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Responding to Feedback

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JWalsh

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Heya Guys,

Thanks for your feedback, positive or negative it's nice to know that people are still checking in occasionally. I did, however, want to respond to some of the feedback I got.

Yes, it's possible that I'm aiming too high, but most people do to one degree or another.

I'm curious, however, what people use to gauge "too high", "too low", or "just right." Part of the purpose of this experiment is to dispel people's negativism and tendency to discourage others...always regurgitating the "uhh, start small, maybe pong, tetris, zelda...work your way up. Eventually you'll be able to find a hobbyist team and do something real...but take it slowly..." quote that I see so often in For Beginners.

Are people thinking that I'm aiming too high because the features would be difficult to implement for you or someone you know, because you've heard others say these would be difficult features to implement, or because you've seen my code and work-habits before and thus are extrapolating that these might be too high for me this time? I don't want this to come across as sarcasm. I'm genuinely interested in why people believe I "...might be aiming too high...".

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I'd personally be extremely impressed if your Mini-MORPG just had Zelda: Link to the Past type graphics and combat...


Well, then be prepared to be dazzled and amazed. [lol] Trapper's right, I don't need all this stuff to make the game great. But part of the purpose of this is for me to get something out of it as well. And to do that, I need to push the envelope of my own skill set.

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...Please don't take this to be discouraging; I'm following your progress with enthusiasm.


I don't personally take it as discouraging. However, I can see how a junior programmer faced with "I think you might be aiming a little too high..." might take that as discouraging. I'd like to see a lot more people on GDNet offering advice on ways to help people realize their vision, rather than trying to convince them their vision is too grand. For example, how's my feature analysis progressing? Are there components missing? What questions have I not yet answered? etc....

If someone has a clearly defined path before them, try and help them make the journey, don't suggest detours or alternate routes.

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Considering the technicality of it, obtaining the different styles of movement such as jumping, swimming, tumbling, etc, these are 95% based on simply adding some new animation sequences with certain rotations applied, aren't they?


For the most part, the appearance of climbing, jumping, swimming, etc...are far more difficult to implement than the reality of it. I can make a cube move vertically up the side of a hill, up a rope, etc...I can make a cube jump up and down, and I can even make a cube move through a space at a slower speed, with a non-existent or decreased impact from gravity (swimming). Once these are possible, then it's just a matter of creating/applying appropriate animations to each.

Jumping: An impulse force is applied upwards, which causes the person to be launched into the air, only to be brought down again by gravity.

Swimming: Reduce gravity to a small or non-existent amount, and allow the character to descend deeper or raise higher based on camera angle.

Tumbling: This is just a sideways movement with animation, which might have increased defensive bonuses over just moving or jumping.

Climbing: This is just changing the local axis of movement at certain locations. Normally forward means ...wait for it...forward, however when on a rope, forward could be used to mean up, etc...alternatively, the jump button, while under/against a climbable surface can mean to advance up the surface rather than to actually jump. This would leave the movement analog stick free to implement such things as "swinging" on a rope.

At any rate. I thank everyone who's providing feedback. It is good to know people are following this. I'm half doing it to practice my analysis, design, implementation, and optimization skills....but I'm also half doing it because I enjoy the community's involvement. A project like this is much less entertaining to write when no one's watching it go from analysis to completion.

I wonder if GDNet would host this MiniMORPG when it gets completed. Might be nice to have an online game community, similar to the way we have an IRC channel. Everyone could meet in one of the major cities and chat, while taking quests, etc...Given that it's C#, we could even use reflection with a well-defined interface to allow contributors to develop their own mods and add-ons for the game. Just a thought. [wink]

/discuss
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This has nothing to do with whether you personally can achieve these goals, but I'm interested to know as it seems relatively simple to put in abilities such as climbing, swimming, jumping etc, why do so many big MMOG's not include them? Is it simply that it is hard to animate it properly?

I remember in Asherons Call, one of the first 3D MMORPG's, you could jump off or onto anything, meaning you could "climb" seemingly impassable hills. It gave an extra depth to the game that I haven't seen in most recent games (AC didn't have swimming though)

Good luck with the project!

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I'd like to see a lot more people on GDNet offering advice on ways to help people realize their vision ...

Quote:
Are people thinking that I'm aiming too high because the features would be difficult to implement for you or someone you know, because you've heard others say these would be difficult features to implement, or because you've seen my code and work-habits before and thus are extrapolating that these might be too high for me this time? I don't want this to come across as sarcasm.


