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About shadowomf

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  1. shadowomf

    Is Inspiron 15R good for programming?

      Can only second that, we do have a HDD-only laptop at work. The specs look fine on the paper, but the small HDD is crippling the whole thing. As soon as I start a virtual machine I can't do anything else, even opening a browser takes minutes (no exaggeration).  
  2. Actually, I think I would have each one start with radomized gear. That way each time you play it's a unique experience right from the beginning. Sure they will also be players that will restart until they get the item they want, but I believe if you limit the possible starting gear and if each item on it's own is just a small step to survival then it will work.     Offtopic:   Also I would consider having only very few actual weapons and mostly just stuff you can find in a normal household, maybe shops, hardware stores. For example if you take a look at the walking dead, all characters in the series are armed to the teeth. If you take a look at your own environment, would you really have easy access to such an arsenal in case a zombie outbreak happens? If you live in a country with reasonable gun controls, it's very unlikely that you can come up with a way to get your hands one some. E.g. in Germany the only places I would expect weapons are: a) the police stations b) military stations c) shooting ranges d) ambassies e) maybe a few selected security services f) some hunters home or maybe from one of the selected few that did actually do the paperwork to get a permit Though even if you know that there might be guns, they are all locked up, the only way to get to them is crack the safe or get them from someone who has access to the gun. (There is always the black market, but let's assume the normal citizen doesn't shop there regularly.) In any case, I think it's not only more reasonable, but it can also be used to make the game much harder. Yes, for the few that do find a gun, it would be a huge advantage, people could rob you at gun point, hold you hostage and whatever they might come up with and they are more inclined to try, since the probability that the other person has a gun and shoots first are tiny. If you do combine this with a very limited ammunition supply guns could make players kings, but only as long as they can convince people that they will actually use them.
  3. shadowomf

    International business

    Hello,   I have a few questions regarding international business and selling games (by digital distribution) across borders.   When you sell a game, what taxes do count? The taxes of the country you are in, the taxes of the country where the server with the website/shop is located or maybe the taxes of the customers country? For example I know that if you are located in the EU you don't have to pay VAT for customers in other EU countries (only for customers from your own country). However if you are outside the EU and sell stuff to an EU citizen, you would have to add the VAT of the customers country (at least that's what the EU want's, I don't know if any non-EU company actually pays these taxes or if everybody ignores their demands).     Same problem with the age verification. What law does apply, the customers country law (which would mean for a product that's sold worldwide you would have to get dozens of age verifications) or the law of the server where the transaction is done (as above) or the law of the country where the company is registered?   It is pretty expensive to get an age verification in some countries (at least for a small developer) and you are practically forced to do it (by law). However could I just setup my server in a less strict country and avoid the costs of getting an age verification?   Another problem is that you have quite different things that will get censored depending on the country which law applies. E.g. we Germans are crazy about violence or anything related to our not so bright recent history (showing a swastika in a non-documentary is not only a no-go, it's against law in many circumstances). While US Americans and Japanese seem to be afraid of sex, prostitution, alkohol (what's with the bottle in the bag, everybody knows it's supposed to be alkohol, who are you kidding?), drugs and many other fun things. And even other countries will have other stuff that can't be sold (india and kashmir and so on).   Note: registering the hole company in another country would only possible by leaving my country, since in most regards they will assume that it's a local company and tax you like one if the command and control is living here. I'm assuming that in that case they will also apply all the other laws to the company as if it's a local one.   Disclaimer: I'm not planning on releasing wierd stuff and let kids play it. And I believe it's right to protect children from certain stuff.   It's just so expensive. Take a look at the usk page http://www.usk.de/en/extramenue/login/publisher/material/cost-overview/ some of the stuff is to be payed regularily, e.g. per year other stuff is to be payed for each piece of software (imagine episodic content or many small low priced games). And still you would have to make sure that people don't enter your website that are to young. Do you know how expensive it is to get a customers verified age? (Aside from the time it takes to actually get it, which sucks if someone just want's to buyand start playing your game.)     Maybe you have some expirience and can give me a few hints. I know if I do actually start a company I will have to get a lawyer, but until the I would like to collect as much information as possible. Some of the stuff might influence what's in the business plan, so I would like to know a bit more before I write those sections.   Thank you in advance.
  4. In theory you would have to buy maya (the full version) anyway if you have already used it. And even then you would be in a legal gray zone.   How could you be in the software/games business and not know it would be illegal to use unlicensed or wrongly licensed software? Did you really not know or are you just looking for someone that give you another justification to use unlicensed software?   Even if nobody is asking you for it if you are a business you should always pay the (non-free) software you are using. Why should anybody be more willing to pay for your software than you are willing to pay for other products?   If you still decide to use unlicensed software in your company, remember it just needs one angry employee to vent his anger and you might face a lawsuit.
  5. I believe it would be better to offer multiple payment options.   Often one single payment option is not available in all countries or the user just did not participate or some other stuff. For example I don't know a single person that uses Flattr and getting anyone to create a new account just to make voluntary payments does sound unlikely.   Don't limit yourself to one option.
  6. shadowomf

