positive you didn't accidentally map your rotation keys also to toggling on/off special effects? 




#5230174 When you realize how dumb a bug is...

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 20 May 2015 - 08:23 PM

I'm more curious to know why one would type the lowercase L instead of the 1 in the first place, given that at least on a QWERTY keyboard they're practically on opposite sides of the keyboard.

 
Why strike one key, when you can use several mouse clicks and Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to "save some typing". smile.png


#5229708 How To Do RPG Interiors

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 18 May 2015 - 04:44 PM

I wonder if there is a good compromise, granting the benefits of both?
 
I imagine walking into the door, and out of the center of the player/door, a new screen (but same "map"/"area"/"zone") instantly fills the view. No loading, no waiting, but still infinite space. You'd still be able to see the original map you are on, but in the edges around the screen.
 
Imagine here:
21ca6e3ef2.png
 
And you walk into the door and get something like this: 
a3d8ab8f55.png
 
Basically, you'd have to keep track of two cameras - the "outdoor" camera, which gets locked to the door of the building you entered, and then the "indoor" camera, for walking around inside. (Or just render it once to an offscreen texture, and keep re-drawing that as the background).
 
You'd still want an actual separate zone for dungeons, large castles, and etc...

 

 

[Edit:] Here's a better demonstration of the interior having infinite space.

327859d0c4.png

 

Though it practice, I'd want less screen-space wasted on the edges.




#5229391 Scaling images for different displays

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 16 May 2015 - 08:15 PM

Super high resolution images that get scaled DOWN, can look almost as bad as super low resolution images that get scaled UP (depending on the art style - some styles are more tolerant to resizing than others). The best appearance is the appearance that most closely matches what size you are rendering at.

 

So, developers usually manually scale their images to various likely sizes using higher-quality (but slower) scaling algorithms, and then choose the closest match at run-time. "manually" can include doing this automatically using batch files or whatever. Sometimes this high-quality scaling happens during game startup, or similar.

 

In 3D graphics, pre-scaling the textures is called 'mip mapping'. I'm not sure if there is a more specific term for 2D sprite pre-scaling.




#5229169 Architecture copyright

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 15 May 2015 - 10:45 AM

It would be none less copyright-related than gang gunfights, though.


They didn't claim any copyright infringement on gunfights. They said (paraphrasing) 'as an anti-gun violence organization, we don't want gunfights to be displayed inside our church. We vocally protest Sony's use of it in this way.'. A perfectly reasonable desire.
Then they said, 'we're looking into whether or not Sony using the interior of our church is a copyright violation. We are holding our legal options open'.

No gunfights inside their church is their goal, copyright infringement of the artistic nature of the church interior is their tool/weapon to reach the goal.

So yes, gang gunfights is not a copyright infringement, but they never claimed it was.
 

 

I don't think you understand copyright (or you'd realize the church potentially did have a valid claim, despite your comment of being "immediately obvious to anyone" otherwise) and I don't think you understand what the church was complaining about, or you might be an ounce or two sympathetic to their legitimate complain

On the contrary. I understand very well that copyright expires 70 years after the death or the author, and the Manchester Cathedral is a 15th century building. Unless you expect 15th century stonemasons to live over 450 years, this is pretty safe.

There's several issues here though, explaining why the church was 'looking into their legal options' because there may indeed be opportunity for a copyright claim, even if just a slim one.

First, the building was bombed during WW2, and rebuilt, upgraded, expanded, and modified. This would make the original 15th century architecture in the public domain, but with the new modifications (depending on how different they are from the original) the church would be a derivative work of that original design. The original design would still be public domain, but the changes would be copyrighted and haven't yet expired. If Sony used the modern representation of the church, they may indeed be infringing on the derived (modern) work.

Now, building exteriors are one thing, but the church (at least in the wikipedia article) repeatedly referred to the interior of the church, only requesting that the interior fight scenes be removed, perhaps recognizing that they'd have even less chance arguing for the exterior to also be removed.
 

Also, work in permanent public display bears no copyright in the UK. Therefore the "copyright" claim is very obviously totally unreasonable.


It's not true that work in public display 'bears no copyright'. It is still fully copyrighted, there are just a few extra exceptions that permit certain types of reproductions in specific circumstances. All the other rules of copyrights must still be followed.

