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blueEbola

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  1. I am not a professional game developer (I'm in the web/ecommerce arena) but you will find horrible working environments all over the map, it's not just limited to games. I've worked jobs where 60+ hours are expected, even when it is not "crunch time".
  2. For shared hosting, the best I've had so far is HostGator. They really do a good job at keeping things up and running and their customer service is very helpful. I've never run anything more extensive than a blog on HostGator though -- and it doesn't really eat up too much bandwidth. What the other guys are saying about "unlimited bandwidth" is pretty much true though: it's a myth most of the time. You WILL start having problems when you begin eating up a lot of bandwidth on shared hosting. Some hosts are better about it than others, but eventually you'll start to have problems. A while back I was looking at potentially creating a Python/Django web app that was going to be streaming audio to users, and I was looking into Linode VPS as I had heard great things about them. Definitely give them a look -- it's not as cheap as what you seem to be looking for but their lowest plan starts at 19.95/mo and you can scale up very easily if need be. It's a very affordable price for a great package. But really -- unless if you have a VERY aggressive promotional/advertising campaign that is going to bring in thousands of interested visitors every month, I wouldn't worry that much about getting a crazy amount of bandwidth just yet. The main thing is that you need to have an "upgrade plan" for when heavier traffic does start to come in and you don't want any downtime. I haven't looked too much into cloud hosting but it sounds like hosting on the cloud offers some significant advantages (next to zero downtime, easy scaling capabilities) over both VPS and shared hosting so you should definitely look into that. If you don't need any physical control over the server but you want the ability to scale up your resources on-demand, the cloud might be your best bet.
  3. I love my Droid Razr to death but it's got a large screen. How large are your pockets? The trend does seem to be on bigger screens these days so your choices may be a bit limited. My phone fits in my pocket just fine, but my jeans almost always have fairly deep pockets so it's a non-issue for me.
  4. [quote name='ChaosEngine' timestamp='1338860397' post='4946279'] [quote name='ajm113' timestamp='1338555850' post='4945289'] [left]Oops, yeah I sometimes over use the word "mastered", I've been doing C++ for about 5 years and I agree too that I don't believe I've completely mastered it even though I've pretty much have done everything with it, such as Networking, GUIs, cross platform programming, and of course file structure design and etc.[/left] [/quote] I worked professionally as a C++ developer for nearly 10 years I wouldn't say I "mastered" the language. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [quote name='ajm113' timestamp='1338555850' post='4945289'] [left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]I [b]defiantly [/b]think my thinking skills are well...[/background][/font][/color][/left] [left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]I really appreciate your advice on leading me to the right direction and recommending me to open my mind to new languages/tools that could help me land a job in a field I love, since I'm sure most of use much rather deal with computers then people.[/background][/font][/color][/left] [/quote] OK, you're going to think I'm being an ass here, so I'm going to preface this by saying [left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]I'm not trying to be mean and I wish you luck in your career. The advice that follows is meant to be constructive.[/background][/font][/color][/left] The word you're looking for is "[b]definitely[/b]". I realise that this sounds really pedantic, but programming is communication, and just about the most pedantic form of communication going. When I see spelling errors and grammatical mistakes in applications, it feels lazy to me. Maybe when you talk to companies, you're more careful, but just be aware this stuff matters. Also, if you would rather " [left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]deal with computers then people", go look for another job. Seriously.[/background][/font][/color][/left] [left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]99.9999% of software is developed by a team. The days of the lone coder heroically banging out a program in a darkened room were rare enough 10 years ago, let alone today. You will have to deal with plenty of other people; many of whom will have conflicting agendas.[/background][/font][/color][/left] [/quote] Exactly.. I'd say that at least 60% of my actual job is communication, and not necessarily programming. I churn out a lot of code, but the majority of my time is spent gathering requirements, working with other members on my team on core software design, communicating with stakeholders on business rules, and going back and forth during QA testing. And it was like that at my last software development job, too. I'd love to be able to program for the majority of my working time but I unfortunately can't because I spend most of my time trying to communicate with the stakeholders in determining exactly what it is that they need me to deliver. I'd even go so far as to say that programming is the easiest part of the job (depending on the exact field of programming you are in). Computers are deterministic and will for the most part deliver predictable results, people