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About zyrolasting

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  1. Fantastic work! I totally disagree that you do not have much in the way of wit. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of the clever move you just made. Will try out the demo later today.
  2. Read two books on metacognotion followed by Douglas Hofstader's Godel, Escher and Back in the span of one week. I don't feel so good.
  3. Programming while tired leads to editing a live website. Good thing a VCS almost gives me an excuse to be stupid.
  4. zyrolasting


    I went to Georgia Tech to talk to a chemist and quantum physicist today. I was thinking about changing my target career path, and admitted to both professors that I was currently unfamiliar with their work. Since our appointments seemed to be soon after they were busy with engineering projects, they used terms I was unfamiliar with. Of course, this is not a bad thing at all! You are absolutely right to mention that more experienced people should demonstrate said experience where it matters. Since I (clearly) lacked experience, I did have to ask the profs to gear down the conversation enough to learn more about flaws I need to address before I could get a chance work with them. But, even if I understood everything they said, I doubt that I would need to use a certain vocabulary all the time. Being both unambiguous and accurate is impressive, but it is also great to take complicated, relevant ideas and say them simply. I now think I was too quick to say that all messages should be understandable to a ten year old, so thanks for doubting that statement! [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif[/img]
  5. zyrolasting

    On Motivation and Judgement

    This entry for the fresh faces in the GDNet forums that have at one time or another asked what languages, libraries or applications to use to get started with game development. This is also for the ones who HAVE started developing games, without any concern over the implications of their decisions. Confidence is vital to a developer. We know that a solo operation can be left dead in the water thanks to a lack of motivation, and sometimes the brains behind the project might feel inclined to reach out and ask others how to keep thing moving. On the other hand, self-proclaimed programming gods are fully prepared to write an engine and teach the industry how to REALLY make games before discovering that hard work is involved. I won't take a Randian approach and try to objectively cram everyone into two groups, although I do think that a developer's motivation (or lack thereof) leads to recurring problems caused by two kinds of attitudes. These attitudes are addressed by GDNet on an almost daily basis, and I don't doubt that other members have tried to blog about them elsewhere. Still, as someone who has been both timid and arrogant at many times in his life (and likely still will be), I want to try and help reduce the influence that the motivational extremes of humility and arrogance has on our future developers. Hopefully I can finish this post before my new kitten paws my fingers off as I type! [size="5"]"I don't know what to do, so think for me!" One of the more intimidating parts of a project is determining what you need to do it. This is especially true for unmotivated beginners; Deciding to make a game for the first time without knowing about programming languages, compilers and engines is like deciding to make a house without knowing about hammers, nails and lumber. Novices need to learn the tools of the trade, but the abstract nature of programming makes it difficult for a game development veteran to decide the best route for an aspiring developer to take. I wanted to stress to our to-be programmers and designers that if you are starting alone, all of the burden for making decisions falls on you. It sucks to be asked to make a choice when you don't even know how to make it, but even more experienced developers are sometimes put on the spot to decide what they need to do about a new problem they have not seen before. Not too long ago, I was asked to choose a new eCommerce platform to support a retailer's family of websites. I was still a freshman and had no experience with enterprise-level eCommerce at all at that point, so the only thing to do outside of getting fired was to do my homework. The big snag that is almost universally felt, yet often not addressed, is a lack of motivation. If it helps, know that if you have decided you honestly, truly (pinky-swear) want to make a game, you have already started. And, like in all software projects, knowing what not to do about something is a natural (and hopefully temporary!) way to react to a problem waiting to be solved. Keep going! As implied earlier, a great deal of people (including myself) have at some time asked the hivemind about what they should use to make a game, and concrete suggestions have been offered. I could link to one of these threads, but I won't for one reason: YOU need to look for this information. Being ignorant is ok, as is making a bad judgement when you get around to making one. That's part of learning, and everyone has to endure "being human". Motivation is understanding that you know nothing, but moving toward your goals in spite of that. You will learn as you go, and problems like the one's you eventually overcome become easier with experience. So, before you ask GDNet or another community how to approach X, how to design Y or if Z is something you want to use, understand that someone else making a decision for you does nothing to help you become a good judge of what is relevant to your needs. On the other hand, asking if you MADE a good decision shows that you have discovered what your options are and evaluated them to the best of your ability. Ask others to help you learn as opposed to asking them to decide things for you. If someone gives you good advice, make a habit of asking them why they came to the conclusion they did. Determining relevance and knowing how to make good judgments are powerful skills, and you can only hone them by doing. Start with what you know by opening Google and searching for something relevant to your current knowledge. No matter how in-the-dark you may feel, there is always a little thread of experience that will help lead you to new information that matters. It's up to you. [size="5"]"I'm writing an app that perfectly models atoms!" [size="2"]Sometimes people don't know what they are talking about, and we appreciate it if they recognize that. However, not everyone sees their own limitations. I was really bad about wanting to complete projects that were out of my league, and had wanted so badly to make a game engine before I made a game, when all I really wanted to do was make a game. Sometimes people are so sure they have the ability to handle projects bigger than themselves, they completely forget that they have to do any work at all. A common problem that many GDNet veterans recognize is a sudden desire to make an MMO game, and one of our moderators wrote an excellent post about this newfound enthusiasm in aspiring game developers. The problem is not wanting to do big projects as much as it is allowing the ego to run amok. This often leads to a harsh realization that one is in over his head. Sometimes the only cure for narcissism is an event that demonstrates the consequences of presuming on one's experience, and these consequences can be brutal. Chronic information overloads and often inevitable failures can convince someone to have a nervous breakdown and quit game development altogether! This can be embarrassing, especially after boasting to friends about your awesome new project. [size="5"]Conclusion [size="2"]Being too humble can lead to fearing your own experience and depending on others, while being arrogant leads to fearing the experience of others while depending on your own experience. Both paths can lead to disastrous results if you look at yourself in only a positive or negative light. Growing to be both a good developer and a good person is a complex journey that cannot be defined objectively, but it does[size="2"] involve recognizing your strengths and limitations. Context is central to the decisions you need to make, and although you might have experience to be proud of, your decisions should be based on what you know, not who you are.
  6. zyrolasting

