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About sweetbread

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  1. sweetbread

    How To Make An RPG

    The best way learn how to create an RPG is to PLAY an RPG; and I don't mean a Computerized RPG (cRPG) I mean a good 'ole Pen and Paper (PnP) RPG. Long before computers, I was playing, creating, and DM'ing AD&D games (Yes, dice and all). That is what will give you the foundation for applying the concept to computers. I would highly recommend that you hit Amazon for some AD&D books; Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) and Player'Handbook (PHB) at a minimum. I am particularly fond of the 1st and 2nd editions, never really got into the 3rd Editions; they just struck me as too "watered down". As far as fun.... If it's fun to you, that's all that matters.
  2. I second (or third) the above comments on security. Firewalls are overrated and overpriced. There is a much simpler and cost effective way to secure your computers and networks...
  3. I'm going to add my two cents here just for the heck of it. Can it be done? Of course it can, however, I think really defining the end goals and what it means to be "done" is a necessity. Are you looking for a completely polished end result with foliage, atmospheric effects, day/night cycles, encounters, NPC's, etc? Or would you be happy for an open world with a more of a run-through or fly-through strategy? The main obstacle isn't going to be the shiny, the sparkly, or the otherwise refinement, moreso, the main obstacle will be deciding HOW you will store and render the world data. What types of data structures will you use? How will the current and adjacent areas of the world be loaded/unloaded? How is visibility, particularly for distant areas, going to be handled. Those are some of the main obstacles that are going to be fundamental to a project such as this. Look at Turbine; they created Asheron's Call (which is STILL my hands-down favorite game of all-flippin-time) which consists of an enormous seamless world on the scale of which I have yet to see outdone. And I mean the gameworld is expansive and seamless in every direction. You can be anywhere in that game, pick any direction, and run. You can start from the south shoreline and run in a straight path to the northern shoreline, traversing rivers, forests, deserts, and mountains in the process. You can get utterly lost in swamps. It's really impressive, unlike more modern games, like World of Warcraft which give you the illusion that their world is seemless, but in reality, is a small space that is divided by borders or mountains which herd the players in one direction. It does seem like an expansive and sprawling world, but try to explore. Try to find someplace that's never been seen before. Try to journey to that blip on the horizon. In WoW you can't, in AC you can. And that is what I love more than anything about that game; the exploration and lack of structure. Phew, excuse me for that tangent, apparently my passion is showing. Back to the topic on hand. Turbine did all that, created an online world that still trumps anything out there, with a core team of 5 people over the course of about 5 to 6 years. All college students, giving, sleeping, eating, and breathing the development of this game (which took place in the home of one of the founder of the company, causing his mother to move out, lol). However, what you need to remember is that they were 100% innovative and created something that had not been done before. From the graphics engine, to the network code, to the load-balancing mechanics; everything that was done was done so from the ground up using C++. It required nothing more than dedication, commitment, and the ability to think outside of the box. The learning process was a by-product of that. I love the story, and consider it my calling, missed. Haha! Heck, before kids, wives (yes, plural), and "real life" I totally would have a sleeping bag on Jon's floor too. At any rate, it's a story that continues to inspire me to this day. So the moral of the story is: yes it can be done, provided that you are willing to be innovative, committed, and think outside of the proverbial box! If it's your heart's desire, I say chase that dream! I have yet to do that, myself.
  4. sweetbread

    Random Number Generation

    As someone who is more philosophical in nature than not, I can certainly vouch for this statement, although, I do have to disagree with the "notp particularly interesting" portion. But that's just me; I'm weird. To elaborate further, part of the philosophical debate around this can come from the Buddhist concept of "dependent arising" meaning, that everything that IS is a direct result (and thus explicitly predictable) from what WAS. This can also be applied to the function of the human brain, thought, as well. On a molecular level, neurons function by a very specific mechanism; the differential in magnetic fields based upon the presence, and movement, or either positively or negatively charged ions - particularly sodium and calcium ions. This is what produces the electrical activity of the brain. The "differences" in thought and learning come from the sheer numbers of neuron and how they are interconnected. This can also be thusly affected by factors such as diet (which is the only way to obtain neurotransmitters and their precursors, such as choline -> acetocholine. Even that natural tendencies and urges are predictable, as was shown by experiments involving rats in which they were given access to multiple water-based solutions (which were tasteless, odorless, and colorless) containing a single type of chemical component. What researchers found was that the rats developed a pattern throughout the day in which they consumed each type of water. This was based solely upon the need for each type of chemical and had no factor of "preference" at all. Nursing rats also consumed large amounts of the solution containing calcium chloride, which one would expect. What's the point? The point is that even is basic needs, desires, and even thought can be shown to be dependent upon simple and predictable molecular reactions, then is thought even random? Are we truly individuals? And if our thoughts, needs, and desires, can be show to be completely predictable, is there even true randomness, or is it merely a baseless concept that we all predictably believe exists? ;-) Yeah that's right.... The morning mind-blowing thought for today!
  5. sweetbread

