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SillyCow

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Everything posted by SillyCow

  1. It's true that in 2006 that model gave the best graphics card a run for it's money, and today you could render 10 of them in game at the same time on a mid-range card. However it was not the same as witnessing Doom3's lighting for the first time. Doom3's lighting looked like nothing you've ever seen in real time before. Do most games look like the GIF you posted? I'd argue that most games wouldn't put in the time to create that face artistically. On the other hand, I don't think the original quake had a lot of "art" in it. It was more about optimising rendering techniques which were not seen in real time before. I'm not against artwork or anything like that 🙂 . It's just that as a programmer with a life long infatuation with graphics, I don't as excited by this tech anymore. Maybe I'm just old, but then again I don't remember any game marketing heavily on it's engine. Maybe "No Man's Sky", but their engine's uniqueness didn't lay in it's graphics )
  2. As a gamer I prefer gameplay to graphics. Heck as an "old" gamer, I sometimes play some of my old terrible looking favourites just because I like the game play. However... As a hobby engine programmer I get really excited by graphics technology. The first 3d games that I played (Wolfenstine and Ultima) made my mind explode. I had to figure out how they were made!. It resulted in me learing alot of math, and building several software based 3d engines. By far, this is the reason I am a programmer today. So there is nothing like a cool programming technique to get me interested a game. These are the games that I played that really geeked me out when I saw them. When I call them "first", it's the first games I saw as a kid. It doesn't mean they are the first to use a technique. Wofenstein: First "3d" game I played Novalogic's Comanche: First time I saw voxel graphics (it was beautiful!) Seventh Guest: First fully rendered, fully animated environment. (This made me learn 3D modelling software) Quake2: First 3D game I ran with H/W acceleration GTA 3: First game with Seamless 3D open world Doom3: First game with modern lighting techiniques Crysis: First game with modern shader code. These games are not necessarily my favourite games to play. But as a programmer each of them cause me to pick up a book, or create my own version of these games Unfortunately for my programming self, most games today invest in "art" rather than graphics. They create bigger and more impressive set pieces, but I haven't really encountered any revolutionary rendering system that knocked my socks off. I sort of get the feeling that the 3D graphics revolution is over. We are now more limited by what artists can create, then what the computer can render. Ex: Creating realistic faces today is more about putting in the 3D modelling work then inventing new rendering techniques. This nvidia demo from 2006, looks good enough today (12 years later). The reason most games don't look like this isn't because of missing graphics tech, rather it's because it requires a daunting amount of artwork. So I think since DX10 (when the pipelines became flexible) we are at an age where art is more important than graphics. This is sort of reminiscent of 1990s CG movies like Terminator 2 where viewers flocked to theatres to see what the latest CG could do. Whereas today (I'd say since ~ lord of the rings) if you notice the CG it means that it's bad. I actually liked these parts in the "Last Jedi" where they where CG'ing the admiral and the princess (badly). It made me feel like a kid again. And someone was finally taking some risks with some new graphics technology. I am tempted to say that no more GFX revolutions await us in gaming. But I wonder what will be the next revolutionary tech? Fully ray traced games? Something else? I personally have not gotten excited about a game engine since "Crysis"
  3. SillyCow

    Defining AAA

    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/stalker-shadow-of-chernobyl/credits This team does not look tiny to me. For god's sake they have the "Prague Symphonic Orchestra" making their music for them! This is the difference between an indie and a funded studio (I will not go as far as calling GSC "AAA"). Both have 3-4 lead engine programmers. But the funded studio will hire an intern to make the particles look slightly better.
  4. SillyCow

    Defining AAA

    Here's a thought: The current discontent over indie vs AAA has nothing to do with the quality of either. It has more to do with mainstream attention. AAAs have made the entry barrier so high that your chances of getting a spotlight as a small studio have plummeted. It's not that AAA have gotten worse. It's not that small games have gotten better. It's just that the percentage household brands which are also "indie" ( or "developed in a garage" as one might say in the 80s) has dropped. That is because a Houshold name means you are one of the top 20(?) grossing games in your category. 1M$ cut it in the past, but today you need to make $50M to be in top selling charts. The indie game can still make 1M$, just as before. It's just that making 1M$ is considered non-mainstream today. It will amount to a game which only a small percentage of gamers have played. One might argue that quantitatively the number of players remains the same, it's just that selling 10k copies today isn't considered much.
  5. SillyCow

