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Everything posted by _the_phantom_

  1. Unfortunately if you do point out such things everyone immediately dismisses everything you say as being biased, which is why I find it best to avoid pointing out who I work for, or indeed have worked for, in any discussion. Sure, it gives me the upper hand in internal information (which I can't share), but people also assume that you are just 'toeing the company line' with any and all statements. Alas, short of getting to know everyone personally to convince them that isn't who you are, or indeed how the company works, no one will ever be convinced otherwise imo. also, it tends to attract people asking for help or just wanting to shit on the place you work... and as it's now been mentioned in connection with this account I consider that firewall broken and might now have to retire this name. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe it'll lead people to find out who I am and shit all over me. Either way I took the decision a few years and a few companies ago that I prefer to be anonymous. And with that, I'm out.
  2. We are going to disagree on the TOS changes; Improbable were always in breech, and yes their users were too (which imo is Improbable's mess to sort out), even before the clarification updates. The changes tried to spell out, clearer, what was already part of the problem, yeah they aren't clear and miss the intent but it doesn't change the facts that Improbable were in breech long before those changes occurred and should have informed their users as such - unless you are proposing that Unity should have had access to Improbable's customer list and gone to them directly? Also, the concept that they "change the rules to put people in breech" would have only applied if those people had updated Unity AFTER the changes occurred - as spelled out in the reply from the blog quoted above. The fact that Improbable remain in breech with that logic applied means this goes beyond that 4.2 update/tweak/whatever you want to call it, as they can't be in breech if they haven't updated. Should Unity have put out a blog post saying they cut off Improbable when it happened? Maybe... of course all that would have happened then is it would have looked like Unity were trying to strong arm Improbable via the court of public opinion to hand over money to keep their business going. (and my understanding is that replies to an initial Improbable statement about this had been prepared, just no one expected them to come out and just lie about basically everything.) I personally hope more details do get out in the wild so that both Improbable AND Epic get a pasting over this... while Unity and Epic have been rivals for some time there has always been a kind of code, or respect, between the two - hell Tim was even complementary about the ECS stuff when it appeared back end of last year (and he'd been heading back up in my estimation, now however...) - this seems to have changed the rules of that game a bit imo; heck maybe it was the ECS stuff that rattled Epic and they've seen this as an opportunity to strike back without having to take a technical lead? That we'll never know.
  3. No, what you have are two headlines, one screaming Unity are guilty (which was retweeted a day later too, which is just going to affirm things) and one proclaiming Improbable and Epic to be the 'good guys' - no news article/post pointing out the Unity reply, instead it is buried in a post that it's unlikely to be re-read by anyone. That's narrative control... As for the rest, there is much I can't say and won't say, in fact this will probably be the last post on the subject because I'm risking saying things I shouldn't, but as FRex has pointed out the TOS agreement change was in Feb of last year - Improbable had already been informed of their breech; 6 months after that there were notified in writing. Two weeks ago they had their keys turned off for breaches. Until they whipped up a media storm of this (again, two weeks later, almost like they were waiting for something... ) to try and get the public on their side they have given their own customers ZERO warning there might be a problem. They then tried to user their customers as hostages against Unity in a PR war (and in a news article used the term 'ransom demand' to refer to anything they might/might not owe Unity for no longer breaking the TOS - yeah, they seem like reasonable people...), meanwhile Tim Sweeney cheerleads from the sidelines and then magically pulls a fund out of thin air (at which point a lot of sentiment started to turn against them). Everyone is focusing on the 2.4 terms, again because Improbable pointed them out as ammo, and while I agree those terms are #*@!ing hard to parse and understand it has led to the assumption those are the only terms Improbable have breached. Unity haven't said either way, just that they are in breech of TOS, likely this is a case of lawyers preventing more details being released because who knows what else might happen. On a related note; anyone who has tried to work closely with Improbable has nothing good to say about them. Indeed a manager of mine, when hearing someone had gone to work for them a short while back was surprised and reacted with the statement 'they are lunatics [at Improbable]!'. The guy running the place has a bad rep with anyone who has come close to them. I'm sure Tim/Epic will discover this on their own, but frankly for them $25m is currently chump change to do damage to a competitor without having to do it at a technical level, instead just via a PR Proxy War. I don't believe this union will last, indeed I wouldn't be surprised if Epic just brought them at some point... (Improbable are barely profitable as it is, have a lot of funding overhead, and the majority of their customers seem to be primarily Unity based so no wonder they have shit themselves at Unity finally enforcing the TOS after giving them a year to sort their shit out.) … but I've probably just wasted my time here; in the court of public opinion Unity are guilty, Improbable are the victims and Epic is the White Knight riding to the rescue of everyone. At this point I'm not even sure the full details and the truth would change people's mind about this...
  4. I know far more about what is going on behind the scenes than I can tell unfortunately.
  5. And yet you failed to post a news post where Unity pointed out the whole Improbable thing was because they had been in breach of the TOS for a year? Way to tell only the liars side of the story guys 👍
  6. There will be on going, and potential legal issues, from this which would limit what could be said - this is part of why the reply took 9 hours to happen as everything had to be vetted. (The other parts being the timing of the initial hit piece was such that SF, who deals with this stuff, was asleep and the employees at Unity also chimed in on the wording/direction of the reply blog.) It's worth keeping two things in mind with those blog posts above; The 'update' was posted before Unity's reply... probably because it was late UK time and people wanted to go to bed. The "can't we all get along?!?" line is clear manipulation designed to clear them of wrong doing and at odds with the 2nd entry... A 'fund' doesn't just appear from no where - this would have been planned in advance with Epic, who obviously want Unity out of the market and more money from developers. Unity's problem remains the same it has been for a year; the EULA was broken and an agreement wasn't reached. Improbable have keep their customers in the dark and used the twitter outrage factory to their advantage on this. (and, tbh, I'm applaud them, this is some top quality PR/emotional manipulation/outrage generating stuff to make them look like the victim here - which also takes good planning.) I'm disappointed, but not surprised, by Epic and Tim over this too, but business gotta business I guess... although clearly everyone has forgotten the time when Epic also changed their EULA to screw over Xamarin *after* Xamarin had already done most of the integration work... because the internet remembers;
  7. You'd be wrong about the 'why' of all this... TL;DR - Improbable have basically tried to play people... they have known about this problem for over a year and have tried to use their customers as leverage.
  8. _the_phantom_

