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Everything posted by Shpongle

  1. Shpongle

    software contract (good or bad)

      Don't think of that as a problem, think of it as an opportunity to have them turn you down.  ;)   In fact, I'd do just that when I used to freelance.  If there was ever a contract I didn't feel right about, I'd simply make 'em an offer they were bound to refuse.
  2. Shpongle

    software contract (good or bad)

    Sounds to me like you're the one taking all the risk here.  If the product doesn't sell, they don't lose anything.  Meanwhile, you've lost all your time and any financial costs you've incurred.   Personally, I would never take any deal where the only offer was a % of sales.
  3. Shpongle

    Investing into a Game Project

      First thing you need to do is determine your financial goal with this investment.  What are you looking to accomplish by investing this money?  Do you have a dream project you want to realize?  Are you looking for a specific return on your investment?   The reality is that throwing $30-40k at a project is going to result in losing it.  And especially so if you don't have any professional experience behind it.
  4. OP's long gone guys and likely isn't coming back.
  5. Shpongle

    How to protect the idea?

      You don't copyright features or mechanics.  What you are looking at there is getting a patent.  But for that you need to go through the process of submitting a patent application and having it granted.  But a patent by itself is worthless without the legal means to defend it.  Even if you did patent a game mechanic, are you willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend it in court?   It also goes against the very thing that helped build the game industry: namely the copying of ideas.  If you look at the history of games, game mechanics and ideas are routinely copied.  It's precisely that which allows so many video games to be created.  If companies spent all their time patenting everything and then suing each other, the industry would be much worse off for it.   And in the end, it's likely that whatever ideas you have that you think are unique probably aren't.  The sheer volume of video games that exist or are being created means someone else has probably already thought of your idea.  It would not surprise me if it already exists.   The best thing to do is focusing on developing a game and making it the best implementation of your idea you can, and getting it to market.
  6. Shpongle

    Where can i start and how?

      The best language is whatever you happen to be using.  C++, C#, Java, Python, etc, can all be used to make a 2D game.   Eventually you'll likely end up learning multiple languages, so worry less about picking the "right" one right off the bat and just pick one and start programming.
  7. Shpongle

    How to protect the idea?

      This is precisely why a lot of potential investors won't sign an NDA.  For just pitching an idea and showing off a prototype, I'd skip the NDA personally.
  8. Shpongle

    How to protect the idea?

    I wouldn't worry about it for a couple reasons:   1) Ideas by themselves aren't worth much.  It's the execution of the idea that matters most.  You can have the most unoriginal idea in the world, but if you do it better than everyone else, you'll more than likely be successful.   2) Chances are someone else has already thought of it anyway.  And if it's a good idea, someone else is probably already developing it.
  9. Shpongle

    evaluate a game`s copyrights cost

    What you are trying to do is basically a business valuation.  There are a variety of ways of approaching this, but for something like you describe then a cash-flow model is likely the most ideal.   To do this you need to estimate the costs associated with operating this game, as well as the estimated inflows (i.e. revenues).  Typically such estimates are projected on an annual basis for a number of years, then discounted based on time value of money.  If your net discounted cash flow is positive then that's a good thing; if it's negative, then it's usually not something you'd want to invest in unless you are willing to take a loss.   The other thing to do is a risk analysis, to determine what types of risks you can be exposed to and their effects on the business.  Risks could be related to anything include customer base, financial, talent/employees, etc.  Ideally you want to go in with an idea of what the risks are and a mitigation strategy.  For example, a specific risk could include not attracting the right talent to support the game; you'd then want a strategy to address that in the case it occurs.
  10. One of the things I've been trying to figure out is how to best structure a game's code.  I've been reading over all the material I can find on programming architecture, patterns, OOP design.   But I think what would be really helpful is some real-world examples of game design in which I can peruse the code to see how others are structuring their games.   I know there is free source code for things like id games, and others, but I'm wondering if there are good examples of smaller games, especially those written in C#?
  11.   That's pretty standard for any profession.  People will usually only pay for professional results.  And delivering professional results involves building a skillset, which takes time.   The upside is that if you start now and work hard, you will get better and be able to one day deliver those professional results.
  12. Shpongle

    Chiptune softwares

    For anyone interested in NES-style sounds, I recommend the Tweakbench VSTs: Peach, Toad and Triforce.  They are designed to emulate NES sound/music sythesis and best of all, they are free.    http://www.tweakbench.com/peach http://www.tweakbench.com/toad http://www.tweakbench.com/triforce
  13. Shpongle