    It's about frustration...

    [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Please, tone down. If you don't want to see my point I won't force you to do so, and you have the right to express yourself in other places. You are obviously overreacting to my prose. Are you a Red Projeckt designer? If yes, then you shall explain me why those design choices were made. If not, why so serious?[/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I'm not sure what you mean. I'm fine, and am not affiliated with Red Projeckt. [/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I do see your points, but as[/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"] kseh pointed out, conversation is a feedback system where you can expect to get responses similar to your message in some way, whether they agree with your statements or not. For example, w[/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]hen it comes to being "serious", I tend to actually become [i]less[/i][/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"] serious and tactful when addressing clearly opinionated conclusions that seem more like insults than criticisms.[/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Believe me, I'm a nice guy if you get to know me, and am almost always willing to have open discussion. I'll try to watch my tact in the future if you really thought it was that bad, but I never intend to attack anyone... Just arguments![/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"][quote][/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Well, you are also representative of another kind of casual gamer. And I do love challenge too. What I don't like is biased difficulty that comes from design errors or usability bugs - the kind of difficulty The Witcher 2 exhibits. [/quote][/size][/color] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"]Again, the tone of your entry drew more focus on your subjective interpretation of an ideal gaming experience instead of actual design flaws. If there were actual mistakes a game exhibits, I won't deny they are there.[/color][/size]
  7. zyrolasting

    Parkour Ninja Alpha 1

    Well done! I also died a good bit on the swinging bar. Your idea to materialize platforms/swinging bars will one day help make a seriously badass level should the ninja be demanded to run without stopping!
  8. zyrolasting

    As promised: Component Binding "BEHIND THE SCENES"

    Brilliant. We are proud of you! Code that views game worlds as a series of interconnections would make things so much cleaner. But if I could ask: how would you handle component bindings in a feedback system without suffering an infinite loop? I was starting to think it was impossible given the ultimately deterministic nature of threads.
  9. zyrolasting

