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Posts posted by Eck

  1. Your first question was a bit too vague to help with. But this question is specific enough for some guidance.

    1 minute ago, Sylon87 said:

    what i'm wondering in is witch is the best way to build a system where every player/npc will now witch character is the nearest one

    Here's an algorithm assuming each actor (NPC or player) knows where its position is.

    // loop through each actor: currentActor (I assume you have a list of these)
    // for each actor, loop through all the other actors: otherActors
    // compute the distance and store it in the currentActor

    That's the basics to get that working. Once you have that working you can worry about optimizations. Like realizing once you've computed the distance from currentActor to otherActor you also know the distance from otherActor to currentActor. That means your outer loop goes from 0...n, but your inner loop can go from currentActor's index to n. 

  2. If it isn't following the ball at all, my guess is target may not be set. If you want to also follow in the z direction, add in the z components the same way we did for the x components. The second line of the function where we set desiredPosition.x = desiredPosition.x + target.position.x is where we copy over the x component. Try to figure out what the line is for the z component on your own.

    If you can't figure that out on your own, you may want to take a step back from game development and focus your learning back on just programming. This isn't a slam on your abilities. We were all new at one point. :)

    - Eck



  3. Very impressive. I love the idea of virtual console hardware apis. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is Exapunk's RedShift console. I wound up coding a simple side scrolling shooter in it. Another cool feature of their game was that it imbeded the code for the game in an image of the cartridge. 

  4. You say you just want the x? Well, target.position has all 3 components (x, y, and z).  So if you just want the x of the target.position, take just the x.


    private void FixedUpdate()
      Vector3 desiredPosition = offset;
      desiredPosition.x = desiredPosition.x + target.position.x
      Vctor3 smoothedPosition = Vector3.Lerp(transform.position, desiredPosition, smoothSpeed);
      transform.position = smoothedPosition;

    - Eck

  5. If you're talking about keeping a developer journal, I think this site (gamedev.net) is a good place to do it. It's were I write my journals: 


    If you're talking about releasing your game in a playable state - normally you just release the executable. Sure other people can decompile your code, but in general it's more trouble than it's worth. Plus there are plenty of better projects to steal from than a beginner's indie pong clone. :)

    From an employer's point of view, I want to see that the programmers I'm hiring have a passion for game development. If they don't have a portfolio showing what they're working on in their free time, I'm less interested in them. During the interview process I'll ask about some of these projects and ask the interviewee about different problems they had to solve. At first - just tell me about the project - and then I get more specific getting the person to talk about how they solved some of the tough problems, etc.

    - Eck

  6. Something similar to this was done back in 1991 by Omnitrend Software with it's "Interlocking Game System". The first game "Rules of Engagement" had you flying around in your starship and doing starship captain-y things. Squad based tactical battles were then auto-calculated if you sent your away team to fight on another ship. However, if you owned Breach 2, instead it would fire up Breach 2 and let you fight out the squad based mission. After the Breach 2 scenario was completed, the results were reported back to Rules of Engagement where you continued playing.

    It's not quite the same thing, but I thought it was super cool at the time and relevant to the discussion.

    Right now your question is a bit too general to give any meaningful answer. Basically the companies would agree on an API for what data to communicate and how to communicate it. But the problems to solve would be very different for say two First Person Shooter games. Or one is a first person shooter while the other is an amusement park sim. 

  7. When did I join? The tail end of 1999. I was wrapping up college and shared a big rental house with 5 other computer science nerds. It was an amazing time. :) Up to that point my personal projects were too big for my limited skills and motivation levels. I think at the time I was working on a Necromunda Gang manager, an implementation of Car Wars, and trying and failing to learn how to program a new MUD.

    What brought you here? @Xai told me about the site. He was one of my roomies in the big house of nerds, my best friend, and my mentor in computer programming related things.