are.... not so much any of the above . Most of the frustration I experience from a day to day basis is with communication, and if that's something that you can't handle then turn away now, lol. Being able to gather specs and communicate with the customer is such an important role that at the bigger operations you'll find people whose entire job is dedicated to those tasks, the common job title here is something like "requirements engineer" or "business analyst". At the smaller companies, of which it seems like you are targetting ajm113, they expect someone who has these skills AND is capable of programming complex systems. I've worked on both ends of the spectrum and even if you do have the luxury of someone who will deal with all the strenuous specification work, you're still going to have to communicate with a lot of people in order to get your job done right. [quote name='ajm113' timestamp='1338608167' post='4945478'] Sorry for double posting, but Erlang, seems to be GREAT! It's a bit of a headache trying to wrap your head around how the ending characters work unlike the semicolon from C and C++, especially when your working with if statements, but I have my very first source code using Erlang, and I plan on doing more such as creating a simple IP directory lookup server. ^^ I'm very surprised that this language can do a lot of work very quickly, and is being used for phone operations and even being used for Facebook. My Code Encase anyone is interested how it looks: [CODE] %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% % Written by: Andrew McRobb % Written in Erlang % Do what ever you please with this script! %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% %"helloWorld" is our filename, or module in this manner. -module(helloWorld). %define what functions are are using. First function is our main. -export([start/0, writeLine/1, overallScore/1]). %equal to echo/print in any other language. writeLine(Text) -> io:fwrite("~s\n", [Text]). %if statment example. overallScore(Val) -> if (Val < 10) -> writeLine("You suck!"); (Val > 9) and (Val =< 30) -> writeLine("You are okay..."); (Val > 30) and (Val =< 70) -> writeLine("Good! Not too shabby!"); false -> writeLine("Great job!") end. %Main/start up function. start() -> writeLine("Hello, Erlang!"), writeLine("This is a second line!"), overallScore(70). [/CODE] [/quote] Cool stuff! With Erlang, you should take some time to explore some of the things the language is known to be good at -- the big thing that comes to mind is concurrency. I haven't played with Erlang much, but from my own reading that seems to be the major appeal of the language. With multi-core computers being the norm these days, a lot of companies are looking for individuals who know how to optimize their code to make use of multiple cores when solving a problem. If you can create a pet project that does something like this with Erlang, you could totally throw that in your portfolio and be able to talk about that at an interview if they ask about experience with concurrency at all. Anyway, good luck and have fun!
  5. [quote name='speciesUnknown' timestamp='1338771425' post='4945976'] What I'm more interested in knowing is that, if there is life on Mars, what are the implications for us? Could such an organism be useful to us in some way? How could we exploit it? What are the ethical concerns regarding the exploitation of a new alien species compared to a new species discovered on earth? How will the crazies respond? Will new cults start? Will this mean the end of organised religion on earth? Or will it just mean a fresh batch of religious wars? [/quote] I doubt it would be the "end" of organized religion altogether. I can't claim to know what will happen if evidence of life is found on other planets but I'm sure more cults will come up. The fact is, we don't necessarily know where the original microorganisms came from on Earth (the ones we all descended from). The first cells could've appeared organically on our own planet, or they could've come from Mars or some other planet somewhere. And vice versa as well -- we could find microorganisms on another planet or other mass in space (such as a large asteroid) and find that the cells most likely originated from Earth. We're all in one big cosmic pool of rocks and stars all revolving around each other, it's pretty easy to believe that pieces of Earth may have hit other planets after some of our more terrifying asteroid collisions. And that's exactly why I think we will find life out there eventually. I don't know if we'll find it on Mars. I think we have a better chance of finding life (be it microorganisms or possibly more developed species) on some of the moons in our solar system, the big ones I'm thinking of right now are Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's Titan. It seems that Europa has a good possibility of oceans of water residing underneath its giant icy exterior, and Titan has certain conditions that could potentially be ideal for non-carbon, non-water based life forms. Mars is just an easier target for us to hit, at least in the grand scheme of things. And I'm all for it -- I'm fascinated with this stuff and I would much rather us advancing our space technology than developing even more anti-life military technologies [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]. Maybe chasing extraterrestrial life isn't something we should spend all of our money on, sure, but we should absolutely be looking forward into space for the future. We can try and protect our planet now, but I'd like to see us do more research being done on possibly inhabiting other planets/moons. Imagine going to the Moon or Mars for a vacation.. that'd be incredible.
