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About Schwartz86

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  1. Advantages of MBA?

    [quote] It's a bit like teaching an american Rugby. You can go over all the rules for quite some time, if you throw them in a game after explaiing all the rules, they will forget everything you told them. You get more by letting them play a little bit, screwing up, and then explaining the details after they have some initial exposure. [/quote] That is an awesome analogy. As an American who has played rugby I can 100% relate to what you are trying to say!
  2. Advantages of MBA?

    Thanks for all the responses guys. I feel like I did a horrible job stating my question. I suppose more than anything what I am trying to figure out is if it is worth the time invest to pursue a business related degree. I understand in the long run that all I will be getting is piece of paper and I realize that piece of paper doesn't entitle me to anything. The main reason I would be pursuing the degree is to get exposure to how the business side of things work not just to get a pieces of paper. I realize that this can be done on my own. The only reason I am even considering it is because my employer has offered to flip a large portion of the bill and the largest part of my commitment is time. Thanks again for all the input. Please keep the responses coming.
  3. Advantages of MBA?

    Hi GameDev.Net Community, I am employed full time as a software engineer and I am currently less than a year away from completing a Master's degree in computer science. My employer has paid for all of my schooling and will continue to pay for a large portion of my schooling should I continue to pursue an MBA (after completing my MS in CS). Someday, I would like to start/run my own small business and this would be my main reason for even considering pursuing an MBA. However, after looking through the courses offered in most MBA programs, they didn't seem to interest me near as much as those in my CS studies. I am on the fence on trying to determine whether an MBA is worth the time/effort My main questions are: Is an MBA actually as helpful as everyone seems to make it out to be? Or is most learning done from experience? With other employers, does having an MBA help open opportunities for management positions/promotions? Does it make sense to pursue an MBA on top of a M. in CS? Will I make myself "overqualified" in the future? If I decide I want to "stay technical" will my MBA degree be wasted? Thanks for any input. Its always interesting hearing different views!
  4. OpenGL Shifting pixels in a drawn display

    [quote name='TheCrow33' timestamp='1307641052' post='4821400'] Not real sure this is what you're looking for but try translating by -x/2, -y/2 right before drawing anything from the proprietary library. So something like: [code]glLoadIdentity(); glTranslatef(-x/2, -y/2, 0); //Now draw stuff from proprietary library[/code] This essentially makes the upper left hand corner (0,0) for the drawing that is to come [/quote] Awesome thanks. That worked almost perfectly, just had to leave off the negative signs. At the time I wrote it I realized that it was an embarrassingly simple problem that could be fixed with one line of code. However, never touching OpenGL before today, I wasn't sure what that line was! Thanks again! +1 rep
  5. Hello, I am relatively new to using OpenGL and am needing a bit of guidance. I am working on a project that draws a 'display' using opengl. However, the coordinate system all the drawing routines use is setup such that instead of going from (0,0) to (x,y) it goes from (-x/2, -y/2) to (x/2, y/2). Another (proprietary) library I am using allows be to use openGL to draw "overlays", however, its coordinate system uses 0,0 to x,y. So essentially, I am wanting to draw everything to the screen and then "shift" it to the coordinate system that other library expects. I hope this makes sense... All I really need is a routine that would allow me to shift all the pixels that have just been drawn by an x and y offset. Otherwise, I will have to change all the old drawing routines which will be messy and daunting. Thanks
  6. Machine Learning with Multiplayer games

