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About Digivance

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  1. Digivance

    I have to agree a lot with this article.  Personally in my professional life I am constantly asked to perform tasks that I have no clue how to approach.  The reason I am in a supervisory position and on the board of directors in my company is because I live by the underlying message of this article.  I consider myself a loser and a failure if I do not accomplish something simply because I don't have the knowledge to do it.   It seems that many people are taking the most offense to this article from the seemingly insulting nature of the words and sentences that are used.  However I think it's an ideal lost in the politically correct world in which we live.  From experience, when I look to hire new employees or when I am present through interviews for other departments I am VERY quick to disqualify someone from the potential position at the first use of "I can't do ___" or "I don't do ___".  As harsh as it might sound those two statements alone will cost you a job at my company.   So from what I take away from this article is that a politically incorrect message is given to shed some light on the truths of the larger business "professional" world.  let's pretend a bit and put on our hiring hat, lets assume we are hiring a new "professional" for our company and monetary compensation is not an issue.  We are looking for someone to come in and fill a position that we are lacking.  Now some examples.   We are looking for an artist:   - Artist A:    I do logo and splash page / screen design with light concept artwork.  I can not (or do not) do character design and or animation.   - Artist B:    I do logo and splash page / screen design with light concept artwork.  I am not very experienced in character design and or animation but I am willing studying and learning how to do it.   (Who do you want to hire?)   We are looking for a programmer:   - Programmer A:     I do C++ programming, I can not (or do not) know how to use LUA or C# for scripting.   - Programmer B:     I do C++ Programming, I am not very experienced in LUA or C# but I am working through some resources and learning how to do it.   (Who do you want to hire?)   In both of these answers most (if not all) potential hiring executives will choose B, because they are versatile and seemingly have more potential to grow as needed.  They are not portraying a defeatist attitude they are admitting where they may be lacking and showing drive to improve themselves.  These are the types of people we want to hire.  Simply put the people that have the talents in these areas are quite expensive to employ in the first place.  Now when I have to hire 2 - 3 people for the same position because each of them is self defeating themselves and refusing to better themselves...  Well that's just an outrageous request is it not?  Expecting me to pay out 3 times as much of my companies hard earned money because potential employees refuse to take it upon themselves to get better?   So long story short, I am a hiring executive at my day job.  I own two small business on the side that I share with others.  I am looking to hire people at all three businesses, and who am I looking for?  Person B, the one that I hire for a particular field and can trust that they will know or will learn how to accomplish the tasks I present them with.  No excuses, minimal failures and lost time.  No I am not going to hold your hand and find you the resources and courses you need.  That is part of your job description.  No I will not tell you in your interview that I believe you to be worthless because you gave me the excuse that you just don't know how or can't do something.  But I will be thinking it, and that's what this article (at least in my opinion) is trying to present to the public.
  2. Digivance

  3. Digivance

    How do you get a Deal with Sony!?!?

