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About TexasJack

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  1. Hi all, I was thinking about seeing if I could mock up something in Unity to help me learn. I wanted to try a third person game, but using the DOOM art philosophy (i.e. different sets of 2d sprite animations, one for each perspective that depend on the angle you are viewing them from). I'd be using higher resolution vector images, so I'm not necessarily trying to copy the DOOM retro pixelated aesthetic - just the format of juxtaposing 2D graphics into 3D. Is there a term for this? It's just an experiment, but I think it could yield quite a cool graphic novel look if done well.
  2. Disclaimer: I was tempted to put this in Game Design, but it heavily references AI so feel free to move it to wherever it needs to be if this is the wrong place. I had this idea that a game could use machine learning to support it's AI and make itself a really challenging opponent (nothing new there), but also to tailor its style of playing based on feedback given by human players. Using an RTS as a classic example, lets say you prefer to play defensively. You would probably get more enjoyment out of games where the opponent was offensive so as to challenge your play style. At the end of each match, you give a quick bit of feedback in the form of a score ('5/10 gold stars' for example) that pertains to your AI opponent's style of play. The AI then uses this to evaluate itself, cross referencing its score against previous scores in order to determine the optimum 'preferable' play style. Then I got onto to thinking about two issues with the idea: 1) The human player might not be great at distinguishing feedback about their opponents play style from feedback about their game experience in general. 2) In a multiplayer context, players could spam/abuse/troll the system by leaving random/erroneous feedback. Could you get round this by evaluating the player without them knowing it, i.e. could some other data recorded from the way a player acts in a game be used to approximate their enjoyment of a particular opponents play style without being too abstract? For example 'length of time played somehow referenced against length of time directly engaged with AI opponent' etc... Do any existing games work like this? I just came up with it when I saw a stat that call of duty has been played for a collective 25 billion hours or something - which made me that would be the perfect bank of experience to teach a deep learning computer how players interact with a game. Just a bit of abstract thinking, that's all.
  3. Thanks, I've taken what you said about learning Unity and C# with more integrated tutorials on board, it's certainly simplified things - outside of game development, I still think I'm going to persevere with C# outside of Unity too, as programming is much less intimidating than I initially suspected. The Unity mixed with C# tutorials also tend to talk through the practical applications of the code, so the explanations of each individual part of the syntax are more forthcoming. It's a bit more rewarding when you get something pretty happening as a result of your code. Cheers for the rundown! (FYI, I'm using a Unity basics tutorial by a YouTuber named Brackeys - he seems to be very clear and easy to follow, considering that I know nothing about Unity or programming. Conversely, the tutorial I was using initially encouraged me to pick up C# first, then move onto Unity - hence the baffled original post).
  4. Hi, I am currently trying to learn the basics of Unity - most of the decent tutorials I have found imply that you have at least a basic knowledge of C#, so I am busy trying to pick up the basics of that first. Initially, I just downloaded the free version of Unity which happens to come with 'MonoDevelop-Unity' - so I am using this to write my code and play along with the C# tutorials I have found. The problems I am having are this (Disclaimer: I am using a Mac for this) 1) I am not sure what the differences between 'running' and 'building' code are. In MonoDevelop-Unity, there is a little play button at the top which seems to cause a little 'Terminal' box to pop up when you press it. The code seems to do it's job and the terminal box returns the following message: Hello World! Press any key to continue... Have I built or run my code? 2) There are several bits of jargon that keep being thrown around, without much in the way of explanation: 'Classes', 'The Main Method', 'Namespace'. These are the main confusing terms - what do they mean and how do they apply to my code? 3) This is the main one, I would be super grateful if someone were able to provide a line-by-line explanation of what each line of this code is doing/means? I wrote it, and it makes a message appear on screen, which is fine - but I want to know what is happening (i.e. which words/parenthesis are doing what)? Here's my code: using System; namespace HelloWorldTwo { class MainClass { public static void Main (string[] args) { Console.WriteLine ("Hello World!"); } } } Console.Writeline (); is presumably telling the machine to "Write whatever is in these brackets () to the console (I assume 'console' is C# lingo for the terminal dialogue box?). Any feedback here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  5. Hi all, Thanks for your responses. Nah. I wouldn't really say 'entirely unrelated', since the topic of the forum seems to be listed as 'All aspects of AI programming and theory'. Depending on how sophisticated game AI may one day become, and given the fact that current advanced AIs like DeepMind are given video games to train their learning facilities - it seems perfectly relevant. Particularly if they give it access to a multiplayer game (i.e. a network). If a moderator genuinely wants to move this topic, I would have no objection - but don't see why they would. Yeah, this one is really interesting. I like the idea of providing a proactive motive to the AI so that instead of it just saying 'Does my action harm the human? No? Okay, I'll carry on' it instead starts with 'What can I do to benefit the human?' (presumably followed by the former safety check). I hear what you're saying. Consciousness may never be fully quantified. The thing is, even an approximation/imitation of consciousness (machines have already passed the Turing Test for instance) can still be dangerous, and like you said - simple automated systems are currently used to wield huge decisions. Presumably they have some degree of safety protocol.
