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Gamer Gamester

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About Gamer Gamester

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  1. Gamer Gamester

    Laptop vs Desktop

    I agree: aim to get both (ultimate desktop workstation with a laptop/netbook for portability). As a bonus, it can be useful to have a spare computer (like if the need should arise to consult the internet while installing Arch Linux, or something). If it's not economical to do both right away, then start with one, and eventually add the other.
  2. Gamer Gamester

    Functional languages in gamedev

    Check out Land of Lisp!
  3. Gamer Gamester

    HTML5 vs. Flash vs. Silverlight

    Using a REPL for interactive development can be very helpful. In the case of JavaScript, most browsers have some sort of "Web Console" you can use to interact with your code. You can type console.dir(my_object) to see all its properties and methods. In many dynamic languages, there are interactive REPL shells that support auto-completion, which you can integrate into certain text editors. Some people consider this a disadvantage (would rather have a pre-baked IDE), while others consider it an advantage (because they're going to use vim or emacs anyway). Really, the only times I've had these sorts of problems (while not using a REPL) is when I've been using code that was ported from a statically-typed language, so I'm guessing a different sort of dynamic programming style or code maintenance emerges. I'm having trouble pinpointing what these differences are at the moment, but perhaps someone who's investigated this issue more deeply has some suggestions for us.
  4. I think my company knows that I'd just quit if they tried to require me to work overtime.
  5. Gamer Gamester

    HTML5 vs. Flash vs. Silverlight

    Except some consider weak typing to be an advantage... though more importantly, JavaScript is dynamically typed. JavaFX and (optionally) Actionscript are statically typed. I consider dynamic typing a huge advantage. People are still arguing between static & dynamic typing, but I tend to think the static typing fans are being a little stubborn (note: I used to be one). Static typing proponents seem to view dynamic typing as reckless and unsafe. I guess that, like me, they were brought up on static typing, and can't imagine programming without it. Since taking the time to gain experience with dynamic typing, I've come to realize that it allows me to spend less time dealing with typing concerns while granting me a wider range of computational expression. A good article by a self-proclaimed "statically typed bigot" is here. There are people who also consider prototypal inheritance an advantage (over the non-"traditional OOP" classical inheritance that you speak of). I agree with you on the tool situation, but as far as the programming language is concerned, I think JavaScript has the advantage (if you manage to avoid the hundreds of bad tutorials for it and stick to the few good books on it). Dynamic typing, first-class functions, closures, object literals... it's very expressive.
  6. Gamer Gamester

    HTML5 vs. Flash vs. Silverlight

    In practice, I haven't run into many of these bugs. This is, of course, on modern browsers from within the past year or so. 5 or 10 years ago these sort of bugs were all over the place. They've mostly dissolved away ever since I've had the privilege of dropping support for all versions of IE (including the newer 9, which, though much improved, is still lagging, despite whatever Microsoft marketing might say). Web development is a completely different experience once you drop IE.
  7. Gamer Gamester

    A lost beginner!

    I agree with you that C++ is not a good learners language but there are no real cludges that get in your way. It is more you get in your own way, if you don't understand pointers you are bound to make mistakes with them. [/quote] There are things that get in the way of what you're really expressing though. For example, compare C++ with a language that treats functions as first-class values. Perhaps the most direct expression of some part of our game involves a dynamic array of constructor functions (that each create their own type of object). This sort of thing is widely useful, but we can't easily express it in C++. We could have an STL container of function pointers, but then how do we refer to their creations? We could use polymorphism, but that would require an inheritance hierarchy which may not really fit what we're doing. I'm sure we can eventually figure out a way to get the end result that we want, but my point's been made: something has gotten in the way. The design goals of C++ value performance over expression. Some tasks need the performance, but I find that most programming problems are better served by expressiveness.
  8. Gamer Gamester

    Why not Java?

    Why not Java? Because there are more expressive languages. By expressive I mean that you can more directly express your computational idea (rather than fit the idea into a language's possibly crufty and rigid syntax mold).
  9. Gamer Gamester

    How to start?