Just because something is displayed publicly does not mean it is automatically public domain. It just gives a few extra rights to the public. Is Sony within those few minor extra rights? Seeing that those exceptions mostly cover photographs and filming, do those rights only apply to faithful reproductions?
Does the interior of the church's private property count as public (probably)? I haven't played the game either.
What art forms within the interior of the church falls under these exceptions? These exceptions don't apply to paintings, murals, or engravings. Did Sony accidentally reproduce any of these? Likely the murals would already be out of copyright... but on the other hand, Bill Gates owns the digital rights to the Mona Lisa, and TV shows and movies and news websites have to pay him each time they use it. When it comes to digital reproductions, law is still a grey area. Hence, the church considering their legal options and consulting their lawyers while at the same time trying to engage in a dialogue with Sony before it even reaches court.

Further, it's not just 'public display' its 'permanent public display'. These are legal terms open to interpretation by judges. What constitutes 'public'?what constitutes 'permanent'?

The church basically said, "Hey, we don't like what you are doing with our property (gun violence inside reproductions of our church), and we want you to stop. Here's why we don't like what you are doing (gun violence victims as members, city of gun violence, opposed to gun violence, spends money to reduce gun violence, gun violence vigils), and here's how we are going to try to get you to stop (we're looking into our legal options, we're contacting you directly, and we're publicly voicing our grievance)."

Seeing that it appears no lawsuit was actually filed, they may have come to the conclusion that their chance of victory was slim.

 

They probably could've argued for a violation of moral rights, but that applies to authors and the original creators are dead. But the moral rights of the authors of the derivative works of the reconstruction and expansion and revamping of the church? Legal issues is not yes/no. It's a vast swamp of 'maybes'. To entirely dismiss the church's (potential) lawsuit as "so perverse that it's hilarious" is to misunderstand the expanse and complexity of the law.

 

I do also perfectly understand what the church tried to mix in, there. It's the fact that Manchester has a "gun history". This is sad, but it has nothing to do with copyright.

They were explaining the reason for their complaint. They are anti-gun violence, and hold vigils in their church for gun violence victims (most likely whose family members attend the church), and now a videogame is portraying interactive gun fights within the church.

They weren't arguing that gun violence has something to do with copyright. They were complaining about portrayals of gun violence in what almost amounts to their own home, and said they were looking into the actual <potential> copyright claims.

They weren't arguing in court that they have a copyright claim against gun violence. That's a misunderstanding of their complaint and claim.
 

However, it's just typical for how demagoges work. You take "fact" A of which you know it's not true at all, and mix in some sad facts B and C which are entirely unrelated, and try to stirr up the public. Who will take A for as granted as B and C because they're mentioned in one sentence.

I don't think that's what they were doing. Why would the public even care about copyright infringement?

What facts are they deliberately distorting? Everything seems perfectly reasonable to me. It seems like you are the one distorting or simply misunderstanding their claims.

I think they were telling the public, "This is what we are complaining about" (Sony portraying gun violence in their own church), and telling Sony and the public "We're looking into possible copyright violations as a way to get Sony to retract it."

If they said, "We're suing Sony for copyright infringement" with zero explanation of why, it just looks like a nuisance lawsuit (which their demand for donations doesn't help - despite it being specifically a demand for donations toward anti-gun violence work).

 

that came from the child abusing faction (who, besides are doing something illegal).


A) You're implying the entire Church of England is pro-child abuse. Which is false.
B) You're implying the entire Church of England's congregation or employees are also child abusers. Which is false.
C) You're implying that someone's complaint is invalid because of who they are, not because of the merits of the complaint. Which is false.

This is like a mall security guard, or maybe the mall manager, sexually abusing someone, so instead of making sure justice is done against that person and the two or three who were aware of it, you attack malls everywhere for being pro-abuse. And then you respond to an unrelated employee who works in the mall is claiming he doesn't think it's right to portray gun violence in that mall, saying, "YOUR COMPLAINT IS INVALID BECAUSE YOU SUPPORT CHILD RAPISTS!".

It doesn't make sense. A person's arguments may be accurate even if they are serial killers. Or a person's arguments may be flawed even if they are perfectly decent individuals. An argument must be judged based on its own merit, not the merit of the one giving it. And you're dismissing an argument based on the one giving it happening to work for the same organization as someone else who did a terrible thing.
 

I haven't ever played Fall of Man myself, but I read that it's about aliens invading. Unless the church postulates that all Manchester drug dealers and gang members are yellow skinned "aliens" a.k.a. Chinese immigrants (hey, we're not being racist at all, are we!)