    On Politics Threads and the Community

    It's been nearly 20 years since I stumbled across this site, which I mention to give some historical context to what I'm saying, and during that time I've taken part in and seen some great political debates on this site where those on both the left and the right debated with a degree of honesty and clarity so much so that, even if you disagreed with what was said, you would find yourself voting up people on the other side because of the quality of their arguments. That's not to say it was perfect, humans after all, but it felt like you could engage and yes, get voted down, but have a debate over something. And, as a matter of note, I always felt the site was more left leaning than anything else - maybe it was biased by the European contingent, but it certainly felt like those on the left out numbered those on the right - but even so, aside from some bad apples everyone seemed to largely get along. The problem is, the world at large has changed, people have become more entrenched in their view points and due to certain world events of the last two years those who have had to keep their viewpoints under wraps to varying degrees now feel more impowered. With that has a come a break down in debates and everything feels more divided than before and so you get the problem highlighted on the other page of someone finding this site, seeing a thread which could be seen as bashing their point of view and they either pile on and gain nothing or think '#*@! that' and walk away. But you can't remove politics... it is part of us, it is part of the world, and people saying 'stop talking about it' are as bad as those who tell actors/musicians etc on twitter etc to 'stick to <whatever they do> and stop talking about politics' - avoiding solves nothing. That said, not everyone want so get involved and it being visible to the world isn't a great thing either so, taking a leaf out of another site I tend to visit, I wonder if it would be possible to create a section of the forum which doesn't show up on the front page and, more importantly, you have to opt in to see the content of (via a control panel option if possible, I don't know the site software well enough to know what might be possible). That way those who are interested in discussing things like politics, religion and the like can go somewhere just off the main section of the site and everyone else is free to live in their little bubble outside of it. It could have it's own rules etc with the big flashing neon rule being that "this segment is a privilege, not a right; you will be removed from it if you are deemed to break the rules" which would allow the control of people in there so those who argue in bad faith (or just troll) can be kicked out. Maybe it turns in to a left wing echo chamber over time, but if that's the case so be it.
  9. _the_phantom_

