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Posts posted by SillyCow

  1. I am looking for a good tutorial or a book about deep learning. I understand that Tensorflow is all the rage these days, so I would like to learn using this framework.

    I am an experienced programmer with a good knowledge of python (and all other major programming languages).

    I have only read topical material about neural networks nothing really technical though. I do know the high level meanings of all the  basic terminology: Cost, Convolutional vs fully connected, adversarial, etc... Now I want to start implementing...

    I really like to learn through GameDev projects, so I thought that a good excersize might be to create a turn based game AI for some minmax based game.

    Checkers / Tic tac toe / Chess / . (I've programmed the "traditional" minmax versions of all of these in the past).

    The output of my learning does not need to be professional, I do not expect to beat alpha-go or anything like that  ;-). I just thought of creating a nice Deep Learning based cost function.


    I am looking for recommendations for a good course, or a good book on the subject. (I don't learn well with videos [ coursera, pluralsight, etc...])

    I have ~ 1 week starting tomorrow, so I don't want to delve too deep into the linear algebra. I mostly want to get the project done.

    I am well aware that a subject like deep learning is better studied over a longer period of time. However, atm, I have 1 week so I will take care to delve deeper later when I have more time.


    Can anyone recommend a good tutorial?





  2. For the sake of argument, let's assume that an indie game takes around a year to develop. (Most take more time)

    This is what you can achieve

    Level 0 [Hobby]: You make 0-100 $$$ on your game because you are not really trying to make money. You're just about learning and having fun. You do not make a quality game, and you lack the skills to market your game. ( Most people on this site )

    Level 1 [Amateur] : Most "sell-able" indie games will earn less than a 1000$ dollars (not justifying their development time). If you're serious, but this is you're first attempy, this is what you will probably create

    Level 2 [Professional] : A few successful indie games earn 10s of thousands of $$$. ( the same you would make in a salary position ).  If you're a successful professional indie gamedev, this is probably where you'll end up. ( If you have to ask the above question, I doubt you will make it this far on your first (or second) try )

    Level 3 [ Indie Rockstar ] : A handful of indie games per year make a few millions of $$$. If you're successful, and extremely lucky. ( Braid & Flappy bird are an example of this ). This is extremely rare. I'd be very surprised if there is a single person on this site who has made this kind of money from working alone on a small game.

    Level 4 [Unicorn] : Some unicorns earn 100s of millions of $$$: Maybe one game per year or less. Mine-craft, Angry Birds etc... But they are not small projects by the time they become unicorns. If you're extremely lucky, and know how to grow your business (you basically need to ride the wave into becoming a AAA company ). Besides being lucky, you need to be extremely talented on the business side of things.

    There are two ways to break in:

    1. Alot of game studio founders worked for other studios first. So start by working on another professional game. It can be an indie game, or a studio game, or an "evil" F2P game made by a company with lousy ethics. Your goal is not to live your dream, your goal here is to learn while possibly getting paid.

    2. Keep creating small games with the goal of making more and more money each time. If you're a noob, make sure you have a mentor/colleauges to learn from. Don't know anyone? See option 1 above.

    3. Keep making games just for fun. If you end up liking it, see option 2 above.

  3. Technically, I think it is going in the right direction.

    Higher resolution screens, and wireless are the way to go. I don't mind the weak CPU. With clever coding and hacks, you can create some pretty high fidelity experiences. (Just like in the good old days 🙂 of the beginning of 3D games).

    What bothers me is the eco-system: Unlike the Rift, Oculus quest is blocking people from deploying non-professional apps to the quest. When I look at the Rift ecosystem, it is true that it is filled with a lot of shovelware. However I do not see alot of high budget AAA games either. I could probably count them on 2 hands...

    Aside from this, as I bought the first oculus dev-kit I remember that for the first years there were *only* dev experiments to download, and nothing else. And it was glorious fun!

    Google Daydream took a very similar "closed garden" approach to Quest, and unlike "Cardboard", they killed the dev community before it even had a chance to get started. ( I released games on both cardboard, and daydream, and daydream had 10% of the downloads that "cardboard" had ).