    Responses to the MMO Post

    [quote name='RedPin' timestamp='1307693471']I simply said you shamed your company for being in a bubble box. You seem to generalize everyone into the same category, and you know little to none about what you were babbling on about. If you think I attacked you I'll restate what I said. "You insult ArenaNet for being so narrow minded." And yes, truth be told you You seem to think all indies simply suck and are " half brained", but if you can READ my comment you erased, you'll understand my point of view and where I came from. If I'm any example, its simply that I'm a business investor and not simply a indie game designer. I know how to make capital aka money and where to hit up advertisements to generate unique visitors and players. In simple terms, I know how to get people, where to get em, and how to make money when I get the people. If you still are confused or find it insulting, then reread a bit, and then read some more. I stand by my comments.[/quote] Your confidence in your own abilities does not change the reality of how difficult a certain job is. I remember when I was more stupid (Which was not long ago!) and I would become about this defensive against Apoch's points, but he knows a great deal about his discipline and approaches topics like these carefully. The sheer length of his posts should be an indicator of his concern over a subject. Anyway, what experienced programmers will tell you is that there are so many things involved with the development of an MMO, you are not going to be able to look at independent factors like money or graphics. A more holistic view of the entire system is needed, and each independent actor needs enough experience to serve their role well and be able to collaborate effectively with others. Remove effective communication, and you get [i]Dilbert.[/i] Knowing how to be a good salesman is great, but if you ignore the demands that come with maintaining a massive server farm and the continued entertainment of every last person logged on to the thing, you will quickly realize how much effort is really needed to continue operations. It has been mentioned so many times before, but we get a lot of inspired novice game developers who want to make it big, and we appreciate their enthusiasm. However, we also know when we see someone about to make a decision that takes them too far out of their league. I worked on an MMORTS produced by two people, I worked with them pro bono, and I was [i]miserable[/i]. The game was slow, poorly designed and boring. I respect the people who worked on it, but without going into too much detail, I did not benefit much from the experience. I just learned that what I did was not smart, and I had no obligation to work on things that likely will not go anywhere. This post and the one before it tried to keep people from making mistakes like the one I made. EDIT: Looks like the game is [url="http://www.crellan.com/"]down[/url], even. If that link takes you to a test page for another 72 hours, I'd say it may be down for good.
  10. zyrolasting


    That's 295 characters. Good job!
  11. zyrolasting

    Want code? You got it!

    I remember you telling me about this once upon a time. Thanks for the generous contribution!
  12. zyrolasting

    It's about frustration...

    [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Given my age and my background, I believe I'm kind of representative of an important part of the gamer's demographics.[/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"][/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1c2837"][size="2"]When did we appoint you to represent us? [/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I'm a casual gamer too, and I like a challenge.[/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]From an economic perspective: If you like a game enough to beat it in spite of six man-hours on one battle, you got your money's worth. Asking designers to change their product at this point is like asking to change your order at a restaurant after you already ate your meal. Well, I guess they will hear you out if you said the chef "got stupid" in the end.[/size][/color] Some of the things you may not like are in a game because other people demanded it. It is possible enough people had said "Games are too easy. I want them to challenge me more", and people like those in Bethesda obliged with Oblivion's monster leveling system. [color="#1c2837"][size="2"][size="2"]I cannot see why your argument is not along the lines of: "I didn't like the product, but I consumed it, and designers need to change it to suit my lifestyle".[/size][/size][/color] [size="2"][size="2"][color="#1c2837"]What about the people who happen to like what you didn't?[/color][/size][/size] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"][quote][/color][/size][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]People with disabilities are forbidden to play any AAA game - and that's a shame for the industry.[/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I'd love to see a [/size][/color][size="2"][color="#1C2837"]blind man with Parkinson's play Waka-Laka on DDR, but I'd love to see the look on shareholders' faces even more.[/color][/size] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"]But seriously, how do you think things would play out if the disabled were allowed to interact with systems that can hurt them? [/color][/size] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"][quote][/color][/size][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]If he is able to support his claim with valid arguments, then I might listen to him. Maybe I did wrong. Just because nearly nobody saw an obvious usability big doesn't mean that the bug does not exist.[/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1c2837"][size="2"]You were talking about not liking games being hard, not bugs.[/size][/color]
  13. zyrolasting