    There is no such thing as a Dev Kit for one user afaik.  The PS3 Kits I'm sure are getting much easier to get but I would bet that the brand new PS4 Dev kits will be harder to obtain than refined uranium.  Ok, maybe not that drastic but I'm sure they will be back to the strict requirements.  Simply put if they give you a dev kit they are giving you access to reverse engineer the entire system and exploit their networks (which Sony has had problems with in the past)  Being that their dev kit will contain source code and documentation on everything that makes the console what it is they are not willing to hand that over to just anyone.   More so your best bet is to build the game in it's entirety using technologies and engines that can support the main target console system.  Once your game is released and well protected legally you might be able to get somewhere contacting development studios that already have a dev kit and license.  Through an extremely hefty contract (meaning you won't see very much of the money earned) you can come to a deal where they will release your game and cut you back a small portion of the profits.  Beyond this as a first timer or someone with less than say 5 completed titles on the market I doubt you'll have a snowballs chance in hell (Sorry, but it's the truth).  I would recommend keeping an eye out for the new XBox and see if they continue to offer the Indie market place as the requirements are such that a basement indie can actually obtain a license and submit a game.  Also this counts for console game release experience that can later be used when trying to get arcade and full dev kit licenses for various consoles.  If this still isn't an option perhaps look into Ouya which from my understanding will have the lowest and most obtainable of the requirements as far as us indies are concerned.
  4. Lode, you many times will receive 10 followed by 13 as if it where two separate keystrokes. Personally I normally counter act this in cros platform apps by simply ignoring the character 10 or \r. Haven't found many if any reasons to use character 10 outside of windows.
  5. Kburkhart, wouldn't be the first time I misunderstood and redefined the same answer. All the same glad that we as a community where able to help the op
  6.   Not sure to what extent I agree or disagree here.  What you are mentioning applies to games that have emulated depth (or 2.5d), where the Y value changes as the character moves deeper or shallower into the screen.  If this is the case you have a point where the character must land at the correct Y position but to say that it will always be the same as the Y position that the character had jumped from might be incorrect.  For example what if the player is holding up and right while jumping?  The character should land a bit higher in Y (deeper into the screen) and to the right of where it had jumped from.  Otherwise you get that uncomfortable linear jumping that we saw back in the 16 bit days.   Solution, use dual vectors.  One for the characters level position and an offset that applies to movement based animations (such as jumping or a lunging attack).  You would then apply your velocity of movement based on the offset, render and calculate collision versus the true position being the offset from the position but always bring the character back to the new position which depending on what your doing might be part position and offset or might return to the original position.  So for example, jumping would have the characters level movements effect x&y or the position while controlling the characters jump through the Y's offset.  The characters Y offset would be effected by the jumping velocity and gravity while the position would be effected by directional input.  The idea would be to add then subtract to the offset's Y bringing it back to the position Y as calculated by the input.  For something like a lunging or thrusting attack we might use the offset to propel the character forward then backward in the X axis bringing it back to the start X position.
  7. Digivance

    What should I do next

    I would personally suggest that you add some AI into your pacman game.  I believe that AI is of large importance to many games, doing some pacman AI will teach you basic logic and path finding techniques that you can expand upon later.  Also if you are choosing to go the C++ route of game development you will also want to start working on making level editors and rendering libraries that can read the level files you are creating.  I'm sure that many people will argue this next statement but when you are coding at the lower levels such as C++ with Direct X, OpenGL, or a rendering framework you normally won't get level editor like tools to use and will be required to build your own.  Most of the engines and development kits that come with worthy level / scene editors are much larger in scope and normally restrict / remove your ability to code in C++.  (Take a look at Unity or UDK for examples).   Beyond those examples if you are looking to learn some more advanced techniques I would suggest learning additional input such as controllers and joysticks and work on building a multiplayer game.  Or even building a simple online multiplayer game (Not MMO).  A simply RPG might also be a good idea to push your knowledge a bit farther and to learn how to implement massive amounts of features and state / statistic based outcomes.  I guess the point I'm trying to make is anything you do that you haven't done before will expose you to new knowledge.  Applying that which you have done before in a different way will always solidify your knowledge.  Personally when I am learning a new language, library or engine I rewrite my first few demo projects 2 or 3 times each to ensure that I'm learning it correctly.  If you feel that you are not yet ready to start applying that which you know towards your own custom project my biggest suggestion is to do it all again and add in some little custom differences.
  8. Digivance

    Drawing A Rectangle In SlimDX

    I have to agree that SharpDX is the better choice.  Namely because SlimDX is a C# wrapper library that links to the C++ built DirectX libraries and SharpDX is actually a rebuild of the DirectX libraries in Managed C# code (See the SharpDX website for better explanation).  Both the SlimDX and SharpDX projects are lead by the same developer, and as such SharpDX gets all of the attention now while SlimDX I believe has been all but completely abandoned.  Also from my understanding SlimDX is for Direct X 9 or 10 only and does not support Direct X 11 (I could be wrong on that one).  AFAIK Tutorials for both are still lacking and or non existent, however they should be growing in popularity and hopefully we should be seeing better resources coming along soon enough.  The good part of SharpDX is that is done come with quite a range of demo apps and source code that you can reverse engineer.  Taking what they show you and cross referencing against Direct X C++ information can get you to the answers you are looking for in most cases.  If you take this approach do be sure that you have a firm grasp on programming basics, theory and the core differences between C++ and C#.
  9. Digivance