    Writing portable Vulkan

    *lumbers in to life for the first time in a while* On memory; while it is a bit of a pain it also has some advantages in that you can do something you previously couldn't do - alias memory. Granted, this needs a frame graph to sort out memory life times but it does mean that you can control the memory footprint a bit better (EA's frame graph presentation from GDC '17, iirc, has some good numbers). If you can't be bothered to deal with memory pain up front then AMD's memory allocation library is a good place to start ( ) - the main thing you have to remember is that actual allocations are limited, I've not seen support for more than 4096 in the wild, so you'll be block allocating and then sub-allocating from that block. The main wrinkle I know about in this area is that NV seem to prefer that their render targets are allocated separately (see 'VK_KHR_dedicated_allocation', which might have been rolled in to the 1.1 spec; AMD lib above will use it afaik) and they have a fair few rules on alignments of types for buffers and images. AMD on the other hand seem not to care, often reporting very low alignment requirements so be careful with that when trying to sub-allocate/work out block sizes (someone I was helping out was basing block sizes for buffers on alignment information, his NV card gave him a large-ish number so things work, where as AMD reported back '1' which caused him to allocate a new block per allocation). It might be worth looking up the various numbers on as a reference. The other advice I would give is - test on AMD as this is the only way to be sure you've not screwed up barriers/transitions. Put simply AMD require you to get this right; get it wrong and you'll luck out with it working at worst, corrupt or crash at best. NV, on the other hand, ignore all barrier function calls. Totally. They have their own low level state tracking which they apply so your barrier calls can be doing all manner of crazy incorrect things and it'll just work on their hardware/drivers (driver bugs not withstanding which is just a massive 🤦‍♂️ given the whole point of the new APIs... ). Basically NV is not a good test platform for correctness.
  10. _the_phantom_

    Unity dropping Monodevelop a let down for small indie?

    Yes, because nothing says "use our product" like shipping a built in installer for a product that no longer works... If they had done that then you'd have started a thread shouting about how Unity shouldn't be shipping an installer for a broken tool with their product and that Unreal is clearly better because they don't...
  11. _the_phantom_

    Unity dropping Monodevelop a let down for small indie?

    Because 2018.x marks the start of the big push to upgrade the .Net/Mono implementation used by the engine all the way up to the most recent standards for C# and .Net Standard - maintaining the Monodevelop plugin going forward was considered not to be worth the outlay when existing tools already have you covered for the new stuff. As for a couple of other comments; Unity hasn't been a 'small' engine for some time and as for a lack of power; the C# job system and ECS say "hi..." and then proceed to run rings around pretty much everything else in terms of performance.
  12. _the_phantom_

    I have been centrist/centre-left, Now I am going Right Wing

    Citation fucking needed. Certain areas have armed patrols (mostly airports, places like the House of Commons and occasionally you'll see a couple of armed officers at a train station), but the idea that there are response teams patrolling day and night is, frankly, bullshit. And for that reason the fact they got from their base of operations, into central London and ended the situation 8 minutes after it was reported is fucking amazing. You apparently know shit about my country, so how about you keep bitching about your own and STFU? Edit: And frankly, reading this thread (which I regret) makes me glad I have very little to do with this site now... the atmosphere is frankly sickening to behold and is just another group of people whos 'solutions' are going to make the problem worse...
  13. _the_phantom_

    Unreal Engine vs Unity Engine

    I'd have to double check the code (although I was looking at it just the other day so I'm 99% sure the following is correct), but that isn't quite how things are done; while it's true created game objects all have a 'transform' that is in fact a component which is added to the gameobject at construction time.
  14. _the_phantom_

    What happened to Longs Peak?

    I can tell you for a fact the CAD companies didn't kill it - I was having a conversation with someone on the ARB at the time who confirmed that. My working theory is that it was Apple and possibly Blizzard who did for it - AMD and NV were very much on board so I doubt they killed it... Intel is a maybe but feels unlikely.
  15. _the_phantom_

    Unreal Engine vs Unity Engine

    Ugh... I wish that lie would just die... Epic have done no such thing. Segments of the code base have been updated, and continue to be updated as time goes on, but there is plenty of code which goes back to the start of the engine kicking about - certainly UE4 wasn't a "complete rewrite" as I see so often claimed. Both engine developers work in roughly the same way; you take what you've got and you add to it. Sometimes a subsystem will get rewritten or ripped out and replace, but the majority of the time its just updates on top of updates. Epic and Unity are no different in that regard. (And getting permission from management to rip out and replace a system isn't easy; a place I worked previously allowed us to gut our renderer and start again but only after weeks of convincing people that what we had wasn't going to work going forward.)
  16. _the_phantom_

    Unreal Engine vs Unity Engine

    I'm intrigued by what you mean by the first one of these? The second... well, if you are talking C# scripts, then you can debug stuff from Visual Studio (with the Unity Tools plugin) or one of the OSX Mono environments easy enough.. in fact, using the Unity Tools plugin I think you can debug C# code with VSCode..?
  17. _the_phantom_