    [quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1299819759' post='4784250'] Strategic-level AI in a game like Halo is trivial: get the biggest gun, sit in the hottest kill spots, troll the spawn points. [/quote] Yea, although I used that example in my original post, I was thinking more of strategy games where AI becomes more difficult and harder to create 'unique' player experiences. In most strategy games, after I figure out how to beat the automated opponent once, I can do it every time and the game quickly gets less exciting. It seems a lot of games, rather than create 'smarter' opponents as the difficulty is increased, simply allow the automated opponent to cheat or give them higher statistical advantages. For me, this is irritating and once I realize that the game is just 'cheating' to make it more challenging, I quickly lose interest. I realize there are a lot of problems with machine learning and that in most cases, especially in games-- where the state of the world is entirely known in advance-- its easier/better to just program the agent. I was just interested in seeing if there had been any successful attempts in using this technique.
  7. Hello GDNet Community, I am software engineer and I have become quite interested in learning more about artificial intelligence and machine learning. My interest was initially in the domain of robotics, however, I am currently interested in how machine learning might be applied to multiplayer/online games. Is anyone aware of any research that uses machine learning techniques to create 'smarter' enemies. For example, take 3D FPS like Halo. It seems that games could benefit by 'watching' players when they compete online. If it is possible to identify patterns over several iterations that lead to a winning strategy (i.e. 60% of the time the winner of the match is invisible and has a rocket launcher for 70% of the match duration) perhaps the 'game' could take note of this and attempt to derive new strategies when a player competes against the computer rather than a human. This could offer several advantages: - Gameplay could change overtime. The more you play, the smarter the opponent gets - Computer AI could possibly begin to mimic that of human players and thus even when you aren't playing 'real' opponents, the gameplay will feel the same. - If this strategy could be successfully implemented, it could allow for a completely new gaming scenario. I am imagining players conducting 'bot' wars where each player would pit there 'trained' bot against another's. Theoretically, the player with the most experience would have the 'better trained' bot. There would clearly be some disadvantages as well... - Takes control away from game designers. Who knows what the AI would do! - Player could get frustrated by 'dumb' opponent while the game attempts to learn and possibly deploy ridiculous strategies based incorrectly using recognized patterns through previous game play I realize this may only be a pipe dream and I know there are a large number of issues with what I proposed above (also with machine learning in general). However, I am only looking for more information about what machine learning techniques have been used in games (if any) and trying to figure out to what depth this topic has been explored. Thanks! Chris
  8. Some mostly obvious beginner questions...

    [quote name='return0' timestamp='1299284707' post='4781940'] C++ and Java both suck. Use C# or python. Especially on a small two man project. [/quote] While I disagree with C++/Java "sucking", these aren't the fastest languages to get results in. I would recommend using Panda3D with Python. This will get you some experience with programming and even an introduction to object oriented design. Python is quite forgiving and Panda3D has a good deal of features so you can see quick results. There is not a whole lot of written text regarding Panda3D, however, the community is quite active and there are a number of tutorials that can be found on the website. Panda3D is open source and coded in C++, it just supports Python as a scripting language. I would recommend tinkering with the python samples, maybe creating a few small demo games once you get comfortable. Then, after you have established familiarity with interfacing with the engine, you can start digging into the C++ code and tweaking it to do what you need it too or just gain exposure to how it works. I wouldn't focus so much on learning a language. Once you are comfortable with one language, it becomes quite easy to pick up others (though I would start with an object oriented one). If you have a degree in computer science, you should have at least a vague understanding about how compilers/translators work and be able to pick up most programming languages relatively easily ( occasionally having to double check some syntax). I would spend more time looking at well written code and studying how it works and why it was designed the way it is, especially if you already have the basics of C++ down. Tinker with it, add to it, break it, fix it, until you get to the point where you can start coding it from scratch. (hence, my suggestion to start looking at Panda3D's source code after some time) Even with using a feature rich game engine with a scripting language, you will discover how crucial it is to use good design patterns and create reusable code. This is something I have been unable to learn from a book and had to gain from experience. I have learned much more using this approach than simply getting a step-by-step book that walks you through creating a cookie-cutter game. Finally, one step I believe you are overlooking is the graphics/models that are required for any non-text based game. This is something I always tended to overlook, thinking that most of the work is in the code. That is a huge mistake. Even simple games require a lot of effort just to make crappy graphics or placeholder art. I am not sure if your goal is just to learn programming or to eventually produce games, but if you two are planning on creating games, you guys should probably start looking into some tools for artwork as well. I am no artist by any means, but for the simple placeholder stuff I do make, I use Blender for modeling and GIMP for standard 2d stuff. Both of these programs are free and would be worth checking out.
  9. Forgetting How to Play

