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About ptietz

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    Game Designer
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  1. My very first post..

    I'm not an artist but I like the second one best: "Huh?" Strong line of action there
  2. The problems of space sim design

    In the X series, they give you other things to do while flying with your auto-pilot on, mostly menu-based stuff like managing your fleet, adjusting prices for your goods factories, giving commands to your other ships, checking your stats, etc. In addition to that, they give you the "Singularity Engine Time Accelerator" later in the game, that basically speeds up the game's time tick so that you don't have to wait for too long while still maintaining all the stuff happening around you in "in-game realtime". If your dogfights aren't exciting enough, you definitely got something wrong in the design. That's why play testing is so important even in the early stages of development. It's way easier to change things early in development than later on.
  3. The degree of realism should not in any case impact your game depth. Fantasy games can be really deep, realistic games can be flat as a pancake. You are probably right about the approachability, though. But then again, commands would have to be learned either way. In addition to that, games that teach you something are highly valuable. The art lies in making that process fun. To tackle your dilemma, I think, simple unix commands such as ls or cp should totally be fine. You could still have "shell scripts" like "magickHackerTrick" or your "nodes" command to have more speakable names and not require any player to become a linux crack first before playing your game. The opposite is actually the case here. Players that are used to work on linux systems will find a much quicker entrance to your game as they already know how things work and don't have to learn new fantasy commands first. Non-skilled players will get an advantage after playing your game as they will take real life knowledge out of it. Heck, you could even advertise in that manner. I would suggest, maybe implementing some smaller algorithm to detect players' precognitions. If the first thing a player does is to get a directory listing followed by finding out on what OS they are, you can be pretty sure they know where they're at. You might even skip some basic tutorials. And if they don't, teach'em! And be sure to reward them with an acknowledging sound effect to provide a sense of accomplishment here. Of course that's only my opinion. But I'm pretty sure, you can create a simple, realistic and compelling experience.
  4. Rare earths aren't actually that rare. So they wouldn't make up for good currency. Also, I don't see how any of these could be suitable for armory or as crafting materials. Only maybe Neodym as a source of magnetic energy generation. However, I'm pretty sure, artificial materials will grow in importance in the future. We have nano materials and carbon tubes already. I think an enhanced metal won't be too far away (some of which exist even today). In addition to that, scientists are experimenting with artificial bone structures grown in laboratories. Maybe that's something for you
  5. When you talked about the attack/defense thingy, that first reminded me of the hacking mechanics in Deus Ex (which is much more graphical, though). Maybe you can get some ideas from it. Besides that, I totally agree with @JulieMaru-chan . You need to make sure that the experience isn't getting boring, especially for the many non-hackers out there. Try to implement a really rewarding system so that the players see some sense and purpose in their efforts. Also, soundtrack can really do a lot of magic here.
  6. Might get a bit off-topic here, but regarding DIY hardware, I highly recommend the GDC talk of Mick Gordon, speaking about his hell machine:
  7. @jkuehlin exactly. For instance, you could spawn an fmod "3D event" on a Unity GameObject and position that randomly. And besides that: Keep your head held high. Programmers do have their own vocabulary as do musicians. For beginners, it's hard to get into it. But start talking about wave forms, pre-amps, ring modulation, arrangements and phase interpolation and I'm sure they'll quickly start speaking more understandably to you To answer your question, though: Coding always helps. Even in real life as you begin to see behind the things and how everything comes together to make something work Best Regards
  8. That's gonna be me Professionally, I'm a dev but skill-wise, I'm both, dev and "audio guy", as I started both even before elementary school. I think, those are the greatest passions in my life. Well, that's a lie. There are just too many things for a top list... There is gaming, writing, game design, etc. Too much to do, too little time, you know the drill Anyway, to get to your question: Personally I do use fmod. Not for the sake of not having to program but rather because the tool itself is so very powerful. I use it for adaptive music and for dynamic sound effects controlled by the game (like engine sounds, weather transitions and so forth). It does have some flaws, though. For example, you can't spawn oneshots at random locations in 3d space. Still, very powerful. You got a point there, however, regarding the avoidance. It is true that you don't want to get ripped out of the process when doing your audio stuff every time, having to switch back and forth between tools and even mental states. I like testing out my stuff in fmod first, tweaking all the nobs until I'm happy before I start implementing. You can then simply send parameters from Unity (in my case) to manipulate what you've already tested in fmod. That's very smooth work flow in my opinion. I do, however, love to program. So that's nothing to do with it, no struggle whatsoever. I just prefer to concentrate on one thing at a time.