Well, the reality of the situation is this... People around GDNet deal with over ambitious people all of the time that result, basically, nothing. I wouldn't put any money down on the fact that you COULDN'T do this, but just keep it in the back of your mind that there are a lot of skeptical people out here when ambitious plans like this show up. It seems that everybody and their mother wants to make a MMO these days, mini or not- it's still a daunting task.

So use the skeptic noises as motivation to complete this task, like I used the whole "You're F'n Crazy," or, "You'll never make it," when I joined the Marine Corps. I didn't need to sit there and ask those people why they thought that way, because in my mind, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.

I imagine that you'll start getting a lot more feedback when your vision starts being pieced together in a physical sense. I imagine you have a lot of people lurking, watching your moves and waiting for the opportune time to start providing insight. Hell, I've been lurking in your journal for the past couple of weeks and you can probably expect more posts from me to offer any feedback I can.

Quote:
I'm curious, however, what people use to gauge "too high", "too low", or "just right." Part of the purpose of this experiment is to dispel people's negativism and tendency to discourage others...always regurgitating the "uhh, start small, maybe pong, tetris, zelda...work your way up. Eventually you'll be able to find a hobbyist team and do something real...but take it slowly..." quote that I see so often in For Beginners.


The reason why people slam those beginners is because it is incredibly easy for that beginner to get in-over their head. I've tried to help a lot of beginners and they all end up coming back to me with failed attempts at creating a game and they start showing signs of lost motivation. If a beginner can start with pong, tetris, or a breakout clone, and finish it, that is more than enough motivation for a person to continue on with a more challenging game.

Good luck, and I wish you the best.

-Dave

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I've been following this journal since day one of the MiniMMORPG posts and I enjoy reading everything posted. I even read every comment to see what others have said in an attempt to learn something myself. I never once thought to myself "Hey, I think he's aiming too high." I think everyone will be blown away once there is something tangible in front of them. Right now it is just a bunch of words and data but nothing visual except for the elevation map.

All this planning is not a bad thing as I have stated before in another post. Design, organization, and technical detail is something which shows your commitment to this project and something which others and I are sure to learn something from.

Half the fun is trying to figure out the solution to a problem and learning new things that's what makes a programmer a programmer. I see a lot of negative feedback at GameDev and isn't this project something to respond to some of that negative feedback? Keep up the excellent work!! Prove the negative people of this community wrong.

- DreamGhost -

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I didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest with my comment [grin].

I didn't want to imply with my previous comment that I thought any of this was beyond your abilities to implement (well, maybe the graphics; from my reading I'd say you're a programmer but I don't know about your artistic skills [smile]). I admit however that when I started following your Mini-MORPG project from the beginning that I was expecting something more along the lines of a proof of concept, rather than something more fully fleshed out. The danger is not that any of the individual components is too difficult to implement, but the extra time each one represents. You're only one person, and even if you have all the skills you need to make a game there's only so much you can do in a certain time period.

Heck, you only need to skim through my journal to see the danger of aiming for too ambious a game. Last year I had a fantastic idea for a (single player) action RPG in the lines of Secret of Mana. It was limited enough in scope that I thought it was completable just by myself; it didn't have a lot of scene changes so I could recycle a lot of the art, and the programming would have been challenging but not overly so. I set to work fleshing out the concept and writing out a design document. However once I got a good grasp on the content involved I put on my cynic's hat and evaluated the timeline for completing this project.

My conclusion was:
  • The project was indeed within my capablities: I had the skill to do all the programming, artwork, music and writing myself
  • However since I needed to work part-time it would take me four years to complete, at tthe very least
Consequently, I realised that the chances of me completing this game were slim; with life being as unpredictable as it was something was bound to happen in the course of four years to derail me. I also figured it was far better to work on smaller projects and work my way up; maybe after two years of making simpler games I'd have a better skill-set and could make such an RPG in one year?

There's a number of projects here in the journals that are completely amazing, such as dgreen02 and Ysaneya. They've also been working on them for longer than I've been posting here. I'm just a bit concerned that you're getting bogged down in so many details to make the most awesome game you can imaging you'll end up with a never ending project.

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Glad to see this is still going. I was following from the beginning, but after that 2 week hiatus I hadn't checked back in a while.

It is a very ambitious project, but from what I read seems like you are an experienced programmer I think it's well within possibility.

Though I do also ask the question of art. Are you an artist as well? I find RPG's of any kind usually tend to be more art and design heavy then programming heavy.