You're extrapolating what you imagine to be their reasoning, and then implying that they are being racist for your extrapolation of your imagination of what their stance might be?
 

I don't see how one could possibly assume that the makers of that game tried to make any such indication, or that you should (or even could validly) assume such a thing.

You're making the same assumption that Sony themselves made, when Sony replied to their complaint without actually taking the time to understand their complaint.

Sony said, "This is a work of fiction, we're not trying to portray anything specific or any specific building."

And the church said, "We don't care if it's a work of fiction or not, you've digitally reproduced our refuge from gun violence, our home away from home, our place of worship, and then host virtual gunfights within it."

They know the difference between fiction and not. That had zero to do with their complaint. They aren't Jack Thompson.
 

Lastly, if someone doesn't like shooting at aliens/zombies/whatever, that's fine, nobody forces them to play that game (or Doom or Afterlife, or Resident Evil, or any such game).

They were not complaining about general gun violence in games. They were complaining about gun violence in a digital reproduction of their own property - one that they are intimately familiar with as a place of refuge and safety. Seriously, this is only a notch or two less than a gunfight in a digital reproduction of their bedroom at home.




#5229067 Architecture copyright

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 14 May 2015 - 09:07 PM

 

Here's a case from a few years back that made the news in the UK. The church that was allegedly copied seemed to not have a copyright infringement case in this particular instance:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6736809.stm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversy_over_the_use_of_Manchester_Cathedral_in_Resistance:_Fall_of_Man#cite_note-12

This one is so perverse that it's hilarious (but quite typical)  laugh.png
 
Shows how crazily different people can perceive things from how things really are and still get to make obviously and intentionally wrong public accusations without a lawsuit for libel (there's absolutely no way this could be copyright infringment, which should be immediately obvious to anyone).

 
I don't think you understand copyright (or you'd realize the church potentially did have a valid claim, despite your comment of being "immediately obvious to anyone" otherwise) and I don't think you understand what the church was complaining about, or you might be an ounce or two sympathetic to their legitimate complaint... The wikipedia article gives a good job explaining it, but I posted my views here.
 

Did Fall of Man, which is situated in the 1950s (of an alternate reality) display priests abusing little children? Now that might lend to a realistic copyright lawsuit...

 
If Fall of Man displayed priests abusing children, that'd not be in any way copyrighted related.
The OP asked a legal question about copyrights, another person replied with a copyright-related situation that happens to involve a religious organization, and you immediately tried to connect it to child abuse. huh.png It seems like you brought it up just as an excuse to bash religion.
 

Don't mean to hijack the thread but a scrapped game of mine had planned to use an area (with its building) owned by my local council. I also had plans to show off a recreation of my primary school in video game form.
 
Should I resurrect the project, of course I am going to ask someone who I know from the school regarding permissions but my local council has a complex contact system so I'm not sure who to ask in that department?

 
Complex contact systems can sometimes be slightly easier to navigate by being friendly and talking to people in person.
 
My city has a wide areas where the city stores spare supplies like telephone poles and bricks and asphalt for roads and such like that, and someone told me my city has a pile of wood chips their from trees they cut up that falls during rainstorms on electrical cables and such. I wanted alot of wood chips for a garden, and didn't want to pay for it, so I went to my local county office and asked the first person I met, asking them who I needed to talk to. Apparently the local county and the local city have different buildings, but the county office knew how to direct me to the city office, giving me driving directions (just a few blocks away).
 
So I went to the city office and asked the first person I saw - one of a few secretaries with some dude reclining in the chair behind them. The secretary gave me the number of the person who manages the city supply depot where the woodchips were, but the person reclining behind her cut her off and gave me permission to take as much as I want to. I'm still not 100% positive, but I think the guy who was reclining and gave me permission is the mayor of the city.

Complex phone systems and email systems? Go visit in person. Be friendly.
Sometimes you encounter tired government employees who act like bureaucrats - but you're more likely to find such a person on the phone than you are in person. If you go in person, you can scan the people in the room and intentionally go up to and talk to the one who seems the most amiable to you. Frequently visited buildings like the DMV may have more worn out and irritated employees than less-visited buildings like county administration offices. I'd try going into the very building you want to use, and asking the friendliest person you see. They likely won't be able to help you, but they'd have a much better chance of knowing who can.




#5228995 I'm having trouble attracting contributors to my project as it gets older

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 14 May 2015 - 11:43 AM

 It looks as if the project needs a reboot.

