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About SillyCow

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  1. The games called "masterpieces"

    For me materpieces were games that made me want to learn new coding techniques. They were not necessarily fun games or good games, but I appreciate the programming craftsmanship that went into them: * Comanche - Very detailed terrain. Amazing voxel graphics in a game* * Another world - First time I saw good polygon graphics with animations * StarControl2 - Amazing music from my PC speaker. Very open ended game, but still has a great story. A shining gem of game design. (First game I played with both an open, a "cinematic quality" story, and lot's of variance in ship design) * Second Reality - A demoscene demo (not a game), but was amazing to see what my 486 could do in real time. Got me to learn assembly language to see what I could hack my computer into doing. * Betrayal at Krondor- First time I felt I was playing in a "living breathing" 3d world. * Wolfenstein3D - The first time I experienced arcade play with 3D graphics. I never got why Doom is considered such a milestone. It is the better game, but I didn't get that "Oh Wow! I can't believe this is possible" moment that I got with Wolfenstein3D. * Under a killing moon: High resolution 3D environments with "photo-realistic" textures. * Warcraft 3 - Highest production value I experienced in a game. Amazing story, and very immersive. Might be funny to claim this, but I see this as the predecessor of "Modern Warfare" * GTA 3 - This is the game that set the tone for all open-world 3D games to follow. Assasins Creed, Oblivion, etc... * Crysis - First massive use of elaborate Shaders in a game.
  2. Need feedback for game introduction video

    Aside from the refining the content of your trailer, the yellow text at the top of the screen is not clear enough. Your game is very colorful! It looks like fireworks, as such people will not read your video's text. Make it stand out more. Either put it on a blank transition screen (without the gameplay footage) . Or make the text move & transition. Or, use a font with an outline to make it stand out from your colourful game play. https://www.google.de/search?biw=1280&bih=893&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=LhGwWvCEHMq2kwWYppjgCQ&q=font+with++outline&oq=font+with++outline&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l5j0i7i30k1l3j0i7i5i30k1l2.164717.164717.0.164873. Whatever you do, do not put a "fadey" "glowy" font over all of those soft and colourful particle effects. Can you easily read the yellow text below? Can you make the second word out at all? This is especially problematic, if it's important instructional text.
  3. Looking for a farming game

    My kids started playing "township" (a popular farming game) on windows. I don't like "free to play" games when it comes to children. I don't like them exposed to ads, and I definitely don't like them being constantly pestered to buy stuff. So I am looking for looking for an alternative. However, since these are small kids (the youngest can't read yet), it has to be a game with a very good interface that's suitable for kids. For example: "Farming Simulator" is out of the question, since it obviously designed for an older age group. So I guess I am looking for highly polished "Triple A" quality game that I can buy for them. I am not really familiar with the genre, but all I could find on the internet where ad-supported pay-to-win games.
  4. Math in C# and Python

    You can get the same PIP functionality in C# by using NuGet to add external packages. It's supported in visual studio projects by default. Here is a list of geometrical libraries you can use: https://www.nuget.org/packages?q=Tags%3A"geometry"
  5. Opinion?

    I think this is the difference between an amateur and a professional. (and I am also an amateur when it comes to making games). "No man's sky" made a profit. Therefore it is definitely a successful professional game. The fact that it had such a strong marketing campaign shows you just how professional it was. I don't think for a moment that that marketing blitz did not have a team of seasoned marketing professionals behind it. As an amateur, I would never want to be involved in a project like that. But if I had the chance to take a mult-million dollar contract like that (The game made $78m in one month!) I would take it. Same goes for all of the much criticized EA game serial franchises. (Fifa,COD,etc...). While you might not be "artisticly" interested in milking a franchise, that's exactly the type of business decision a professional makes. And if I were putting my last 5 years of savings on the line to start my own company, I would definitely prefer contract work from the likes of EA (assuming they have good buisness ethics :-) ) then on a "starving artist". That said, when not doing contract work for others, I would probably go chase my dreams. (I am willing to take risks to make my own dreams come true)
  6. Can the “No kill rule” be violated?

