Jump to content
  • Advertisement
  • entries
    37
  • comments
    154
  • views
    32068

What are you?!?

Sign in to follow this  
Embassy of Time

2061 views

Ahhh... Always start with a decade old Batman quote... Makes you seem uptodate!

At the end of this, I will run a little test. Not of anyone reading it, per se, but of the notion of writing here. See, I grew up in the olden days, and actually had a pen friend. For a few months. As part of a mandatory school project. But still! Now, social media is everywhere, and I have a hard time moving my brain from "every now and then, I will write some short thing to someone far away" to "I must speak constantly about myself to thousands, or I do not exist at all!". It's a huge adjustment for me, one that has failed to truly set in, even after years.

But, to mangle another Batman quote, "why so meta?" It's bad form to ramble on about how blogging is not your thing when you're clearly trying to blog. So why talk about how communication has changed?

The title of this blog is "Creating Complexity". I think hard about titles, again because I am stuck in a mindset where everything has to be done with great care, because there is so little chance to do it. An old mindset. And the title was picked because I have an obsession with complexity, and anything I do will have some sort of complexity in it. Being on GameDev clearly means I want to develop games (that is what GameDev means, I assume? Right??). And the complexity in that is something I struggle with currently. I am creating an engine for future games of mine, and the current (recently rebooted) incarnation has been renamed the "Size Does Not Matter" engine, or SDNM for short (pronounced "Sudden M"). Earlier incarnation already worked.... almost. It's polish and precision this time. But that's not a small task, either...

The name, like the title, means something. I am doing an engine for tailoring endless universes, where size quite literally does not matter. The last incarnation had an octillion (10^27) stars in a vast universe, and you could fly through it down to any star. The incarnation before it even let you go to planets around that star. The detail screwed up, though, and bits of planet (polygons, not cool chunks of dirt and rock) began to get horribly misaligned. Hence, new incarnations. But that's the basics of it: A game that does not limit anything on sizes. From the entire universe down to a grain of sand, it will show it, at any level of detail. Once it's done, of course.

We've all seen similar ideas. A universe sandbox. No Man's Sky fell flat on its face with hype trying to make it work as a game. What will I add that they did not?

Complexity.

See, I'm not a programmer by trade. I teach math. And I am pretty good at math. And science. Both natural and social ones. And languag, history, and all the other stuff found in the reference section. I learned programming a few years ago (well, I learned C++. I'm old enough to have learned raw HTML, BASIC, JavaScript and even COMAL back in the day), and last year I did an overhaul of all the sciences, expecting to teach them as a collected course at some schools. It fell through, but I discovered something odd. Patterns in the noise. An elegant chain of functionality that brought things from subatomic particles up to conscious human beings and the technology they wield. And it dawned on me that all this complexity can be turned into code, and wth some creativity, into a game. We all raged a little when Spore turned out to be just a gimmicky kid's game with a neat creature creation kit attached. No Man's Sky needs no introduction. And people are getting worried about Star Citizen. Some of us even have a grudge against the juggernaut Minecraft, for failing to live up to its full potential, settling on a LEGO worldbuilding kit. It's a feeling I have known ever since I got frustrated about beating Civilization II at the highest level. Why is there no more?? Why can't I develop futuristic technologies, why can't I go to other planets, why does the game just end arbitrarily?

I want my first major goal to be to fix that. Once the scaling system of the engine works, I have math to implement freeform construction systems, chemistry engines, evolution engines (up to simple primate style animals, not true social intelligence... yet). The patterns in the noise, turned into math. Complexity.

But that brings me back to "why so meta?". We all know that creating an engine is nothing. Creating a game is more meaningful, but it is not the real hurdle, either. What you create is just the platform you do the real stuff from: Communicate. Communicating ideas is what wins people over and gets eyes on you and your work. And I still suck at it. The engine is part of my overall project, the Embassy of Time. The website is being remodeled, slowly, as I try to find the right form to present everything, and create some content. I'll go into that another time. Maybe. This is me trying to communicate that I even exist, and that's hard enough for someone like me, who prefers to have his face in books and screens, trying to tear new answers to old mysteries out of everything. I have combed the net for ways to communicate those ideas, and set up accounts on everything I found. Heck, my usual writing grounds are DeviantArt, for no other reason than that some people actually noticed me there for, of all things, some stories I wrote! But social websites for writing, 2D art, 3D art, comics, photos, video, even architecture and more, I'm on all of them. And my accounts are empty, because I obsess about the complexity, and forget the communication. How does one talk about creting complexity, when just the talking is complex enough?