I was thinking something along the lines of this. What I was imagining was forming an entirely new team and starting somewhat fresh. We'd still use the same code and assets and story, but we'd brainstorm about what kind of game we want to build with it. I thought of this because its hard to be enthusiastic about joining a project that pretty much has most of the core mechanics and gameplay nailed down that were decided by a group of people years ago who have long since parted ways with this project. So I've been wondering if I could roll with that sort of mindset, attract a new team of enthusiastic people and share what we have to work with, and see where we want to go from there.

 

You're the programmer, right? I'd do the reverse: Keep the gameplay and code, scrap the assets and story. Recruit artists and musicians and map makers to use the Allacrost engine to make something new.

 

If you're going to recruit new artists, they'll have more fun deciding (collectively) on their own art style, instead of trying to make new art for someone else's art style. The art may go in a style direction you personally aren't as interested in, but that's the cost of holding their attention. By presenting the existing art assets, but giving them the permission to them or ignore them, they may end up salvaging some of it anyway. By "art style", I don't mean the artists get the dictate when/where the story takes place (future, past, fantasy whatever) - the story dictates that. But free the new artists from the burden of having to be consistent with the old artists art decisions, and give the new artists the freedom to salvage or discard the old art assets.

 

Same with the music. Same with the map making.

 

The cost of map makers is either money or letting them work on something they enjoy working on. Ditto for musicians. Ditto for artists (they want to work in the style that interests them). They are willing to bend somewhat, to work on collectively what the new group wants to work on, but they would probably be less interested in working on something that some ancient group from 10 years ago decided on. Try to not be too intrusive in their decision making, but do remind them that it has to fit in with the story and the rest of the sub-groups. You can also steer them subtly by using positive feedback ("That sounds cool!", "That's interesting, could you elaborate on that?"), but avoid negative feedback and let them make decisions you don't necessarily agree with.

 

Keep the gameplay. Be the lead programmer and lead gameplay mechanic designer. Let others be the lead artist and lead writer and lead composer and lead map maker.

See if you can recruit three to five artists, three to five map makers, and etc.., and let them choose from amongst themselves a lead for each of their sub-groups.

If you no longer need writers, then keep the old story. But if you still need artists, form a new artist sub-group, let the artists choose their own art lead, and let them create a new art direction and art style, even if it means scrapping the existing work. Same with the map makers - collect a new group of 3-5, let them choose their own lead by voting, the lead reports to you, and you act as a director to make sure the sub-groups work together well. Or you can personally choose the leaders, based off of who seems like the best leader - but you should wait until they've been on the team for several months before choosing someone.

 

When map makers need a piece of art, they should open MS Paint and make the quickest and junkiest piece of art imaginable. Then when that map is actually in-game, the artists would move quickly to replace it, because A) they'd see their results ingame immediately which makes them feel good, B) the improvement to the junk graphics would make everyone feel like progress is being made (including the map maker) making everyone feel good, and C) the artists would be silently steered towards making art that is actually needed and would also be motivated to step up and give it a try, because anything they make would be better than the MS Paint scrawling (they'd have more confidence to try, because "anything I make would be better than that").

 

By default, you are the "lead" of every subgroup until the subgroup gets large enough to need its own leader. This should be at least three people. Any leader should've already been on the project for at least 90 days and should be able to commit at least 10 hours a week. The sub-group leader (once appointed by you or elected or whatever), should also be responsible for recruiting more members for his own sub-group (and help recruit for the project as a whole). Team members can be on multiple subgroups (art and map making, for example).

 

Setup a roadmap with milestones. 2 1/2 years (30 months). Try to hit the goals. But even if they are missed, it'll still give people a target to shoot for and make the project not seem endless.

 

Just some thoughts from an inexperienced gent. I've worked on one non-commercial team project before that dragged on for four years (I wasn't the project leader, but I was the lead artist, scripter, and map maker), but that's about it. I'm currently working on a commercial solo project that's been going on for almost five years now - and though I have some family and friends contributing art and music and map making, it's mostly me doing 99% of the work (by choice), though I am making-requests/placing-orders about what I want when I need it, so I don't consider it to be a team project because it requires pretty much zero team management (at least at this stage), so I don't have any experience leading a project as large a scope or as long a duration as yours.




#5228463 USA official buildings and symbols in a game? (law issues?)

