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Binomine

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  1. This is the narrative that Gibson suggested, and it's laughably flawed by today's standards.    Entire armies would refuse to do battle until the Sacred Chickens had been consulted and reported back favorably. (I'm not making this up, a priest would feed chickens a corn cake, and if the chickens ate it, the gods were pleased). If grown men would refuse to do battle on what a chicken said to them, I find that as religious or more religious than most examples of Christianity. (Again, let me repeat, they would ignore state and civil duties because a chicken refused to eat cake)   The Eastern and Western Empires were two different beasts, and that conclusion is evidenced by how the Romans themselves split it between two Emperors. Gibson's thesis conveniently ignores that the Eastern Empire lasted until the late 1400's, and was equally Christian as the Western Empire. Again, Gibson portrays the Eastern Empire as a thousand years of decline, but come on. There's no decline that lasts a thousand years.
  2. I think a specialized graphics tablet is not very useful for anyone who isn't familiar with other forms of traditional artwork. Tablets really don't make you an artist, nor do they improve art all that much, they are simply a specialized controller that helps artists produce art faster. Honestly, with so many inexpensive normal tablets around, I don't see a reason a non-artist needs a drawing tablet. A non-artist often doesn't have the skill to get the benefit of pressure sensitive input and surface area is way more important than pressure sensitivity anyways. A larger, cheaper, non-pressure sensitive tablet would be better for art than a smaller, pressure sensitive one.   If you're into programming, a technical book focused on game programming would probably be a better gift. If you're into game design, then maybe a book on game theory or design.  Or just more hardware. A faster computer or more RAM is always nice.  I'd say more software, but I don't think there's any software within normal people spending reach anymore. It's either free or enterprise.  Or even an ebook reader for your technical books. 
  3.   To their discredit, they do this kind of shit all the time.   I'm sure there are plenty other ways to explain game design and programming for 5 year olds without the sexist crap   Barbie is an easy target, because those children who enjoy Barbie are not exactly into defying gender stereotypes, and she reflects her demographic. At the same time, she was a doctor at a time when women were doctoresses. She was an astronaut when American astronauts were restricted to men.  She offers a lot of career choices that are / were typically thought of as male. And there are no boy version of Barbie, where boys are introduced to actual career choices they might pursue at a later date. (Unless being a fur speedo barbarian is a career choice)   And compared to her competitors, she's as liberal as they come. Moxie(formally Bratz), don't seem to do anything besides fashion. And Monster High almost goes back to ancient Roman practices, where all the dolls are introduced by who their father is.  (For example Boo York is the daughter of the Rat King and Cleo de Nile is daughter of the Mummy). 
  4. To their credit, the ghost author who wrote that was told Barbie was a game designer, rather than a software engineer. And while it's not the most empowering thing ever written, it does show what one kind of game designer does. As accurate as a book for 5 year olds can.    Someone decided to switch the title from game designer to software engineer before it was published. Maybe because it sounded better, even though those things are not at all the same. 
  5. I really like this one, but I want to my own catch.    You can go backwards, but you are outside time, so you age normally during rollbacks while everyone else ages as if time has reversed. So if you are on your deathbed, and you age to a child, you'll still be an old man. It's just everyone else would be a child.    There's been time warping in games, but I am unaware of any where the consequence was less than just not being able to use it.
  6.   While fair use is most often talked about with parody, it does not necessarily mean fair use is only about parody.   Fair use is the ability to use a copyrighted material in an original work without getting the owner's permission in certain circumstances.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
  7. IANAL.   If a copyrighted thing is in your game, but it's not a feature of your game. then it's fair use. For example, there's a Chewbacca image on a poster in the background of your character's room in an RPG.   If an image is part of your game, then you have to pay for the rights. For example, you play as Chewbacca in your RPG, Chewbacca would have to be licensed.   Or if the Chewbacca poster in the first example plays an important part in an arc of your story, then it would have to be licensed.   An ok test is if you can swap the item out for anything else and it's still the same game, then it's probably fair use. As the first example, the Chewbacca image could be any nerdy poster and it would still convoy the same message.    EA claims that guns, while part of a game, are not a "feature" of the game, and so it's fair use.    Of course, what EA can get away with and what you personally can get away with are two different things. I'd advise that you file off the trademarks on anything in your game as an independent.
  8. Law is always 20 years behind technology. Emulation like this is a gray area, so there's no way to tell you for sure.   IMHO, it's perfectly legal to play your paid for games on any system that will run it, as long as that system was developed legally with clean room techniques and contains no copyrighted code.    The bigger question is, since Saturn emulation is currently so  poor, would you even want to, legally or otherwise? 
