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Pete Michaud

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About Pete Michaud

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  1. Pete Michaud

    Working pygame projects, looking for critique

    Don't everyone pile on at once! Haha, no, actually I got some really good help over at reddit, so look if you want, but it's pretty close to "finished"--I know it's not 100% ideal, but I think it's helpful for people anyway.
  2. I've written two pygame projects in Python 3 over the last couple days because I want to learn Python and pygame. I've made them opensource and commented them SUPER HEAVILY, explaining pretty much everything in detail, so that other people can use it for future reference. What I'd like is comments about how I could make things better / more "pythonic" / more efficient. The first project is pyOrganism, and it just simulates a society of organisms that move around and make babies and the like. The source exists in one file that you can view here: http://code.google.com/p/pyorganism/source/browse/trunk/organism.py The second is called pyMaze and is a little more complex. It generates a maze from scratch using the DFS algorithm, and allows the player to push a cursor around the maze until they reach a goal. It also uses images for tiles instead of just colors like in pyOrganism It's also a simple program but I split this one up into separate files for each class: http://code.google.com/p/pymaze/source/browse/#svn%2Ftrunk So again, what can be improved? I don't eally know the correct way to include a lot of files, or how to handle configuration values or anything, so any tips you have would be awesome.
  3. I just had an idea I wanted to float. The Help Wanted forum currently has both paid and unpaid projects listed. It would be useful if the paid were separate from the unpaid posts. So any hobby projects and revenue sharing projects would go in one forum. Any contract or employment based projects would go in another. What do you think?
  4. Pete Michaud

    RPG where player's primary identity is "craftsperson"

    Sorry I don't have time to read most of the other replies, but I wanted to chime in and say that this idea is actually more realistic than the warrior thing. Strong warriors don'tr save the world because you can't normally save the world by punching someone in the face. No, the world is saved by engineers. Challenges are met when engineers can design power plants, water filtration systems, modes of transport. You can start out in a poor village. Most RPGs would have you fighting rats, but a poor village wouldn't really have killer rats -- it would have problems keeping enough electricity going. It would have problems getting water. You as a "craft person" could solve those problems. Then when you've seriously improved the lives of that village, someone in a bigger city hears about you and you go there to help solve those problems. You don't kill trogs for loot, you build useful things in exchange for money or other items. Makes perfect sense to me, and it could be just as epic as any "punch the bad guy in the face" scenario.
  5. Pete Michaud

    Anyone else freaked out by the photos?

    There's something amusing about picturing a quintessential geek finding pictures of people online being too personal 8)
  6. Pete Michaud

    What a mess

    A couple ideas for the help section: 1) A post count limit, so only people who have participated in the forums a bit can post new threads in that forum. That may cut down on the kids with stars in their eyes. 2) A very small, token amount of money for posting in it. Maybe just optionally, so there are "premium" and free. I'm talking about like a dollar--not a serious barrier to any adult with even the slightest bit of commitment, but enough to weed out the sorry cases. 3) Limit the "bumping" ability somehow. Make it impossible to double post in a thread, so you can only "bump" a thread that has a reply. We could do any combination of those 3 things and I think it would help.
  7. Pete Michaud

    You Are Old ...

    Yeah, I had a couple computers before there was such a thing as a hard drive in a home computer. You had whatever floppy, and the working memory, that's all. Oh, and the floppies were definitely NOT 3.5".
  8. Pete Michaud

    What Does Everyone Think About The New Site Layout?

    I don't think people should pay for basic functionality that works on every other forum in the world--stuff like avatars and themes. I think it would be a great idea to focus some effort on making the job board worthwhile, for example, or creating a marketplace for assets. Even just improving the articles posted would boost ad revenue. There are lots of options.
  9. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    Wai, I agree with you that nobility is hard (good lord do I know that...). Think of the game characters, especially indie and amateur ones, that you've seen though. How many just put their lives on the line for no clear reason other than they are "good" or nice? I've lost count. It's boring. It would be different if these were--like you say--explorations of what it means to be noble, and how being noble is challenging, but they aren't. These are just bland characters who have a trite motivation. One example of a really interesting main character who was completely not noble, was Wikus, from District 9. He repeatedly showed himself to be petty and cowardly, which made the story much more interesting in terms of character development than something like, say, Independence Day, in which Will Smith plays the generic hero.
  10. Pete Michaud

    Programming changed? Forever?

    The thing about programming is that it's many layers of indirection. The binary thing is near the bottom of that stack, and most programmers writing, say, C++, wouldn't even notice if the whole "binary layer" changed. They wouldn't need to.
  11. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    It's really interesting to hear about your process. I pretty much do the opposite. I get an idea for the direction or theme of a story, and I create strong characters. When they begin to feel real for me, I let them tell their own story, even if it's about a theme I didn't originally intend, or if they disagree with me. By that point, I feel, I can't do anything about it--the characters are their own people, and it's my job as the author to tell their story faithfully. I wonder what kind of stories tend to come out of processes like yours versus processes like mine?
  12. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    Binary: Interesting ideas, I like it. I can also see the attraction of letting a character be his own downfall, but I think I disagree with you: it's a useful mindset to think that you have control over the things that happen to you, but I also think the world does crush some people through no fault of their own. People have a need to believe in a "just world," but it's not really true. So you could use either scenario depending on what the theme of the work is, and how desolate you want to make it for the audience. sun: It would be a good idea to start small, yeah. I'm curious, you say you can't write any characters who don't make the same choices as you. Have you ever experienced characters becoming independent? That feeling that they are looking up at you from the page and saying, "I'm not going to do that, that's silly, I wouldn't do that." Like, Kotiro's theme is love, and Kotiro is, like me, a sappy romantic. I began with the idea that that point of view would win the day. But actually it didn't. The characters conspired against me, and love doesn't really win. If I were only writing myself, then I'm not sure that would have happened?
  13. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    Wow, that would be pretty great! ...but what a ton of work! Like writing 6 screen plays, not to mention producing them. Part of my issue with Kotiro is that I have to fit everything within the mythological and historical frame I've chosen, but still, writing that much material (even with everything wide open) that works seamlessly together would be quite an incredible undertaking. Makes me want to do it, haha. But not a solo project.
  14. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    I use it the same way--just try out different story forms, to see what sticks. I always end up far afield anyway, but it gives me a great place to start! Interesting that you think it could be used for branching plot. You know the software better than I--how would you go about using it for that?
  15. Pete Michaud

    How to Make a Compelling Main Character

    Yeah, dramatica has a bad rap among writers because people maybe have a concept that it writes for you, instead of just organizing your stuff and asking the right questions? In any case, you're totally right, gamedev people probably wouldn't appreciate it very much. Part of that might be that story lines in games have different requirements, like branching. Even if a game is completely "on the rails" as it were, dramatica is a very heavy tool, and most game story lines are pretty light on real content. They are mostly just enough of a setting to justify the gameplay. I also think you have to know enough about writing to realize that there IS a structure before you'd really understand the value of a tool like dramatica. I think many people who are writing indie games don't have that background knowledge. In any case, I'm glad they are working on a new version. I actually didn't use the software for this project, just the theory. But we can still chat about it if you want 8)
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