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About Barzai

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  1. Barzai

    Online Computer Science degree

    If you have a different bachelor's degree already, Oregon State has an online post-baccalaureate degree program.   http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/online-degrees/undergraduate/computer-science/   I'm in that program and it's pretty challenging.  They don't skimp on the workload because its online, and the degree is the same as their in class degree.   When I was researching this back in the day, this was the only program I found through a regular state university for online computer science.  There may be more now, though.  I know that a few schools like ASU (Arizona State) are adding engineering programs that are either competely online or mostly online with the exception of lab portions.  More schools may add computer science to that as well.   Good luck!
  2. Well, I just took the code from the first post and plugged it into two notepad files in a folder on my desktop.  It didn't work.   I added the 's' to type="text/javacript", and it worked after that.   I'd say markr hit it on the nose.  Good eyes on you, markr.
  3. Barzai

    How on earth do I start a game?!

    Well, I'm not an expert or anything, but here's how I did my first project:   Figure out how to put a box on the screen Figure out how to make that box move based on keyboard inputs Figure out how to make that box know when it runs into another box (harder than it may seem at first glance) Figure out how to make a box move on its own Figure out how to make a box move based on the position of another box Turn that into pong   It's nothing pretty, but it taught me some pretty good basic stuff that you see all the time in games.  Now I can use that stuff when I try to write nicer games.
  4. Barzai

    Beginner looking into game making

    Well, I don't know if there's really any such thing as a simple 3d game.  However, I looked up Dear Esther, and it looks to be a mod of the Source Engine.  There's several of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Source_engine_mods   If you're looking to make something, but you aren't really interested in learning all of the ins and out of coding under the hood, it may be worth your while to make a mod of a game rather than starting from scratch.   Full disclaimer, though, I've never written any game mods myself.  I know that quite a few companies release tools with their games that let you make your own levels.  From what I understand, with the more sophisticated ones you can make viable stand alone games.  It sounds like that's more in line with what you want to do.   Since I'm not a modder, I can't really help you more than pointing out that it exists.  I'm pretty sure that Starcraft 2 was released with full development tools.  I'm not sure where exactly you would get the Source Engine (like Dear Esther used), but an internet search would probably fill in the gaps for you.
  5. Barzai

    Need advice

    **Note--I looked back through this, and I'm way off topic for the purpose of this forum, which is breaking into the industry.  If you moderator folks feel I'm too far off, I can edit it all out if you'd like.**   Well, I may as well throw a couple of cents in here, hopefully they will also make sense as well.   I have an engineering degree, and I'm currently back in school in a post-baccalaureate program in computer science that Oregon State offers.  The reason is that I've found that I don't particularly enjoy the engineering work that I'm doing.  I do seem to really like programming, so I want to make that switch.   Don't get me wrong, the engineering work isn't terrible or anything, and it does pay pretty well.  The thing is, like with a lot of jobs I suppose, I spend a lot more time in meetings and shuffling paperwork about than I do actually designing test fixtures and setting up production lines and fun stuff like that.  Now, your mileage may vary, of course.  You could end up in a job in which you don't have as much paperwork overhead and you get to spend more time doing the fun part.   From what I can see, it looks like computer science offers a lot more flexibility in your day to day life than engineering does.  This may just be because of where I live (San Francisco bay area), but there is an absolutely huge demand for computer science.  The jobs pay very well, and they exist pretty much all over the place.  If there's a particular place you want to live, there's probably work there in computer science.   As far as engineering goes, mechanical would be a good choice because there is a lot of work available.  Electrical also offers a lot of work, and it has overlap with computer science.  When I look at job postings, companies actively attempt to recruit programmers from other areas, and are willing to pay them to relocate in some cases.  That doesn't tend to happen in engineering.  Also, the engineering jobs don't pay more than computer science jobs.  I can't speak to pay rates in game dev computer science jobs, since I'm not in that field, but if you're looking to get a high salary to eventually save enough to start your own business like you say, engineering is not more lucrative than programming.   In any case, I'm not sure from your last post whether you're still considering a CS major with a ME minor, or switching to ME entirely.  However, since you already program on the side, it seems pretty apparent that you enjoy it.  If you're looking to switch to ME entirely for the money, I'd reconsider it since it doesn't pay more than computer science.  If you're looking to do a minor, because then you get to learn more physics and engineering and such because it's stuff you really want to know, that sounds entirely reasonable.  However, as others here have pointed out, there's no need to decide that immediately.  You can get into school and experience the workflow there a bit before you really need to make that call.   One final note, if you do want to open a studio, there's actually a lot of other knowledge that would be very useful to you.  This is stuff that would happen in the future a bit, but getting an MBA would probably be a wise choice.  There's quite a bit involved in the business side of things that can be easy to overlook but can make your studio fail.
  6. Barzai

    What's the true worth of an initial game idea?