    Unreal Engine vs Unity Engine

    Plenty of large studios use Unity however you probably don't realise it it - the problem stems from the licensing terms; if you use a free version you have to throw up a splash screen, if you pay you don't. So, Joe Hobby who produces the poor/basic looking game has Unity splashed all over it. Meanwhile AAA Developer who has shelled out money doesn't mention it. Net result; people only see the bad looking games and think that is all Unity can do. I'd say at this point both UE and Unity could produce the same output, gfx quality wise, the difference is that out-of-the-box UE's post system makes it easier to produce basic shiny; however with an artist onboard both are just as capable.
  18. _the_phantom_

    Space Colonization and the Future

    Resources, or lack thereof, is one reason. As the human race consumes more and grows we'll run out of resources and the planet will find it harder and harder to support us. Physical space is another problem; you want more population? You are going to need more land. The big one, however, is summed up in a cartoon I read once; "Asteroids are natures' way asking how's that space program coming along?" We are basically one big rock away from humans no longer being a thing in the universe; if you want the species to carry on then we need to stop clinging to this rock and hoping another rock doesn't smash in to us. Even if we continue to avoid rocks then the big one is the sun expanding and consuming the inner planets; that alone limits human life span to less than 5 billion years. (Of course, thanks to entropy all human actions are ultimately pointless, the question is just at what point to do, or our descendent species, stop being A Thing.)
  19. _the_phantom_

    Starfield shader pipeline

    Honestly, splitting things in to a couple of draw calls using the CPU is probably the best way to go about this; you pretty much need two types of drawing (points vs quads/triangles) and trying to make the choice on the GPU might not be optimal. About the only other way to do it would be to run a compute shader over the 'star data' and have that build up point and triangle buffers and then use an indirect draw call to consume that buffer to render. You'd still end up issuing at least 3 dispatch/draw calls (1 for compute, 2 for draw) but you wouldn't have to sort any data as they would be issued back to back.
  20. _the_phantom_

    Starfield shader pipeline

    And then promptly forget that as the geometry shader stage is terrible and should basically never be used.
  21. The problem with comparing to 'the rest of the web' is that... well.. this site isn't "the rest of the web" and even if it was the rest of the web is a clusterfuck of piss poor narrow designs because apparently that's the latest circle jerk going on. On a forum, where people post code, it is just dumb, as you get beyond a few characters and then you have to start scrolling right to look at what people have written. And by taking out some of the top and bottom whitespace in order to solve the 'too long' factor posts are now starting to feel cramped and bunched up. The 'posted' date runs in to the main text and the end of a post crashes in to the footer. Also, the user avatar to the left of the 'reply to' box is just dumb. I know who I am, I don't need a picture to remind me (not that I have one either...). The main forum listing is also a disaster; no per-line delimiters meaning content just runs together like a de-saturated mess. Oh, and on Edge the layout feels slightly broken and, for Reasons, you are missing a dot to click when going to the most recent posts (the link is still there, just no graphic). (and if I could point these things out to other websites who fixate on 'fixed width' BS and other things then I'd be shouting at them too because it's insane; the web is not fscking print - stop trying to treat it as such ffs...) Edit: OK, site layout has changed since I wrote the above... some layout issues persist but in general the sizing is sane now, thanks.
  22. So, if GD.Net was a game I would be hitting the 'refund' button right about now. I run a 34" ultrawide monitor - my Edge window doesn't take up the whole screen and is sized to be comfortable when viewing websites. Most websites flows to a decent size, ones with forums pretty much without fail take up the majority of the window space... GD.Net... well... 50% of the window space is content, of that 1/4 is 'ads and other shite' on the right leaving 3/4 for content (some of which is lost with gutters and other terrible stuff). To recap; Monitor - 3400*1440 Edge - 2345*1262 GD.Net 'content' - 1169*1182 GD.Net sans right bar - 827*1182 GD.Net post content - 730*1182 730 pixels of 2345 is 'useful'. That is 31% of my (non-full screen) browser window. Or 21% of my whole monitor's horizontal resolution. Information is now cramp and compacted in the centre of the screen rendering it annoying to read and parse. If a game pulled this kind of 'lulz fuck your screen res' bullshit it would be refunded instantly (Fallout 4 and No Man's Sky suffered that fate within 3 minutes) so at this point I can only conclude that you no longer want people to be able to use the site using anything bigger than a 1024*768 monitor from the early-2000s....
  23. _the_phantom_

