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Tutorial Doctor

A whole decade, and the software is still sub-par.

31 posts in this topic

I have always had a problem getting started on a project because I can never say "yes" to the question, "Is it a worthwhile project."

 

I saw the FAQS in the business forum about "worthwhile" things, and I saw where they say that if it is worthwhile to me, then that is enough. 

 

But this one company has spent more than a decade developing this one software, and it so very inadequate. 10 yrs! 

 

Small team or whatnot, and I am sure they are proud of their accomplisment, but if it were me, I would be comparing my software to other software in my genre, and very quickly I would say to myself, "all that time for nothing."

 

Thing is, if I do something I want it top notch, and I do understand that such a software will take a while, especially if it is only me. But I just can't put 10 yrs in like that. Way too long. 

 

This is why I am constantly finding fast and efficient ways to do things. 

 

Has anyone ever had this feeling towards something they have worked on? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But this one company has spent more than a decade developing this one software, and it so very inadequate. 10 yrs! 

Care to be more specific?

 

Oh, wait! I see.  You are talking about Duke Nukem Forever.

 

 

No, seriously, what is the point of your rant?  An unspecified group working on an unspecified project fail to meet your unspecified requirements. Welcome to life.  

 

Unless it is something you have a contract for, I don't see the point.

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There's more to software development than just coding.  Planning, meetings, testing, and all that stuff, and although each of the members is adept in what they do, the combination of the process and the differences in the personality can cause a lot of frictions, communications, and eventually bugs in the software.

Edited by alnite
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But this one company has spent more than a decade developing this one software, and it so very inadequate. 10 yrs!

Care to be more specific?
 
Oh, wait! I see.  You are talking about Duke Nukem Forever.


I truly hope he's not referring to duke nukem. it was in development hell/hiatus for most of it's life, and only realistically was made in a year or 2.
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Haha. No, not Duke Nukem. I didn't want to name the company. Didn't want to put them on blast like that. But they recently released Version 1 after over a decade of development and I hadn't realized it had been that long, but when I saw it I wondered if I could dedicate that much of my life to just one project that quickly becomes obsolete because of technology changes and such. 

 

If I were working for a company and was getting paid for that 10 yrs, then that would be fine. Not the case here though, I know it was for the love of programming, but boy did it make me reconsider some things. haha. 

 

At this point, I don't know the real-life time schedules for software development, or even yet all of the things that actually go into producing a polished project. But, the type of person I am, I have to have polish or else I won't release it. 

 

I think one of the smartest things I have seen is a company make their software opensource (was paid before) and let other devs contribute features. This way the software gets better, and a lot of time you have people who are willing to work on it free for the open sourced community. At first I thought it was a bad idea, but the updates to the software are more frequent now, and I am liking the new features as well. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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I can really relate.  It's amazing that there are teams working for years and years between releases.  I have recently worked with a team who is occasionally rev'ing a product that was first launched in the 70's, and they are still making millions from the product.

 

As a geek, I like to turn things around in 1/2 to 1 year and release, just because I know my most amazing ideas will be poo in about that time.  But the fact is that business operates on different time scales.

 

"Is it worth is?"  I can think of many metrics with which to answer that:

* Is it fun and educational

* Is it going to prepare you for something valuable later

* Will it make money

 

In most cases, the last one is the one that gets all the merrit.

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Sadly your worries are to be about true imo. If you devote 5 years everyday work you should manage noticable improvement in programming clarity (compared to 5 years back) but besides that not much will change and even 10 years will not grant you to do some polished thing you have on yr mind.. After 5 (5 to 8) years  of consecutive programming I began to be sorry of this last about ten years of my youth (age 26 to 36)  wasted on this very hard and lone work - though Im still hoping it will pay back (maybe)... 

Edited by fir
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At first I thought I had related feelings. Then I read 

 

 

 

This is why I am constantly finding fast and efficient ways to do things. 

 

At that point I knew I was thinking of something else. I developed a strong reaction to such careless Agile impulse implementations.

 

As I see it if you want those 10 years to show you need to put a lot of time and thought into a strong foundation.

 

That foundation can develop over time through a lean startup approach with clean code refactorings ... but finding isolated fast and efficient solutions for the problem at hand ... that will not lead to a great and complex product - it is not a way to manage complexity.

Edited by DareDeveloper
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Dunno, don't start with the visuals then. Start with everything else and only polish the graphics at the end of the development.

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Small team or whatnot, and I am sure they are proud of their accomplisment, but if it were me, I would be comparing my software to other software in my genre, and very quickly I would say to myself, "all that time for nothing."

 

You're on a very high horse here. Have you actually completed and released anything?

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I can get depressed thinking of the time put into working around ram and cpu limitations only 6-7 years ago. Imagine how the old punch card guys must feel.

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Small team or whatnot, and I am sure they are proud of their accomplisment, but if it were me, I would be comparing my software to other software in my genre, and very quickly I would say to myself, "all that time for nothing."

 
You're on a very high horse here. Have you actually completed and released anything?