    Need help choosing a language

    I wouldn't get too hung up on which language you start out with.  You'll eventually end up learning multiple languages and a lot of the basic programming concepts you learn in one will apply to others.   If you do want a good language to start with, I'd probably go with C#.  I'm in the process of learning it myself and it's a relatively straight-forward language to learn.  The nice thing about it is you don't have to worry about as many things as you would with C++ (i.e. memory management).   You'll also be better poised to use things like MonoGame or Unity in developing actual games.
  14.   Reading this my first thought is: do you actually need to implement all these ideas?  Maybe the first thing is to look at the scope of what you are trying to do and then scale it back.   Otherwise, you're in a situation where you will have to take what you can get.  You stated that some of the people you looked at were inexperienced.  Well, that's just the reality of expecting people to do work for free.  You may have to accept inexperienced help, if you want help at all.  And if the quality of their work is not up to your standards, you will have to adjust your expectations.
  15. Right now I'm making a 2D space shooter.  I have a class, Ship, which holds all the data and behavior for spaceships.  Each Ship object can contain multiple instances of another class, ShipPart.  Right now I'm using ShipPart mainly for different animations that will trigger depending on different types of status variables in the Ship object.   For example, right now I'm using ShipPart instances to display thruster animations.  When the Ship is moving, the ShipPart for thrusters is set to Active and the animation displays.   Ideally what I want to be able to do is set a variety of on/off statuses for the Ship class that can correspond to any given ShipPart instance.  I was thinking that using basic bits to do this could work.  I could use a simple 16 bit or 32 bit variable in the Ship class, giving me 16 or 32 possible "states" for any Ship object. Then doing an appropriate bitwise comparison to a corresponding variable in each ShipPart instance, could set their "Active" boolean variable accordingly.   The only issue I'm not 100% sure about the best way to do this.  Any help?  Or if anyone has a better way of going about this, I'm happy to hear it.
  16. @Endurion & Programmer16:  Thank you for the advice about using enums/flags!  I've started reading up on it and it seems like something that will be the solution I'm looking for.  
  17.   From your description it sounds like you already have this functioning as you like. Why do you want to move to a bitmask to control different ship parts? That seems like a more rigid architecture...    I guess my question is: what's wrong with your current architecture? What problems are you facing with it?     Right now I'm still trying to design the architecture for this.  The only thing I have implemented is controlling the thruster animations and that's hard-coded.
  18. Shpongle

    Game Engines without "Editors"?

    Would like something like XNA/MonoGame fit the bill?  They aren't engines per-say, but rather frameworks that handle a lot of the nuts 'n bolts when it comes to graphics, sound, etc.
  19. Shpongle

    wanting feedback on two design ideas

      People might be a bit reluctant to give their email address to a random stranger.  Why not just post the ideas here?
  20. Shpongle

    How do you motivate yourself for game design?

    I get what the OP is saying.  When venturing into something brand new and that has a steep learning curve, it can feel very overwhelming.  So much so, that it can induce a paralysis at even starting.   But what has always helped me in these situations is rather than looking at the entire mountain of knowledge all at once, focus on the smaller incremental hills.     I recently started learning C# and XNA/MonoGame.  Rather than focusing on building a fully complete game right off the bat, I broke it down into small, short-term goals.  First, I wanted to figure out how to display a 2D sprite on the screen.  Next, how to animate that sprite.  Then, how to control it with the keyboard or mouse.   Each of these provide a short-term sense of progression and accomplishment, which fuels motivation for the next short-term goal.  And at the same time, they are part of my progression to the larger goal of making a complete game.  Over time, I'll have climbed up the mountain of knowledge but it will be gradual enough that it won't have felt too daunting.
  21. Shpongle

    Basic level scripting? (for a 2D shmup)

    Thanks for the replies, all.  I hadn't heard of JSON before, so I'm investigating that.  It seems like a very straightforward way to script things.
  22. I've managed to mostly figure out the basics of game mechanics in XNA and have a prototype 2D shooter going.  But now I want actually build a playable level out of this.   My thought is basing the level on timed events; starting with a class called GameEvent, each instance of that class would represent an event like spawning an enemy, playing a sound, changing music, and so on.  In game, it should be a matter of just keeping a list and every time the game time reaches the event time, the event is triggered.   My two questions are:   1) Is this a good approach for something like a shmup-type game? 2) What would be an ideal way to actually script this?  Would XML suffice?   Any advice is appreciated.  I've tried looking at some scripting tutorials, but I'm feeling a bit lost as there are so many options and opinions out there.
  23. Shpongle

    Where do I begin?

      While on the one hand I kinda get where you are coming from, on the other hand I think this is really bad advice for a beginner.  Throwing them in the deep end by suggesting a whole new OS and eschewing any modern IDEs is most likely going to confuse and frustrate most people.  And then they'll be much more likely to give up.   Likewise, suggesting someone can't start making games until they know things like linked lists and binary trees is absurd.  Lots of simple and fun games can be made without data structures more complicated than a basic array.  For a beginner it's important they start seeing results early on a get a feeling of progress.  Over time they can build on that knowledge when they need something more complicated.
  24.   Sin and Cos will always return a value between -1 and 1.  This behavior is cyclical based on the fundamental property of the sine and cosine functions.  The main difference between the two is the horizontal offset.  The following graph will illustrate this:     By passing an ever increasing value (in this case time*2), the result of either Sin or Cos will return a cyclical value moving between -1 and 1.  And this results in a smooth pulse.
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