  9. Only giving answers to questions I think I can answer.   2. Language choice is dictated by platform choice. If you are a small time developer, then you need to focus on what you're interested in, because there's a lot of work involved in making a game. For example, learning Java when you're going to develop on iOS is more of a waste of time than learning Object C or C++.  Look at the languages people are using for doing stuff that you want to do.    3. This question is related to #2. If you are a small time creator of games, there's a lot on your plate. Using unity or another 3rd party library cuts down on what you have to do.  As a .net developer, you use .net rather than coding windowing systems, right?    4. There's no such thing as a perfect cross platform system. To some extent, It's all smoke and mirrors.    5. There's usually no database in games that aren't MMORPG style games. Resources are usually just hardcoded into the game or into whatever level file you have.    7. This depends on how far you want to go down this rabbit hole. Being a freelance mobile game developer or a tool developer isn't going to be too much different than an app developer. Being someone who is coding their own engine or modifying existing ones is going to be very different.    8. IMHO, your job might be unfulfilling, but game development as a hobby / side project might be a more likely path than game development as a career. There are people who make it, but it's a rock star kind of profession. For everyone who makes it, there are many who don't or even people who get a job, but can't make it into a career. 
  10. No. The Snowden documents seem to indicate that VPN is not a problem for the NSA. Even though VPN is secure theoretically, there's a few points of attack, such as everyone using a few seed numbers, that makes it probably not safe if you're trying to hide from the government.    If you're using VPN to hide from your competitors, and your competitors don't really have the pull to use governmental espionage to read your secrets, then you're probably safe.   Relevant XKCD:  https://xkcd.com/538/
  11. Programing is suited to autism, because it's rule based, and that appeals to many autistic children. Rules and patterns are very important to most autistic children.   The problem is that the autistic child has to want to do whatever they set out to do. So there's no right answer here, because it's whatever appeals to them. So, I would probably recommend that they try a lot of different books and see whatever the child latches onto. (This is where going to a library rather than buying a book might be more suited to them).
  12. I've found nothing gamedev related. I'm not sure gamedev podcasts are even possible, because code is something you've gotta read, it makes no sense to have someone read it to you. It takes a certain kind of mind and a certain kind of language for you to understand it.    However, you also wanted inspirational podcasts.  I've got those   I should be writing. It's about how to become an author, mainly in genre fiction, as well as the craft in general. The host has struggled to become an author, and she talks about her struggles and of other authors struggles along with general writing advice.    Writing Excuses Again, another writing podcast. This one takes a topic and breaks it down into a 15 minute segment. One of the hosts is a comic strip author and another is also a puppeteer, so there is almost always something that applies to visual story telling in there.    Song Exploder Just a podcast where an artist takes a song, and talks breaks it down into all it's pieces. It's about song design, but gamedev also has sound design elements in it. It, at least, gets you to think about sound design.    This Week in Science Science fiction is about taking science to the next step, and they try to give a 1000 ft view of the newest papers that came out this week. They're also cross-referenced, so you can go more in depth if something interests you.   99 precent invisible. Probably not related at all, but this is a cool one.
  13. This is all sorts of gray area. Zelda classic is a game engine that produces behaviors like an old game. Zelda Classic uses a game module that someone else produced to play a remake of Zelda for NES. Zelda Classic is [b]not[/b] illegal. The game module used to play the remake of Legend of Zelda for NES [b]is[/b] illegal. A lot of the modules used with Zelda Classic are also illegal, since they use LoZ graphics or level design. However, playing Zelda Classic with a module that doesn't have copyrighted graphics or level design is perfectly, 100% legal. And yes, people have produced new works for Zelda Classic.
  14. [quote name='Rickert' timestamp='1322476615' post='4888378'] May I have a chance to get on their level if I keep learning through experience and self-study?[/quote]You're making a rookie mistake. It's not the knowledge that's the killer feature of the university system. It's the social aspect. By being in a university, I got to meet the tip top people in their fields. That, and the ability to work on cutting edge research that you wouldn't really have thought about by yourself. As far as large university vs. small, there's less competition in a smaller university, but then there's less opportunity. You might have to work on something that is absolutely not interesting, even if it's important.
  15. [quote name='zedz' timestamp='1320960566' post='4882739'] [quote]The slide to unlock thing is close to where I think software patents should be. The magic of software is that many things are very difficult to create, but very easy to clone. Software patents should be there to prevent people from cloning things that are non-obvious solutions that are novel and unique, in order to support companies that create non-obvious and unique ideas. [/quote] aye? so you think slide to unlock is a valid patent! [/quote]Pretty much every phone before the iPhone used a recessed button for unlock or sequential button presses. Now, I do believe this patent is a little too obvious and keeping people to use a slide to unlock for 14 years is ridiculous, but I do believe it was somewhat novel at the time. It's like how Doom made it so obvious to make a bunch of Doom-clones and WoW made it so obvious to make a bunch of Wow clones. It wasn't obvious until someone did it. That is the nature of software. Hard to create, easy to duplicate.