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runonthespot

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About runonthespot

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  1. runonthespot

    Should games be considered art?

    "should games be considered art"  - your best bet is to narrow down the question.  If you mean "all games" then I'd argue no.  It's not difficult in fact, to argue that most games "contain" art, rather than are art themselves (is a gallery art?).  I liked the quote "Games will eventually subsume all other forms of media" - not sure I agree, but I think it hints as to what games ultimately are: A container.  A medium.  A medium in which certainly art can be produced, but ultimately a superset of what we might traditionally think of as art.   This is of course IMHO.  Your mileage may vary.
  2. runonthespot

    Master Thesis Theme and Inspiration Needed

    I'm really into Unity, but I think this guy's talk goes quite a bit further.  Exposing properties in the inspector is one thing, but every time I update actual code, I find I have to restart.  A cursory google showed this http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/195537-Livity-The-Live-Coding-Tool-for-Unity which looks interesting :)    Anyway, a diversion now from your task- good luck finding the right idea!
  3. runonthespot

    Master Thesis Theme and Inspiration Needed

    Maybe a little too specialist/tricky, but one area that is lacking in my view is the gulf between coding and stuff happening on a screen.   Take a look at this talk: https://vimeo.com/36579366   The leap between immediately seeing the results of what you're coding versus the current "make changes (based on your best internal understanding of a program) and iterate" is exactly where I think things should be heading.   I'm a reasonable coder so it's less of a barrier for me, but this sort of tool that facilitates creative without bogging it down in the technical details too much, is amazing.
  4. runonthespot

    Replay Physics

    If you're in Unity (sounds like it), there's actually something that does this on the asset store that works pretty well   https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/4341   At $10, it's a steal, works well, covers physics and even sound... 
  5. Depends on the game.  COD does have player colliders.  Some MMOs (like warcraft) have absolutely no player collisions, so multiple people can occupy the same space. In the former it allegedly creates tactical play (blocking a doorway), and the latter prevents griefing (big groups of people making the market place unreachable because they crowd around the entrance).   In terms of implementation, typically you have separate collider geometry that goes along with your player geometry.  Usually it's less complex because it's only to detect if something is colliding with it, which doesn't need to be as detailed as the geometry that shows the wrinkles in your player's clothing.  This would usually all be handled by a physics engine- Bullet/Havok/Physx etc.   In a demo fps from a game engine, it could be as simple as a capsule shape representing the player.  The more complex the geometry, the harder/slower it is for the game engine to use it, so it's typically a mix of primitive shapes to cover the main areas of the body, probably more detailed geometry on the scene itself, usually excluding stuff like plants. 
  6. runonthespot

    Replacement for Xna?

    There's always Unity (noting that the next version out in a month or two includes native 2d tools).   Nice thing about Unity is that you can run your game on just about anything.
  7. runonthespot

    I need help with learning game development

    Grab free Unity3d (www.unity3d.com), and start in unityscript / js (move to c# when you feel more confident).  Hang around the unity forums and use their questions and answers to answer your initial questions, and start following devs on twitter. :)
  8. +1 Unity3d.  Also a programmer background (12+ years), language independent.  Scene view is almost optional, but mostly it just spares you the grind of managing basic views. I love it most because of the documentation.  Every part of the API has a page and a good C# example of how to use it.  That factor alone makes it programmer easy-mode.
  9. runonthespot

    How do I implement a new rendering engine?

    Okay, let me qualify:   1 to 1 scene translation from Max to some game engine cannot be achieved naively.  You have to understand all the ins and outs of the shaders, and basically design the scene in Max with the game in mind and with a thorough understanding of the rendering engine's capabilities to a deep level.  The op's difficulty in getting something to look the same in Unity as in Max highlights this disjunct.   Maybe not 10 people, but a beginner, one person expecting to achieve CryEngine rendering fidelity- is obviously not very realistic.   I think asking the question is great though, as it opens up the debate and helps establish the sort of work involved.
  10. runonthespot

    How do I implement a new rendering engine?

    Right, so, your problem stated is "My model doesn't look as nice in free game engines as it does in my modeller".   The solution to this is not to write your own rendering engine, it's to get to know the tools better.   Unity for example can look every bit as good as any other engine.  It's all about understanding the tool.   A default shader on an object dropped into the scene in Unity is not going to look that great.  To make a model look good, you need   -Pick a model that is appropriately set up for a game (taking into account number of polys, and setting up good default textures, spec maps, bump maps etc. -Pick the right shader (Maybe cryengine chooses a prettier default shader... which doesn't necessarily make it the better choice.) -Adjust textures to be appropriately sized and not too compressed -Employ antialiasing (again, in Unity, probably not on by default) -Light it properly.   In my view, work with any of those free tools, compose a complete scene, look at it objectively and get feedback on how you can improve it and basically iterate your skills.  It's not ever going to be a 1 to 1 translation from 3ds Max or Maya.  Also, think practically about how likely it is that one person will produce cryengine quality rendering, when it's taken a team of 10+ 4 or 5 years of full time work to reach that level.   By all means though, build your own rendering engine as a means to improve your understanding of the existing ones, or just as a learning exercise, because the more you know, the better use you can make of the ample resources out there.   Good luck mate
  11. Call me cynical, but to make money in the game industry it appears that you're either an indie and get lucky, or you run a studio, pay those sorts of low wages, and get lucky with a more complex title.  This seems in line with the risk/reward.  To be able to afford to hire someone and provide a stable income to them, the company owner assumes a lot of risk (especially in game dev which is so hit-driven) and to some extent shields the employee from that risk.  Subsequently, the reward is generally skewed towards the person who has their cash on the line.  Typically the employee risks losing their job (not great, but you can always get another job) whereas the business owner risks their invested capital. It sucks, but that's how it works.   I think finance (esp if you're a mathematically inclined, capable of becoming a quant) is usually the best paid, and from what I've seen, the hours aren't as bad as game development can be.  "Crunch" doesn't really exist- although the core hours can be longer than non-finance tech jobs.  The flip side is that the work is not that interesting compared to how working on a game can be.     Regarding UK and labour laws, it's pretty easy to get someone to agree to waive the 50 hour work week. It's voluntary, ofc, but try get away with fewer hours than your colleagues and you'll know it's never easy and seldom works out well for you in the long term.
  12. After being w/o phone for a week and stuck long hours at work, away from twitter, it feels good to briefly browse through pages of awesome.
  13. Lazy engineer tip of the day, courtesy of XKCD http://t.co/ht78ItGM
  14. Dynamic 2.5d camera that registers targets and dollies out to ensure everything is visible: Check!
  15. Okay, so I installed Prey http://j.mp/lcQ3AJ. Future thief of my laptop, you better be technorati.
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