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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. http://www.mit.edu/~jonmon/Business/Turbine/ 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!
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