    Microfunding - A new model?

    I believe Minecraft did get it right (at least for their kind of game) and get funding as well as publicity at once. his however as Rattenhirn already said only works if your game has a high replayability. If it's more story centered and you have see pretty much all of it after playing through it once you can't release your alpha to the public.     Regarding your microfunding idea:   There are already crowd funding sites that target games and gamers.   Having an account that you can preload with some investment value isn't new for crowd funding as far as I know.   I believe the only new thing is the long runtime instead of a limited funding campaign. However most businesses or project need a certain amount of money before it makes sense to actually start them. If you start because you have 1 month of 6 month planned development time financed and then don't get the money to continue you have a lot of disappointed investors. If the only feasable way for you to finish the game is by depending on more crowdfunds in the future I would say you are screwing the investors.     Pre-Alpha or concept stage games will always have a hard time to get funding, anywhere. (Not impossible but almost.) You will always have to give the investors something to convince them that you can make more with their money than they would get by just earning interests on their bank account. If you don't have the name, the rich uncle, or something to show that you can actually realize your project, it's hard to get anything. Everybody has a game idea and most of the time people don't want to hear about them.   And regarding niche games or creative designs. If the investors are interested it will get funded and will probably also make money. If you can't get enough investors to pay 5$, how will you get customers to pay for the finished product?
  7. I would also recommend to you to take the per hour payment.   However I would also recommend to you, that you don't work on it for free and then expect the complete payment at the end. Just let yourself get paid per month (or week if this is more common in your country), as "Servant of the Lord" suggested.   Make sure you bring all important parts of your agreement to paper and get them to sign it. What's important? What you will get, what you will have to deliver, in what time frame you have to deliver and how it will be decided if you have delivered your work in the before mentioned time frame (e.g. make sure everybody has the same understanding of an alpha and about what you will give them).   By the way, even though alpha sounds like an early stage, it's actually much work and much of the game has to be finished to actually be called an alpha. Make sure you don't underestimate the time you will need to get it done.   And some other things you should do:   -Don't promise stuff you wouldn't want in a written contract. In many countries even a vocal agreement is legally binding.   -Make sure you do tax the income properly and pay the relevant insurances (social, pension, health care, unemployment, ...). If your employer is legally entitled to do so, make sure your friends are paying the necessary insurances.   -If you go the route with the monthly payments and they don't pay, make sure to contact a lawyer (even better, contact a lowyer before you enter an agreement with our friends). In some cases even if they don't pay you fast enough you will still have to keep working, you can't just quit or stop working just because they didn't pay you last week (milestones would be one way to solve this problem and will also give you a better way to notice if you're behind schedule).   -If they are forming a company you could also ask for shares instead of the x% of the games profit. It could be more profitable in the long run.   -If you take the x% of revenue road, make sure you did understand what part of what earnings you will get. Don't let yourself get screwed, take x% from the sales (before any cos where divided). Else they can use all kinds of cost to reduce the money you would get, e.g. by marketing cost or by discounts.   -If you don't like any of their offers, there is always the choice of not participating, which is also okay. Maybe you could spend the time that you would use for this project for something better, let it be family time, a more interesting project or just relaxing at the beach. You just have to decide if you want to use the done work for yourself, let them use it for free or wish to sell it to them.   -And of course you could also ask for more $/hour or %. Try to estimate how much work you will have to do, what cost you will have, if you want to do it for the money of maybe just for your portfolio (make sure you have the rights to use it in your portfolio in any case) and how much of the money you own will end up on your bank account. Then decide how much money you think you (your time and work force) are worth. I believe 20$/hour ist pretty low even for a graduate. But you will have to decide yourself.   However you decide, I would love to hear about the outcome.   And of course I wish you best luck.   ps: sorry for all the commas and braces... (It's just that I always find stuff that I wish to clarify, in case my English explanation wasn't good enough.)
  8. Hello and thank you for your feedback.   Bitcoin seems a bit shady to me (not only me, by the looks of it some government institutions think the same). Maybe it's just some bad reputation it has?   Anyway I would like to enable the user to make purchases without creating yet another account at some provider, if they already got a perfectly fine bank account or some other possibility to make purchases. It looks like another unneccessary step and if the players are just as lazy as me, they will rather start looking somewhere else to fullfil their entertainment needs.   However the idea to integrate my own http (https) client in the application sounds quite promising and should in theory work with other payment providers too. I didn't noticed that it could work that way, thank you.
  9. Hello,   this is a somewhat newbish question, but I'm trying to find out a bit more about payment, payment providers and so on. I've found a lot of payment providers with various options. But none that sounds right for myself. Do you have any experience with payment providers you would like to share (things like, what to look at, where you have to be carefull)?   At the moment I'm actually looking for a provider that does in-game payments. The problem is, the existing ones are almost all geared towards web developers (html, actionscript or java). I don't want my players to go out of the game to purchase stuff on a website just to get back in the game to see what they have purchased and I don't want to add an in-game browser just to show the providers payment page.   Do you know any payment providers that allow the developer to collect the data in their own form and then go from there?   Did you ever used a payment provide for purchase of in-game items or did you find an alternative?   And one more question, what do you think about credit cards? Accepting payments by credit card is pretty expensive for the merchant and in many countries credit cards aren't that common (e.g. in Germany many people don't have a credit card, myself included, most people only get one when travelling). Would you just ignore the whole credit card payment stuff and rely on other payment methods or do you elive it's essential to accept credit card payments?   Well, I guess that's all at the moment. I would love to hear what you're thinking.  
  10. shadowomf

