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Gavin Williams

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  1. Gavin Williams

    Time for a new way of developing games?

    It's an interesting idea, and I think I have a couple of thoughts both for and against. For) * There is always a lot of boilerplate code, and engines or templates only ever get you to the very beginning. It makes sense that there should be code to get you even closer to the 'creative starting line'. A friend of mine certainly talked about templates for different types of games. So this could save some time. Against) * You make the assumption that the world needs more game developers or a lower bar of entry. I'm not convinced at all that this is the case. There seem to be plenty of developers. It's a highly competitive market place, and I don't see why allowing more lower skilled developers to get to market is going to help anybody. There was a study that showed the overall perceived quality of games is decreasing (review scores are decreasing) - and yet there are more games being developed than ever. So is adding more beginners going to help? Seems like it's already straight forward to get into game development, you've just gotta do the hard work to make an actual game that's good. * You are right that the more complete templates you provide, the more 'noobs' you will attract and these games will be more similar. We've seen this with things like GameMaker (edit: and Unity). The more work that's done for the game developer the less original the game they produce - this is almost by definition. I remember all the StarCraft 2 mod games - they were novel, but they were all obviously SC2 minigames or mods. I wouldn't pay for a single one of them. And 99 out of 100 of them can be easily forgotten. Yes we've seen some mods spawn new titles. But then, that's already a thing isn't it? You may be talking about something that already exists.
  2. Gavin Williams

    Mobile Games Development

    "You can't call yourself a professional if you only know one language" ~ Bjarne Stroustrup (Founder of C++) - Absolute BS. There are plenty of professionals that have carved out careers using only one language.
  3. Gavin Williams

    Alternative to DirectX and XNA?

    You could consider using Xaml - maybe with a writeable bitmap - for a text based game or 'low graphics' rpg. Then you have a UI system (Xaml) already written for you which has a lot of features. You could also use SharpDX which is a DirectX wrapper for C#. And a natural progression from XNA style programming. Also look at Win2d. I also second the recommendation for Monogame which is pretty easy to get into. Personally I prefer SharpDX / Xaml compositions but you might not need that kind of power. Edit : Also ... "crappy windows forms or GDI" - you must have been out of the loop for a while because they are -- old -- and you didn't mention WPF or Xaml and Windows runs through DirectX pipeline now. It performs and behaves differently. And it's API surface is very different. And Windows UI (the Xaml part) is declarative.
  4. Don't be embarrassed! Why would you be embarrassed for not using JavaFX, that's completely unnecessary emoting. Use the best UI layer you have available on each platform. For Windows phone you should look at either Xaml or DirectX or one of the engines that support that platform.
  5. Gavin Williams

    Your Preferred Os And Why

    Windows. I've used Macs and they are fine but it's really laughable when i visit people with Macs and they show me games. I think of how those same games perform on my PC at home. Well. Ok, that's a cultural thing, and probably an expense thing but it's a reality. As for Linux. Well, it's just not as good as Windows, the desktop experience, IDE and language support on Windows kicks Linux out the door. I am honestly embarrassed for all the universities here in Australia that still prefer Linux / Java in the labs. I'm looking at you ANU.  95% of gamers say Windows.
  6. Gavin Williams

    Windows 7 Pro Or Windows 10 Pro?

    Windows 7 is for internet trolls. End of story
  7. Gavin Williams

    Trump Is The Republican Candidate - Now What?

    As an outsider .. I'm in Australia. Trump is probably going to win. You've got no one else. What, Hilary Clinton. She's not really impressing me. She has no substance, and she's running a negative campaign against her competition. Which is piss weak.
  8. Gavin Williams