No. I haven't as far as programming goes, because I'm new to it, but in other areas of my life I have. Very few things I find worth doing and completing. But sometimes I do it as a challenge to myself. However, I am more critical of my own work than others (very critical in fact). I always compare myself to others to get a realistic idea of my skill level.

In this case, I am comparing one company's work to another company's work. Both made a similar software, but one is far superior to the other. If I worked 10 + years on something, I would want it to not be obsolete by the time I finish it.

This matters to me mainly because I am new. Trying to get some perspective on actual time and effort that goes into programming, so I can be sure whether or not it is something I want to go deeper into.

I mean, if you love it, then sure, it's worth the effort. But for me, learning programming and game development is yet another challenge I gave myself. Hopefully one that could pay off soon.
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If you are looking for faster ways to do things why not program something that makes it faster.
Isn't that what programming can do? Yet, i've seen only one do it.
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Haha. No, not Duke Nukem. I didn't want to name the company. Didn't want to put them on blast like that. But they recently released Version 1 after over a decade of development and I hadn't realized it had been that long, but when I saw it I wondered if I could dedicate that much of my life to just one project that quickly becomes obsolete because of technology changes and such. 

Why not?  their is no reason to protect a company here, it's a valid discussion point.  and honestly it might open up a few avenue's to explain why things happened like they did.  at this point it's all just guess work, or it might even be that it's actually good software to most people, but you don't think it is.  really all we have to go on is your word that they made a bad product, and nothing else.

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Okay. I'll name the software. The software is makehuman. Been following it for a while. However while waiting for some large update to occur that would blow me away, I learned of Quidam studio.

Feature wise, quidam studio far surpasses makehuman, but it has fallen off the map.

There are some things I use makehuman for, but I read somewhere where they said they were trying to make the best character creator. Thing is, after 10 years they are not even close (actually 12).

I'm not saying it is bad, just that it is sub-par, and that it made me wonder if I could dedicate a decade to anything that wouldn't be the best in its class.
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Well, MakeHuman is a well respected piece of software. What exactly makes you consider it sub-par? I suspect it is just your personal preferences rather than anything qualitative to be honest.

 

I got on better with Paint Shop Pro than Photoshop back in the day. That doesn't make Paint Shop Pro better than Photoshop, just that this one particular person (me) happened to prefer PSP.

Edited by Aardvajk
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Actually quidam studio and makehuman are comparable. I haven't made a list if feature comparisons, but they serve the same purposes, so basically I am comparing features, usefulness, stability etc.

Same way I could compare and contrast Daz Studio and Poser.

I do like the proxy meshes in makehuman, as well as the choice of rig exports. quidam studio also has a Level Of Detail export and a rig export. A feature by feature comparison would put Quidam Studio way ahead.
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I hadn't seen any "good" human model made in make human, that is until now. The difference between the model in that tutorial and a real human is non-existent (at least 0.00000 . . . 1)
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Yeah, I know makehuman can generate a realistic human on some points, but on others it can't yet without some tweaking. That would go for both software, but there is less tweaking in Quidam needed. 

 

For example, you know realism is all about accuracy, but there are different criteria in several areas that needs to be met for achieving realism. One issue where Makehuman lacks is in the actual topology of their base meshes. They have very dense meshes, but the topology of the Quidam studio base meshes are much better for animating. Also, the weighting of the bones when exporting from makehuman into Blender are not accurate enough, so you have to tweak it there. Although, quidam studio has its rig issues as well (strangely rotated and scaled bones when exporting in the collada format). 

 

Now, recently someone created some amazing textures for the makehuman models. Those textures are great, but that is a result of good texturing, not the result of a good model. 

 

Also, as I have seen in many 3d character generation software, you really have to tweak the model to get natural proportions. Quidam Studio actually has a separate proportion menu. 

 

Also, texturing can be done right in Quidam studio, and it automatically tiles the texture you are painting with so that it blends smoothly. I would prefer software for such a task over a software that was built to do only that (accept zbrush). 

 

There are other things also. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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Actually quidam studio and makehuman are comparable
No they're not. Makehuman is free and actively developed, and you can download it from their website.

 

Quidam is an unmaintained commercial product by a company that is out of business since about 2010, and whose website is (unsurprisingly) dead.

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The objective of the software lends the ability to compare them. Both were designed to do a similar task, whether one was developed for free, or another was commercial. 

 

I can compare Gimp and Photoshop. I can compare Microsoft Office and Libre Office (aka Open Office). I can compare Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. etc. Whether the comparison is fair or not is up to debate. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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Also, the weighting of the bones when exporting from makehuman into Blender are not accurate enough, so you have to tweak it there.

I've seen realistic stuff made with blender but i've never seen a realistic human model made with blender. So far i've only seen makehuman, maya, 3ds max (the one in maya could replace a real person. Jeez).
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but i've never seen a realistic human model made with blender

 

I found this thread on blenderguru:

 

http://www.blenderguru.com/new-blender-competition-photo-realism/

 

Perhaps something will come of it. 

 

Gallery over at Blendecookie:

http://cgcookie.com/blender/gallery/

 

I personally don't use Blender for every stage of the process. I like to model in wings 3D. The model "Antonia Polygon" was made with wings. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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