    DX12 to Vulkan

    Having read up on both in the form of a couple of books I personally feel, from an API point of view, it's pretty much a toss up as to which one you want to go for. I wouldn't worry about Win7/Win8 support of Vulkan personally; it's unlikely to be a deciding factor by the time someone starting now has something out. Linux might be a consideration but most people who have a Linux version of their game report sales numbers of about "fuck all" which largely seems to match the market as reported by Steam. Apple won't be touching Vulkan, they are knee deep in Metal (which, by what people have said, is a sane API on it's own - somewhere between D3D11 and D3D12 in terms of 'level'). Once you factor that out it comes down to what you want to support and what features you like/need - both are broadly speaking the same with a few differences. For example I like that Vulkan lets you enumerate all the queues on a device (so for my 290X it reports 1 gfx, 5 compute and 2 DMA) where as D3D12 virtualises it all. However when it comes to D3D12 I do like the indirect draw call type where you can also change buffers/constants along with the draw counts which means you could keep more things on the GPU for self-feeding. NV has a more comprehensive version as an extension but Vulkan lacks that by default. Vulkan seems a bit more verbose than D3D12, but eh, minor point imo once you get beyond anything simple. So, I'd pick one and run with it - both teach you to deal with the GPU in largely the same manner so you won't be missing out.
  24. _the_phantom_

    Trumps great wall... will it ever happen?

    ... says the person who said Cheeto Hitler wouldn't do the very things he is doing now that he is in power. In short; you have zero credibility in the world of 'things cheeto hitler will do' predictions.
  25. _the_phantom_

    Trumps great wall... will it ever happen?

    It's less about the leader and more about what he is doing (or being told to do..) and the protests... well that's many fold frankly. Firstly, where the US goes the UK tends to follow - given that Brexit means we need to secure trade deals we are even more likely to suck up to the USA; this is already in evidence given how long it took May to say something about the ban (any other country, or other time, it wouldn't require pulling teeth) and how quickly she offered a state visit. (Obama was in his second term, Bush and Clinton didn't get one; Cheeto Hitler - 7 fucking days!). So the protests here are as much against Cheeto Hitler as they are directed at our own government in a "Don't try this shit here" way. Secondly, it is about support. It is supporting those in the states who are protesting so they don't lay down and take it either. To know that 'hey, many of us agree his actions are bullshit and we stand with you'. Given the people in power, a mixture of White Supremacists and Religious wackjobs, I suspect those protesting like the support and knowing that others stand with them to protest this dark direction the USA is heading in. (I wondered to myself earlier, if the world was as connected as it is now back when Hitler was rising to power if the protests might have stopped him, when people in the country knew others stood with them and that it wasn't them alone so they had to go along with it.) However it isn't just about giving American's support as their Government starts to go to shit; most people realise that the ban which triggered all this isn't a sane move (heck, the US intelligence agencies didn't ask for it!), it is the perfect propaganda tool for people like ISIS to point at and say "See! The West hates you!" and with everything directed at Muslims these days for many it could be the straw which breaks the camel's back. The protests show that not everyone thinks that and that message also gets out to places like Iraq. Indeed, I saw something earlier where someone serving in Iraq was talking to someone they were working with and they said (paraphrased slightly as I don't have a direct quote to hand) "We thought that having worked along side you, thought along side you, and tried to make the world safer along side you that America would be more welcoming to us..." - a pause, and the American in question thought they knew what was coming next - "... and we see that it is from the protests.". The message gets out there, sitting idly by and making no noise just enforces the notion that the West doesn't care and thinks they are all terrorists. Which leads in to my next point; geo-political stability. For the longest time the world was getting better in many ways; China, while not perfect, were in the fold (tense in recent times, but still talking). Russia was doing it's own batshit thing but at least the USA could counter them. Iraq was proving a focal point for anti-ISIS actions with the likes of the USA and UK doing something to improve the clusterfuck they created working along side the locals. Even Iran was coming back in to the fold and becoming less of a crazy state. Things weren't perfect of course, battle grounds persist and dickmoves continue to happen but there was a degree of healing, however slowly. We are now 12 days in to Puppet Hitler's term - he has pissed off the Chinese, he has pissed off Iraq, he has pissed off Iran. He is no longer a good balance against Russia. And everything is sliding backwards. So you protest, you protest in your own backyard to stop yours becoming as bad as your neighbours and stop the whole place going to shit - because ultimately the shit the USA is flinging will impact us all; there is an old adage - if the USA sneezes we all catch a cold. It is as true then as it was when I first heard it in the 80s. But ultimately the reason to protest is because we are all human. Countries and boarders, it's all PR and propaganda - you protest and make a noise because fellow humans are suffering. The moment you lose sight of that, the moment you think 'the suffering of another person isn't my problem because they aren't born here', that's the moment you fail any future humanity might have in this universe because, if there is one thing I'm sure about, we don't stand a chance as a species if we don't pull the fuck together... ... and right now, with how the world is going, I don't see that happening before we have another global war; maybe after that those who are left will learn to work together. Ya know, assuming anyone is left...
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