  6. Careful with the word "master". I haven't ever met anyone in person who I consider a master in a certain technology, and if I have, they've been far and few between. I've been a C#/SQL server developer for 6-7 years now and I can't even confidently say that I have "mastered" any of it. I still learn new things everyday. If you're really fluent in all of those languages then you are off to a good start. You should absolutely be capable of learning new languages for a new job and it's something I do very frequently. If you want to continue into this field you absolutely have to be capable of learning new things quickly and efficiently, our field changes VERY often. More than anything the smaller companies are going to be looking for someone who can pick up on new things quickly. Knowing several languages is always good, but being able to show that you truly understand these technologies (why they exist, what they are useful for, and how they relate to one another) will help you that much more in landing a job. If I'm hiring someone, the language is almost a moot point: I'm looking for someone who can *think* like a programmer. Someone with very strong logical and reasoning skills, someone who's capable of thinking in a very abstract sense. Anyone can learn syntax, but not everyone can design and develop a robust system that is going to scale effectively with minimal resources. Most of the programming languages in your list are multi-paradigm with special focus on OO and procedural programming. I highly recommend you delve into a functional programming language (Haskell, or Erlang if you want something that has a little more real world use). Being able to demonstrate that you understand the different programming paradigms and their strengths and weaknesses will weigh that much more in getting a job that you enjoy. Functional languages like Haskell also tend to be very elegant in the way they describe and solve problems -- and they tend to force you to think about the problems you are solving in a different way. THIS is what your goal should be.. to be capable of tackling a problem from several different angles. This is also what they are truly going to be looking for when they are searching for a remarkable candidate. The fact is, there are tons of Java/.NET enterprise shops out there with legions of code monkeys at their disposal. A lot of these guys know any number of languages, but they struggle with some basic concepts and are very limited in what they can actually do. There's no shortage of these guys out there -- and if you want to stand out in an interview, you have to demonstrate that you are beyond the mere syntactical differences between these languages. The languages are only tools, they are means to an end. So my advice is: learn something wildly different than what you are used to. I recommend Haskell. It's not necessarily something that you can pad your resume with (and if the job doesn't suggest anything about it, don't pad your resume with it). But it will open your eyes and show you different ways to think about problems. The list of languages on your resume is only to pass the HR tests of determining whether or not you are a worthy candidate on paper. The things that are going to get you through are your overall problem solving capability and your abstract thinking skills. Interviewers go through hordes of interviewees all with the same languages listed on paper, the thing that sets candidates apart are their actual thinking skill and what you are going to bring to the table.
  7. [quote name='greggles' timestamp='1335760963' post='4935988'] [quote name='blueEbola' timestamp='1335749098' post='4935958'] Seattle is split up into several districts (sometimes called neighborhoods): Fremont, Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, U-distict, Belltown, West Seattle, Green lake.. and the list goes on. Each district kind of has its own vibe. I live in northern Magnolia just south of Ballard, and it's got some amazing views and a "residential" kind of feel. Works for me because I came from kind of a country town and living on a busy street in downtown Seattle probably would've been a bit too hectic for me. Ballard is the condo part of town, there's tons of development going on up there and lots of young professionals living in that area. [/quote] I'll be working in the South Lake Union district (at Amazon.com), but I've heard it's not the best area in which to live. I don't think I'd mind a busy street, but I'm probably looking for an area that is (relatively) close to work and has a decent number of young professionals. From the sounds of it, Magnolia sounds like a good place to include in my search. [/quote] Ahh, yes. South Lake Union doesn't seem to be too bad, but Capitol Hill can get a bit hairy sometimes (which is right next door). I'd definitely