    Defining AAA

    I would define this as the time when small passionate teams (sometimes one man teams) accounted for gaming blockbusters. This was a time when noone thought you could ever make billions from video games, so noone thought a multimillion dev budget would be justifiable. Think about a hit like Prince of Persia. It was a game with unbelievable production value for it's time. I'm not talking about innovation, just production value. And it was largely made by one entry level programmer. I think in those "romantic" times it was expected that a small passionate indie team *could* publish a polished hit and compete with the big guys. It was probably the same earlier on (in the Atari period), but I started gaming the 80s. So I am not sure. Today I don't think any indie thinks they can compete with the production value of a AAA title today. Sure, you can strike gold with innovation ( ex: minecraft ) but there will be no indie "Call of Duty". If you compare blockbuster indie developers Crytek to ID software, you will see that Crytek needed a much bigger team to make a blockbuster then ID did. Whereas ID where just "a couple of kids", the very talented Yerli brothers needed an established team around them (and a AAA publisher) to break out.
  6. SillyCow

    Motivation

    I use the drunken self messaging method from "How I Met Your Mother". (The drunken characters would leave answering machine messages to themselves when drunk so that they would remember important stuff in the morning) I make sure to leave an intentional error where I left off in the code. A lot of times that error would be a self directed comment without the "//" prefix. That way I can immediatly find my place in the code and continue working.Something like: int a=math.pow(a,2); Note to self: squared function makes physics look bad, try something else //this will not compile :-) Then all I need to do is start up my project, and get a compilation error on a certain line. And seeing that red compiler message immediatly gets me motivated to keep working!
  7. SillyCow

    Unity dropping Monodevelop a let down for small indie?

    I also don't get all the Anti-IDE hate. I see it in "the younger generation" regardless of gamedev or regular dev job. It's become very fashionable to minimise your tool chain. I don't get it, I feel old 😞 ... I'm always confused when I see my teammates using text editors to code. But this is definitely a growing trend.
  8. SillyCow

    Defining AAA

    I would argue that "nowadays" might be wrong. In the romantic days of gaming there was no big budget involved (except for the console market). What defines our era is that most games sales revenue is AAA. (For good and for bad) I specifically remember that when COD MW II it made more money than any summer blockbuster. That was the moment that I understood that the gaming industry has changed. It had made the transition into "industry". Here you go. I swear that I googled this link only after I wrote my reply above, but look who's on top🙂 . And also look at how much more they spent on marketing! And regardless of whether you think it's a good game or not, it proves that AAA marketing pays off in the end. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_video_games_to_develop
  9. SillyCow

    Unity dropping Monodevelop a let down for small indie?

    But there us a very valid reason to bring up Unreal. If Unity 2017 was a Middleweight and Unreal is a Heavyweight engine. I think I may have misused the word heavy. Didn't mean feature wise. Just the footprint. Unreal Editor is slower than Unity (not talking about the actual resulting game performance). Takes up more space. Uses more memory. Requires a stronger machine. I am not talking about amount of features or resulting game quality. Just what kind of specs you need to gamedev with it.
  10. SillyCow

    Unity dropping Monodevelop a let down for small indie?

    Visual studio is an awesome Dev tool if you are using C#. I Always prefer visual studio over mono develop. The only time I used monodevelop was when I had to develop stuff on a mac. By the way, what's Unity's solution for Mac and Linux in that regard? "Visual Studio Code" is not Visual studio. It doesn't have half the features or customisability that "visual studio community" has. It's actually more similar to monodevelop in that respect. You should not bring Unreal into this conversation. Besides being a much "heavier" engine, Unreal is C++ based. C++ requires a much more powerful IDE than C# or Javascript to get stuff done. I haven't encountered a light-weight C++ IDE yet (just text editors). Because of the cross module dependencies created by the Pre-Processor, C++ is much more complex for an IDE to understand. So when I work with C++ in Unreal I don't dare use something other than Visual Studio. There are many valid reasons to use unreal, but none of them are "small editor footprint" or "easier coding experience".
  11. SillyCow

