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Matrix6

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Everything posted by Matrix6

  1. I have an interesting question that (hopefully) can be answered relatively simply. Background: I take a top-down view of things. That means when I want to start working on a project, I start by figuring out what will be required (in a big-picture sense). My partner and I have recently completed the design for an online multi-player game (probably best fitting the MMORTS genre). The game somewhat resembles games like: AstroEmpires, Planetarion, Ferion, Utopia, etc. (Some of you will probably be familiar with the games I'm talking about). I have some experience with programming languages, but only on the "ground" level. (Years ago, during the windows 3.1 era I created several applications with visual basic, for example, and I know enough HTML to create a functional web page. I also have a basic understanding of the object-oriented programming model, etc.) I'm aware of the scope of the project I'm embarking on. I'm not joking around, and I have some resources I can bring to bear on the project, but I need to figure out where to START as far as the programming side of this goes, so if some folks who know a little more than I do would give me some pointers as far as direction, I would really appreciate it. What the project requires: A database back-end to store "everything" (including player info, galaxy map info, resources, etc - thus "everything"). A web browser "front-end" for user interface This MUST include a 3-dimensional "galaxy map" that can be manipulated by the user (both to change perspective and to select elements inside the map). In regard to this map, what I envision is something resembling Google maps or Wikisky (zoom in, zoom out, search for and highlight certain features, click to access info), but NOT using pixel-based imaging, instead relying on a simple database of coordinate-based points (stars) WITHOUT associated pixel data rendered based on current user camera perspective. This MUST be available through a web browser interface. Now the optional part: I know that the above is possible using current technology (really not even that difficult, tech-wise, even though some of the spatial-reference issues could make your eyes cross). What I would LIKE to do is to pre-load star position data from the server and cache it on the user's computer, then use the USER's computer to render the star map from a given perspective, without using server resources. I'm not certain whether this is possible without creating a user-end application. Is it? If this is NOT possible, I still want to reduce the load on the server as much as possible. I see several possible options for this, especially if I understand correctly how database requests are handled and how the user's computer can be utilized in rendering (For example, any time the user clicks and "drags" to rotate the camera, based on its focal point, if I can't pre-cache and use the user's machine to render the map in real time as it rotates, could I instead just show a compass for reference, then only render the final image once the user has released the mouse button?) The problem is, I only have a general understanding of these concepts, so I don't know specifically which programming languages (and which technology) to dig into and start learning. So, the simplified question is -- What are my options for languages in which to create this application, back end, etc and what are the pros and cons of each? Thoughts are appreciated. *EDIT* [color=#1C2837][size=2] this is what I've gotten so far: Dynamic rendering and map interface: [color=#1C2837][size=2]html5, flash or silverlight, possibly Unity (though after looking at that, it seems like a bit more than I need) [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Web front-end: [color=#1C2837][size=2]html (obviously), CSS, javascript, .ASPX [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Middle tier: C# or java, (with C# being favored), along with possibly php? the .net framework (Not quite sure how to categorize, but it has to be in there somewhere.) [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Database end: MySQL or MSSQL [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]I'm sure I've mis-categorized a couple of these, but that's the general gist of things. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]I WAS hoping for some pro/con info on them and other opinions, but I'll take what I can get. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Thanks again, (and as I said, any further feedback is welcome
  2. This is EXACTLY what I'm doing. Thanks HNikolas. I thought, by linking to other games of a very similar nature, that I could make clear to people what is going on. Looking at this again, apparently my purpose wasn't understood at all. My project is a text-based MMORTS. As HNikolas said, "They can run with just a few database tables and short game logic code in a regular and cheap web server." The ENTIRE graphics department of the project is limited to the map that I originally asked about and a few game menus that I already know how to create (via HTML). (I may include a few .jpg files that I've already generated in a 3D modeler, but that's almost an afterthought.) The most complex part of the game engine itself will be doing relatively simple math to determine who wins or loses on the so-called "spreadsheet in space" and how many ones and zeros are left in each person's army. The whole purpose of posting here in the first place was trying to determine where to get my feet wet. Learning C++, for instance, would have been a waste of time and a really backward place to start...