    Version control for begginers

    [quote name='Robot Ninja' timestamp='1358708069' post='5023574'] The nice thing about Git too is that you can keep a local repository if you don't want/can't get an online one [/quote] [quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1358727696' post='5023692'] No need for a server/internet connection; you can commit, do diffs, or view the log all on your local system [/quote] As mentioned before, you can use Subversion on your computer without having to install a server. Especially with TortoiseSVN it is a matter of less than 10 clicks.   [quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1358727696' post='5023692'] With centralized version control systems (a la SVN), you've got one place you push and pull your updates to and from, which means I can't push/pull to/from different partitions or other computers like I can with git. [/quote] Why not setup your own server and do all your source control on it? I found it quite easy to do. I already had a server in a data center (for email, ftp, http, ... so adding version control was only logical) and it is not very expensive (something like 34€/45$ /month), besides you do get a much better connection than you can get with your home broadband.   [quote name='wintertime' timestamp='1358714283' post='5023612'] wouldnt use SVN anymore. Mercurial(hg) and git are the modern things. [/quote] Could you elaborate what features you do require that subversion doesn't support? Scala is more modern than C, still I wouldn't force my worst enemy to only code in Scala. Well, maybe...   One more question, do you use some explorer integration? I haven't found one that is comparable with TortoiseSVN which was always a bit of a show stopper. Maybe you can recommend one (for Windows).   [quote name='3Ddreamer' timestamp='1358716783' post='5023626'] Can any of these control software be used by someone who knows little about IT and in particular game development? The reason I ask is that I know someone who is thinking about starting a company to make software. Should he just leave the version control to someone else such as the lead programmer or could he use any of this software mentioned here? The company head uses windows and would need a very user friendly sv system, so what should I recommend? [/quote] I'm using Subversion (TortoiseSVN) myself and recommended it to my sister to keep a history of her LaTeX documents. She's a nurse and no computer nerd. She does get along well for her own stuff, since she couldn't convice any of her colleagues to use it there are hardly any conflicts to resolve.   However I believe if someone is able to handle his own documents, organizing them in directories, it should be no problem to learn to use SVN even in a more complicated environment. Note: If he/she is having trouble creating/moving/editing/deleting files and folders or if he/she is unable or unwilling to read a manual it's probabably not a good Idea to use make him/her use any version control system.   If you mean with "Should he just leave the version control to someone else such as the lead programmer" that the lead programmer should set it up and maintain it, I would say it depends. Many programmers are able to do it, however programmers aren't administrators. There is no guarantee that the programmer is able to do it. Besides maybe the programmer is not willing to do it (he became a programmer not a server admin for a reason). And then there is the cost factor, maybe a sysadmin is cheaper than a developer, then the developer shouldn't be doing it. And ne more important thing, don't give this responsibility to your lead, he has already much to do, give it to a specialized tool guy/the sysadmin/someone else, make sure he has enough time so he can still do his usual tasks.   Actually using the version control system is a task for everyone that is working with the version controlled files. If you put you source code in, all developers need to use it. If you put your assets in, all artist and designers need to use it. In addition some other people might need it, project managers, qa, ...   All of those people have to be tought using the system. Don't assume that every developer you hire has already worked with your system. Make sure they really understand what does what, else they will create a mess and you will waste time cleaning up after them.
  11. shadowomf