    Why do I participate? gamedev is an amazing site. I originally participated because of all the awesome resources available. I've learned so much over the years from the people and articles. As time passed I started asking less questions and answering more. One of the catalysts for my increased participation was after the Week of Awesome game jam. There was a requirement to have a developer journal and be active in giving each other support in the blogs. I connected with lots of cool people, made friends, and found the blog experience to be very motivating. 

    Around that time I made the decision to make a serious attempt at becoming a game developer so I buckled down and started pushing my learning. I spent a few hours per day answering questions in the forums. I remember getting more and more profile points (or whatever they're called) and climbing the ranks until I was on page 1 of the ranking. I miss that ranking page by the way. :)

    So I guess I participate mainly for learning and the community. It was also a way that I could demonstrate my passion for game development to potential employers, and when I do get back to indie development I think it will serve as some decent marketing.

    20 years??? Happy early anniversary! :)

    - Eck


  8. Coming in just under the time wire and meeting the bare minimum of requirements, I have technically met the challenge. :D

    My project: https://www.gamedev.net/projects/1562-ecks-type/

    Blog Entry: 



    My blog entry isn't quite a post mortem so I'll be adding that this weekend.  Here's the quick and dirty what went right/what went wrong. Right: Using Unity, Using 3rd Party Assets   -   Wrong: Using Scriptable Objects the way I did, Time Management


  9. If each battlegroup can be damaged, you might want to show a few numbers. Number of Battle groups/Total Strength of Battlegroups. So if you had 10 half strength battle groups it would show 10/5.0.

    I wrote a similar battle pairing system for an Exalted RPG troop fighting app where 100's of combatants fought each other and I had the computer roll everything out.  I rolled initiative for every combatant and when her initiative came up she first saw if she was already engaged. Otherwise she chose a target at random. She attacked one of those targets rolling to hit, and the target got a chance to parry or dodge. Then damage was applied if she actually hit. Damage applied could take out a combatant before they received a chance to fight back. It also dealt with wound penalties, gang up bonuses, and multi-action penalties.

    Anyway the Battlegroup pairing could do something similar. Roll initative (if you want that to matter) then have free combatants engage opposing combatants. You could have combatant selection prefer less engaged combatants so if you had a 10/5.0 group and a 5/5.0 group fight each other, the pairing would wind up with five fights 2/1.0 engaging 1/1.0. Or you could do random target selection and get some more lopsided engagements.

    I played some After the Empire the other day and it made me think of you and your cool 4X project. I thought to myself, I wonder how Acharis is doing? :) I'm happy to see you're still plugging away at it.

    - Eck

  10. 17 hours ago, Weston Bradford said:

    Thanks guys. This is great information. I'm considering collecting retirement where I am and moving into my dream job afterward, but we'll see where I land.  I've been dancing on this fence for far too long.

    Don't wait too long. Watch the movie Collateral and listen to Vincent's message. That's what lit a fire under my ass to follow my dream. :)

    - Eck

  11. 13 hours ago, Weston Bradford said:

    Why is it, would you say, that people aren't interested in staying in the industry when they're older? Maybe because low pay, no management positions available, tired of drawing rocks and crates, tired of job hopping?

    Well, everyone is different so here are some possible reasons:

    • maybe their dream didn't live up to the hype
    • maybe they want more money
    • maybe they want to start saving for retirement
    • maybe everyone else is young and they can't easily relate socially
    • maybe they want a less hectic job
    • maybe they want more stability

    For me, I was absurdly lucky enough to get my dream job the first time - working on an IP that I lived and breathed through my teen/college years at an amazing studio with passionate people. While working here I realized that the thing I love about programming is the problem solving which I can get at a normal job. If it was anything but Battletech at Harebrained Schemes, I probably would have moved on after we shipped. I do want to start saving for retirement, but I'm having too much fun living the dream. :)

    - Eck

  12. Aegism: I was 39 when I got my first (and only so far) game development job. I've been a professional programmer all my adult life though and game programming has always been a hobby of mine. I had a decent portfolio to show off: some developer journals, a custom game engine framework, a few games. And enough financial stability to say hell yeah, let's give this a go. I personally haven't seen aegism and the studio I'm in has a few 40+ hires. So for us at least it seems skill/desire is more the limiting factor. 