recommend looking around in the Queen Anne area, it's pretty close to where you are going to be working and there's some nice places up there. Magnolia is really cool too, lots of parks and places to walk.. it's very pet friendly if you have or are thinking of getting a pet. Ballard is nice too, though traffic can be a pain getting down to the heart of Seattle and the Ballard bridge has had some construction going on for the past few months. It'd probably be a 15-20 minute drive to get down to work from there I'd imagine. And that's IF the bridge isn't up to allow some absurd 300ft yacht to pass through [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Congrats at the job at Amazon! They've got a really cool campus down there. I know a few people that work there, they seem to like it. [quote name='greggles' timestamp='1335760963' post='4935988'] [quote name='blueEbola' timestamp='1335749098' post='4935958'] There are several music venues and big acts roll through all the time. I've gone to 4 concerts in the past month so far [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [/quote] I've heard good things about the music scene, which is exciting. As for sports in the area, how difficult is it to get tickets? Having lived near Pittsburgh, PA for several years, it has always been hard for me to get good, cheap tickets for football and hockey games, but baseball is pretty easy + the Pirates have a beautiful stadium. [/quote] Yeah it's great for music stuff. A lot of talented musicians too, if you happen to play an instrument and are looking for people to jam with. Regarding sports: depends on which sport it is. I almost never have trouble getting Mariners tickets. Seahawks and Sounders tickets can be tough to get sometimes, but I've only tried a handful of times. The one time I went to a soccer game it was a lot of fun though, Sounders fans are wild. There's also a proposal for a new sports stadium in SoDo to bring the NBA back to Seattle. I've heard there's discussion about bringing an NHL team here as well, most likely to share the stadium. That's probably a ways out though, my understanding is they are trying to determine the traffic impact of building yet another stadium down there.
  8. I've lived in the PNW all of my life and just recently moved up to Seattle to start a new web developer position up here.. and it rocks! Seattle is split up into several districts (sometimes called neighborhoods): Fremont, Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, U-distict, Belltown, West Seattle, Green lake.. and the list goes on. Each district kind of has its own vibe. I live in northern Magnolia just south of Ballard, and it's got some amazing views and a "residential" kind of feel. Works for me because I came from kind of a country town and living on a busy street in downtown Seattle probably would've been a bit too hectic for me. Ballard is the condo part of town, there's tons of development going on up there and lots of young professionals living in that area. In terms of gaming, there are a lot of conventions that come through here as I'm sure you are probably aware. I haven't really been to any of them (I don't really hang out with that kind of crowd, to be honest) but I've heard good things from others. I know there are a few great game studios up here if you are looking for work in that field. The bassist in my band works at a game studio up here as lead QA and he really seems to like his job and the people there. If you're looking for work in just software development in general, Seattle's a great place. Jobs are pretty abundant for software developers right now. Microsoft is right across I90 in Bellevue and Redmond, and Amazon is right smack dab in the middle of the Seattle center area close to the Space Needle. I believe Google and Facebook opened up offices here recently too. There are also thousands of start ups and small business offerings. Pretty much every social event I've gone to I've wound up meeting someone who works in software or IT so there are plenty of networking opportunities available. If you like to roll out to bars on the weekend nights, there is a pretty active nightlife. Not as much in the way of Miami style "clubs" really (I think we have only 3-4 places that are actual clubs) but there are bars everywhere and in every district. Ballard and Fremont tend to be my stomping grounds, and there are a lot of young people on Capitol Hill and in the U-district. There are several music venues and big acts roll through all the time. I've gone to 4 concerts in the past month so far [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] And you have the usual touristy stuff: Pike's place market (watch fish get thrown, haha), Space Needle, Experience Music Project, Gameworks, Baseball/Soccer, Woodland Park Zoo, Pacific Science Center, Art Museum, etc.