    font rendering

    Thanks for all of your replies.   Well my idea with the tesselated fonts started when I was imagining a game where test was more important than usual. Not walls of text like in some RPGs, but where you have small parts of text that are important. Maybe I will try to write a small benchmark some day, to find out how much it does cost. Since tesselated glyphs have between a few and a few hundred glyphs I imagine it would be difficult for languages that have complex glyphs to stay in budget.   Since most of you are using some preprocessing stage, I do have some more questions: 8. Do you just include all of the glyphs in a font or do you use only a subset? 9. How do you handle stuff like ligatures and other advanced features? What about Right-to-left? Do you handle all of that stuff yourself, do you let the OS do it's thing or do you just not support it? 10. How open is your system, e.g. if your game supports modding, are mod makers limited to the language and font you selected or is it possible to choose another font and write text in languages your own game does not nativly support?
  12. Hello,   I have a few questions regarding OpenGL font rendering. But to generalize it: 1. What's the current state of art regarding font rendering in OpenGL?   I have many sub-questions as well as many own ideas and requirements, but I would like to hear how you do it and what the advantages/disadvantages are.   2. Are you using textured quads, tesselated outlines, maybe distance fields or something entirely different? 3. Can you scale your text freely or are you limited to a (few) fixed size fonts? 4. How cross platform is it? 5. Does your way of rendering fonts support vertex buffers or are you using the fixed function pipeline? 6. What about internationalization, do you support any language as long as the font contains the required characters or do you only support a fixed set of languages? 7. How hard was it to implement/build your solution?     For my own project I guess I would use tesselated outline fonts. Because of their scalability, the potential to use the vertex shader to transform them and because you can use the same anti-aliasing as you do for your other geometry. I already started by building a small tool that creates a mesh for each glyph in a font. The tool will be used offline in the build step and the meshes shipped with the game, since I believe just loading a few thousand meshes is faster than tesselating them on the users computer. It's also much more deterministic, since I won't have to rely on the glu tessellator installed on the users computer and can test for exact output. Now I do plan on using SIL Graphite to generate the positions for each glyph, that way I do have the same support for languages on all platforms that graphite supports. Even minority scripts in case I would really like to translate my project into some language that the operating system is not supporting. That's my plan so far. Maybe when I have time I will actually put it in action.  
  13. [quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1357956453' post='5020579'] If a statically linked library contains a security hole and you don't patch your software immediatly you expose your users to unnecessary risks, if a dynamically linked library contains a security hole the user will get an updated version of the library installed automatically by the OS(Atleast on those with a modern package management system, Windows still only sends out updates for Microsofts software, but the RTE for C++ on Windows is Microsoft software and it does get security fixes, some critical, through Windows Update) as soon as it is available. [/quote] For single player games not that big issue (though it is still an issue). However you can always provide a patch for your game (regular patches are a good idea anyway). Two more things. Games have often a much shorter lifetime than other software, which reduces the chance that a huge bug is found in the msvcrt. And games get patched more often than other software. Sometime old versions of some office/commercial software is used for years without any updates (never change a running system). Note microsoft is the exception here, since they have a unique distribution channel shipped with their os. For most other third party libraries you will probably be better of to ship a new version of the library by yourself using a patch/update/whatever since you can't expect the user to update them.   [quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1357956453' post='5020579'] Static linking is the lazy route, making sure your application installs properly is the proper way to go. [/quote] I would happily take the lazy route, adding another step where the msvc redist installer opens up and confuses the averange computer user isn't exactly great. Besides if you're doing a hobbist project (something for yourself and your friends), copy&paste install is much easier than building a installer and convincing people to run it. Yes I know I'm really lazy and don't like to okay->agree->continue->browser->accept->done if a simple ctrl+c, ctrl+v can work too.   [quote name='iMalc' timestamp='1358017057' post='5020797'] Case in point - MineCraft (java) [/quote] As mentioned before not something all would consider fast. I don't think it sucks performance wise, but the gameplay in general is a bit more on the calm side.
  14. shadowomf

    What coding do you do outside of video games?

    [quote name='najmuddin' timestamp='1358321937' post='5022084'] most of them don't even have a GUI [/quote] Don't let yourself be fooled, that does not mean it's not interesting or useful. Most of the stuff I work with are windows services, the only interaction with the are the management console or the log files, but still quite interesting stuff.   [quote name='najmuddin' timestamp='1358321937' post='5022084'] oftware for medical training with a database of questions and answers of common diseases [/quote] I believe actually creating the questions with possible answers is the hardest part and it can be really time consuming. But I wish you good luck.
  15. shadowomf

    Game doesnt work on other pc

    Most of the time the dll needs to be in the same directory as the executable or in the system32-folder (though I wouldn't recommend it). Make sure it's right beside you .exe.   As far as I know the licensing terms require you to use the installer provided by microsoft, so you should check that before you just copy the runtime library.   Actually I would recommend you to statically link to the runtime library, that way you don't have do add another .dll to your distribution. In VS2010 this is controlled by changing "C/C++\Code Generation\Runtime Library" in the project settings from "Multi-threaded DLL (/MD)" to "Multi-threaded (/MT)". Note however this means the content of the msvc100.dll will be added to your .exe making it bigger. And if you want to use this way of not using the msvc redist installer you have to make sure each of your dlls is also using this setting and isn't expecting a new version of the runtime installed on the system.
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