  6. Outside of gaming theory, what rules/laws could/would you give to an AI to ensure it remained safe/subservient? Asimov's laws are very open to interpretation - how would you alter/replace/support them in order to make them watertight and ensure your safety?
  7. TexasJack

    Full Body VR Control

    Thanks for moving this, I didn't realise that there was a VR subsection. Not necessarily, no. I see your point, but it's feasible that as this tech evolves - the first full body versions will be pretty bulky affairs. The current attempts involve treadmills, harnesses that suspend you etc... and they're still very limited in the player movement that they detect/reproduce in-game. Depending on how big they are, it could well be that the first versions of these would appear in places that resemble the arcades from the days of old (the 80s) that you pay to have a go on. This is speculation of course, but it seems to me to be reasonably logical speculation. It would be a 'major' requirement from a commercial point of view, but as I said, I'm just brainstorming.
  8. I've been lurking around some of the GameDev articles on VR development and it got me thinking about getting everyone to brainstorm some ideas with me. As you would imagine; lifelike, fully immersive VR seems to be decades (perhaps centuries) off. There are plenty of reasons for this, these reasons include the fact that you would need the control system to be pretty physically invasive in order to give you direct sensory feedback for things like sense of smell and high detail touch. One other reason is that even when you manage to build a viable brain interface with the level of control and feedback necessary, you THEN need a computer system capable of interpreting and handling all of that input. You would need to simulate the subtle environmental effects of reality (on a practically atomic level) on the human body; gentle breezes, subtle humidity changes, air resistance associated with movement etc... It may happen one day, but not soon. The general consensus in much of the available information is that the required technology lies at the end of a long road of research in different fields - most of which aren't being heavily focused on. The current VR experience is things like the Oculus Rift, where hand controllers bring your basic physical movements into the equation - but they're essentially Wii Remotes that don't really cover the full range of human movement (or even basic manual dexterity). The thing I would like to discuss is this: What kind of non-invasive game controller (using realistic, existing tech) could be developed that would allow the player to control the body's full range of movement in a VR environment? The only feedback that needs to be implemented is sight (which I think is well on its way currently via the headsets on the market today) and audio (which could basically be integrated headphones). To me, smell and taste can be done without for now as they are to do with how we interact with substances chemically. These would be cool, but more difficult to implement and few game environments rely on these senses. What I'm going for is a device that bridges the gap between now (Oculus Rift etc...) and the future (fully immersive, indistinguishable VR) by using realistic technology that doesn't potentially harm its operator. Personally, I had the idea that a person could be put into a suit that restrains their movements so they aren't flailing around their kitchen while playing a game. The suit could be lined with pressure sensors, so that when the sensors in say; the top of the left arm were pressed - their character would respond by raising their left arm until it were fully extended or the pressure on the sensor were released by the player. This could be fine tuned to work with things like the hand, sensing individual digits. In-game representations of the player could have restrictions on what directions their limbs move in to prevent their hands from turning inside out if the sensors relevant to fist clenching were activated for too long. The internet is full of upcoming products involving multidirectional treadmills etc, but it seems to me these are basically just advanced d-pads. What are your ideas about how this could be done? Bonus points for compact versions that could realistically be bought for home use.
  9. I'm coming up with ideas for a side scroller and have always loved the feel of the the MK super fast punch-duck-uppercut-block-etc... close quarters brawling controls. In my game I want to portray Medieval European style sword play (heavy swords that cleave instead of the cliched whipped ninja katanas you see everywhere), and heavy armoured characters that are a little bogged down by their own weight (not too much though!). I figured that by slowing an MK style system down, you could get a faintly authentic trading of blows that you get in cinematic sword fight scenes. Has anyone seen/made games that this in a 2D side scroller context? Nidhogg is the closest thing I've seen - but it feels too limited, and gets old quickly. Virtually all sword fighting games seem to lack any skill or opportunity to develop your own style like old beat em ups used to. Most are really dull hack/slash type affairs with no dodging/finesse. Another thing I'd like to throw in would be some kind of temporary rag doll state for when someone is reeling from a blow, but I haven't got that worked out fully yet. Just want to hear your thoughts!
  10. Hi, I've been playing around in the Unity and GameMaker free trial versions to get to grips with basic retro style game making. The games I am interested in making are fairly basic, typical 2D indie games with simple controls and functions. In most cases I seem to be able to fully build these games in the trial versions of each software (without needing any of the complex/more in depth features of the paid versions of the engines). My question is this; If I make a game in the free version of one of these engines and decide I want to publish it, will I be able to buy a paid version, open it in that and publish from the paid version (so I don't get the ugly Unity or GameMaker splash screens etc...). In other words, can I develop the game for free in the trial, then get a paid license when I am ready to release it to reap the benefits of publishing from a licensed version of the engine? I'm not looking to dominate the world of indie titles or anything - but I'm learning fast and don't want to put my name to anything that looks sloppy upon release.