    My feeling is that unlike Nintendos or iPhones, VR is much less accessible. By walling out developer prototypes, you are essentially strangeling the ecosystem. Also, since there is very little revenue to be had from VR, you have very little chance of attracting big name developers in the first place. Think of a great VR game like superhot. It is one  on the most successful games on VR. It was made as an experiment from a small indie team. Would you think that the same team would develop such a game for the quest from scratch with all the bureaucracy involved? (I know they released one for the quest, but I no longer consider them an Indie, because they had previous success on the Rift).

    For this reason I am sort of on the edge about buying an Oculus Quest: 50% of my fun with the Rift, and the GoogleVR, has been publishing games, and the other 50% has been playing other peoples stuff.

    The fact that I cannot publish on Quest ( without a professional grade studio behind me), and the fact that there are so few experiences on Quest is sort of a big turn off for me.

    Of course, I might be biased because I am hobby game-dev, but I think that despite the amazing H/W and great price, this closed eco-system will be the death of the Quest. I don't think that it is appropriate for VR at this stage.

    What do you think?

  4. 2 hours ago, Faplauno486 said:

    Utilize youtube by sending a request to game reviewers to review your game.

    Can you recommend anyone on youtube who will review VR games?

    2 hours ago, Faplauno486 said:

    And it's best to discuss with a marketing expert.

    You guys are my experts.

  5. If like me, you like Visual C++, then the Netbeans IDE is as close as you can get on Linux.

    Since in my day-job I have to modify non-IDE Linux projects, I find it rather usefull that Netbeans supports projects based on Makefiles. ( That way I don't need to impose my IDE preferences on the rest of the team. )

    Aside from this, many of the ux metaphores are reminiscent of Ms-VisualStudio and Jetbrains. So if you like you those IDEs you will feel right at home.

    The downsides:

    * It is a very resource heavy IDE

    * GDB integration sometimes crashes (but works most of the time)


  6. 5 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

    It's time to create a business account separate from your personal account. 

    In other words, by starting to do some marketing.

    How do I go about doing this?

    I created a page for my "games label" under my regular account, but then It turned out that everything I posted got posted under my regular account. Is there another way to have a "professional" facebook page?

  7. 1 hour ago, slayemin said:


    Thanks @slayemin.

    I've already published on the Rift Store (no keys required).

    I also have a trailer out.

    And I've got ~1k downloads and ~10 reviews.

    I'm looking to push that to the maximum, assuming that there still exists an audience for VR. ( I might have missed the "hype" by a year or two 🙂 ) 

    I haven't done any "marketing" yet, so I was hoping I could increase that number by creating some sort of buzz somewhere.

    The question is where?

    Haven't really used twitter before, didn't think it was the way to go for discoverability. I mean, if people already knew me, they might follow me for updates. However, would people that don't know me  discover me on twitter somehow?

    (I've never really used twitter before, so maybe I'm missing something about how it works)

  8. I just published my Oculus Rift game recently.

    I announced it on this forum to get some developer based feedback.

    I would now like to find some good places to gain some traction with "normal" VR consumers. ( People who are not gamedevs )

    I was wondering if someone is aware of some nice places to gain some users for my game.

    PS: This is not a commercial project. I'm just looking to enlarge my user base.


  9. 1 hour ago, Amir_r_KB said:

    O(n^2) might not be a big problem with my game

    This really depends on the type of game you are making. If you use an spatial partioner (like an octree) , your interaction rate should be much lower. However, if O(n^2) is acceptable, then I think that you have no reason at all to optimise your calls to PhysX. Just use an existing engine, you probably don't have alot of physics to deal with...

    1 hour ago, Amir_r_KB said:

    Can you give an example?

    Stacked objects which are considered "stable" will cease physics calculations, even though they are touching other (static) objects. Adding a new "dynamic" block on top of that can casue the entire stack to spontaneously "explode".

  10. Physics sims retain data because some relationships and interactions between objects can span frames. You can of course add objects to an existing scene, but that would require you to renegotiate what is happening.

    I have programmed a simple physics engine before, and I can say that it was very fun! I definitely recommend it as a learning experience. It will really improve your knowledge in applied math, and performance optimisation.

