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About mnansgar

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  1. mnansgar

    Noob AI Q... Programming Error Margins

    Your code sample seems like a good approach, just adding a random error-commiting element to a finite state machine. It will probably be a bit more advanced than that when you start tweaking, but it should give you the results you want. You can always try neural networks, but would probably find them far more trouble than they're worth.
  2. mnansgar

    Stuck and need help :(

    Quote:Original post by eviltwigflipper I've done alot of reading and the general concencious is game design colleges in general suck. Is there any way of getting from A) where im at to B) getting a programming job at a small company like you said where they care more about the individual and just working my way up with out college? You can always just try applying for jobs and see what kind of response you get. Going from (A) to (B) like that is possible of course, but it's not easy. As has been stated before on these forums, the "easy" route to a good job is to go through college. Look at it this way. To get by without college, you would probably have to start in a job you don't particularly enjoy, working at least 40 hours per week. In college, your classes and homework will probably take less than 40 hours each week, and you'll probably enjoy at least some of them. Plus, you'll have more time to work on things you're interested in and to build up a portfolio. Employers don't like to see people who are only interested in programming, so take some classes that sound interesting to you!
  3. mnansgar

    Stuck and need help :(

    A large part of doing well in college is following directions, even though the directions may sound stupid or unreasonable. Really, this is good preparation for life in a real job, too. In most introductory C++ courses, there are students who already know C++. And, yes it sounds like a waste of time, but if you really are great at C++ then I recommend to listen closely to what the professor says and just get the assignments over with. Or, go above and beyond the assignment requirements and show off your knowledge (in an "allowed" fashion). The other alternative is to try and test out of the easy, introductory courses. Or, go up to the professor after class, be very interested in programming, tell him some software you have developed, then explain that you would like to skip ahead to advanced courses or independent study in game dev and have it count for CS credits. If your current professor isn't good to talk to, find someone in the department who you like and might have an interest in game dev, and talk to them instead. You may have to sit through the rest of this course, but after that you're golden. Now, what you've said about nothing you've mentioned standing out on your resume is completely not true, *especially* at your age. I used a functional resume when I started college, and I'd say that the projects format has been rather successful. You're leagues ahead of other candidates at this point with your motivation and completed projects list -- compared to others at your age, you will definitely stand out for a programming position if you format your resume appropriately. In all seriousness, most people your age will have absolutely nothing of interest on their resume for the positions you want to try for. I have to recommend staying in college. Many students do more poorly their first year than others, so all hope is definitely not lost if you can recover now. Allocate your time to classwork rather than your personal projects, or don't let yourself start on your projects until other work is done. See if your area has a local game dev chapter (IGDA) and join it. Put together a portfolio of your work and put it online, and continue to make interesting demos showing and expanding your skills. You would probably have success getting a summer job at a smaller company which looks more at the individual rather than the GPA, so see whether there may be any of these in graphics or games in your area. Good luck!
  4. mnansgar

    SWE vs CS

    Surely you can. The two fields are very similar. During your MS program, just make sure that you take courses and do research in the areas of CS that you want to pursue for your PhD. If your university offers a Masters with Thesis option, take that instead of a purely class-based MS.
  5. mnansgar

    Game Creation Question

    DarkBASIC's website specifically says that you can make "commercial-quality games". This means that you can likely make a bit of money from them if you sell them as shareware or on your website with a good marketing campaign -- NOT that games made with DarkBASIC can compete with AAA titles on the shelves. You'll also find that most of what makes a game look good are the graphics. So, if you have a good graphic artist, then your games will look much more professional no matter what language you coded them in. It doesn't really matter what approach you take to making games. If you aren't as patient and are more interested in developing non-code assets (e.g. graphics, music, story, etc.), then go with something like RPG Maker. If you really want to find out HOW games work and are willing to delay making an actual game for a while, go with C++ or C#. In either case, the point is to make games. Initially, no matter which package you choose, you'll be able to make the games you want to make as long as you think realistically. Over time, you may "outgrow" RPG Maker by discovering its limitations. Then, you'll be quite motivated to learn something more advanced. It's just like buying a telescope or a bicycle -- buy the cheap, easy-to-use model until you know you'll use it, then buy the more advanced one when you know how to take advantage of its features. Regarding some of your other questions: Most of the people involved in making a game are not programmers. So, even if you use DarkBASIC, you will still need a lot of people to make the non-code assets. If you're interested in making "casual games", DarkBASIC/Blitz3D are probably a great choice, and you probably won't need anything more advanced. With a good artist, casual games made with these products could probably rival professional-grade games. So, decide what kind of games you want to make. Decide if you're more interested in designing the game and its graphics or doing the programming. Basically, any choice you make will be fine for a while -- just choose a simple game you want to make, and do it. Doing it is the most important step.
  6. mnansgar