    .Net DX12

  9. How are you going with this ? Normally you don't have to use Flush() although I don't think that's the problem. Also, do you need to invalidate the surface ? That, to me, sounds like it could be a source of flickering issues. Also check how you're using the zbuffer, are your geometries positioned at the same z-level ? That can cause flickering.
  10. In case you missed it, I certainly did, Microsoft released a nuget package at the end of last year that allows hlsl files to be compiled inside your C# projects. Previously, the only solutions (at least for smaller devs such as myself) were to either : 1) Add a C++ project to your solution and compile them there. 2) Run fxc on the command line. 3) Build a dynamic compilation system using d3dcompiler. Now, with version 1.0.1 of the Microsoft.HLSL.CSharpVB nuget pkg you will have the option of setting the build action for your hlsl files in the properties panel of Visual Studio, no further nonsense required. The following build actions are supported : EffectShader VertexShader PixelShader GeometryShader HullShader DomainShader ComputeShader TextureShader And some of the most used options are configurable in the properties panel such as /Od and /Zi. And as of the recent update, the various shader models are selectable (2.0 to 5.1). I've wanted this for a long time. And although I think it should just be built in to Visual Studio, this is a step in the right direction. Edit : If you have an issue with an unrecognized character at the start of your file when trying to build, the encoding is wrong. Normally I would use Notepad++ to change the encoding, but if that doesn't work, use Advanced Save Options in Visual Studio and change the encoding to Unicode (UTF-8 without signature) and leave Line endings: Current Setting.
  11. Gavin Williams

    Shadow Mapping Part 1 PCF and VSMs

    No images.
  12. Gavin Williams

    UWP Overlay support (and hacks).

    It's an interesting consideration. There are attempts at streamed games, so basically running thin-clients and having no access to scene data (i guess). But I've used some streaming over my own home network, playing in the living room with my laptop streaming from my desktop in the office. And to be honest, I found the experience to be unsatisfactory with hiccups occasionally. Now do that over the internet, I honestly don't see it as a solution for any hardcore gamer like myself who would immediately reject any experience that had serious lag/stutter. It's only viable to serve to kids/light gamer's who don't want to spend money on great computer setups at home. Edit: And to tie this back to the the main-thread, streamed games offer even less opportunity for modding. And yet, I only see excitement about that technology, without any concern for the issues that UWP raises. Seeing the difference in reaction makes me feel that people will attack one technology and hypocritically praise another that has similar restrictions based more upon popular mood than real consideration of the technologies themselves. Like how Quantum Break has led to a plethora of criticisms against UWP, but mostly, the criticisms should be pointed at the game studio for not fixing the game for PC. It didn't even have a quit button in the menu !! It was basically a straight console port. And the performance issues should have nothing to do with UWP, that's the developers biting off more than they can chew.
  13. Gavin Williams

    UWP Overlay support (and hacks).

    In my experience .. this group of people .. 'legit users who need hacks for making the game playable (XBox360 Gamepad/XInput emulators, VSync fixes, framerate limiting fixes, resolution unlockers, specific-GPU bug fixes, custom antialiasing hacks, glitch fixes, Chat overlays for multiplayer games such as the one provided by Mumble and Ventrilo)'  Is a small percentage of people. I'd rather have better software security. And I'm not an advocate of 'devs might as well just give up, because hackers will bypass any measures they take.' Surely, that's only true for a diminishing percentage of hackers as stronger measure are implemented.
  14. Gavin Williams

    UWP Overlay support (and hacks).

    I've been reading a lot of comments by gamers who hate that UWP apps don't support overlays. Particularly steam overlay i think. It's simply not true that UWP doesn't support overlays, but rather, what it seems to prevent, is the game being hacked and the frames modified. As far as i can tell, so many overlay technologies that rely on hacking the frames don't work. There is nothing preventing an application based overlay system from being delivered with the game, which could be developed and provided by Steam or whoever. Isn't preventing some hacks a good thing anyway? If wall hacks don't work anymore because they can't show you where the enemy is. Isn't that a fantastic feature of UWP. I would say that's the #1 issue in gaming today, not whether a game supports overlays. Overlay support must be only issue #3 or 4. Can anyone clarify the situation on overlays and in particular application to hacking. And explain how externally driven overlays can be provided without also creating a doorway for hacks?
  15. Gavin Williams

    Native Ubuntu apps directly on Windows 10, or just CLIs?

    There is no gui support. This is purely for command line apps - vi, git, gcc, ssh etc https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2016/C906
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