In the end, this is just a mess of stuff about me, scratching the surface of what I do. More will hopefully come, as I straighten my thoughts out into words, and hopefully even get some eyeballs on me. This new world of "shout or wither" is hard for me to deal with. My complexity is in my head, like I bet many others have it.

Which brings me to the test. If you stuck with me this far on this first post, please leave a comment saying what YOU are trying to do. Why are you on GameDev? What thoughts make your brain go into overdrive late at night, when sleep is what you should be doing? Who are you? Do you blog about it, here or elsewhere? Who are you? What are you?

What am I?

I'm Batman.

Sign in to follow this  


6 Comments


Recommended Comments

 

 

please leave a comment saying what YOU are trying to do. Why are you on GameDev? What thoughts make your brain go into overdrive late at night, when sleep is what you should be doing? Who are you? Do you blog about it, here or elsewhere? Who are you? What are you?

 

Interesting stream of consciousness. :) I certainly hope you'll consider posting about your projects, challenges, and results.

To take your test:

I'm on GameDev because I made it. Why, 18 years later, do I continue? Because I believe it's an important part of the games industry, it has helped countless people in their careers and lives, and because it's an important part of myself and my co-founders who are no longer involved but want to see it continue.

If I didn't make GameDev, would I visit? Absolutely. And I'd be telling whoever was running it that they needed to do the 100's of things I have on my list to make the community better. I'd also have more time to dabble in game technology and/or make games like I used to when we started the site. I have dreams of doing that again, maybe one day, but for now GameDev.net is priority.

Late at night I'm working on things that I hope make GameDev.net a better platform for developers, and I'm excited about some of the big changes coming in the next few months.

I blog primarily through our staff blog. Usually when I post there I'm looking for feedback from the community, but the response rate tends to be pretty low. I know the internal stats - we have a lot of silent members. But at the same time the community is growing, so this may change.

I encourage others to take your test too. I'm curious to see more answers from the community.

Share this comment


Link to comment
I'm on GameDev because, in the days when I had time to frequent the forums a lot, it turned me from a terrible programmer into a mediocre one and eventually enabled me to fulfil my dream (at the age of 37) and get a job programming - a job I still have and love six years later.

For a hobby, I'm trying to write a game using nothing but DirectX, not because I think there is anything wrong with engines, but because it is fun. It does, however, mean that results are extremely slow and I keep getting distracted by my scripting language project :)

I blog here. People always upvote my entries, but I have a constant worry that my blogs are impenetrable and hard to read, especially the code heavy ones. When I'm working on my scripting language, I have no images to add to my journal and I suspect that most of my "views" are not actually reading what I write.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'm looking for feedback from the community, but the response rate tends to be pretty low. I know the internal stats - we have a lot of silent members. But at the same time the community is growing, so this may change.

I encourage others to take your test too. I'm curious to see more answers from the community.

Wait, you made this place?? Wow, I feel honored being approached directly by The Creator (so to speak)! Yes, the test is basically "will people read silently, or will they actually poke out their heads and say hi". I am still trying to wrap my head around all this social media stuff, and what to exactly do with it. I can't let go of "talking means conversation", and adopt "talking just means blurting out words in hopes someone will notice". Old School, I guess.

I wouldn't mind trying to help get more extraverted activity out of the community. Social websites have become more like "look at me" and less like "let's talk" in my opnion, and I would like that to change. Maybe I could start by helping a bit here. Is there anything you think I could do (keep my novice skill level here in mind)? First, I'm going to take a look at the blog, which you were nice enough to include (one thing I hope people will do as part of the 'test'), maybe it can inspire me!

Cheers, don't be a stranger!

Share this comment


Link to comment

I blog here. People always upvote my entries, but I have a constant worry that my blogs are impenetrable and hard to read, especially the code heavy ones. When I'm working on my scripting language, I have no images to add to my journal and I suspect that most of my "views" are not actually reading what I write.

You sound like what I think is everyone of us. "This looks cool, I have to see what it can do!". Speaking as a teacher, that is a healthy mindset, one I would like for people to hold onto longer into their lives. I dig it, a lot. I'm on the same page with math and science, trying to see "hmm, what can I cram into code from the weird world of the real?!".

What really bothers me is that you did not leave links to your blog. I want to see "impenetrable" and "hard to read", you almost phrase it like an intellectual challenge !!!

Cheers, don't be a stranger!

Share this comment


Link to comment

I took a look. Some good stuff, really! I understand why you feel your code might be a bit dense, but it seems like that's why you write the blog, so if you like it, do it! If you feel like taking a more ponderous (I like biiig words) approach, don't be afraid of writing some thoughts on the why's and such down, of course. You seem to have some deeper thoughts that you keep to yourself. Also, take care of your health, dude! I read about you falling, don't brush it off, you need you to do you-stuff!!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!