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wfrye2005

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About wfrye2005

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  1. Blender for making Games?

    I haven't done any serious work in Blender since 2.49b ("I've been busy" and other assorted excuses), but I just installed 2.70a after reading this topic, as you've all reminded me how much I miss this kind of thing (context info: got degree in architecture, no jobs, became software engineer instead).   My initial assessment of the interface changes are "well ****, now I have to learn it again from scratch" and "it's hard to read," the latter being the only remotely serious one. Not a big fan of black on grey, and the various section headers just don't stand out enough. Font size is a little too small on my 2560x1440 monitor as well. Upon closer inspection, this all appears to be highly customizable, but I still think they could use a better default theme.   That said, my favorite feature in Blender remains unchanged: it isn't part of the Autodesk pseudo-monopoly, and thus I don't have to sell my car (or my soul) for a copy.
  2. To be honest, I don't really like the first picture. The space background is pretty, but beyond that I really can't tell what's going on in the image--that background is eating everything in front of it.   I'd suggest using a simplistic, highly-stylized art style--and sticking to it. You want people to think "art style" rather than "wow, lazy MSPaint graphics," and deviating from such an art style with even a single asset has a tendency to tip people's perception toward the latter, IMO. For instance, I like the rectangular cows. Combined with the rounded edges on the anthropomorphic sneaker-wearing one, the ellipse UFO, and the relatively smoothly blended ground textures, however, it's not... cohesive. If they were all rectangular or all rounded, and either all textured or all flat, I think it'd look a lot better.
  3. NES console remade in HD

      My first thought upon seeing it was "that's really ugly, the real thing looked way better."   That said, I'd be really surprised if Nintendo didn't try to sue. They're a litigious bunch, and their entire business model these days seems to be coasting on ports and "HD remakes" of their old games. Giving people a way to play their old cartridges might dissuade them from re-buying their libraries with every new piece of Nintendo hardware, after all.
  4. What games will stand the test of time?

    What games from 1014 are you familiar with? According to wikipedia, Chess as we know it today only dates back to the 1400's, so even that hasn't lasted a thousand years just yet. The classic Super Mario Bros is roughly 30 years old and is almost completely unknown to the younger generations (despite Nintendo's numerous, overpriced ports).   In a thousand years, I'd hope that technology will have advanced to the point that we'll all be pseudo-immortal robots colonizing space, or at least able to spend our free time in Matrix-style virtual worlds. Either way, I think we'd see 2014's entertainment about the same way we see 1014's today--we either won't know about it, won't care, or we'll think it was all hilariously crude.
  5. If it's a several million line codebase with no documentation at all, being able to search for any on-screen text you see in the screenshot attached to the email from your boss's boss titled "fix this bug" (no message) is really the only way to figure out where to start.   So yeah, if you're already living in a nightmare, go ahead and hardcode those strings. Can't make things any worse, and the management certainly isn't going to let you take the time to make them any better. But if you're starting fresh, don't ****ing do it or I'll find you.
  6. I work full time and go to grad school classes a few nights a week, but I'm single and have little desire for time-consuming social activities. I manage to set aside a few hours a week for game projects when classes are in session, and a decent portion of my nights and weekends when they aren't. Despite my unsocial tendencies, it's still not enough, and it's been difficult coming to terms with the fact that no amount of time ever will be if I intend to accomplish anything "grand" on my own. Unless I take advantage of minimalistic graphics and 100% randomly generated content, of course, but does the market really need another Minecraft clone?   It seems to me that to accomplish anything at all, one must either focus on hacking together a barebones prototype with which to attract a team and go from there, or find an existing project with a similar goal to join--the latter being a terrifying concept to me, as it means I'd both have to give up full creative control and deal with people in my precious free time; I suspect this is a common sentiment and that the ratio of people looking for a team to people looking to join a team approaches 1:0. It's a difficult choice, so my gut instinct is to choose not to decide (though, allegedly, in doing so I'll still have made a choice) and continue as I have been, chugging away at a project I'll never finish, purely for my own selfish amusement.
  7. Building Communication Skills

      There's a book called Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) that covers this pretty well. If you ever need convincing that people are terrible--impossibly, unforgivably terrible--it's a good read. It covers things like confirmation bias (as I was reading it, I was thinking "holy ****, this is every internet argument ever"), how every politician justifies accepting bribes (err, I mean "lobbying") and passing corrupt laws, and why the "justice system" likes to pick an initial suspect and railroad them, becoming increasingly belligerent when confronted with absolute proof that their suspect is innocent. Numerous documented examples of each. It's scary stuff. Misanthropy inducing, even.   I've observed the whole spontaneous internet hate mob thing a few times, and been on the receiving end a few times. I'm always reminded of the end of Lord of the Flies when it happens. Sometimes all it takes is one particularly malicious individual to start things off, and then another joins in, and before you know what's happening even the formerly reasonable ones are foaming at the mouth and you've got a mob of what are essentially mindless, shrieking apes after you. All you can really do is walk away and try to take the experience as a cautionary tale about just how thin the veneer of civilized society is.
  8. Sacrifices to be a programmer?

    Certain sections of old, arcane code may require the occasional goat to continue working. Two chickens will do in a pinch. Other than that, no, I haven't had to make any sacrifices. If anything, my social activities have greatly increased.
  9. What hardware do you use?