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 11 May 2015 - 07:51 PM

On a little but different issue, i have read somewhere , that some church (or similiar physical building) have been included in some game, and they didnt have proper (or at all) the permission to do so, and the team that make this game faced some problem due to this.

 
Works of art are copyrighted -> architecture is a form of art -> a building's architecture can be a work of art -> thus building architectures can be copyrighted.
 
If they weren't visibly interesting works of art, nobody would want to use them in a game. happy.png
 
If someone takes a picture of a building, the building architecture is copyrighted already, and the photograph is (automatically!) copyrighted by the photographer, so the photograph has two (or more) copyrights that need to be licensed before it can be used commercially (and yes, making a game public for free is still "commercial").
 

But i dont remember any name (the game, the company, the church), dont you know by accident what im talking about ? I would like to read more about it, but i do not know tha names, maybe someone here?

 
I don't know the names either, but it turns out that google does, and that "game developer sued by church" turns up what you are looking for as the very first hit.
 
The motive behind the (potential) lawsuit really wasn't about copyrights, but was about Sony (unintentionally) putting gunfights with assault weapons in a church that advocates against gun violence and holds yearly vigils against gun violence. The church tried to argue the building was copyrighted - and were even willing to allow Sony to display the exterior of the church, as long as they didn't have gunfights within the church. For a comparison, imagine your son was killed by gun violence, and now someone makes a movie mapping out your own house, and and has a gunfight take place in it. To some churchgoers, churches, which are private property, is almost like a second home in some ways. (If you go to that church multiple times every week, for years on end, to meet with people you have known for years, in a place where you feel safe and comfortable... potentially as a way to escape the terrors of losing a familiar member to gun violence in a city known for gun violence...)
 
Ultimately, it seems like no lawsuit was actually filed, and Sony apologized (they weren't putting gunfights in the church specifically because of it's gun stance, and likely were unaware of it's gun stance, but were most likely merely using it because it was a cool looking building). Whether or not the church would've actually won is unknown - the building was built hundreds of years ago, and thus is no longer in copyright (i.e. the exterior of the building would be in the "public domain"), but the church wasn't even concerned about the exterior, they were concerned with the interior, which has been updated numerous times over the years and may actually still be copyrighted.
 

besides im not from US but from europe, so im not sure how would some law apply for me,

Because the USA and Europe are both part of international copyright agreements.
 

not to mention the fact that a lawyer in EU with knowledge of this for US market would be even more expensive.

You can hire a USA lawyer living in the USA, and communicate via email...
Or you can hire a UK lawyer who specializes in copyright law in general.
 

You are overly cautious,

No, you're just not wanting to hear what you don't want to hear.
 
You might not get caught. But you are still doing something that, if you do get caught, can bite you.
 
It's like speeding on a highway - you might not get a speeding ticket, or you might get a speeding ticket. Whether you fined by the police or not, you still shouldn't have been speeding.
 
We're giving you the overly cautious response, because laws are overly complex. If you want to know in your very very specific case, whether a very very specific usage is acceptable, then you'd either need to do detailed research yourself (IGNORING what other drivers may have been speeding on the highway, and IGNORING what random people say on blogs. You have to do legal research by reading the actual laws), or else ask a lawyer who can do that research for you much faster and quicker and more thoroughly, by knowing where to look and what to look for and how to read the jargon.
 
Or you can design your own buildings, and design your own organizations. Your players' probably won't mind, and would probably applaud you for being creative, instead of using the same organizations that everyone else uses.
 
There are probably ways for you to use the buildings and logos and such that you want. You'll have to follow certain procedures. We don't know those procedures. A lawyer would know, or would know how to research them. Or you can research them.
 
If you want to use those buildings and logos and don't want to do real research, and don't want to hire a lawyer, then you are taking a risk. If you don't want to take a risk, and don't want to do real research, and don't want to pay for a lawyer, then you should to create your own stuff from scratch.
 
It's all about tradeoffs. The closer you want to make your work resemble someone else's, the more you are taking a risk. The closer you want to tiptoe up to legal technicalities, the more you need to pay a lawyer. The less research you want to do, the more you need to pay a lawyer.
 
You have to decide how much risk you are willing to take, how much lawyer-time you should pay for, how much research you need to do.
 
If we pretend the real world doesn't exist, and just do business mindlessly, it'd be like driving a sports car at 180 km/h down a highway with headphones in your ears blaring music, and not noticing the road police sitting by the side of the road watching.
 