    I think Kylotan is right - it's mostly the older crowd thinking about retirement and not wanting to go through the extra stress/lower pay for a game developer career vs. a "normal" job. I could make a decent chunk of cash more if I went back to business application development.

    Benefits: I'm a programmer (not an artist) but I hypothesize that things are similar just due to supply and demand. Lots of people want to be game developers and there aren't that many game development jobs out there. That means companies can get away with paying employees less, working the employees a little harder and a little longer. Definitely some shops are worse than others so do your research.

    I get paid vacation, holidays off, and crunch only happens when absolutely necessary so it's a pretty sweet gig.

    Education/Experience: Most shops are more worried about can you do the job. So create some badass art that you're proud to show off. Draw in your free time as much as you can. Watch tutorials on how to draw cool things. Practice practice practice.

    Location: House prices are ridiculous in California - and Seattle WA (and the surrounding area) are nearly as bad. Take a look through some property sites. I wound up moving out of WA because I couldn't afford a house. If you want a game dev job, you'll have to move to where the jobs are. Pick some studios you want to work at, figure out where they are, and move there. It's good to have a place where LOTS of studios are though because you probably won't get your first choice. 

    Leaving everything you know behind: Family, friends, heck even local restaurants was a bigger deal than I gave it credit.

    Competitiveness: Crunch varies from studio to studio. Some shops will squeeze you to work 80+ hour weeks, chew you up, spit you out, and hire fresh talent. DON'T GO TO ONE OF THESE SHOPS! Do your research. Also make sure to be ready for a bunch of rejection. 

    Contracts: Varies from shop to shop. Some people give you a contract to try you out for a few months and make a decision of whether or not to review. Others hire a salaried position and have a probation period. And other times the shop folds because money ran out.

    Actual Job: So you've drawn your awesome original characters and environments in your portfolio. But the actual job might be something entirely different. You might be making rocks. Lots of rocks. And crates. And more rocks... 

    Stability: You mentioned you and your family, so I thought I'd comment about this. Gaming jobs are NOT stable. Even the big studios aren't immune to layoffs or even closures. Make sure your family is 100% on board instead of begrudgingly allowing you to follow your dream. 

    I hope this helps. Good luck in your new career. :)

    - Eck

  13. It's not the game mechanics of Solitaire that would translate, but everything else about it. Having a deck of cards, shuffling them, dealing them out to different piles, letting the user select a card and drag it, how you deal with card face data, etc. Plus all the game framework around a simple game like a menu system, maybe support saving and loading, sound effects, etc. There's a surprising amount of work that goes into a simple game that translates over to other titles. Plus it's something you could DEFINITELY finish. So many devs hand-wave away this advice. "Pfft, those tiny games are too easy, tha'ts not going to help me." I was one of them too for the longest time. :)

    Also, I think game jams are great investments once you know how to code. This forces you down the path of smaller ideas and helps get your framework pieces in place for future projects. It really identifies pain points and you can tell what SHOULD be easier.

    - Eck

  14. I love Master of Orion 2 for the basics.

    • Food - used for feeding populace
    • Production - used for building stuff/ships - produced/used by the planet it is on
    • Research - used for technology
    • Money - generated from taxing production and certain buildings. Useful as a less efficient floating production.

    Once you get that feeling pretty good you can add a smattering of strategic resources. Rare resources that give you a planet or empire wide benefit. Rich planet - bonus production. Trilithium crystals - all your ship move ranges are increased by 10%, etc.

    - Eck

  15. Right on. I was just making sure I didn't miss it. I'm sorry it's looking like we're skipping it this year. Not sorry enough to do all the hard work myself, but still... :)

    Oh, and thanks for all the hard work you guys put in on previous years.

    - Eck

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