    However: Writing a good physics engine is much harder than just doing collision detection. Simulating basic physics, such as a pool table. Is pretty straight forward. However, when processing interactions of more than 2 bodies (like a Jenga tower, or a solid ragdoll with hinges) : You should expect to run into alot of complex algebrical integration problems. One might say that this is what the likes of "PhysX" was designed to do. Using "physX" or "Havok" for a pool game would be overkill. 

    So I would wholeheartedly recommend that you embark on writing your own Physics engine as a learning excersize:

    0. Start by implementing some collision detection algorithms

    1. Then make a 2D pool game.

    2. Then make an angry birds clone. (If you've made it this far, you're a champ!)

    3. Then try something simple in 3D (Maybe a racing game?)



  11. 1. Don't use your laptop's keyboard/mouse  (I think this goes without saying, but I am appalled by the number of people in my office using laptops directly. I even bring a mouse/keyboard to hackathons)

    2. Get a chair with adjustable armrests (so that you can raise your elbows to your wrist height)

    3. Get a desk with a keybaord/mouse drawer, so that your wrists are not strained when you lean back.

    4. Get an adjustable leg rest to remove the strain on your legs.

    5. Try a "kneeling chair" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneeling_chair)  

  12. Depends on what you want to do.

    Bad Advice #1: If you plan on "producing" a game (being the producer). Then a GDD is a good start. However... Producers pay their devs money. So I don't think that that is where you want to start. (unless you have several thousands of $$$ lying around).

    Bad Advice #2: Otherwise: If you want to start your own unpaid hobby team, you need to bring something to the table. Can you do one of these?

    If you plan on writing a story, then write a story.

    If you plan on doing art, then make some demo art.

    If you plan on being a programmer (like me!), then you should create a *small* prototype that you can eventually turn into a game. If you are new to Unity (which is a great tool!). Start here. If you can't complete this tutorial, then Unity is still too complex for you. Choose something simpler to work with.

    Good Advice!: However, what I would better recommend for you: If the answer to all the above questions is "no". It is too early to start your own team. Put your plans aside and do one of the following:

    Follow an online tutorial, and create a Pong or a Tic Tac Toe clone. If you have no experience, then this will take you several weeks, but is the best way to boost your basic skills. At the end you will:

    1. Understand basic coding

    2. Understand computer game art workflow

    3. Understand sound

    4. Understand user interface

    5. You will understand where and when you have time to work on your project.

    6. Most important: you will know which part of the process you enjoy!


  13. Hello,

    Gutten Tag!

    This sounds interesting.

    I am a developer based in Europe, and I am experienced in programming browser based multimedia projects.

    I would be happy to discuss this with you.

    My questions:

    1. Is this game free? ( I noticed you said it was not intended to make money)
    2. If it is free, would you be willing to make it opensource (it would be easier to get people to work on it)
    3. Is it a desktop game? (Browser games for mobiles are much harder to make)
    4. Is it multiplayer?
    5. Is it real time? (how long is a turn?)
    6. Is it massively multiplayer?
      • is it a single persistent universe, or is it made up of separate game rooms?
      • Would you need a sophisticated lobby?
    7. How many people are currently working on this game, and how did you start?
      • Are you friends?
      • Are you students?
      • Are you all located in the same city/country?



  14. I have encountered some really good testers in my non-games jobs.

    A good tester was really helpful to the team. I have also seen them advance through the ranks.

    The best testers I've known went beyond the testing script that they got:

    * They spoke to customers ( they learned customer relations / focus groups )

    * They insisted on testing in better "field conditions" (they improved the testing scripts)

    * They got involved to the point where they were given outside tasks (they learned the company they were working in, and network themselves)

    I've seen testers transition to other jobs such as:

    • Developers
    • Operational Officers
    • Salespeople / Marketing / PR
    • Testing managers

    That said, if you are allready sure you want to be any of these thing, just go ahead and start learning them. It will be quicker. But if you are not sure what you want, the barrier for entry as a tester is lower. So it is a good job to get exposed to the industry. Although I probably wouldn't recommend a full on degree in S/W testing. It should be an entry level job.