    Scrum metodology

    Doesn't conditional branching (conditional jump commands) kill predictive execution? Of course virtual functions have their own disadvantages. But I always assumed an abundance of conditional jumps has it's performance problems as well. Certainly when there are a 100 of them.
  12. Would it be possible to use gamedev to manage my public game project? I am looking to build an opensource game, and I really like the community here. I would much rather use a feature in these forums than opening a slack for my project (because I like the community here). Ideally it would be a place for brainstorming and getting members (gamedev.net members) to contribute to the project (if they want to). Does this functionality already exist here?
  13. After spending some time with my Oculus Rift I would like to create a combat game. I am looking for weapon designs which would translate well into VR. The current problematic weapons that I've seen are: 1. Regular Swords: You have no feedback with swords. Eventually I find in sword games that I just tend to stick them "inside" my opponent, and flail them around until I kill them. They will just go through the body of your opponents breaking immersion. 2. Guns (and ranged weapons with a trigger) : Quite disappointing to see so many "virtua cop" clones (I love virtua cop!) . This is becoming the FPS cliche` style for VR combat. And what does using your hands for pointing add over a non VR experience (point with the mouse)? So I am looking for better weapons. Ones that would feel right when you use them. For example: A flail - The swinging balls would not require you to hit your hand against something. Their bounce would also provide good feedback to how hard something was hit. I have also seen archery done well (although I have mixed feelings about it because it is really tiring to hold up both hands [ In the same way real archery is tiring!] ) So I was wondering, what kind of good VR weapons can you think of which "feel" right, and be special in VR? PS: I was impressed with how well "Super hot" manages this feeling by turning all characters into glass. That way it makes sense when you effortlessly cut through them. That's a really cool game design hack 🙂 .
  14. SillyCow

    Virtual Reality Weapons

    You are right. That started out being rhetorical. It was more of a statement on how repetitive VR shooting games are becoming, The game you are describing would actually be pretty interesting. Dead and Burried already has the sight mechanic nailed down pretty good. Also the cover mechanic. I'd be sceptical if someone could create a good reloading experience though. If you've ever fired a gun (which It seems like you have) I would think that reloading is a tactile action. You feel the cartrige, you don't really look at it. That's why all the games I've played just have you "shaking" the barrel out of the gun to reload. Which is does not feel realistic, or more complex than pressing a reload button. Putting that aside, a realistic gun game would actually be fun to play (so would be a good idea!). But I don't really see how you can make guns more "tactile" then they already are in Dead and Buried or Robo Recall. I value tactility over "realism" because I think that's what makes the weapon feel good. But really, how many shooters can a guy play? I'm really looking for something other than a gun
  15. SillyCow

    Scrum metodology

    An HOUR?? It should never be more than 15 minutes. When I've worked on bad "agile" projects this would be the case. This is the most common sign that you are doing it wrong. People come with open laptops and cellphones to the meeting and becomes a drawn out waste of time. It usually happens either because you have too many people in the meeting (ie: 9 people). Or people are turning the update into a debug/design session. If your scrumm master does not stop this abruptly (and many are too nice to do so) than this becomes a major problem. The motto of "people and interactions over processes" does not help. I have really appreciated working under strict managers who rigorously upheld the scrumm process. I find that alot of scrumm masters shy away from doing this (shutting people up and not inviting too many people into the standup) because they don't want to be the "bad guy".
  16. SillyCow

    Scrum metodology

    Actually, from the very little academic papers I was involved in it is even less planned than this. You have a hypothesis: This method will look awesome in graphics. Then you do it, and it only looks "meh" (or it renders much slower than you thought) So you improve it, modify it, or even scratch it as a bad idea and switch to a completely different research subject. When you start an academic research project there is no obligation to make any money, starting over is totally acceptable.
  17. I recently developed a hobby game with a remote team of ~10 people (with ~20 people signing up for the project, but not all of them getting around to work on it.). To do this, I recruited the people from around the net and used a free Slack server. The downside was that these people were strangers, and it took me a long time to get to know them. To understand who is serious hobbyist, who is just good at talking, and who is an actual gamedev pro which was working on the project just for laughs. I would love to have the functionality to have my team discuss/develop a project openly. Perhaps through a dedicated thread, or even a sub forum. The reason I see this as better than slack/facebook/discord is that people identities on this forum are identified. They have reputations. You can see what they've done. There are some "Advice Gurus" on this site who I would love to involve in my gamedev, even if it's just a brief comment about an art asset, or advice on a programming method. For example: I'm now starting development of a new hobby game, and I'd love to hold an open brainstorm (also as a means of recruiting people). And as I could go through the usual social route, I would much rather do it in the context of this site. The hobby classifieds are a godsend, but they are not good for public conversations. To be clear, I am not looking for instant messaging functionality. My hobby projects are much slower than that. Usually lucky if people work on them 2 days a week. I'm looking for something more like a day to day forum thread.
  18. SillyCow

