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L. Spiro

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L. Spiro last won the day on April 16

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  1. L. Spiro

    FPP Game

    That’s niftypuff. Thanks for sharing. I was wondering where msmile032 sat, and now I know. If you cared to contribute to the world of video games, that would be niftypuff. L. Spiro
  2. L. Spiro

    Have you ever had your game idea stolen?

    The rule makes sense, you’re just underestimating how naive I was: I didn’t even call a developer, I just called the LEGO customer-support number listed on the box. L. Spiro
  3. L. Spiro

    Have you ever had your game idea stolen?

    No, and in fact I have had a game not stolen once. When I was around 14 I called LEGO to tell them about my fantastic wonderful game that I had designed, only to be told, "Sorry we can't accept ideas from outside the company." It sucks not having your ideas stolen. L. Spiro
  4. L. Spiro

    Advanced AI in Games?

    There are not many places where it can fit. Training the AI is an offline non-shipping process, so immediately we can toss aside any ideas based on letting the AI grown as part of the game. Now that we are talking only about games shipping with a developed ready-to-go AI, it first may seem logical to consider that a neural network can handle most AI tasks better than you could write by hand, and that is true (for a small set of tasks a direct hard-coded solution is best, but for all other tasks there can always be imagined a neural-network solution that handles the same task exactly as well as manually or better), but it ignores the important step of actually arriving at said perfect solution. The problem is that just because a perfect neural network can almost always be imagined to handle a task better than manual code can (and this is what tempts people to keep thinking about how to apply them to games), that's doesn't mean you can create said perfect AI/neural network training weights. Simply making a large working neural network is a chore in itself. Once you have invested that time into it, you have to train it into the perfect end result, and there is no guarantee that that will happen. How and what a neural network learns at each iteration is unknown to us and we can only make guesses as to how to steer them towards our desired behaviors. By the time we discover that it is learning wrong behavior it is too late. If you try to guide it to the desired behavior from there, there is no guarantee how much success you will have. You can start the learning process over, but you still have no guarantees, and you will have lost too much time. As you can see, the main issue is the lack of control. The purpose of machine learning is for computers to teach themselves things that would be much too complex for us to teach them manually (for example how to identify images of objects). We can't just look at their tables of weights and make adjustments or track progress or judge correctness, and machine learning will never be part of games (or become mainstream) until this can happen, so if you want to pioneer anything then start working on tools to help develop neural networks or otherwise facilitate machine learning. I personally see machine learning, AI, and neural networks as fitting into our future pipelines the same ways as languages do now. Meaning we can be more and more productive with certain languages, and so we created parser generators to create parsers for our languages so we could make better languages and etc. Machine learning is blooming and it will soon be a large part of developing any game. We should be settling on standards early and making tools and libraries to generate, train, and introspect large networks and deep learning. New neural-network projects should be at least as easy as creating a new language—just explain the details to a "Neural Network Generator" as we do with parser generators, and the exported code will sit on top of a foundation that allows us to more easily create introspection routines and possibly creative ways to guide learning towards results more consistently controllable. L. Spiro
  5. Count the number of squares in a fog patch. Use that information to decide the direction of the closest largest fog patch. L. Spiro
  6. Then use a routine to find a mark fog sections, find the closest largest fog section, and use A* to head in that direction. L. Spiro
  7. L. Spiro