  15. I try to learn at least one new thing with every project that I start.

    It can be a new language (golang), tool(kubernetes), platform(oculus rift) or algorithm(pathfinding) .

    (The above list is a collection of things from my last 4 projects)

    I learn through making a prototype.

    I am usually guided by step by step internet tutorials.

    18 hours ago, 999PING said:

    Not actually in the scope of the topic, but I'm also very interested to hear your thoughts on this.
     What is Game Programming for you? How would you describe what should Game Programmer able to solve?

    I would say that the thing that sets game programmers from other programmers is interactivity. Your design needs to be user facing with all that that entails.

  16. I am developing an Oculus Rift game with free roaming mechanics.

    I am developing a "nausea free" locomotion system which will enable an open world game shooter game. ( Far Cry X play style ).

    Of course, since this is a hobby game, it will all be low poly graphics, and no epic story.

    Still the prototype is already really fun to play!



  17. My philosophy is: "Bugs will happen, so make sure you mitigate them".

    Make each bug as easy as possible to detect and find.

    •  Write automatic System Tests. (ex: Write an automatic test for the AI to play your game)
      • Make sure you have satisfactory code coverage
    • Make small commits, so that you can later browse through them and see which one introduced the bug.
    • Try not to use untyped languages or data. Python, Javascript, etc... will ensure that you will only find bugs at run time.
    • When using C++ try to avoid using pointers whenever possible:
      • Can a function use a const reference instead?
      • Can I use a smart-pointer without hurting performance too much?
        • This pays off 100x  when you are multi threading
    • Make sure you use logging as much as possible (when it doesn't cause performance problems). That way you can investigate a sporadic bug when it happens.
    • Make sure you have the option for IDE debugging. (this can sometimes require defensive coding, as not all languages are IDE friendly)
    • Write small functions: If a function does not fit on a screen, you should probably break it down. That way, bugs remain contained
    • etc...

    Basically: Bugs will happen. You cannot do much against that, However, just make sure that you have favourable conditions to:

    1. Understand that you have a bug as soon as possible

    2. Isolate the bug (find out what is causing the bug and what is effected by it )

    3. Have the right tools to fix it quickly. 


  18. I would consider  working for  equity  under the following conditions:

    1. I am very passionate about the company's tech

    2. I get a unique opportunity to further my career: (like getting VP status very early in my career)

    3. I believe the company has a sound buisness plan: More likely to go for a sure million than a longshot billion.

    When it comes to making games 1 is easy, but 2 and 3 are hard.

  19. For me it's automatic regression tests with ample code coverage.

    I find system tests do the job better than unit tests here.

    My most complicated hobby project to date was a multiplayer RTS game.

    There are lot's of bugs that can cause the game to go out of synch.

    So I created a test where 2 bots played eachother automatically for every build that I made:

    This was a complete end to end test: There were actually 2 separate instances of the program playing eachother over the network.All of this was launched automatically, so it was painless for me to test.

    It took me several days to set this up.

    But, It helped me catch 75% of my bugs.

    In a hobby game this is specifically important because bugs demotivate you. 


  20. Sometimes I enjoy grinding. Why would you want to remove it?

    Instead of punishing the grinder, reward the "brave" player!

    Add a mechanic where if you slay an advanced monster/complete an advanced dungeon you get some special reward.

    For example: If I kill a dragon at level 50 I get the usual reward loot.

    But if I kill the dragon at level 10, then the king rewards me with a special artefact for my valour. Maybe it even unlocks some part of the story.

    Maybe you can even add a "level down" mechanic (drinking alcohol in a pub 🙂 ) to allow players to level back down to make the game interesting again. Could be interesting to level up to get certain traits, and then level down to start earning new traits instead.

    16 hours ago, suliman said:

    My idea is to have the world become harder each day, so a player can not linger and just amass xp and loot. So you have an incentive to travel on. Is this good? What other design could I make? It also makes sense that the world gets harder when you get closer to the end.


    Or to elaborate on your "getting harder" idea:

    Make the player a fugitive: The longer they stay in one place, the more run ins they will have with "the law" or the assassins chasing them. 

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