You can't assume that just because [insert movie/game/TV show] used it, it's okay for you to use it. Maybe they just never were caught. Or maybe their lawyers walked them through a list of what they are and are not allowed to do. Or maybe they came to an agreement with [whoever owns whatever they used].
 
USA.gov/copyright
Usage of the FBI logo, the FBI name, and the FBI initials
(if you read these, be careful not to just accept the parts that agree with you, and ignore the parts you don't want to hear)
 
If copyright is too much a hassle or nuisance to bother with, just create your own ideas (federal agencies and building architectures) from scratch.

 

[I am not a lawyer. If you want better advice, you should to talk to one wink.png]




#5228239 Different GCC Versions Resulting in Different Output

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 10 May 2015 - 10:15 AM

Sounds wierd. I can't see anything wrong.

 

You are initializing l2TotalTries to zero, right?

 

On a machine giving the wrong results, try running it when it's compiled in debug mode and then run it with it compiled in release mode, and see if both builds give the wrong result. If the debug mode gives the correct result, but the release mode gives the wrong result (or vise-versa), most likely it's a mistake in your code.

 

Sometimes I get weird results like that, because some of my object files (.o) didn't rebuild with the latest code. In those situations, I delete my output folders and fully recompile the code from scratch, to make sure the produced binary is actually running the latest code.




#5228233 Pokemon Dream World

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 10 May 2015 - 09:37 AM

You probably already know this, so I'll make it quick:

 

Pokemon is Nintendo's property. If Nintendo gets wind of you using their property, they can sue you and not only shut down your Pokemon game, but also take possession of (and shut down) your non-Pokemon games (i.e. Chaoscraft). If Chaoscraft ever makes money via advertisements, or donations, or subscriptions, or microtransactions, Nintendo can take that money, in compensation for you making use of their intellectual property. wacko.png

 

I'd suggest focusing on your own property (Chaoscraft), and let Nintendo focus on theirs (Pokemon). You're creative enough to create something of your own - you don't need to risk playing with fire by using something Nintendo made.




#5227984 "True" MVC-Concept in games

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 08 May 2015 - 11:27 AM

the new gang of four

There's a new edition of the book? ohmy.png I didn't know that, but I can't find it on Amazon. You got me excited for a sec!
 

has anyone ever gone back to the new gang of four and seen what applications they actually based the MVC pattern on?

MVC predates the GoF book by at least a dozen years. MVC is one of the earlier patterns that was discussed before the GoF used the term 'patterns' to describe the concept of a reusable programming architectural idea.
 

in fact, i've always wondered this, were ANY of the "design patterns" drawn from games?

None of the design patterns were based on games specifically, iirc. It was more enterprise and consumer software. The book was written in 1994, so games weren't as mainstream, and were alot smaller as well.
 

i've seen the list of patterns, and other than trivial BS you do in any software, none of them really strikes me as being terribly game related.

The design patterns were specifically patterns they recognized across the architectures they studied or from projects they themselves worked on.

 

Most of them are only 'trivial' is so far as they have become wildly used and wildly understood. Some are genuinely trivial, but still worth identifying and aggregating, so we can discuss them by name. Complex things with complex interactions are built from trivial things interacting in trivial ways.

Design patterns fit certain styles of problems - and games have some of the same problems, and don't have some of the others. Some of the patterns are very applicable to games. Flyweight as one example. Two or more 'entities' may share the same '3D model' (but applied with different transforms), or multiple 2D 'entities' may share the same 'texture'.

Many games have used Factory patterns. RIAA is sometimes used. Observer pattern. Others as well.

They observed 20 or 30 large consumer/commercial software projects and identified common solutions to common problems. Some of them are also problems games have. They never claimed the list applies to every project, nor they they claim the list was conclusive.

Game developers have added additional patterns that are more game-specific, but that could also be applied to other non-game projects. I consider ECS a design pattern, for example. smile.png

 

To me, it really comes down to "What is my problem, and does this pattern actually solve it?" 




#5227868 Problems with health bar

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 07 May 2015 - 07:45 PM

You want to figure out what fraction of the player's health he currently has:

float fractionOfHealth = (float(currentHealth) / float(maxHealth)); //This will give a result like 0.7

 
Then you want to use that fraction, to get the fractional size of the healthbar to draw.

int currentHealthbarWidth = int(float(MaxHealthbarWidth) * fractionOfHealth);

 
For example:

MaxHealthbarWidth = 100 pixels
maxHealth = 50;
currentHealth = 40;
 
fractionOfHealth = (float(currentHealth) / maxHealth); //   (40 / 50) = 0.8
 
int currentHealthbarWidth = int(float(MaxHealthbarWidth) * fractionOfHealth); // 100 pixels * 0.8 fraction = 80 pixels.
 