    Insane comment

    Haha! Naughty comments... You've just opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for my day job! :-) Naughty MUMPS routines? Challenge accepted!
  6. sweetbread

    Where do I begin?

    Personally, I would recommend starting with the fundamental, straight-up, C/C++. Forget all the "Visual" stuff and the bells and whistles; the focus is to develop your programming skills and hone your troubleshooting skills. I would also recommend a dedicated programming environment such as Linux (CentOS is my flavor of choice) using only the command-line GNU compiler. This will do many things to benefit you in the long run, from keeping it simple to helping you learn a non-Windows environment, if you don't already. From there, don't even THINK about game development; not even Ro Sham Bo. That's the goal, but not the focus. You'll start with your obligatory "Hello World" and progress through to implementing your own data structures; linked lists, stacks, queues, and binary trees. Then you'll have a real solid understanding for the fundamental concepts that many budding programmers miss these days. Another beneficial program in between Hello World and BSTs could be a command-line calculator. This will give you experience passing arguments as well as the order or operands. After that, the world is yours to dominate! Haha! Good luck and work hard!
  7. sweetbread

    Are most game engines built oversea's ??

    Simple answer, no! He was trying to get you to spend money to learn things that you can learn in your spare time. Most game engines are built by the folks employed at the companies that design the games. For that most part that is right here in the states. There is one caveat to that statement, however. I have noticed that some companies (EA is one) are outsourcing their programming to the Chinese. The principles behind this are the same as exporting labor; that's essentially what they're doing. Check Chinese labor = large American profits. I stumbled upon this fact last year when I was searching for a job. I was looking at a Electronic Arts job posting (which was based in California) and one of the requirements was "Must speak fluent Mandarin." I got to thinking, "why would that be a requirement for an American job?" The reason, my friend, is not to help them order at their working lunches at Kung Wao Fu's Hunan House....
  8. sweetbread

    [BloomEffect] MUOnline

    Come again?
  9. sweetbread

    Phing...stupid question

    Quote:Original post by Tom Sloper I've heard "squeal" Everybody that I work with calls it "Sequel," but not me, oh no. I'm hardcore and believe that an acronym is meant to be spelled out, not condensed into a barely recognizable word that just happens to contain the same letters. I use S-Q-L whenever talking about.... well, SQL! It's as simple a concept as acronym precedence; nobody calls ASP 'asp', or PHP 'fip', or even a DB a 'dib', so why call SQL 'sequel'? Which brings up another question altogether: what the heck is it a sequel to anyways?
  10. Well, I don't think there ever will be a "complete" game engine, just one that suits the purposes established by the developers. Some may be more flexible than others, but nothing out there is going to be the absolute end-all be-all for your needs; you'll still be spending enormous amounts of time learning the engine at an intimate level and trying to find ways to accomplish what you want through it. Let's take for instance the Quake3 engine; a great engine, great graphics considering it's age. Urban Terror, a modification based on the Quake 3 engine, has gone through many many major and minor revisions, new coding, and new models/graphics. They amount of time that the team has invested into making it what they wanted could have easily been used to create a proprietary engine, however, the main benefit that they reaped from using the Q3 engine is that it's community supportable thanks to level editing capabilities of GTKRadiant and it's predecessor, QERadiant. When they started the project, I'm sure that they held the very same sentiments that you have; finding a tried and true FPS engine that would easily accommodate what they wanted to do. In the end, it's often more work to "bend" an existing engine to fit your needs, than to create your own. It'll be a lot of ad hoc work, but it can be done. As a matter of fact, if you're interested in using an existing engine, I would recommend the Quake 3 engine. It's source code is readily available on iD's website, and there is also a community effort called IO Quake3 that you really should look into... sweetbread
  11. sweetbread