  3. @ Telastyn and Shadow Thank you. I know you have doubts, and in your place I probably would too, but I still appreciate you taking the time to answer. Very much. Even if my project doesn't go anywhere, you've at least done something positive for me. Thanks. @ return0 and aregee ... lol
  4. I think you've got me wrong in saying that I don't want to hear what you have to say. I acknowledged Telastyn twice before ever objecting to his opinion. The third time, I pointed out that he wasn't answering my question but was making points that I had already acknowledged as his opinion (but noted were unhelpful to my cause). It was the fourth post before I spoke to his behavior as it deserved. Normally, in online forums, the OP is given some leeway in saying "this is how I would like this thread to proceed" and people who refuse to take a hint and persist at trying to redirect the thread (or get in the way of the original intent) are considered "Hyjackers." In this case, that was what telastyn became, and frankly I was personally offended by his unwillingness to take a hint, so I thought it only appropriate to return to him EXACTLY what he had given to me. What it all boils down to is this. Yes. I'm aware that the scope of this project is large. Yes. I see that people think I'm out of my league. ...And my reply (again) "You don't know what my league is. I've heard it all before. You're getting in my way." ...And yes, I'm the new guy here, which means you don't accord ME the same respect that you do someone like Telastyn (who's obviously been a contributing part of the community for a long time). Take away that "respect" that he's earned and the situation is exactly what I've laid down. Regardless of how highly esteemed his opinion is, he's still essentially hyjacking my thread and wasting my time, then refusing to let me get on with it by stepping aside when he disagrees. (And it's funny to me how I'm being demonized for returning exactly the same thing to him that he's perpetrated upon me---not at all unexpected, but it amuses me.) Two more things. 1. You said this: "[color="#1C2837"]We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior." [color="#1C2837"]...Which is exactly what I was basing my response to Telastyn on. [color="#1C2837"] [color="#1C2837"]2. Regarding "[color="#1C2837"]For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options." [color="#1C2837"]Thanks. I'll look into it. [color="#1C2837"] [color="#1C2837"]*EDIT-- At first glance that looks like exactly what I need. Thanks so much.*
  5. Ok then let me put it another way. I would appreciate it if you would either butt out or just answer the question the way I've asked it. Now, since we're in the business of giving unsolicited advice (actually, advice that I particularly discouraged), I'll see if I can't do something similar to you to what you've done to me. (The following paragraphs provide what I consider to be an accurate estimation of your behavior toward me and the personal problems you've evidenced thus far in this thread. Oh wait... you didn't ask for my opinion? Well I know better than you, so guess what, I'm going to tell you anyway.) If I were your employer: In this case, I would either fire you outright (if you were in a human resources or managerial position) or, more likely, I would insure that you were NEVER placed in a leadership position, mostly due to the fact that your conduct demonstrates the following: 1. think you know better than others and refuse to grant them the benefit of the doubt. 2. You are so arrogant and hard-headed that you feel driven to insert your opinion where it has already clearly been stated that it is not wanted 3. You lack the judgment or introspection to understand how you come across to others. This demonstrates a clear lack of personal maturity, so much so that unless you showed particular skill in your field (presumably as a programmer) I wouldn't want you working for me at all, and I CERTAINLY would NEVER put you in a position to enforce your arrogance on others. If I were your friend: In this case, (provided I would put up with a so-called friend who had the obvious personal problems that you do--normally I wouldn't), I would thank you politely for your advice, while trying to save you the embarrassment of pointing out your obvious arrogance, insensitivity and social awkwardness. I would then avoid asking for your advice ever again. Now if I wanted to tell someone what you've told me, the way I would have done it would be simply this: 1. Answer the question as best I know how (with a brief list of the possible resources needed to complete the project and a few pros and cons to them). 2. Point out to them that yes, i know they said they know the scope of the project, but really this is probably even bigger than they had already assumed. Instead what I got was two posts that said "Don't worry your little head about it. Find an expert. Hire him. Let him decide." Then a third post that was marginally helpful, but managed to call me stupid and question my judgment at the same time. I probably should have just slapped you upside the head at that point and sent you out to play like the child who should be seen and not heard. ...In fact, if you possess any kind of ability for introspection (which I doubt), you might consider this an indicator that your self-presentation in general needs serious help. If so, then congratulations, this wasn't a total waste of my time. Otherwise, from here on out, unless you can be helpful, just keep your opinion to yourself (like the hundred other posters who read this message and had the same thoughts that you did, then didn't bother replying--notice the page view count?) The funny thing is, I suspect if you set your mind to it, you could have given me about a paragraph of information during this point that would have informed me about the general options available to me and how each one functions (plus the pros and cons associated with them). Instead all you've done is get in my way. *EDIT: I should also note, if you care, that you've made this, on-balance, an unpleasant experience when it could have been a pleasant one.*