    I see something very curious with fan bases of franchises and universes expecting consistency and cannon: When writing something which ends up being a serial (a work of art spanning multiple years, and sometimes multiple writers), many times, the creators of the original work do not know that they are writing a serial work. As such they put many things in the first installment(s) which must later be ignored. A good example is Star-Wars in which if you read about the development of Darth Vader: It only happened after the first movie was out. (I don't think G.L. was expecting to write a second film, much less 16). Another good example is star trek dates being completely made up at first, while fans later use them to try and invent a coherent cannon. Another example is "The Hobbit" vs "Lord of the Rings". "The Matrix...", "Lost", and so on. At the time of their inception, these stories are not fully fleged, do not have a long ranging story skeleton, and so on. Many times they expect it to be a short running stint, and end up as a franchise by accident. As such, when the writers (sometimes new writers) find themselves needing to stretch the story, it is bound to be inconsistent with it's humble origins. Specifically because the origins were never robust enough to carry a franchise. George RR martin might be an exception. (I don't know. He hasn't finished yet. Will he ever?). Also, I think Tolken might have been an exception once he realised he was creating a universe (definitely not the case when he was writing the "Hobbit")
  7. Opensource Educational Games

    Great list. I think I can take alot of examples from here. Especially liked KDEdu. Lot's of great word games!
  8. Opensource Educational Games

    My daughter started elementary school, and I got her her first computer. I was looking for some educational games for her to learn math and reading. I was really disappointed with what I found. I found a bunch of old (win 3.11 era) games. Or games smothered in advertising and in app purchases. If you have a small child that doesn't speak English, these buttons are really problematic. Not because she'll buy something, but rather because they take her away from the game, and she needs my help getting back. I realise that the fact that we are not an English speaking family, is severely limiting my options here. I guess that with English or any other +100million speaker language, my chances of finding something better are higher... But after tiring of searching on google, I thought to myself: It would be easier to write her some games myself. The logic for games for 1st graders is really simple. You just need to make the graphics/sound engaging. So as I am writing a simple math game, I got to thinking: Is there already an opensource edu-platform out there? Something that is designed to be easy to localise by other game-dev Dads/Moms? I mean the simplest games should be quite simple to port across languages. If not, then I think I just found myself a hobby project :-)
  9. What's the one book...

    https://www.amazon.de/QBASIC-Example-Special-Programming-Que/dp/1565294394 This is the first time I realised I could learn programming by myself. Before that, I learned only through parents/teachers. I've had better books, and better programming environments. but this book was a treasure to me as a kid. Later on, I would save up my allowance to buy anything published by QUE that made it to my local computer store. (No amazon/internet back then). And no "computers" shelf at the regular bookstores. I really liked the fact that this book was teaching through examples rather than theory. Even today, I try to incorporate this teaching style when I have to organise a seminar about some new technology.
  10. Why A.I is impossible

    The current revolution in machine learnig, is that you don't need to write coding instructions. You feed it some data, you then give it some goals, and it figures out how to reach those goals. If you take an AI that's capable enough (say in 50 years) and you set its goals to: "Maximise interaction with humans" I think it's concievable that it will learn how to hold a meaningful conversation. (It should be enough for it to learn your language on it's own) Isn't that what human children's behaviouris all about? "Make your parents proud"?. (After you get thay pesky "don't die" stuff out of the way.) So instead of teaching it how to drive a car: Give it the same social goals you would give a baby: Attract positive attention from your parents. Try to raise your social status. And then it won't just drive a car. It will invent a spaceship for you while telling you jokes. (And notice that none of these were part of it's original goals)
  11. Why A.I is impossible

    So are you saying that a machine that wonders what it is would meet your criteria? A machine trying to understand itself, and whether it was "real"? If so, I am sure that that would happen eventually. One of the differences between the current machine learning, and true "human" intelligence, is that machines don't learn how to learn. They still require humans to tweak them, and feed them data. This is by far the most expensive part of training a machine learning algorithm. This is what Machine Learning engineers get paid big $$$ to do. In fact I would argue that it is currently the highest paid entry level job in IT. Having an AI which could choose what data to feed a self driving car would be extremely profitable. It is allready done to a very primitive extent with "reinforced learning". As AI becomes more advanced, I think it will possible to have a machine that "learns how to learn". Once you start having that, I think "introspection" will be a very desirable trait. From that point on the questions: "Do I think like others? Do i think like humans? Do I think like other AIs? What makes me special? What makes "me"? " become sort of inevitable. And since machines will develop faster than our biological brains, they might reach another level of self consciousness hat we have yet to achieve. This might even be desirable, if one where to create a machine psychologist to assist troubled humans. Or a machine "philosopher" to assist academics. I don't think this generation of machine learning is powerfull enough to achieve such complex thought. But I can definitely see it happening, say within a century.
  12. Why A.I is impossible