    The Programming Primer

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and votes, I'm glad to see that this article seems to be a beneficial read for many people.  In the not so distant future I will write up some additional theoretical articles on some more advanced topics such as networking, threading and such.
  10. Digivance

    Beginner questions

      I wouldn't say that Unity is "quick and dirty".  Quick yes but Unity is quite a powerful engine and tool kit.  Other than that I would agree.  I believe it would be easier to wrap your head around the game development process by starting with something that uses a language you are friendly with (C#) and is capable of making high quality full featured games.  Also an added benefit is that Unity is widely used, you will have a very large community and knowledge base to reach out to when you have problems.  Another benefit is that many small development studios are using Unity and you will be learning something that will actually give you a bit of a leg up in the market.   If you are looking for a lower level experience where you are actually practicing and learning how to implement things more at the engine level and want to stick with a language of your choice (again C# as you mentioned it) I would suggest MonoGame.  It's actually a very nice and simple framework that will allow you to build from about one story up, I say that because it's not quite the ground level that Direct X is.  It provides quite a bit of the basic framework of a game loop and content management / pipelines that save you a lot of time and hassle.  From there you may or may not want to move into SharpDX to go even lower, however there is a major lack of tutorials and documentation for SharpDX as they assume you are already a Direct X master.  This will likely require you to learn some C++ and Direct X before you'll have a decent understanding of SharpDX.
  11. Digivance

    Scripting Language Choice

    C# is not platform dependant, however the .NET framework that you normally code and execute against is.  However Mono has taken major strides to make the C# language with .NET objects and methods work on most if not all relevant platforms.   It should also be mentioned that scripting languages are dependant on the environment, conditions and requirements of each project.  Some engines and libraries that you use may support or conflict with various interpreters or VM's that are used by various scripting languages.  Some interpreters are very difficult to integrate into your base code (LUA for example is very difficult to link into your code base from what I hear).   Scripting languages are good to know but I would say it's a very bad practice to pick and stick to just one as it will severely limit you in the future unless you always intend to use the same engines, libraries and tools.  I would more so suggest you ask yourself the following questions on a per project basis and make your decision on what to use from there...   Why do I need a scripting system? - Seriously question what benefits you will get from implementing a scripting system over simply developing all in one language.   What do I want to script with said system? - This goes along with the first question.  What is it that you actually want to write in a scripting language as opposed to what you will write in standard code?   What systems are compatible with the language, engine and libs I plan on using? - If you still feel that you need / want a scripting system look around to see what scripting systems you CAN integrate into the engine, libs and language that you are developing in?   Will the scripting system provide enough productivity boost to warrant it's usage? - With the above answered try to make a comparison.  Is it really worth it?  After spending all of the time and working through all of the complications to get the scripting system working is it going to improve your productivity or the functionality of your project enough to warrant the time and hassle required to get it working?     Also you should consider that the major benefits of a scripting language are that you can integrate some coded aspects without having to learn the underlying programming language.  Eg most scripting languages are simpler than C++ are and easier for non programmer types to learn.  If you yourself are a C++ programmer this benefit doesn't necessarily apply to you.  The other major reason is that you can hot swap logic scripts without having to recompile.  In some larger projects this is nice because it's easier to test small modifications without spending half an hour or more recompiling each time you want to change and test something.  Also it allows you to allow your gaming community to script in their own game mods.  With that said, using precompiled headers and linked libraries you can drastically lower your compilation times.  If you don't want the community creating mods to the game then this isn't really a benefit for you either.  In this instance where you are a C++ programmer, you know how to precompile as much as possible and don't care to let your community create mods for the game there isn't really any reason to use a scripting language or system.
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