    Also, C++ isn't a language that you can quickly pick up (even if you know other languages). It's a language that seems like you can quickly pick it up... until several years have gone by and you still haven't finished anything and decide for the n++ time that you have even more C++ studying to do. I'd highly recommend considering other languages. Don't be mesmerized by C++'s "power".... power is relative. C++ may have a high level of run-time power, but development-time power is usually the critical factor in whether or not your would-be game ever exists.
  10. Gamer Gamester

    A lost beginner!

    Pick a language that is good for learning programming (in particular, the fundamentals and nature of computation) with. A good, practical choice is Python. Scheme is probably even better for learning that "nature of computation" thing, though it is less immediately practical (you'll be more likely to gain a deeper understanding, but less likely to make much of a game while doing so). I hear C# is comparable to Python (aside from the fact that C# is tied to a private company and its agenda). C++ is a terrible choice to learn programming with. And though many educational institutions suspiciously latched onto Java some number of years ago, I don't think it's a good beginner's language either. Both of these languages will require you to learn a lot of cludgy details that get in the way of what's really being expressed computationally.
  11. Gamer Gamester

    Starting Out (almost)

    C++ doesn't have a graphics aspect (I can't think of a programming language that does). You access graphics hardware through a library's API. At the lowest level, most graphics cards expose their capabilities through either DirectX or OpenGL (or extensions for these). However, these APIs will be tricky for a beginner -- it will be a much smoother process to use a higher-level library that is built on top of them (like SFML or SDL). I highly recommend making several 2D games before trying your hand at 3D. Another thing to realize is that C++ is not a good language to begin with. It's a very complicated language, though it doesn't often seem that way at first (hence why many beginners, my younger self included, felt we were "good at C++ in general" and later discovered that this was not yet the case). I highly recommend Python for getting started (you can use PyGame or the Python SFML port or some other library for graphics). You'll learn actual programming concepts faster, as well as finish suitably scoped projects much quicker. Don't fall for the "C++ is the only REAL way to make games" myth.
  12. Gamer Gamester

    Advancing beyond a (advanced)beginner

    I'd just sort of chip away at the things you don't know. Don't worry about how much you don't know, that's intimidating (and really, it will always appear infinite). Where should you begin? Whatever interests you the most! Greater interest == easier to learn. Learning your current interests will stimulate further interests, and the process repeats...
  13. Gamer Gamester

    Any free sound effects programs?

    You could give Audacity a try.
  14. Gamer Gamester

    Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?

    This article was interesting to me. There's no way any human can generate as much value as certain humans are being compensated for. Value creation is largely distributed, but the compensation seems rather consolidated.
  15. Gamer Gamester

    Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?

    The corporation is not the optimal way of organizing our societies. Putting profit ahead of all other priorities (genuine value creation, morals, etc.) is not balanced. Yes, human nature contains greed, and any society must deal with this. Capitalism purports to turn this negative into a positive (structure things so that you get rich and powerful -- "satisfy" your greed (if that's even possible with greed's nature) -- by generating real value for society). However, our current system fails: you can get rich and powerful without creating value -- in fact, you can do so by creating harm! We seem to have a bizarre fixation on that one aspect of human nature -- greed-- and overemphasize this as if it's the only relevant human quality and the only "realistic" motivator. I don't believe this is true, but it can be hard to see otherwise when our main measures of "success" are based on profit. The general populace isn't being raised into good citizens. If the "free market" is the best way to organize the interactions of our lifestyles, then that places a large importance on how we interact through the market. In a "free market" society, who you vote for doesn't matter as much as what you buy and what you sell. Why are all the jobs being shipped overseas? I don't know... why is everybody buying goods that are manufactured overseas? Really, schools should include "Free Market 101" as part of the curriculum. "Consumers" should be very curious about where the things they buy come from. Don't buy evil! And what if there are no "good" options out there? Think of the entrepreneurial opportunity here! You could be the only player in the market for a "good" version of this good (ha!) or service (which would be quite valuable -- in a society where people actually paid attention to what they're buying). It's ironic. Where are the jobs? Create them! Really, we want jobs to be able to fulfill the needs and desires we have. So there's plenty of "work" available out there to fill all these needs and desires. The corporations aren't structuring this for us, but do we really like the job they do anyway? Why aren't we creating our own jobs? It appears our citizens don't think entrepreneurially, and don't have the right values as consumers to support such thinking.
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