    Home (primary): i7 4770K, 16GB RAM, Radeon HD7870, 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD, 1TB  HDD, Win8.1, 23" LG monitor (nice 27" Asus PB278Q on the way, but they're punishing me for choosing free shipping so it'll be another week or so).   Home (secondary): AMD Phenom II x4 "Deneb" (955 Black Edition? Something like that), 8GB RAM, Radeon HD5770, 1TB HDD, Win7, currently controlling my TV as I'm short on monitors and it's better than paying for several hundred trash cable channels.   Home (tertiary): Asus A53S laptop, i5@2.3Ghz, 6GB RAM, GT540M, Win7. CPU hits 87C trying to run Minecraft, which amuses me more than it should. Gets the job done when I can't be at one of my desktops instead.   Work: A refurbished Dell with two 24" HP monitors. Never really bothered to look into its specs much; compiles the business software I work on just as fast as some of the other guys' newer, significantly (stupidly) more expensive (overpriced) hardware, -and- I don't have to deal with Parallels and/or Bootcamp like they do, so I'm happy.  
  10. Stopping the "Too many projects" syndrome

      I'm actually planning on flipping a coin in two weeks and devoting the summer to the result. Not even joking.   I have two in-process projects and a third I'm considering, so it may not end up being an actual coin, but the point is that if I can't decide in a timely manner, I'll offload the responsibility to something that can. I work full time as a software engineer and I'm going to grad school at night, so I can't afford to waste an entire summer of free nights and weekends foolishly trying to make the decision myself (as clearly I find all three ideas equally interesting, else I'd have decided already).
  11. The Subscription Model needs to be adjusted.

      I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.   Besides, I can't think of any software I'd use that's actually a service. Photoshop certainly isn't a service--they're not shopping my photos for me. It's a tool, one with which I may shop my own photos as I see fit. Let's see the hardware store try to get away with attaching EULAs and annual subscription fees to -every- hammer. That'd go over well, right? For a big, expensive, specialized tool you only need to use once? Sure, a brief rental's reasonable. But -every- tool? Tools you intend to use often, and for many years? No option to buy, and hence no ability to own property? We let that slide, we're on the road to serfdom. We don't want to go there.
  12. Is Win8 that bad?

    The only positive thing I have to say about it is that the boot time seems to have improved--about six seconds on the new 8.1 PC I built in January (but I put a pretty nice SSD in there; no idea how much of the improvement is really Win8.1's doing). Other than that, I find literally everything about the UI to be a huge step backward from 7. It's designed in such a way that it almost seems like it's trying to punish anyone without a touch interface, and I neither have nor want a touch interface on my desktop. Hell, anyone reaches out and smudges my screens, they won't be getting the hand back.   One little annoyance that seems to be a pretty good "in a nutshell" representation of my problems with 8/8.1's design: if I set my titlebar color to black, any text in it ceases to be readable--it's locked at a dark grey color. When I asked about this in the MS support forum, one of their "support engineers" responded with instructions for how to find the popup for changing the color... in Win7. It's mysteriously missing in 8/8.1. When confronted with a screenshot showing this, they ceased to respond for several weeks before eventually posting a link to instructions on how to change the color via a third party tool/registry hacks. They wouldn't admit that it's a bug; even if it was intentional, it's a terrible design decision and thus still a bug in my book. Relying on the community to clean up their mess--who do they think they are, Bethesda?
  13. Are you a gamer?

    Ignoring the off-topic debate, no, not in the corporate marketing sense. That's all I've ever associated the word "gamer" with--marketing nonsense. I cringe when people call me that. I dislike being categorized.   I enjoy games, though I have increasingly less time to play them and I'm gradually running out of developers I'm willing to give money to--they just keep doing terrible, sleazy things and/or ruining the franchises I used to like. My growing frustration is leading me to pursue simply making the sort of games I actually want to play on my own. Life is busy, however, and I'm only one person, so progress is slow. Moving backwards, even. But still entertaining.   Now, no longer ignoring the silly debate, feminists and misogynists are both equally filthy sexists. Why can't we all just agree to hate everyone? Life's easier when you come to terms with the fact that all people are just inherently terrible. Except me, of course.
  14. The Subscription Model needs to be adjusted.

    Personally, I see their move to subscription-only as a way for them to ensure that they no longer need to improve the software enough to convince people to buy upgrades--they just sit there and exploit their near-monopoly market position, raking in money without ever lifting a finger. Meanwhile, the technology stagnates--they no longer have any motivation to make advancements. I'd bet money that if anyone tries to come along and make those advancements in an attempt to compete, they'll be either bought or sued away. All in all, a bad situation for everyone but the very top of the corporate ladder.   Add to that the fact that the "you can't own property, only rent it from us" scheme is the oldest class warfare tactic in the book and you've got a seriously scary trend as more businesses move in this direction. We'll be serfs in no time if more people don't get upset about dirty business practices like this.
  15. Hard to track bugs...

    Took me several hours to track down what ended up being something like this: for(int i = 0; i < something; i++) { for(int j = 0; i < somethingElse; j++) { //do stuff Felt like a complete moron after that, both for writing it and for not finding it immediately.   And then there was the time I wrote the collision system for my 2D platformer while running a fever and very late at night. Led to quite a few cases of things that looked great and even almost worked, but that upon closer inspection turned out to be nonsense. Spent several nights cleaning that mess up.
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