  9. [quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1334731486' post='4932391'] I'm with you on angry birds, but then I feel like I just don't "get" that game. Casual games feel like a total time sink to me and while I feel angry birds certainly got something right, it just hasn't reeled me in at all. Some casual games do suck me in, bit by bit, until I snap, utter "what am I doing with my life?!" and quit them. Somehow, I'm OK with pissing away 40+ hours on large RPGs. Hmm... but that brings me to my second point: Oblivion. What the feck? I thought Morrowind was neat after the insanely boring Daggerfall, but Oblivion took a step back in presenting us with one of the most banal RPG worlds yet. Sure, it looked great at first, but that was before you spent some time exploring and realised that the combat was poor, the countryside boring, and not a single interesting character in sight. It's not that the game was that bad, but I just could not understand where all the acclaim came from! It's kinda like CoD too... CoD1 was a wonderful game after Medal of honour went down the toilet, and CoD4 was a gem because of the level of polish and refined gameplay. But MW2 and 3 have brought nothing new to the table. Meh! ...ok so that's my rant. [/quote] I actually loved MW2. Could be that it came at the right time, but I don't personally feel it was too overrated. MW3 and Black Ops on the other hand are just more of the same to me though -- so I wholeheartedly believe that they were definitely overrated (I still don't understand why I have so many friends praising Black Ops.. I feel like EA was just riding on the pigtails of MW2). I loved Skyrim as well (still do, and I'm still playing it), but I can't but feel it was a tad overrated. Seems like any Elder Scrolls release since Oblivion gets this treatment though. Skyrim was a great improvement over Oblivion though, in my opinion. Most of these overrated threads suggest the same thing though. I think that any game that gets a bunch of attention at any point in time will receive a lot of complaints as being "overrated". Especially with sequels to games that made a fairly large impact. These games target a specific market, and anyone on the sidelines of this market will comment about how "it was great, but it's not as great as everyone is making it out to be". You see this with movies as well. I remember when The Dark Knight came out I read tons of reviews suggesting that the movie was overrated and overhyped (in comparison to it's predecessor Batman Begins) but honestly, I think that TDK was a far better movie than BB and kept my interest throughout the entire flick, something which BB failed to do for me personally. I will say though, I do not understand the appeal of Angry Birds. I've played it and most of it's re-incarnations, it's fun, but seriously... I just don't understand the lasting appeal that it's had. And "Draw Something".. well that's just right place, right time in my eyes.
  10. [quote name='Contraforge' timestamp='1334291084' post='4930838'] Thanks for that post Apoch. It clarified lots of things and was very helpful. After my initial experimentation with parsing and executing my own code, I couldn't help but feel excited and overly-optimistic about creating my own programming language, and one of the main goals for my company is to interact with the community as much as possible, so I just kind of came up with this idea and rushed into it without thinking much. I went a little too far with my idea of community interaction this time XD. I guess I'll reconsider my plans and start on the language. I have the passion, and I'm making the language for my own amusement, the learning experience, and my resume rather than the potential usage of my language by others, so I don't think I'll be giving up anytime soon. Once again thanks for the advice. [/quote] Definitely keep at it, writing a programming language is a very valuable way of spending your programming time (no matter what anyone may tell you). You will learn a lot, and it will help you gain some insights into how things work under the core. I've written a few specialty languages myself and every single minute spent was worth it. Approaching it from the viewpoint of a learning experience (as opposed to: I'm going to make a language for X that will become the next big thing) is a good path to take. For the record, I'm in the camp that believes closures are MUST. First class functions without closures would be, imo, pointless.
  11. [quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1334194216' post='4930448'] Work for a financial institution. It'll probably be mind-numbingly boring, the hours will likely make you psychotic, and there will undoubtedly be lots of other disadvantages. But you can't beat the money. [/quote] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left]This.[/left][/size][/font][/color] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left]Or insurance, real estate, or other corporations with a high profit margin.[/left][/size][/font][/color] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left]But just remember, money isn't everything. You can be making a lot of money but be absolutely friggin miserable in the process. Quality of life should always come first -- and money doesn't always guarantee happiness. Mo money, mo problems [/left][/size][/font][/color][img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left]I think you should always be toying around with new languages and paradigms. If you are used to programming games, try your hand at web development. Any and all of the things you learn will make you immediately that much more marketable. If your sole goal here is a better income, take a look at craigslist or some other job board and try to find something that fits your financial desires and pay attention to what kind of skills they are looking for there. Get familiar with the tech jargon you see thrown around a lot (J2EE, SOA, N-tier, yada yada). Odds are with a lot of the technologies and paradigms you might not be all that familiar with them all -- but you can learn more about them and find experiences in your past that might demonstrate equivalent ability.[/left][/size][/font][/color] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left]Most likely you will have to settle for an internship or a junior level position and you'll just have to work your way up -- but there's no shame in that. That's just how it works. Most of the higher paying jobs require management experience and/or experience with designing large systems that will scale. [/left][/size][/font][/color]