  6. Hmmmmm..... Was that an offer? [color=#1C2837][size=2]There are no good options. 15 years is a closer estimate given your stated goal and described experience. It doesn't matter what technology you pick for this project since it'll be out of date by the time you're ready to implement it. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color="#1c2837"]...[color=#1C2837][size=2]I'm not here just to bust your chops. I've years of development experience; years here on the forums seeing people make the same stupid mistakes.[/quote] ...I was half expecting to get this sort of thing when I posted here, but I WAS hoping I'd get at least enough real, useful feedback to get me started (and I believe I have; I now have at least a direction for my research). And now that you two have finished lecturing me (in Telastyn's case I saw it coming the first time he posted, and by the way, Telastyn you ARE "busting my chops," even if you think you have a good reason.) What you two have been providing is NOT real or useful feedback. At best it's cautionary advice (if I was some kid who thinks he can spend a couple of years solo-programming the next gen MMORPG). I believe that the only thing I have put in bold up to this point is that [color=#1C2837][size=2]I'm aware of the scope of the project I'm embarking on. How about, just for a second, you give me the credit for a little intelligence instead of just assuming that I actually DON'T understand what I'm getting into, and (this applies specifically to Telastyn--Dutchman was at least kind) look at your posts from my perspective under those conditions. All you're doing is insulting me and patronizing me. Now in regard to the project itself The first thing I did when I started working on this project was to approach a friend of mine who IS a "[color=#1C2837][size=2]professional coder" (who works primarily in Microsoft .net, .ASPX and MSSQL, at least currently) and ask him how long it would take him to create the project, from start to finish, and how long he thought it would take me if I were doing it all alone. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]So no, Telastyn, you DON'T know better than me. ...and your input up to this point has mostly been just useless interference. I would much rather NOT do it all by myself, and as it stands I have a partner who's already been working on the design with me for quite some time now who will be digging into the front end. I also have some friends who I might be able to rope in on the project as time goes on who have far more experience than I do with various aspects of it. I even have a friend who's genuinely interested in the project who controls millions of dollars of investment money (targeted at high-risk, high-return enterprises) who I may be talking to in a few weeks after I know what I'm dealing with. I also own my own business, and so I DO have resources I can devote to this over time. None of that matters right now. What matters is that I need to understand the technical side of what I'll be getting into. There's no way I'm going to just turn it over to someone else. That would totally defeat the purpose of starting the project in the first place, and I want to know where I'm going and what the cost of getting there will be (time, money, expertise) before I start pulling others into it. That requires that I get my hands dirty and see what it looks like on the ground level. (It's what any intelligent leader does.) Now, as a final request for feedback, this is what I've gotten so far: Dynamic rendering and map interface: [color=#1C2837][size=2]html5, flash or silverlight, possibly Unity (though after looking at that, it seems like a bit more than I need) [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Web front-end: [color=#1C2837][size=2]html (obviously), CSS, javascript, .ASPX [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Middle tier: C# or java, (with C# being favored), along with possibly php? the .net framework (Not quite sure how to categorize, but it has to be in there somewhere.) [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Database end: MySQL or MSSQL [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]I'm sure I've mis-categorized a couple of these, but that's the general gist of things. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]I WAS hoping for some pro/con info on them and other opinions, but I'll take what I can get. [color=#1C2837][size=2] [color=#1C2837][size=2]Thanks again, (and as I said, any further feedback is welcome, especially if it's getting to the point instead of just telling me how wrong I am.)
  7. Right, and if you're not going to be leading development, you need to find someone who will lead development that you trust. What language they've got expertise in is... largely irrelevant. Every language can interact with databases. Every language can work with some front end technology to provide user interface. Picking the technology platform isn't going to impact your success nearly as much as picking that person (and then letting them make technology decisions based on your requirements). They can spend the time and effort to get more of the requirements to give you better answers than we can about how the different options will impact your game. They can understand what options are even in play given your requirements. [/quote] Telastyn, I AM going to be leading development. I may very well be the SOLE developer, and that means I'm going to have to LEARN these languages. If that takes me five years, (or fifteen years) then so be it. The question I ASKED was what languages and systems present good options for me. As I said, this is a hobby. *Edit: In fact, this speaks even more strongly to figuring out which option is best from the get-go. If I'm starting with a "blank slate" I might as well use the most effective option for my situation. If you need more info, just tell me what you want me to expand on and I'll write you a novel if you like* @HNikolas and Npyren Thanks much. This is the kind of answer I'm looking for. If I can get some idea what options are available to me I can do some research on them to see which fits my project better. And yes, Npyren, it seems to me that what I'm looking for is fairly light-weight and (hopefully) simple. What I wasn't certain about (and had never seen before) was a browser-based live rendering of what is essentially (speaking in graphic designer parlance-- my background) vector graphics rather than raster images. (Or perhaps I just hadn't recognized what I was seeing). Further thoughts are always appreciated.
  8. I suppose the best way to reply to your post is that my partner and I ARE my core staff. (At the moment. That will change when I have a more comprehensive idea of what my requirements are and what I need to do to make this happen). The QUESTION was, what are my OPTIONS, and what are the pros and cons associated with them. (Example: ASPX and .Net along with Microsoft SQL are possible options, but they are not open source, so they require licensing, they are only compatible with some servers, and finding people who are expert in their use may be more difficult. They DO provide more secure options, though I've also heard that some people find them ...clunky?) This is a hobby for me. Before I determine what I need for staff if i want to make it a reality, I need to determine what direction I'll be going. That means researching and understanding, at least to some extent, the options available to me. At this point I don't even know what the playing field looks like.
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