    On Consciousness and Time

    [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]The only thing that produces an effect on our minds is forward progress[/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I would say "[comparable?] change".[/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]We are tempted to use words like "forward" because phenomenon like assimilation, learning or physical laws makes reversed causality doubtful. I think you realized that around your mention of instant insanity.[/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]If time was reversed in a physical sense, deterministic perception (if it was still around) would still have us belief that future phenomenon (which is now the "past") could be classified as "resulting". But if time having "direction" isn't even an accurate association, why consider the implications of it being reversed at all? [/size][/color]As information, time can be perceived through the facilities of the perceiver and the physical arrangement of all involved systems. Since we can identify change, we would find it necessary to compare states regardless of the subject. (Which you referred to as "snapshots") [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]In other words, if a conscious being were to have its "mind" rewound, [/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"][i]it would not be able to tell[/i][/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"].[/quote][/size][/color] I would agree with this statement from the perspective of the brain-in-a-jar, but even though you admit that "direction" is an unknown, I can't shake the feeling you are wrestling with the idea that time is an absolute "driving" coordinate. If simultaneous action can occur on a "master timeline", and feedback loops (of any sort) can manipulate said timeline, couldn't there be an infinite number of interactions for some moments? If so, the complexity of the system would only be approachable if we "frame" it. But if time is relative, and reality only exists through apathetic interactions we can not objectively perceive, I agree with your suggestion that[b] [/b]time does not cause any event, we just made time up so we would be able to identify an event at all. But if we made time up, why would we feel threatened about being "rewound" unless we first perceived (correctly?) that something influencing our minds might rewind us later? [size="2"][color="#1c2837"][size="2"][quote][/size][/color][/size][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]1994 could just as easily have occurred before the formation of the Earth as vice versa. [/quote][/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I can see how you came to this conclusion, but just because some event could have occurred before another on a hypothetical master timeline does not mean reality did not exist in some perceivable state that we know "happened" and can further always correctly assume that it did, even if time "turned around". After all, Earth's here![/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Of course, I am kind of implying that humans do not distort their own memories, but we know that's stupid.[/size][/color] [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Don't drag me into debates about how "today felt really long" here; that's a fundamentally emotional epiphenomenon which is interesting in its own right, but not worth examining here.[/quote][/size][/color] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"]Sorry, but are you sure? I think its relevant.I agree we need to save it for another time though.[/color][/size] [size="2"][color="#1c2837"]Overall, your article was really well thought out. It is sometimes incredible to remember just how chaotic reality is. I'm thankful we can make just enough sense of it to be happy with our lives, if you'll pardon the rhetoric.[/color][/size]
  14. zyrolasting