    [quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1298607106' post='4778786'] I think reading fiction is a really good idea. Don't "make an attempt to make some time." Read! I've got some fiction books listed in my recommended game design books at [url="http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson8.htm"]http://www.sloperama...ice/lesson8.htm[/url] [/quote] Your site is a great resource. Thanks for taking the time to create valuable content for aspiring game developers. Also, I didn't realize chicks digged game designers (referencing lesson 26)
  10. Forgetting How to Play

    [quote name='Acharis' timestamp='1298633415' post='4778866'] The key question is, why do you still care? If you think you have more important things to do in your life, they why don't you pursue these other things instead? Why does it bother you? Why do you hesitate to say "I quit making games forever"? I think the answer to this question will tell you where your lost creativity is right now. I would stop making anything related to gaming temporarily. And after a while examine how I feel. Do I find something missing or not? It's not like all people are born to make games, actually, we here are just a tiny percentage of abnominions that love making games more than playing them. If you are not one of such people it is completely natural, you are the healthy and normal one You don't have to make games, you really don't have to. If you can quit making games and have no regrets I definitely recommend it. It is not the best career ever. Do not pursue your creativity, it is your creativity that is supposed to hount you [/quote] Hmm, interesting point. I suppose my problem or motivation (depending on how you look at it) is that every time I play a great game I am trying to figure out how it works. Upon further reflection, I think what originally drew me into game development was the idea that I could create and design my own little world and then share it with everyone else. This is still a desire of mine, the problem has now become "what world can I dream up that is worth sharing?" In response to "Why do you hesitate to say "I quit making games forever"?", I believe/hope what I am going through is just the equivalent of a writer's block. I think if every writer would quit writing forever whenever they experienced writer's block, the fiction section of books stores would be rather sparse in comparison. [quote] "If you can quit making games and have no regrets I definitely recommend it. It is not the best career ever." [/quote] I have no true intentions of pursuing game development as a career at this point. Just a hobby/moonlighting adventure...
  11. Forgetting How to Play

    [quote name='Edtharan' timestamp='1298646220' post='4778927'] Biologically, this has an explanation. During childhood, you brain is growing neurons quite rapidly and the neurons that you have are making as many connections as they can. This increases the potential processing that your brain can do, however, it is not very efficient in terns of speed or energy usage. Around the time puberty starts and until around the age of 25, you brain starts to streamline its operation and begins a pruning process of removing unused (or little used) connections and neurons. This has the side effect of reducing the scope of thinking that you can do (along with a whole host of other things that explain a lot of the problems with adolescents. The good news is even after this (and though it as well) your brain still has the capacity for making new neurons and making new connections. You can do this by experiencing something new or learning something new (the new bit is the important bit). The chemicals released during learning or experiencing something new trigger an increase in neural growth and connections. This is why playing new games often is accompanied by a burst in creativity as you are building new connections and neurons and you can co-opt this for making new connections and neurons that will increase your creativity. The problem is that your brain operates on a "use it or loose it" principal. So it is important for you to keep using the creativity inspired by this neural growth spurt and to keep trying new things. It is easy for use to fall into habits and ways of thinking. The secret of lasting creativity is to know how the brain works and to use that knowledge to take control over it. [/quote] This seems to make sense. I don't believe my problem is with learning "new" things. I am learning "new" things everyday, they just tend to be more of a technical nature. I am wondering/thinking that perhaps I should expose myself to new experiences outside of the technical realm...
  12. Forgetting How to Play

    Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to make video games. Video games were my life for a good portion of my childhood. At the time, I had 1000's of ideas for what I thought would be the most amazing games the world would ever see. I would often create my own games (the kind that weren't digital), change the rules of existing games, re-enact stories/TV shows/games leading to my own unique adventures. I also developed a passion for books at a very young age. I even started writing my own stories and adventures. My teachers and parents all seemed to think that I would be a writer. Looking back on it now, it seems it was during this time that my imagination was at an all time high (peaking around Jr high). I would assume this is rather true for most people. It was around this time I received a PC for Christmas. Most of my day outside of school was spent playing computer games or play with HTML to make fun little websites. I eventually started teaching myself to program, in order to help achieve my long term goal of creating games for a living. I decided to go to college and study computer science. It was around this time I believe my imagination and creativity started to fade. My leisure activities went from video games and books to girls and booze. I too imagine this is somewhat typical. I soon lost all interest in gaming and my dream of developing computer games died. I remember distinctly talking to a recruiter from a game production studio at a career fair. He asked me what my favorite video games were and if I would be interested in developing games for a living. I more or less blew him off, thinking to myself "I have more important things to do with my life than make games". I am not sure what had changed, perhaps my creative side had been drowned by all the science/math/logic I was studying? Whatever it was, the change definitely took place in college. After graduating with a respectable GPA, I took a job as a software engineer working on flight simulators. In an attempt to build upon my technical abilities I decided to pursue a master's degree (on top of a full time job). This semester I enrolled in a video game programming class, thinking it would be a fun/easy course. Since then, my interest in creating games has been revived. I started some small projects but they all tended to flop. It wasn't until tonight, after driving home from a seminar by Ernest Adams (founder of IGDA) that I realized why my projects had been failing. It wasn't because I was technically incompetent, which had held me back as a child. After some serious thought I have come to the conclusion that the problem is a lack of inspiration and creativity. I find this ironic, since I was FULL of imagination/passion/creativity as a young adult. Upon gaining my technical ability it seems my creative side has diminished. Has anyone else experienced this? What is the solution? I have decided to make an attempt to make some time to start reading fiction again (last book fictional book I read was probably in high school). I also have picked up some video game and plan on trying to make time for some long needed play. Does anyone else have any suggestions for sources of inspiration or ideas for game design?
  13. In a book on game design that I am currently reading, the author makes a very good point regarding voice acting. That is that sometimes it distracts from the experience. He advocates allowing the player to use their imagination wherever possible. The player will imagine what each character sounds like. If a crappy implementation voice acting is the only alternative, it is probably better to just let the user fill in the blanks themselves. Just think about the success of the older Final Fantasy games. They were still able to draw the player into a fantasy world without using voice acting and I doubt the player even noticed that the lack of voice acting.
  14. I see this as a great opportunity to include a lot of puzzles into your gameplay. Imagine some of the challenges a player can face if they have to outwit enemies that want to tear them apart without confronting them. Puzzles could involve manipulating the environment to trap or avoid enemies or perhaps use a social aspect to soothe angry opponents or even talk them into turning on each other? I suppose there also would be an opportunity to implement some sort of stealth/sneak aspect into the game as well (not sure if I have seen an RPG that relies heavily on this). What is your target audience? RPG fans? Puzzler fans? Children or adults? If violence/confrontation were avoided altogether, I can see the game feeling more like a puzzler or stealth game as opposed to a traditional RPG but this might be what you want? This sounds like an interesting idea. If you need some help flushing it out farther, I would be more than happy to assist (not sure how much help I would be, but I can try!)
  15. Board Game Prototyping / Initial Playtesting

    Thanks for the reply. The interesting thing is that I didn't realize there COULD be a strategy element to incorporate. Originally, I had planned on just have a "button masher" where the skill would be strictly determined by how the player manipulates the controls (like most FPS). However, after play testing, it allowed us to realize that we could incorporate a strategy element. So, this may be something worth trying even if you don't think it applies to your genre (it only took us about an hour to make the "non-digital" prototype)
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