    Interview Assignment Questions from a College Student

    L. Spiro
  8. Sounds as though you need to hurry up and get motivated. Parenting done right. It’s always destructive to a child’s development for a parent to decide what is “too much” for a kid or to decide when a kid is “ready” for certain things. Young people are knowledge sponges. Drop all the computers, math, science, etc., at their feet and let them decide when and what is enough. You never hear success stories that begin with, “Well, my parents didn’t let me start until I was older.” L. Spiro
  9. Nearest Tile Simple distance check. Not occupied. Simple boolean check—game mechanics can update the boolean. Can Reveal as Much as Possible How is this determined? Does the tile have a number that represents how much coverage it has? Don't tiles all cover the same area and thus reveal the same amount? How is this calculated? Simple steps to checking any algorithm. I don't know. What is the definition of "reveals the most fog-of-war"? Each tile should be the same size, thus always reveal the same amount. Are you talking about tiles that lead the largest number of other tiles? Seems you have something to figure out. L. Spiro
  10. This only applies if the model file has camera information in it. If so, you load and apply the camera information, otherwise you reset the camera to some view that contains the whole import. L. Spiro
  11. Do not do this. Your folder structure should strictly always match your IDE tree structure. It is never acceptable to browse the actual folder tree and just have them all blobbed together in a mess of random files. L. Spiro
  12. The amount of dialog is up to you. I didn't think I was going to be stuck there so I moved without complaint. You can avoid problems by communicating early (as is the case with literally everything but the "If You Communicate Early You Will Lose This Game" game). And I didn't go out of my way to raise the good points (since they are somewhat implicit and obvious) but you obviously have job security in graphics. I'd have more options if I were willing to go back into it. I still get offers weekly for graphics programming. It's in-demand. That's what it is. It comes with all the good points and all the bad points that being in-demand offers. Should be perfectly suitable for someone who is actually interested in it—my complaints are that I simply do not like graphics programming, so you shouldn't worry too much about it. L. Spiro
  13. I'm an AI programmer, but just one time I accidentally showed a tiny bit of beginner-level skill in graphics programming and suddenly I am moved full-time to graphics and can only get jobs in graphics etc. This may sound like a joke or overstatement, but I got so sick of graphics programming when I left Japan that I only applied as an AI or gameplay programmer, and most of my replies from companies were, "Hi, we are really interested in you as a graphics programmer but it says here you want to do either gameplay or AI? Is this correct? ...okay thank you for your time." I only found 2 companies willing to take me as not-a-graphics-programmer, and I secretly suspect the one I didn't join was planning to have me join for gameplay programming but then keep sneaking graphics tasks onto my plate. And then after all that hassle I finally get hired back in America for yet another graphics job. SIGH. But this one is tolerable since it is not a typical kind of graphics job. As far as I am concerned, it's the easiest thing in the world to get into graphics at game companies. It is so in-demand that the problem is actually getting out of it. But you should start the typical way we all do: Get into the company with a generic programming job and then specialize over time. You want to know how the game engines work? That accidental graphics program I made was my own game engine, meant for me to learn the exact same thing. I mainly wanted to make a physics engine but I needed graphics to display my things bouncing around, and that little accident later caused me to specialize away from physics and AI, completely ruining my life. But that what ruined my life would have sent you down the trail you wanted to go. It's so easy. Get a job as a regular programmer, start your own personal project in graphics: Show it to someone and if your company needs graphics programmers you will be moved. If they don't, you have something to show to the next company that does. It's so in-demand it is uniquely hard to give advice for it. There are so many ways to get into graphics programming it is just ridiculous. All of the above advice would work too. Anything that has, "Make graphics," in it will likely work. L. Spiro
  14. I was in ATD (Advanced Technology Division) and my division joined BD2 to work on Final Fantasy XV, on which I was a senior graphics programmer. Most foreigners get accepted into ATD, which is basically the western side of Square Enix (note that R&D departments (which is what ATD is) are always westernized in every video-game company because R&D programmers need to be fluent in English to keep up with research papers and visit The United States of America for the major technology conferences etc.) This means the rules are different for you if you plan to join a game team directly. Very few people will speak English and it can easily become a problem. The HR team only translates the most important e-mails and in the case of BD2 there was a specific setup for this just because of how many foreigners eventually began working on it (Final Fantasy XV), so I can't guarantee any such situation exists for the group you want to join. There is no division just for this. Your computer will be set to Japanese and you will be expected to live life in Japanese (getting your own apartment, maintaining yourself and bills in Japanese, using trains in Japanese, talking to all coworkers, etc.) If you are on a major team, you can expect over 100 e-mails daily, 99% of which will be in Japanese. Free Japanese lessons are only available to ATD. I think only ATD takes foreign interns. A girl from MIT joined temporarily (I think 6 months) as part of her schooling, for example. The game teams/business divisions take "new recruits" fresh from school, but this is just part of a common tradition based around Japan's culture—it is why all companies get a bunch of new employees in April. I was not on those teams so I can't say they don't, but my feeling is they don't. Those are the tools that that team uses, so they are non-negotiable. Note that it does say "Mayaなど," which means, "Maya or similar," but this feels like a verbal technicality, since Maya is what they actually use. The only way it would be okay to have no skills in Maya is if you have amazing skills in 3DSMax (or such) that they believe can easily transfer to Maya. If you can't use Maya and have no skills that can easily transfer to Maya, then you can't get the job (note that you should always let them decide if you can't get the job—this hardball advice is just to give you an idea). BUT this is a 2D job listing. You probably will not be using these tools. They are good to know so that you can communicate with other artists (which is already going to be a hurdle), but likely won't damage your chances. If your cosplay is a typical kind of bad then I expect it would not be used to judge your skills as an artist. But there are kinds of bad that might make them think poorly of you on a personal level. And there are kinds of good that might make them think you are dedicated to the industry etc. No one can say, which means it is a risk, which means you only need to consider it if the rest of your resume is bare and you need something to fill space (but a better way to fill space would be to show relevant works you have done). Several of my female friends at Square Enix are fashion designers, one of whom (I think she is on either Final Fantasy XIV or a Dragon Quest game) only wears fluffy princess/maid-café dresses every single day (complete with a parasol, ribbons, bows, and other props). Like cosplaying at work, every single day, and she made all of her outfits herself. Some people have jobs just designing the fashion in these games, but these positions are very specialized and already filled. That being said, it never hurts to show you have secondary relevant skills. Sending in sketches and designs of fashion would be fine. Of extra note is that all foreigners are required to join on a contract basis (I was an extremely rare exception just because I lived in Japan for so long before joining). Because Square Enix does hire from abroad often, it is their policy that the recruit join as a contract employee in order for them to see if they really like living in Japan. This means that if you join before you are truly ready, you have the extra stress of wondering if you have impressed them enough to keep you for another year (stress you are less likely to have once you are more skilled). They have just started a new policy under which contracts cannot be restarted after 5 years, so you also have to have a plan for getting full employment status or considering you only have 5 years at-most on the job. Joining prematurely might decrease your chances at getting more than 5 years in the company. L. Spiro
  15. L. Spiro

    How to optimize code

    #1: D3DPRESENT_PARAMETERS d3dpp = { 0 }; #2: Switch to Direct3D 11 or Direct3D 12. #3: Why exactly did you point at this to optimize? It should be run once and forgotten. Are you running this every frame? Is a profiler showing you that this needs to be optimized? L. Spiro
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