I wish you the best of luck though and will be continuing to follow this :D.

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Nah, not really. Just been very busy. My company's launching our first product soon so I've been in/out of town on business trips making negotiations and such.

I'm still working on this in my free time, just haven't had much the last few weeks.

Though, the C# Workshop is taking a bit higher priority...however, for those that are interested in this, you'll want to pay close attention to the C# Workshop...you'll find the two are "related."

Cheers!

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I'd love to see this when it's all done. Just imagine, lol, an official GDnet MiniMORPG. [grin] I'd also love to try this out myself, but I'm a console neeb.

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The reason why people slam those beginners is because it is incredibly easy for that beginner to get in-over their head. I've tried to help a lot of beginners and they all end up coming back to me with failed attempts at creating a game and they start showing signs of lost motivation. If a beginner can start with pong, tetris, or a breakout clone, and finish it, that is more than enough motivation for a person to continue on with a more challenging game.

No one can really argue against the statistics. It is absolutely true that out of the number of indie/hobbyist MMO projects out there, most of them fail. The real point is, however, that statistics are really just numbers. It is individuals who succeed or fail.

I've been arguing against that rationale for nigh on 2 years as well. From the dreamer's perspective, talking to the skeptic: what's it to you? I know the skeptics aren't noble individuals who are trying to save the newbies from painful experiences and wasted effort. I've never seen one who comes off as a caring parent who wishes to save their child from pain. The true/best teachers are those who encourage the student (read newbie) to experience it on their own and learn from it. This can certainly mean to allow, or even encourage, someone to take a road that will become a dead end.

In the discussions that I have taken place in (and there have been a few), its always the veteran who has been around the block who is the most skeptical, and consequently, outspoken, on the subject. My question to these veterans is: have you done the same thing (tried to make an MMO)? If so, didn't you learn from it? Didn't that help you become the developer you are today? How does that make you want to stop someone from experiencing the same thing, and learning something for themselves? If, however, the answer to the first question is no, then how is your advice even remotely of value here? To me, only those who have tried and failed (or tried and succeeded) truly know what it is like to try. Yes it is true, a smart man learns from his own mistakes, while a wise man will learn from another's mistakes... but don't you have to be smart before you can become wise?

The truly knowledgeable skeptics always come across with a huge amount of irony to me. To truly be knowledgeable about a subject would mean, to me, that you know whether or not it is possible. In my experience, these so called knowledgeable veterans, are the ones who think that it is most impossible. Blindness can strike us all, I guess.

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The reason why people slam those beginners is because it is incredibly easy for that beginner to get in-over their head. I've tried to help a lot of beginners and they all end up coming back to me with failed attempts at creating a game and they start showing signs of lost motivation. If a beginner can start with pong, tetris, or a breakout clone, and finish it, that is more than enough motivation for a person to continue on with a more challenging game.

No one can really argue against the statistics. It is absolutely true that out of the number of indie/hobbyist MMO projects out there, most of them fail. The real point is, however, that statistics are really just numbers. It is individuals who succeed or fail.

To be clear, my "skeptic" in the following is not an individual, but a collective from my experiences with all skeptics.

I've been arguing against that rationale for nigh on 2 years as well. From the dreamer's perspective, talking to the skeptic: what's it to you? I know the skeptics aren't noble individuals who are trying to save the newbies from painful experiences and wasted effort. I've never seen one who comes off as a caring parent who wishes to save their child from pain, which is what I would consider noble. The true/best teachers are those who encourage the student (read newbie) to experience it on their own and learn from it. This can certainly mean to allow, or even encourage, someone to take a road that will become a dead end.

In the discussions that I have taken place in (and there have been a few), its always the veteran who has been around the block who is the most skeptical, and consequently, outspoken, on the subject. My question to these veterans is: have you done the same thing (tried to make an MMO)? If so, didn't you learn from it? Didn't that help you become the developer you are today? How does that make you want to stop someone from experiencing the same thing, and learning something for themselves? If, however, the answer to the first question is no, then how is your advice even remotely of value here? To me, only those who have tried and failed (or tried and succeeded) truly know what it is like to try. Yes it is true, a smart man learns from his own mistakes, while a wise man will learn from another's mistakes... but don't you have to be smart before you can become wise?

The truly knowledgeable skeptics always come across with a huge amount of irony to me. To truly be knowledgeable about a subject would mean, to me, that you know whether or not it is possible. In my experience, these so called knowledgeable veterans, are the ones who think that it is most impossible. Blindness can strike us all, I guess.

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