    Defining AAA

    Who the studio/publisher are: Have they made successful games in the past? This is where "quality" comes into play. Your current game will be called AAA if people expect quality based on your past releases. Is it tied in to another AAA franchise ? Is this based on a blockbuster movie/tv show? How much development budget went into developing it: How much budget went into marketing it: Even a AAA studio will not market a terrible game with a multi million $$$ budget if it knows in advance the game will not sell. Thus in my opinion that game should not be considered AAA Solid and established business practices: What kind of deals can the publisher negotiate with retailers? I garantee you that and indie dev will have a hard time publishing at Gamestop from the very beginning. if they do, they will pay a much bigger commission to the store. (because they don't have a back office capable of negotiating stuff) What kind of tech support does the publisher try to give? Even if the tech support ends up being bad: Was there an appropriate budget sunk into it? Some indie games are great, revolutionary, and make alot money, but they succeed despite not having enterprise level infrastructure behind them. Terrible indie games are a travesty. I wouldn't play them for free. Some AAA games are trash, but are still considered AAA because of the AAA name/organisation behind them. A good sign of a bad AAA game is a game that lost money despite selling in millions of $$$. Usually this is attributed to: The game is bad, the marketing blitz and retailer negotiated deals still get it to sell better than any indie, but it had a AAA budget sunk into it so it is still a failure. Terrible AAA games are usually still playable. (just not worth 20$)
  19. SillyCow

    Scrum metodology

    If you have 9 people (8 devs and one manager?) I would probably split them into 2 groups (manager + 4 devs). having daily stand-ups with 9 people will wreck your work schedule. Maybe have a big company meeting at "end of iteration" or something. Agile can work if you really make sure you stick to the agile process. (contrary to the emphasis on people) It doesn't have to be any specific agile process, it just needs to be followed. Otherwise "Agile" just turns into anarchy. Some key points: Stand-ups should be short: (less than 5 minutes per developer). Do not let your stand-ups turn into architecture/debugging meetings.If a lengthy subject needs to be discussed, end the meeting and start a new one. Do not hold 2 people hostage for an hour if only 7 people needs to be in the room. If someone starts debugging/architecting in a standup tell them to stop! Have the actual stand-up standing up so that people are uncomfortable wasting other people's time. Set an alarm clock or something if you can. A daily stand-up that takes more than 15-20 minutes is a demotivational disaster. Make sure your team is committed to keeping it short. If someone is late, they should lose their "right" to talk at the stand-up. Avoid the 1 hour mandatory daily meeting at all costs. It will suck the life out of your developers. Try to minimise the amount of people in a meeting. In my opinion meetings with more than 5 people have a high chance of turning into lectures. That said, while the "standup" is a "holy time" that should be respected and revered by all participants, people should be enabled and encouraged to talk to each other. (They just don't need everyone in the room to do so [and if they do, they can invite them] ) Have a clear "definition of done": Something is not done unless it has been integrated into "master" and preferably tested by someone other than the developer that implemented it. Make sure you reduce your "truck factor" buy forcing people to work outside their comfort zone: Very important to have at least 2 people working on every code base. This will also increase teamwork and team cohesion. Have a well organised task tracking tool: Whether it's a bunch of post-its on a board, or a fully fledged task management S/W.: Tasks should not get lost (forgotten or closed before they are finished just to meet an EOI) People should be able to easily build a backlog (save for later) At any time each developer should know exactly what he is supposed to be working on There should also be a "next task" ready to go. Even if they get stuck
  20. Hello, I am a programmer. I have always toyed with the idea of paying an artist to do create some "set pieces" for one of my hobby games. I always ignore the thought because I have a feeling that it would be tremendously expensive. But I just realised I am not an artist, I don't encounter artists in my day job, and so, maybe I am completely wrong. I recently played a VR game which had a very nice set piece. So I thought to use it as a case study. To be clear, this isn't a classified ad. I am not proposing to pay anyone to build this. I just consider this to be a very nice example with moderate fidelity (not highly detailed, but still detailed enough). So I was wondering what a professional contractor would charge me for this sort of work (and how long would it take?). [no rigging/animations. Just modeling,texturing,and lighting ] No need to be precise I'm just looking for ballpark figures: (1 week/1 month/ 3 months, etc...) and: ($1000 / $10000 / $100000). I just want to gain an understanding.
  21. SillyCow

    How much does 3d art cost?