    I am just trying to ground the conversation... I personally believe that there is nothing special about the human brain. One day you would be able to create an artificial brain which could imitate a human in every way possible, (Although why would you want to ?). "Consciousness" is an ambiguous word, so I am just trying to find a way to measure it. In the true methods of calculus, I am trying to define a range of said ambiguity. Obviously some people are claiming that there are some intelligent entities which do not posses "consciousness". I am trying to demonstrate that this has nothing to do with "artificial" intelligence, but rather with regular old biological organisms (which posses a nervous system). When you introduce the term "subjective experience" (I assume that's what you meant) you are again introducing a vague term. Just like "consciousness" there is no single definition of what "subjective experience" means in this debate. But I bet that if you try to define it according to your own views, we would be able to make a philosophical argument as to why it is possible. If we keep on introducing new tautological terms into the conversation, it will not be a meaningful one. What would be an experience that you define as "subjective"? Vs one which you would define as "not subjective". (did you notice that we have also introduced the word "experience" which could be defined in so many ways...) I guess what I am saying is this thread is labelled: "Why A.I is impossible". As such, I would expect there to be some well defined tests that people with this view think that an A.I, could never pass. Don't get me wrong. No self driving car can also function as a substitute kindergarten teacher. However, eventually it should be possible.
  13. Why A.I is impossible

    I If we define the self awareness level of a worm as "consciousness", then I would argue that even today we can create "conscious" UI. If we use this definition, Then again, I would say that we can already create self aware AI. If you reconstruct the "hang the apple over the gorilla's head" mirror experiment. And you use a robot with a camera and a standard convolutional neural network, I bet you could make said robot: 1. Reach forward for the apple on the table 2. Reach above it's head when the apple is only reflected in the mirror. 3. I bet with the proper training, you could even move the mirror. This does not seem like a trivial research project, but I think you could definitely pull it off today. In fact, it would be a great publicity stunt from the likes of; "Deep blue vs Kasparov", or "Watson on Jeopardy". If I were IBM or Google I would defintley try to pull this off. I mean, wouldn't it be very entertaining to create a robot which would surpass animals in famous historical intelligence tests?
  14. Why A.I is impossible

    "Consciousness" and "Intelligence" are big words which could mean different things in different contexts. As in any philosophical debate, it is worth spending time defining the terms being used in the conversation. I would argue that defining consciousness constructively is a dead end. So instead of defining "all things conscious", or "some things which might be conscious": Let us take the destructive approach and try to define: "Some things which are intelligent but not conscious". Let's assume that living organisms can be vaguely sorted by intelligence. For simplicity's sake let's forget the special cases of dolphins and octopuses. Let's rate them from "stupidest" to "smartest" 1. Single cell (Germ) 2. Small Multi-Cell 3. Nervous system (Jellyfish) 4. Worms 5. Fish 6. Reptiles 7. Mamals 8, Social mamals (dogs?) 9. Humans At what point would you say it is intellegent but not concious for certain? At what point would you consider it a "maybe"? I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind your choices.
  15. How can I ever have time to finish my game?

    I make games for fun. I also work, have kids and other hobbies. I find that unlike my bachelor years, where I could pull many all nighters, now I can only pull off short bursts of work here and there. I find that when one only has short work intervals, it is imperative to get right to work instead of procrastinating. To facilitate this, I have started "managing" my hobby projects by creating a prioritised task list. The first thing I do before I sit down, is read the list. The last thing I do before I get up from a session is: go over and update the list. That way I can context switch in and out of my hobby sessions really fast. This makes every session, no matter how short, very productive. I have found that before doing this, my short sessions were spent remembering what I should be doing instead of actually doing it. Another thing I have started doing is: I purposefully insert compilation errors in my code to make sure it "screams" at me the next time I have time to sit and work on my project. For example: I write some comments without a "//" thus reminding me what I was doing and *where* I was doing it. This is very effective if you need to resume work 2 weeks after you last touched it. So while I have lost control over the qunatity of "hobby" time that is available to me, I have discovered how to raise it's quality.
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