    The premise of this thread greatly undervalues the editing process.   I think I've read it here, but I'm not exactly sure where, that one of the most important skills for a game designer is knowing when something doesn't work and being willing to throw that part out.  In a world where it's ultimately important to maintain the purity of the original concept, that just doesn't happen.   Editing is valuable pretty much everywhere, not just in game design.  Sure, you occasionally hear about an album that gets recorded because the musicians just hit the studio one week and everything clicked.  That's pretty rare though.   Painting, writing, heck, even manufacturing new equipment, everything needs editing.  There is no such thing as the awesome perfect master idea that needs to be preserved.
  7. Barzai

    how to think like a programmer

      For what it's worth, this is also exactly the same procedure I've used and seen used for any complex system that needs to be built.   Building a machine?  You do exactly this.  Your vacuum pump module doesn't know or care what the wheels the system rolls around on are doing, and vice versa.  When I make one, I don't care about the other.   Building a production line?  Hopefully the system designers were smart enough to design the system in distinct modules.  Then you simply create stations for building each separate module, or combine them when appropriate.  Sometimes you make sub-assembly stations that get combined into one assembly.  Still, the basic principle of breaking the problem down into digestible sub-components is always there.   Heck, even from taking classes, the instructors generally break down the subject matter into sub groups to make it easier to organize the teaching.  Night clubs that operate effectively break the bar into sub stations, and fine tune each employee to optimize their tasks to maximize the flow of alcohol.   It works pretty much everywhere, not just in programming.
  8. it would have a Lovecraftian setting.  The entire game would be jumping puzzles with increasing difficulty, as you try climb a mysterious mountain.  If you finally reach the top, you get ripped to shreds and die.  Game over.
  9. Wow, I just looked that up, and I didn't realize just how much data that can gather at once.  I see why you're posting about it on a gaming forum.  One or 2 of those would make for a super-accurate 3d kinect type system like slicer said.  Or, if you could translate the data into the visible spectrum and project the images it captures on room walls somehow, you could immerse a person in a remote environment pretty accurately I'd imagine.   It could be useful in hazardous environments.  It might make life easier on folks working at refineries and sewage treatment plants if they could gather that much data remotely without having to put on environmental protection suits.  Maybe track mixing patterns in sealed reactors?   I don't know how much power solar panels can generate, but if they could power a unit and a transmitter remote sensing stations could be deployed.  An array of those could track movements in large chunks of wilderness areas.  You could actually track the flight patterns of bees in orchards for optimizing pollination or somesuch.  That might get expensive, though.   You could make automated security grids.  If you can accurately detect the location of something you can point a gun at it and shoot it.   Yeah, lots of possibilities.
  10. Your thread title made me think of the mass spectrometry technique.  But, yeah, I'm not sure I completely understand the device you're describing, but it sounds like it could model some sort of 3D chromatography well.  Precisely capturing the movement of things that travel at slightly different rates over long distances relative to their size and whatnot.  You could take things that travel at different rates under different driving forces at right angles to each other and sort them.   That is, if it's modelling software.  If it gathers the data of actual real world spaces, that would be a different thing entirely.  Flight patterns of bees, maybe?  Or schools of fish?  Tracking light objects in tornadoes (tiny tornadoes).  Flow patterns of particulates traveling in fluids in sealed pipes?   It's certainly an interesting sounding piece of technology, though.
  11. Well, I'm still very much a beginner myself, but I'll post the way I go about it on the chance that some of my approach may be useful.  I'm not using much by way of HTML5, like canvas or anything as of yet.  Really the only more modern tags I use are outerWidth, innerWidth, and the height versions of those.   I make a general game object prototype, like this: function GameSpace(gameGrid, playerArray, motionArray, frozenArray, timeStep, data, defaults) {    this.gameGrid = gameGrid;    this.playerArray = playerArray;    this.motionArray = motionArray;    this.frozenArray = frozenArray;    this.timeStep = timeStep;    this.data = data;    this.defaults = defaults; }   The gameGrid is my collision grid for that gamespace.  The arrays hold objects of the given types.  The timestep is a timestep :)  The thing that maybe applies here are the data and defaults objects.  Their only job is to store variables.  The defaults never gets rewritten after startup.  The data object variables can be rewritten from a hidden form in the web page.  If I mess things up too badly when I'm trying to tune stuff, I can restore the original configuration by resetting the data object to the values in the defaults object.   Then I make my actual game object, like: var spaceInvadersGame = new GameSpace({}, [], [], [], 0, {}, {}); var activeGameSpace = spaceInvadersGame;   OF course there's other code elsewhere for actually writing the variables into the data object.   I can then access any variables for any gamespace I need in my functions by using activeGameSpace set to the game I want.  For example, the number of lives for the player would be: activeGameSpace.data.lives   And the number of horizontal divisions I divide my game area into is: activeGameSpace.gameGrid.horizontalDivisions   I can code that in my functions, and as long as I'm careful with naming it sort of works like polymorphism.  Whatever I set activeGameSpace to is the source of the variables in the data object the function calls.   I know that isn't particularly pretty, but javascript lets you get away with it.   This solves the problem with global collisions that hit javascript all the time.  It ignores the other potential issues, though, like accessing the same variables from many locations.  I try to avoid those problems by doing my best to use the data object mostly for things that look like constants to the gameSpace scope, if that makes sense.   I think your booleans solve the same problem in a slightly different way, though.  I'm using one variable, activeGameSpace, to point to all of my other variables, and you're using booleans to tell functions what variables to use.  I'd say your approach is probably just as good as mine.  Actually, I've learned plenty by reading your code.  I always find it educational to read other people's code.   Actually, your question about your loop makes me wonder if I should have my own timestep in my gamespace rather than making it global.  From what I understand the timer should regulate taking in inputs, stepping through game information, and drawing stuff.  That might be better left as a global rather than being part of a specific game space.  I haven't tried loading multiple games from one webpage with a dropdown menu yet.  That may be a problem that arises when I do.   Anyway, I rambled a bit.  I hope some of that was useful.  And, again, I'm still learning myself, so there could be some big errors I don't know about in my approach.   Cheers
  12. Wow, it's certainly an interesting idea.  I generally make a distinct game object, then use a variable that tells my other code which game object to use, similar to HappyCoder's suggestion, I think.   Out of curiosity, when you attempt the change from js1 to js2, exactly how are you doing it?  And, it may be overly simple, but have you tried just changing the newScript.src parameter to game2.js instead of adding and removing children?  Doing that may need some sort of document reload command, though, if it would work at all.   If you make this approach with the DOM work, please post your solution.  It would be interesting to see how you went about it.
  13. Barzai