    Beginning Electronics

    Quote:Original post by kevtimc Quote:Original post by nicksterdomus I don't think deriving ohm's law has anything to do with calculus. Capacitors and inductors are modeled with differential equations, thus a background in calculus is helpful. To get a general idea of what is going on, calculus is probably not needed. Unfortunately, I have no background in calculus. I will have some background in precalculus by the end of this school year (May 31). Math aside, my plan for now is to wait for my book I ordered, and continue to assess my situation about what equipment to order. Don't worry about calculus. Stick with digital electronics, and no math is needed.
  7. mnansgar

    Beginning Electronics

    The good thing about the kits is that all of the parts needed for the experiments in their included book are provided. It would be cheaper to buy them individually, but it might be pretty annoying to determine what you'll need and to find the precise parts. For instance, you might need a capacitor, but when you go to the store they only have electrolytic ones and you'll wonder whether they will work instead of the ceramic one the experiment manual recommended. Or, the book may use one family of chips and your local store only carries another family. Or, you might find a part rated at 3.3V instead of the 5V recommended; or, you might accidentally buy an LED with series resistor and not realize it, etc. etc. Basically, when it comes to components, unfortunately there is no "standard set" for learning or otherwise. So, if you want everything hassle-free, the kits are a good way to do it.
  8. mnansgar


    What happened to Dave Astle? I remember when he used to post frequently. I really believe that his posts tied the community together and made everyone feel that the community was much more tight-knit.
  9. mnansgar

    Beginning Electronics

    Take a look at this recent Slashdot thread.
  10. mnansgar

    Beginning Electronics

    Also look into getting a breadboard and 5V regulated power supply (i.e. wallwart). Another book I hear is great for hobbyists is "The Art of Electronics". Whatever book you choose should have more specific suggestions for electronics supplies.
  11. mnansgar

    GI's Video Game Console Design

    I have a BS in Computer Engineering. Designing and building a game console takes a lot of hard work, even after you have a degree in the area! The course offered at GameInstitute seems to be an introduction to basic electronics motivated by a game console. Which means that it seems to include a number of basic electronics experiments which you can put together on a breadboard and learn a bit about how they work. The course certainly doesn't cover "advanced" analog electronics -- that would require far more advanced math ... For the "game console" portion, it seems that the accompanying book will describe how a game console works in general. And, it seems that you will get to solder together the components of the game console. So, it seems that you will be moreso *assembling* a game console than *designing* one. You will also be able to flash the microprocessor of the console with code of your choosing, for instance, for a game. So, some questions to ask yourself would be the following. + Are you patient and willing to keep trying until something works? For beginners, electronics just don't work most of the time, and debugging them is often a challenge. + Are you more interested in writing games or building hardware? If you want to make games, then learn a programming language instead! The learning curve is less steep, and it's free of charge (except for a good book). It seems to me that you can get most of the benefit that the course will provide by getting a few books and a beginning digital electronics kit. I've heard that Horowitz and Hill's "The Art of Electronics" is perfect for hobbyists. And, of course, you may want to get LaMothe's "The Black Art of Video Game Console Design". Honestly, you'll probably learn just as much about electronics from these two books as you would from the course, provided that you're diligent about trying out new circuits! With regards to math, basic digital electronics require very little math background. So, be familiar with equations, functions, and solving for an unknown variable, and you should be fine. If you ever have any questions about electronics or game development, feel free to PM me and I'd be glad to help -- good luck!
  12. mnansgar

    Video Game Censorship

    There are LOTS of links to relevant articles at http://gamepolitics.com/ -- look through the archives.
  13. mnansgar

    The many versions of C.

    Quote:2nd I would like to point out that I have programmed before with one of the "easier" compilers like BASIC. I found it too limiting. In what ways do you find it limiting? I've seen some great games made by newer BASIC variants such as DarkBASIC. I'd imagine that limitations of the language itself would be hard to find by a beginner without writing a great deal of programs in it. Quote:4thlyly, I have heard good things from C++ and... is it really used in most mass-produced games like Halo? Yes.
  14. When install the SDK (by double-clicking on its executable), it will automatically set everything up for you inside Visual C# Express Edition. If you're new to programming, then I do not recommend starting with DirectX since DX is a very complex set of libraries which can be very frustrating and intimidating for beginners to programming. Instead, start by learning the basics of C# or C++ through making Windows console applications. [Edited by - mnansgar on December 6, 2006 8:37:15 PM]
  15. mnansgar

    Upcoming Life Decisions

    I am a bit confused. Most of the learning that is done in a university is by the student reading textbooks and doing homework/projects, which you claim you are good at. Lecture typically exists to supplement that learning and to help clarify it should you be having difficulties. More often than not, lecturers cannot cover all of the material that you need to learn for the course. So, if you find yourself ahead of other students, read ahead in the book and really become an expert at the material. If you want a career in game dev, use the extra time you have not needing to study to write some killer demos or to learn new skills. Definitely stick with the four-year college. Plus, classes become much more interesting the more advanced they get since you get to select them. I am very wary about whether doing an online Associates will help you -- I bet that most universities will not accept classes granted by an online college for credit toward your Bachelors.
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