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lawnjelly last won the day on July 7

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About lawnjelly

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  1. Imo Don't get too involved with critics (except maybe gameplay) until you have that minimal viable product (MVP) For your own sanity, you yourself should be critic numero uno. Although you should use other critics to help guide you, the main factor should be whether you are happy with your work A criticism of 'it looks shit' is too vague to be any use anyway (they could be referring to graphics, gameplay, anything), you either engage to get more info (as Hodgman suggested) or just pay attention to critics with more brain cells Don't spend a massive amount of time trying to refine graphics until you have that MVP. It's a massive potential time sink that might prevent you ever finishing. If practical, try not to let your design of your early version limit the potential for refinement later on. These critics are probably some spotty 11 year olds, who are comparing your game to the latest 'insert title here', which cost a billion dollars to make and had 500 people on the dev team. To us that is an obvious factor, to a slightly en-retard child it won't even occur to them. When you do go for refining graphics, go for that low hanging fruit which will be easy to implement and give a lot of bang for the buck. In this case I suspect a bit of programming may yield more than a lot of time spent on artwork, especially as you are new to Unity and it may have a lot of options where a lot of the work is done for you. If you are looking at things to improve visually (perhaps once you have the MVP): Firstly decide what you are targeting, minimum spec, and work so that on low quality it will work good on that low spec machine. If that is mobiles that does mean big limitations on e.g. fill rate and shaders. Some random ideas: All our tower defence games ended up looking a bit 'griddy'. Decide whether you want to go for this completely, or take some steps to break up the grid and make it look more natural. The terrain and background. Single textured box is fine for development, but once you get to refining, look at texture splatting and procedural generation of the terrain texture. You can also potentially do this with PBR channels like roughness and normal mapping. Terrain height. This actually is potentially important in a lot of design issues, so if you are going with varying height decide upon this early on. Be aware that it will potentially open up a barrel of worms (units needing to be on flat ground, foot IK, projectiles flying through mountains etc). You could e.g. limit this to non-gameplay areas. Water. Adding some lakes, sea etc could add some variation to things, and you could have some water based attackers. Are the units you place and the attackers going to be the only things on the map? Other things could add some interest to the map and perhaps affect gameplay too. Camera angles. If you are building your world in 3d, take advantage of this and show a bunch of camera angles. This will really help show up any e.g. PBR shading because it depends on the angle with the light. The wall should help with the viewdistance and you can have e.g. a skybox or something behind it. If you go with procedural terrain, or not, it is worth having a procedural layer on the terrain, you can splat in stuff like explosion marks, tyre tracks, etc etc. Have a think about lighting. Top down daytime lighting is easy, and perhaps realistic, but doesn't look very dramatic. Having things like the action take place at night, with local lighting (or moving lighting) might really take things up a notch. I'm sure there's loads of other gameplay suggestions people will have too, because I think it will be worth having some unique selling points to distinguish it from all the other tower defence games.
  2. This. One key recurring point is that I'm not getting the impression that you (OP) have really crunched some of the numbers involved. Have you looked at how many game studios there are in the world, where are they based (how many in Panama?)? How many of them are new startups, how often do they go out of business, how many of them are actually profitable? As well as the companies you need to take a long hard look at the financials of most games, not just the headline blockbusters. There are thousands of games released every day (google play, steam etc), the vast majority of them will not cover their development costs, let alone make a profit. If I were you, instead of a 'game specific' (or even media specific) school, I would be thinking in terms of a good selection of general technology courses combined with a foundation of traditional courses (including non-tech fields). And the emphasis being on technology theory and ideas that are not subject to rapid change (and thus depreciation). And perhaps limit the exposure to transient technologies to more optional components (and after school classes). Let's not forget that there's a huge amount of self-teaching information available for after-school on the internet. One of many reasons I would suggest keeping some kind of broad options available, is that many applications of tech are by combinations with other fields. For instance, probably one of the most important fields this century will be biotechnology, for instance the combination of programming and genetic manipulation. Overall the games industry itself, although seen as one of the 'sexiest' industries to your average spotty teenager, practically speaking is one of the least viable tech areas, and so I would not, in formal education, generally recommend the kind of specialization suggested.
  3. I wouldn't call you a liar, you clearly believe in your project and your heart is in the right place. I would just put forward the question whether youngsters are better having an education centred around video game development, or having this as an extra topic in addition to their general development. Maybe you could get the views of a few people that hire and those that run their own business, there's quite a few here that do interviews (as have I in the past). The view that a general degree such as computer science or maths may be better career choice than something game specific is quite common.
  4. Personally I worry that any replacement of a general education with specific video game courses is a bad idea. I get a number of leaflets through my door aimed at the general public advertising 'game careers and courses' but to me this is capitalizing on the naivity of youngsters, and cynically an attempt to make a quick buck out of them rather than offer any kind of realistic prospects. In terms of jobs, having more general degrees such as computer science, maths, or art is often looked upon more favourably then game specific 'qualifications'. Game technology changes very rapidly and what you learn in a specific course may be outdated and useless in a few years, whereas good grounding in core subjects is less likely to become outdated. The other thing of course is that realistically there are not viable jobs available for 99% of these candidates - you are selling a lie. It's like kids growing up thinking that becoming a professional footballer is a viable career choice. And even among those who go into game development, many will move on career wise into other areas as they get older, start a family etc, by which time any 'game specific' education will be largely useless, and place them at a disadvantage against other candidates with more traditional education.
  5. lawnjelly

    Assembly language?