    First Game

    Howdy,   The farthest I got was level 9.  I enjoyed it.   A level display could help, to let people know how far they along they are.   Also, for level 3 you go for a long stretch without any real danger, so if you die later you have to repeat the long stretch without any danger.  Maybe add a ball or 2 early on.   Level 8, the background color can make it hard to see the player cube.   I like level 5 a lot.  Pretty hard, pretty fun.   Out of curiosity, how many levels are there?   All in all, a fun game.  I came back 6 or so times to see if I could get farther, so I was hooked obviously.  Good work, I'd say.   Cheers
  14. Out of curiosity, are you using the same browser when you check it online vs. offline?  Probably an obvious question, but something to check.
  15. Well, there's one thing I would maybe try.  Your Jet() uses var i, and so does Jet.prototype.collision.  Using the keyword this may be invoking the var i from Jet() instead of the var i from Jet.prototype.collision.  I'd try renaming one of those var i to something else and seeing if it helps.   Javascript is kind of weird about scope.  The only time you get a new scope is with a function call.  Loops and other constructs using braces do not automatically generate a scope.  You have a function call which creates a new scope for the collision function, but then the keyword this declares a scope to be used (I think).  Thus, you may be using the Jet() scope var i.   I hope that helps.  Otherwise, hopefully one of the more experienced guys will know more.   Cheers.
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