  12. [quote name='mrjones' timestamp='1333368120' post='4927451'] While I've never liked "hard" alcohol myself, I think the theory can be summed up in two words: aquired taste. When alcohol affects pleasure receptors in brain, the bad taste will become associated with something pleasant. For developers also note the importance of Ballmer peak from [url="http://xkcd.com/323/"]http://xkcd.com/323/[/url] [/quote] Haha, the Ballmer peak is hilarious. Mostly because it's true. Maybe not with a BAC that high, but after I have about 3-4 drinks I find myself writing better code somehow. After a few drinks I find that I'm more relaxed and I can actually think a little bit clearer than I could before. I don't know why people love the taste of liquor, but is it really so hard to believe? I don't love the taste of any liquor (except for some top shelf tequilas, yumm) but I find most rum, whiskey and tequila palatable and I enjoy them when I go out to the bars. After a few drinks you don't really notice the taste all that much anymore, the sense of taste gets dulled to a point where it no longer has that after bite. I do believe there is such a thing as "acquired taste", I've experienced it first hand with beer. Initially I hated the taste of all beer. You'd give me any beer and I'd cringe at the taste. Eventually, I found a beer that was somewhat palatable and didn't make me cringe. After sticking to that beer for a while, I tried a few others and discovered that they were more palatable than they were before. After exposing yourself to different beers numerous times you begin to notice certain subtleties in flavor, body and aroma that you start to appreciate. I don't think it's just the associated psychological and physical response to alcohol that makes one enjoy a beer; otherwise, why would I consistently go for brand X over brand Y when they both have relatively similar alcohol content? Perhaps for some people that might be the case (folks who always go for cheap beer) but for me taste is definitely important. Something that can't be discounted though is how things that you taste can bring back memories of a different time (just like how when you listen to a song you were listening to 3-4 years ago, it can bring back some memories and feelings you were having at that earlier time). This kind of association is extremely powerful and can completely change the way that you perceive something.
  13. [quote name='Wan' timestamp='1330533451' post='4917810'] I would suggest them to make an erotic calender and donate the profits to a local animal shelter. [/quote] Actually scratch what I previously suggested, this is probably the route I'd take. Just keep telling them it's for a good cause.
  14. [quote name='SteveDeFacto' timestamp='1330511954' post='4917681'] [quote name='quasar3d' timestamp='1330511436' post='4917677'] What's wrong with you? Well, for one thing, you're planning to ask someone out you clearly have no respect for at all... [/quote] True but I really want something good to come out of this instead of doing a bunch of work for nothing and failing the class... Maybe I should just come up with my own idea and do it without my class mate's knowledge then just present it to them? [/quote] Well you have a couple of options here. You can do all the work as you suggest, and leave them out of it. You do this though, and you forgo any chance whatsoever (if there is a chance to begin with) of getting either of the girls. They'll just see you as another guy that will do their homework for them. Or you can actually involve them. Develop your social skills. They want a guy who's going to lead, so take the lead and involve them. This isn't just about getting the grade, it's about learning to work with others. Get their #s or arrange a coffee shop meeting after class where you can bounce ideas back and forth and get a rough draft going. Keep the meeting light hearted and fun and if this girl actually digs on you, you can progress from there. I've actually done the same thing before: I was in a group with a couple of girls for a class, and I organized a meet at a local coffee place where we went over the project and I got the ol' flirt on. I didn't actually ask the particular girl out right then and there: that could very well make things VERY awkward. But I kept things playful enough to the point where they all really looked forward to our coffee shop meets... then after the project was over I gave her a call and asked her if she wanted to hang out, and boom.. we dated for a few months.
  15. I think it depends on the student's current programming knowledge and skills, and your specific focus for this class. PyGame and Love2D are excellent, and if this is a longer term class (or series of classes) with students who actually have an interest in programming, I'd say go with those. But if these are kids that just want to design their own games, GameMaker might be a better choice. You can throw together some fairly in depth games just with a point-n-click interface.. and use the GML as things get more complicated. This gets them designing games faster, which seems to be the aim of the class. You wouldn't want your students getting too hung up on the technical details if they joined the class just to design their own game.