    I also started with assembly in the '80s and agree it can be really good fun, and I'd recommend anyone to have a dabble with learning it, not so much because it is likely to be useful itself these days (except specific areas) but so you can understand how compilers work, how interpreted bytecode works, what is the difference etc. Those youtube tutorials brought back memories of writing sprite drawing routines etc. As said the reason why it is less relevant now is because in the old days you had direct access to screen memory (and because the compilers now are so damned good!). Now everything is done through APIs, the CPU doesn't have direct access to screen memory (or you shouldn't write as if it does). So writing assembly to call OpenGL for instance is kind of pointless, because it's the same thing as calling OpenGL from e.g. C, you are gaining nothing by doing it in assembly. And as promit says it is still used in the form of SIMD (mostly via intrinsics), which is really fun. Kind of things I've used SIMD for recently are for CPU graphics techniques, vector math and audio. If you are determined to make a small game in assembly you might want to look at emulators for simpler (older) computers which do have a 'screen memory'. As a bonus the assembly will be easier I think because of less instructions. It's not that tough, it's the same concepts as writing modern games, just simpler .. game loop, input, displaying stuff etc. Back in the day we wrote all the tools in assembly too, sprite editors, map editors etc.
  6. lawnjelly

    Unity SetQualityLevel persistence

    I went with option 2 as it was quickest to put in, but I agree option 5 is probably the best available. Really this is something that should be sorted out by OpenGL / Unity (i.e. detect invalid modes and not allow their selection), rather than have end users working around these bugs. It relates to one of the two dodgiest parts of OpenGL in my opinion, the lack of standardized 'feature sets' (and the other being the difficulty of debugging the state machine).
  7. It would really need someone familiar with the OpenGL innards to answer your question, but here is my understanding: "|" just means bitwise OR, as the argument to glClear is passed as one value (presumably an int or uint) by combining flags (e.g. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 etc). This is just a method of communicating via the API, and says nothing about how the command operates within OpenGL (the driver and GPU). Some operations are well defined in the OpenGL specs, and others are left for the hardware guys to do in the most optimal way for their hardware. You can check the specs, but I suspect this particular operation may not be tightly defined, except in terms of what the client 'sees'.. i.e. as long as to the client the result is the same, it should not matter how the implementation achieves the result. An example of this divergence is the difference between tile renderers on mobile, and desktop renderers. On desktop not clearing the back buffer used to be used as a performance optimization (as the colours are going to be drawn over in the next frame anyway). However on tile renderers this can adversely affect performance because the old contents need to be explicitly copied to the 'operating tile', just in case some pixels are not overwritten. So in tile renderers it can be faster to explicitly clear the entire frame buffer. Even on desktop modern GPUs may not be 'clearing' the memory in the way that you think, they may be using tricks to achieve the same effect.
  8. lawnjelly

    Tower Defence - Post Mortem

    Yeah, that is actually the 1 and only majorish bug, that I never got round to fixing. The enemies store the ID of the tower they are attacking, and when an enemy destroys a tower, sometimes the IDs can get mucked up (as they get reused). It's a common referencing bug, but debugging in Unity without step by step debugging just made it such a nightmare I never bothered fixing it! But the big boxer guys are really tough, they whack through your towers in no time. No problem, it can be really useful having an extra pair of eyes, especially because we get so involved with our own project we don't see the forest for the trees!
  9. lawnjelly

    Tower Def Challenge Submission

    Got it working! Found out it does need the visual studio 2015 runtime installing, and OpenAL. It seems to run fine and I'm not very good at it so far! Quite a few entries are going for the freeform paths where your towers determine the routes they follow! Maybe this is how it is meant to be done I confess I haven't played many tower defence games before the challenge lol.
  10. lawnjelly

    Tower Def Challenge Submission

    I can't see the download link on the project page! I think same think happened to me, when you upload it, you have to click 'save' after the upload or it doesn't take.
  11. lawnjelly

    Tower defence submission

    Yup sure is here: https://www.gamedev.net/blogs/entry/2265037-tower-defence-post-mortem/
  12. I'm sure you guys tried it already but this is my entry: https://www.gamedev.net/projects/454-tower-defence/
  13. lawnjelly

    My Final Entry : Tower Defense Challenge

    Ah I only had 3 miners, that will be why I kept losing doh!
  14. lawnjelly

    tower-d submission: Space Box

    The ogre log is similar to the error message, saying it failed to load the ogre directx9 dll. This may be a wild goose chase so I wouldn't spend any more time on it .. I commented out the directx9 plugin line in the opengl version and now it says opengl 1.5 isn't available, so it sounds like this is an issue with how the VM is setup in virtualbox and the GPU (I've never used it before) rather than a problem with the game.
  15. lawnjelly

    tower-d submission: Space Box

    Neither worked, I will have a look. As you say it may be an issue with the VM, but it's quite good because it's a 'fresh install' each time so it's easier to identify things that might be missing from users machines. I have had case sensitivity issues when I went from windows to linux but I don't think that should affect the VM as everything is running on a windows file system I believe.
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