  11. Interesting - so would I be right in thinking that a setup involving a peer to peer interaction started by a matchmaking server that just puts two users together and then leaves the equation is less 'data/memory/usage intensive' (excuse my basic terms!) than a setup where a central server connects all users AND operates whatever app or program from that same central server too?
  12. Thanks for these replies - great knowledge coming in from everyone! How does it work for things like iPhone apps? A program like WhatsApp or Snapchat must have some kind of server system backing it up, or could something like that be done with peer to peer messaging (using each phone to store the images/texts etc...).
  13. Hi all, I really hope this is in the right spot, feel free to move it if not. I am trying to cobble together my own average-Joe's understanding of how multiplayer games work and wanted to explain it back to an experienced community to see if I had the right end of the stick. Correct me where I am wrong: When playing a multiplayer game you access a client, a piece of software on your machine that translates your control/input into information which is then sent via your network/internet to a central server. All players of the game do this, and the server continually collects all of their input. The server then runs all of the players input through the game and returns the outcome to the respective players (for example, player A swings a sword, player B gets in the way - the game installed on the server calculates that player B was in the wrong place and tells them they are dead, meanwhile telling player A that they have scored a hit etc....). This information travels back down the tube* to the respective player and is displayed in the game client (in the form of game action). Now for my questions: * I have been led to understand that the tube through which the information travels between the server and client (i.e. the internet connection) is referred to as a 'Socket'. Is this the case, if so, what is the significance of the socket - why do I hear it referred to so much in the context of multiplayer game design? Is the port kind of like an address at the server end? I envisage it like the server having say 1000 different doors. The client needs to know which door to send information to in order to get the server to accept it properly. Does this work both ways (does the server need to access the correct port when sending back to the client?). When a player hosts a multiplayer game, I assume that the computer they are playing from doubles as both the server and the client? When looking at big console games (take something like GTA or Halo for example), are the consoles acting as servers in these instances or is that done by bigger servers - if so, where are they/who operates them? The game developers? The console developers? When you get old defunct community run games, such as 90's titles etc... how are these run online? If I were to switch on a copy of Quake or something - who is running the server? Presumably modern PCs are growing in their capabilities as servers as they evolve and as internet connections evolve - how would you summarise what their limitations are? Are we looking at a future where massive, graphics intensive MMOs with tons of players are hosted on laptops - are traditional servers days numbered? - Sorry if this is basic stuff, but I really want to get a better understanding of how it all works. Thanks for your patience!
  14. Hi all, Firstly, from the look of the other posts in this part of the forum - most of you are operating on a way higher level of expertise than me when it comes to AI. I know none of the terminology and am new to it, so treat me as a layman! I have recently started learning about GameMaker at a very basic level, (making coloured blobs move around on screen when cursors are pressed). I have gradually worked up to a basic isometric game where a player moves his blob around a simple single screen maze - avoiding other 'enemy' blobs that are on a pre described linear up-down style path. Simple stuff. I have even experimented a little with blobs that chase you when you get close and them - but then abandon the chase when you get far enough away again (I know, right). Gradually, I am getting to grips with the GML code side of things, so I got thinking about planning a much more sophisticated AI. The code instructions I have used so far are pretty simple, and only govern crude NPC chasing behaviour - but could be applied to a more complex actions. This got me onto a new train of thought, what If I put together a flow diagram (for lack of a better word) of 'if-x-is-y-then-do-this-action' style commands that is based on a core set of variables that I guess you could call the 'character'. The variables (for the sake of this post, lets say each variable is a value of 1-100) in question would basically be anything, from physical attributes (video game staples like 'strength - 50' etc...) to things that are more abstract (one idea that I had would be a variables that govern what motivates the character - for example: 'desire to find food - 20' 'desire to make a shelter - 70').   The idea would be that the flow diagram that would govern the decisions that the AI makes would constantly refer back to the character attribute figures in order to influence its behaviour. For example: - Enemy attacks (If aggression stat is less than 15, go to the stage in the flow diagram/algorithm that governs behaviour while fleeing). (If aggression stat is between 15 and 75, fight back until enemy is subdued) (If aggression stat is more than 75, fight back until enemy is killed).   Basically, the idea is that once the behaviour flow diagram is assembled - NPC's core identity could be either carefully tailored by adjusting the 'character' figures. These could even be randomised (within certain parameters) to add variety to the NPC's in a game. I also though that it would make sense that certain actions/results of decisions made by the NPC's could work in reverse and have an impact on their 'character'. For example, if an aggressive NPC constantly retaliates with heavy violence but is overpowered x amount of times - this could gradually lower the aggression stat so that they become more wary. I'm basically just thinking aloud - I assume that to most of you, this is just a very vague description of how things are already done. Sorry if this is the case. Am I on the right lines with my thinking? My end goal is a behaviour system that has an initial 'stat input' system for each NPC. This will allow me to then just turn them loose in an RPG and see how they interact with each other - this could even form the basic premise for a very simple eco-system sim? I'll elabourate on this after sleep and coffee. TJ    
  15. Are there any examples of simple games that rely on real time action (as opposed being to turn based), Metal Slug for example, that are massively multiplayer? What are the technical restrictions of something like this?
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