    While there is no disagreement with this, CAD software uses a lot of stick and clip workflows when making assets like that. I find this intriguing. If I needed to create something like a bookshelf cabinet filled with books and boxes, or a "home entertainment center": Are you saying that CAD would be significantly faster then using 3DS or Blender ? Can you elaborate on this? I have never used CAD software . What makes the workflow faster than "regular" artistic 3D modelling software?
  22. SillyCow

    How much does 3d art cost?

    I was unaware of this. Are there any asset stores that i should stay away from? Normally I use Unity Store and Turbosquid. Are these safe? Would you recommend better ones? Or is this just an issue with contractors?
  23. I don't think the world has good enough international regulations. The big problem that 1st and 3rd world countries have different interests. I also think it will eventually regulate itself as the problem becomes worse. The solution should not be based on self discipline but rather on economic incentives: Polluting has a price (that is not yet calculated well today) and those that pollute should pay it. As an example: I immigrated from a country that had close to zero recycling to a country that taxes non recycled trash. No one is forcing you to recycle, but you pay more (per waste bin) when you don't. And low and behold: Everyone recycles. And this tax isn't really a tax. It just acknowledges that disposing of trash costs more than the petrol for the garbage trucks and the garbagemen's wages. If you want to pollute no one is forcing you to recycle (or taking your rights away), as long as you are willing to pay the associated costs. Big international companies have no conscience. They will always pollute if it is cheaper. And that's ok! We just need to setup a system where the cost of polluting covers the actual cleanup. Then if someone still chooses to pollute because it's core to their business, They can go ahead and do it, as long as they don't leave us (the public) to pay the long term costs. That way no-one can complain that we're killing innovation.
  24. SillyCow

    The Han Solo Movie and the Star Wars Franchise's Direction

    Where did you get that idea? The original movies were riddled with giant plot holes. The first movie was just a cross genre mishmash: "Shakespeare Samurais in Space!". It's just that aside from these potholes, they also had some pretty cool added value in cool universe building and plot payoffs. And if you think about it then even "Shakespeare Samurais in Space!" is pretty revolutionary if you are the first to pull it off in a big budget movie.
  25. SillyCow

    The Han Solo Movie and the Star Wars Franchise's Direction

    Where was it ever established that someone who is awesome with the force is a bad at light sabering? Even the Emperor and Yoda who had not really used light sabers in the original movies, turned out to be light saber masters in the prequels. And the originals never claimed that they were bad at it. So we have a universe in which it is set up that every Force master is a light saber master. And Kylo Ren isn't. Ok, I'd be willing to accept that *IF* there was something alluding to this in the script ... Even in hindisght... (Luke could have made a comment about training him) But there isn't. So being able to stop a blaster while losing light saber fights to Noobs seems like a plot hole. Not like a deep message about his character. I don't accept that. Think about it: The entire concept of lightsabers is preposterous. People are using them in the age of ranged weapons and bombs. And the only reason they were invented was that you could have sword fights in a sci-fi movie. It's just silly. But that is called "suspension of disbelief". In order to get me to suspend my disbelief, the original writers show them to be: Exceptionally powerful, able to block blaster shots, and also kind of magic ( you use them with the force ). The moment you violate those well established story rules, then my disbelief is gone and it becomes silly again. Following the last 2 movies' logic some glaring questions come to mind: Why doesn't everyone just use light sabers? ( unless the big reveal is that Flinn was a force-wielder all along) Why doesn't the empire use more powerful weapons (if it's so easy to block a light saber now that any empire grunt has access to this electric anti-lightsaber device. Why didn't he just use another light saber? I would be content if the movie even provided some silly "plot device" justifications (such as the "force" in the first movie ). But the writers couldn't even be bothered to do that. They seemed more concerned with just keeping the story in motion, and bombarding you with new info so they don't have to justify the old.
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