    [color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"]I remember being so excited about learning new things that I would often share my growing vocabulary with others. Of course, rattling off GPU model numbers and introducing my peers to my work with terms I made up made me feel smart, but it did limit my audience. I'm not just talking about an audience of middle-aged parents or users who ride the short bus, I'm including other geeks who actually knew what I was talking about.[/font][/color][/font][/color][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color][/font][/color] [font="Georgia,"][color="#111111"][size="2"]Human language is great for not just sharing ideas, but also putting them in perspective. Even some of the most brutal mindf&#*s like quantum phenomenon can be clearly explained in accessible ways by people like Dr. Michio Kaku or Dr. Richard Feynman. The interesting thing about these men is that they do not really describe systems and relationships separately based on their knowledge alone, they mix together their knowledge AND the knowledge of their audience to create a mutually beneficial message: The audience gets it, while the speaker enjoys a boost to their reputation (assuming they were accurate!).[/color][/font] [font="Georgia,"] [/font] [font="Georgia,"][color="#111111"][size="2"]I know that the point of speaking simply has been discussed since Einstein weighed in on it, but I really want to express my appreciation to people who don't use jargon, even when I understand it anyway.[/color][/font][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color] [color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"]I tried this "walking encyclopedia" shtick: A few years ago when I tried too hard to "sound smart" to a fellow developer I met in Starbucks. I remember referring to acronyms and taking care to spell each one out. I may as well have stood up, puffed out my chest and screamed "BOW TO MY SUPERIOR, HYPER-COMPRESSED VOCABULARY!" I later realized just how inhuman I sounded.[/font][/color] [color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"]Since then, I get a little impatient when someone uses jargon because I genuinely want to hear what they have to say! Why am I being led down some linguistic detour that takes more work to listen to?[/font][/color] [color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"]To illustrate how far this could go, I recently stumbled upon an interesting library, and the page describing it included this text (translated from French).[/font][/color][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color][font="Georgia,"] [/font] [font="Georgia,"][size="2"][color="#111111"][quote]A pipeline [/color][/font]P[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] is a chain of functions [/font][/color]F1[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] , ..., [/font][/color]Fn[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] such that P (x) = (Fn ? ... . F1) (x). Therefore, if the function F [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] defined by F [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] : E [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] ? S [/font][/color]i [sup][ 1 ][/sup][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] , then E [/font][/color]i +1[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] = S [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] and S [/font][/color]i-1[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] = E [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] . In other words, the output of F [/font][/color]i[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] is the entry of F [/font][/color]i +1[color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/quote][/font][/color] [font="Georgia,"] [/font] [font="Georgia,"][size="2"][color="#111111"]This gets the point across, but it just does not seem necessary. Why assume that the audience is familiar with composite functions and basic set theory? If you are not in a formal setting that expects you to get technical, why is the below so dirty?[/color][/font] [font="Georgia,"] [/font] [font="Georgia,"][size="2"][color="#111111"][quote]A pipeline is a series of functions that are processed in a fixed order, where the output of each function is passed on to the next one down the line. The output of the entire pipeline is the output of the last function.[/quote][/color][/font][color="#111111"][font="Georgia,"] [/font][/color] [font="Georgia,"][size="2"][color="#111111"]When you write documentation, or are just plain trying to explain things to someone, how do you frame what you say or write? Is it better to communicate with people on your own level, or to make everything you say understandable to a ten year old?[/color][/font]
  15. zyrolasting

    It's about frustration...

    I can relate to calling a game unfair if gameplay is nearly impossible and offering criticism where it is due, but why is it the developer's problem that you aren't good at gaming and have a tight schedule? [quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Then comes [b]DA:O[/b]. If you play the whole game in "Easy" difficulty (or whatever it's named), then the whole game will be quite kind with you (you will die a few time - the challenge does not disapear) - that is, until you get to the final part of the game. Then you'll have to start and start again (and again, and again, and again) the same stupid fights because suddenly the game difficulty changed drastically. After 6 hours full of restarting again and again the same fight, I uninstalled the game with the following verdict: "that was a good game, too bad the game designers went kind of stupid at the end".[/quote][/size][/color] If you spent 6 hours on the same fight, then apparently you can "afford to lose 30 minutes here and there" pretty often! Anyway, I think I went through that fight three times before winning, and I agree that it was difficult. However, given the length of the game and the variety of situations you worked through before, I think it is safe for the developers to assume you got better at the game over time. There is nothing stupid about assuming that people become gain experience through repetition. Here is something to consider: When you play a game on Easy difficulty, your character quickly gets better at surviving in the game world, but you, as a human being, don't continue gaining experience with the same activities forever. You don't get buff from lifting only ten pound weights. I get the feeling that if you played DA:O on Hard and died several times, the final boss on Easy difficulty would have been a snap for you. Any Unreal Tournament buff who can take on a Goliath Tank with an Assault Rifle (and win) will back me on this: When the difficulty of a game increases and you don't expect it to, your character will die because you don't have as much experience as your character does. I know you said you lacked experience, and I'm not shaming you for that, but being inexperienced at a game is hardly an excuse to dismiss the game or the people who slaved over it as "silly". This is especially true when you might be getting better with practice! However, if you are NOT getting better with practice, then you have started to expect games to remain easy. You have no one to blame for that but yourself, sorry to say. One last thought: Imagine you designed a game, and you put genuine effort into making it fun and challenging, yet "beatable". Suddenly some guy starts saying you "got stupid" because he had trouble at one part of your game while others did O.K. Why would you think this complaint was important enough to change the way you design games?
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