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About SephirothEX

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  1. I've got more experience with application programming than anything else, but I've found that game programming is trickier than most application programming. Application programming can be extremely complex, but most applications don't have realtime requirements, which in a lot of cases means they can reduce complexity by sacrificing a bit of speed. That isn't a trade that game programmers can make too many times.
  2. SephirothEX

    What do you like in a 2d platformer?

    This is going to sound obvious, but PLATFORMS! So many so-called "platformers" tend to shy away from actually having jumping from platform to platform as a challenge for the player because they're really hard to balance. Even Castlevania, which on the NES and SNES had some pretty difficult platforming elements, tends to steer clear of jumping as anything more than a combat mechanic in the GBA games. 2D's biggest strength is that there is no camera to overcomplicate the platforming, so use that to your advantage.
  3. SephirothEX

    Advice on my school..

    I'm not impressed with their computer engineering degrees, seeing as how a friend of mine got his and couldn't find a job in that field and I had no trouble getting a job with a traditional four-year degree from a state school. I can't say anything about the quality of their game degrees though. Considering how game development degrees are so new, none of the programs, with the exception of Digipen of course, have been around long enough to really establish a reputation, good or bad.
  4. SephirothEX

    using real people in games....

    South Park gets away with it because A. it's a parody, and B. they aren't using the actors' likenesses. Construction paper cutouts, or in this case, computer generated construction paper cutouts, being called by that actor's name doesn't count as using that actor's likeness. So I guess if you made a game with a character model that looked nothing like Tom Cruise but called that character Tom Cruise (preferably never having it in text form and with a voice that sounds nothing like his) then you could probably get away with it.
  5. SephirothEX

    Over to the rainbow's end

    You're right, there's isn't really anything concrete about software engineering as what works in one situation won't necessarily work in another. The professor for my capstone software engineering class pretended that he had all of the answers, but as soon as I got out of school and programmed in the "real world" I realized that he didn't really have any more answers than I did. Granted, I'm an electrical engineer who works with embedded systems and his area of expertise was at the application level, but that just goes to show that there's no one approach to everything. The same applies for games. What works in an RTS won't necessarily work for an FPS, what works for platforms that utilize low-level programming (like the GBA) won't necessarily work for PCs. Now, as for designing a complex game, I'm assuming you mean at the software architecture level and not the elements of game design level. I would recommend "3D Game Engine Programming" by Stephan Zerbst. Instead of just throwing basic graphics concepts at you, he actually shows you have everything fits together in the end. In a lot of cases his source code doesn't match the book, but since you're studying software engineering you're probably looking for concepts and not code anyway. And for your last question, most of us at work don't both with getters and setters because they cause overhead that just isn't needed. That's the official reason anyway. The real reason is that we're so used to using plain C for embedded systems code that we don't really want to mess with data hiding in any other language. And when I was in college I didn't mess with them either, as I personally think they make the code look messy and wasted cycles for no real benefit.
  6. SephirothEX

    Space and starfield rendering

    This may not be the solution you're looking for as it's more rendering intensive, but one way to generate the starfield is to use a bunch of billboarded stars with Z Buffer writes turned off. That way they'd rotate with the camera realistically and would be covered by nearer objects and you'd never have to worry about seams.
  7. SephirothEX

    Good books on DirectX shaders

    ShaderX3 is pretty well written, but it's definitely not the first shader book you'd want to buy. It pretty much assumes that you've written shaders before and know the various languages used to write them.
  8. I think that abuse of expanding memory sizes in level design is a big one. Too many developers see that PCs and even some consoles (the Xbox) have large memory sizes (or get around it by streaming levels) and make environments that are unnecessarily large. Halo is probably the worst offender, with enormous levels that are just used to pad the length of the game. Half-Life 2 falls into the same trap, Route Canal and Highway 17 (I think those are the episode names anyway... the ones with the vehicles) get downright boring before they end. Nova Prospekt isn't quite as bad, but it's still too long. Doom III's levels are the right size really, they just feel too long since they almost all feel the same.
  9. SephirothEX

    Vertex Buffer and Performance

    Make sure to sort your object by texture so that you only have to set each texture once. You'll still have to make separate calls since you have to change the world matrix, but at least you won't be changing textures with every call. One way to improve texture batching is to put multiple textures into one texture object, called a texture atlas. This is best used for textures that don't repeat, like skins, since texture repetition with an atlas has to be performed in shaders.
  10. SephirothEX

    viewing volume / frustum is cubic?

    It can be set that way, but no, the horizontal and vertical viewing angles don't have to be the same. Usually the horizontal field of vision is larger than the vertical.
  11. SephirothEX

    Plasticine floating and sinking?

    The main factor there is surface tension. A body laying down on the water will have more contact with the surface of the water, allowing the tension to hold it up, whereas a body standing up makes less contact with the surface, and will sink.
  12. SephirothEX

    Metal Gear Solid

    Metal Gear 2: Snake's Revenge is the one set in Zanzibar Land, right? If so, then it advances the story, but only slightly. It pretty much only applies to one of the characters in Metal Gear Solid.
  13. SephirothEX

    Try my shadows demo

    Looks great! I get 120 FPS on average, it bottoms out at about 115 FPS. Athlon 64 3500+ ATI Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition 1 GB RAM
  14. SephirothEX

    Why is this done rarely...?

    This is one of those situations where you wish that Square Enix would step in and say, "Yeah, you can make this remake, but you're working for us and we'll own the rights to it," kind of like John Carmack did with the Linux version of Quake. Seeing Chrono Trigger done right in 3D like that brought a tear to my eye... not even Square themselves did the universe that much justice in Chrono Cross... [Edited by - SephirothEX on September 7, 2004 3:20:04 PM]
  15. SephirothEX

    Shader versions

    It goes something like this: Geforce 6600/6800 series: SM3.0 Radeon X800 series: SM2.x (SM2.0 with a few SM3.0 features) GeforceFX 5200/5600/5700/5800/5900 series: SM2.0 Radeon 9500/9600/9700/9800 series: SM2.0 Geforce 4 Ti series: PS1.3,VS1.1 Radeon 8500/9000/9100/9200 series: PS1.4,VS1.1 Geforce 3 series: PS1.1,VS1.1 Be careful though, although the GeforceFX 5200/5600 series do actually support SM2.0, they can't run even the simplest shaders at acceptable speeds, especially the 5200 series. You may as well consider them to be PS1.3 and VS1.1 cards.
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