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Malevolence

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  1.   I usually try to promote a more individual, introspective approach to design, but this list is an excellent read. I particularly like Three Hundred Mechanics.
  2. An idea I've played with in the past is health that regenerates as you walk, at a rate roughly timed to match up with the damage you take from random encounters. This way you could only stay in a certain area for a certain amount of time, and have your health always be a point of tension, before having to retreat to a safe zone like a town and wait for your health to regenerate (or it could regenerate as soon as you return there).
  3. This idea reminds me a little bit of Pokemon, where the IV (initial values) and EV (effort values) of a Pokemon determine what the pokemon will excel in, but are for the most part kept hidden from the player. Those interested in competitive battling can figure out IVs and breed for the ones they want, and can train specifically for the EV they want. This adds a lot of depth to a seemingly simple levelling system.   This works well in Pokemon because you can catch multiples of a character and breed/train in specific ways, etc. However, such a system may require some tweaking if you only get the one character to play.
  4. I work with Go on a daily basis, but never in game development. I've never done any benchmarking but it's definitely performant enough for any web server (Google does use it for production web servers) and the amazingly speedy compile time alone is enough to make up for any minor performance downfalls IMO. To comment on your specific question about string vs char[], you can have fixed-size byte arrays in Go and cast between them and strings. In general I find Go a great language, but the libraries for it are still very immature.
  5. Just to chime in quick, I finished my degree in computer engineering and I've only ever worked in software development, games and otherwise.
  6. Hey all, We've just released our new game, Cartoon Garden, for iOS devices. It's a simulation game in the same vein as FarmVille and similar games with several unique twists. It's available for FREE in the AppStore: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cartoon-garden/id402210073?mt=8 Feedback is super appreciated, and if you like the game, please do leave a rating in the AppStore. Thanks!
  7. Without reading the course catalog it's impossible to know what languages the courses are taught in, but it will likely be at least 2 or 3 different ones, hopefully not all ancient. The list of courses seems very standard, and you'll definitely get a decent CS education out of it assuming they're taught properly. As for your second comment, computer networking and databases are two fairly important CS topics, although their usefulness depends on the quality of the course. Databases may not apply to game development (and to be fair, you likely won't be doing only game development) but computer networks definitely does.
  8. IMO, LINQ alone is reason enough to move to 3.0 and later.
  9. I've used Lex and Yacc for this sort of thing before, but that's C only. The extremely similar C++ equivalents are Flex and Bison.
  10. The best advice I can give is to try to look past the language syntax, which I know can sometimes be unnecessarily hard in C++. I began to do that once I was learning my third programming language and that's when I think it really clicked for me. If you can understand that behind all your classes, structures and variables is just a set of data (your game character for example) that you want to manipulate in a certain way (move him/her to the left for example), then it becomes a much simpler task to link code to program requirements. Learning to create this link well however is something that will only come with experience, study of design patterns, and possibly an understanding of higher level math. Starting with C++ as a language, and games as first programs is a very difficult way to learn the fundamentals of programming, but it's not impossible. I guess what I'm trying to say is when you're writing your code, pay more attention to what you want the code to do, than the proper placement of semi-colons.
  11. I'm still not sure if you're working with VB6 or C++. If it's VB6, you can find some excellent resources on using subclassing with the default textboxes to allow a heavily customized look. Some examples can be found here: http://www.xtremevbtalk.com/showthread.php?t=228243 I'm sure similar techniques exist with C++ but I'm not sure where to find tutorials on them. I definitely agree with everyone else that building on top of the default controls is the way to go.
  12. From underneath the player? Through a glass floor? You could build at least a few interesting mechanics around that(floor cracking/getting dirty). Really though, in a 2D game, you're limited in the point of view you have to choose from a lot more than a 3D one. Trying too hard to make innovations with the point of view is likely to leave you with a game not fun to play due solely to the POV.
  13. I'm still not convinced that the inconsistencies are necessary, especially if you bring your game world into 3 dimensions and keep the generated maps at a reasonable complexity. For example, you have a looping hallway (let's say a simple square), and the eastern section of the hallway has a doorway going to the center of the loop. The player then reaches the northern section of the looping hallway and you want to generate another doorway leading into the center of the loop. Instead of generating it at the same level as the first generated room and having them overlap, have a staircase either up or down take you to the new room. This enables every loop in the map to contain at least 3 rooms after being completely generated. If you use a halfway-decent hallway generation algorithm, with a reasonable minimum distance before a hallway is terminated or redirected, you should end up with few difficulties when generating maps. This kind of method would eliminate inconsistencies by constructing the maze the way it would be constructed in the physical world. If you can't place a room somewhere, don't. There's no reason a mason couldn't build a perfectly valid maze as he walked through it. It seems to me that you want to have your algorithm generate an almost completely random environment. In this case, the layout of the maze would turn out unrealistic, regardless of physical impossibilities.