DrawWhiteRectangle(...using MaxHealthbarWidth...);
DrawRedRectangle(...using currentHealthbarWidth...);

 
You can even use 'fractionOfHealth' to draw your healthbar green if your health is good, and switch to red if your health gets below, say, 0.4 (which is 40%).

if(fractionOfHealth > 0.4) DrawRectangle(Green)
else DrawRectangle(Red)

 
You can even gradually fade from green to red in a smooth transition, depending on the amount of health left, instead of jumping from green to red.

redAmount = (1.0 - fractionOfHealth)
greenAmount = fractionOfHealth
blueAmount = 0

DrawRectangle(255 * redAmount, 255 * greenAmount, 255 * blueAmount);



#5227822 Average games length databse?

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 07 May 2015 - 12:40 PM

Steam measurements are unfortunately inaccurate. I've personally played games for tens of hours longer than Steam reports, and many other people on the internet claim their own usage of Steam also gives incorrect measurements.

 

Sometimes I've played a game several times for an estimated ten hours, and it only shows 1 1/2 hours played. I wouldn't trust Steam's time measurements for research. Other times games I've played multiple times has it listed as "zero hours played". For some reason, it fails to record large chunks of playtime (possibly when Steam is in offline mode? But I normally leave Steam 'connected' and still experience time losses).

 

Basically, this is data you need to gather yourself by releasing games, and having the games measure users playing them, and then you have real results. I'd guess many large studios have those numbers gathered from their own game, but like to keep them close to their chest. It'd be nice if indies started releasing their metrics publicly.




#5227537 "True" MVC-Concept in games

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 06 May 2015 - 11:00 AM

Servant summed up what seem to be the three most-common approaches to leveraging design patterns, and of the three I agree his third is the most correct usage.

But I think there's a subtle distinction that's really important, and its so subtle, in fact, that I think I neglected it myself, today, in a response to an earlier thread.

We don't call patters 'formulas' or 'recipes' because we can't just reproduce them for wrote, but at the same time, we call them patterns because they outline a robust solution to a recurrent problem -- so patterns are something more than just language applied after the fact (though often you might find that you've inadvertently applied something that looks like pattern without realizing it), and can be used to help reason about design and architecture.

Crucially, a pattern in a design-phase (prior to or during code production) should serve as inspiration for a solution to a problem or requirement that you have, or will probably have, but it should not inspire you to create problems or requirements that you would never have had in the first place.

 

I absolutely agree with this. As with most things, the truth is balanced between two or more extremes - in this case, one extreme is design patterns as a solution to just plop in place. The other extreme is design patterns as purely descriptive language. Somewhere inbetween is design patterns as guidelines that lead to solutions for specific types of problems.

 

The 'pattern' isn't the code, but the ideas behind it. The ideas can describe and help design the code.




#5227420 RPG Level Up/Down: Feedback appreciated

Posted by Servant of the Lord on 05 May 2015 - 08:37 PM

In MMOs, EverQuest also had de-leveling (or maybe it was DAoC?) - you'd lose roughly 20% of the experience bar, which could take you back down a level. I'm not sure if it really added anything of value, design-wise.

 

Clearly it's an attempt to give significance to death. But I always get stuck here - most death consequences in game is a half-hearted attempt are making players fear death, but ends up only being a nuisance. Only permadeath is actually significant enough - but then we back down and say, "oh, but death shouldn't be that extreme!", because we still want the game to be fun for players (and permadeath is fun for some niche groups).

So I feel like, if I am making a game, and permadeath is too 'extreme', then why settle for 'annoying'? Why not making the game challenging, but make death nothing more than losing that challenge and returning to the last safe location (e.g. back to town)?

 

For some games, having zero or near-zero consequence to death works very well, and even lets the designer crank up the challenge. VVVVVV is one example.

 

I'm not saying there so be zero consequences entirely in the game - it just isn't required to be centered on death. I'd like to try giving very serious consequences to player choices, instead of accidental missteps, and see where that takes the design.

 

[/half-formed-thoughts]






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