    Math for Dummies

    Well, I hate to say it, but if you're "terrible in math," then I highly doubt that any books on the subject will either suffice or be understood. Being good at mathematics is more than just knowing concepts or rote memorization. You need to work at it. Calculus, Trigonometry, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Math are probably the four most fundamental mathematical concepts for a computer programmer. If you're really serious, then start looking into those four fields which I have mentioned above; Discrete, Trig, Calc, Linear in that order. Unfortunately, there is no easy way for conquering mathematical concepts. It's not something that you can just "jump into," rather something that you must build yourself up to. When it comes to math, knowledge can never replace skill. sweetbread
  12. sweetbread

    Racing game - track help

    Oh great Steve, you just scared off another potential member! =) Ahhhh, the sweet and satisfying sound of crickets.... ;)
  13. I'm not sure how it works at your university, but where I am attending, you can do what is called Dual Enrollment. Basically, you can apply to get accepted into the Masters CPS program, and use the GRAD LEVEL classes as substitutes for the UNDERGRAD classes. For instance. I took CPS 542 at my uni a few years back. Algorithm Design and Analysis. Grad level class; there was only three of us in it. I could have used that class as credit towards my master degree, had a decided to enroll in the masters program (which I am not). Master programs do not require a BS in the same field for acceptance. You just need to be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge. Have you taken ANY CPS classes? The best shot at getting into a master's program without obtaining the BS degree would be to get to know the instructors, chairperson, etc. Get yourself an advisor from the department, he/she will be able to answer all of your questions..
  14. Get! Seriously! Get to know your professors, and make yourself known to them. Sit in at all the talks that you can, join all the groups that you can. Take all of the classes that you can. Get involved in a moddable game community. And if you're truly planning on going into CPS and excelling at it; you will need to have some pretty sophisticated mathematic skills, although, you don't need to be a PhD. I personally hate math, but I'm good at it. Mathematics and Computer Science go hand-in-hand, mainly for the logical order of thought (cognitive processes involved in both are similar), but also, as you will find in your higher level classes, it's actually used. Vector and matrix calculations are pretty common on a code level, and you will find Calc 2 to be your friend when doing algorithm analysis, not to mention statistical probability theory. Philosophy wouldn't be a bad field to take a few classes in as well. Definitely take a logic class, for sure. Aside from academics, start doing things now. Start programming with any language. Start learning how to use Photoshop. Start learning how to use 3D Max. Order a few books. I personally recommend "Beginning C++ Game Programming". I picked it up, and while it's sorely rudimentary for me, the author does a fantastic job of getting someone with no C++ experience up and on their feet. A great book which I would recommend to anyone who would like a quick course in C++. As I said before, get involved in a modifiable game community. There used to be a ton of mods for Q3, and one of the most successful is Urban Terror. Many of the original members on that team have long-since moved on to more permanent positions with some reputable companies. Neverwinter Nights is a great game that has the ability to build small little one-room quests to full worlds. I was involved in a number of projects in that game many years back. Great experience, working with live servers. Even third party software is a great way to get noticed. Turbine (Lord of the Rings Online) hired a number of people from the community to work on Asheron's Call, including Zyrca (a valuable resource to the third party plugin community), Nei (who was hired from the Beta community due to his, well, shall we say, skills), and I think there may have been one or two others from the community who eat their breakfasts with the rest of the crew every Wednesday morning..... But the point is: Get Involved! Make a name for yourself. Showcase your interests as well as your talents and you will shine! sweetbread
  15. Quote:Original post by MrCpaw So, I guess it's alright if I have 1000's of programs on my computer that are torrented as long as I don't sell it? Wrong! Well now, that's just a bad analogy all around. You're trying to compare a self-written product to an original copyrighted version? That's just apples and oranges.... Downloading hacked original versions, ROMs, and the like you KNOW is wrong. There's no question about it; no grey area there. However, things begin to get less and less cut and dry the farther you go away from that and towards the topic of the original post; especially when you begin to add the distinction about whether or not you plan on distributing it. I'm not saying that this is LAW or anything, but as a general rule of thumb: if you profit from said product or it impedes upon the original copyright holder's ability to profit from it, then you better watch out. Anything outside of that is usually safe grounds, unless you talking about Tetris, Squaresoft, or Jimmy Buffet....
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