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1  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How do you come up with ideas for games? on: 2014-10-01 14:17:19
That's pretty much how it goes Smiley

There's even a phrase for the sort of typical game design ideas going around right now... "minecraftbuts"

Cas Smiley
2  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Starting a small dev business on: 2014-10-01 08:34:33
Best not to let money get involved till you're older. Honestly. Money is the root of all evil.

Cas Smiley
3  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: How do you come up with ideas for games? on: 2014-10-01 08:33:07
Coming up with ideas is really easy.
Coming up with ideas that other people might actually be interested in is way way way harder.
Then following through with those ideas following each mechanic to its logical conclusion is even harder than that.
Finally implementing those ideas and finding out which ones aren't actually fun or interesting and refining the process is the very hardest step of all.

It's like refining dirt to get a nugget of gold.

... takes a LOT of dirt.

Cas Smiley
4  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-29 18:56:21
I'm your sexier more awesome long-lost twin  Kiss

Cas Smiley
5  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-26 07:18:44
Well... you probably should.

He's genuinely not who the "Internets" portray him to be. Almost every quote you ever hear attributed to him has been taken completely out of any context simply in order to paint him as a monster. It's like some giant flashmob hate thing. I can't really see why it occurred other than it looked like a combination of lowest common denominator + bullying... pretty similar to what occurred lately to Sarkeesian and friends.

Aren't people awful?

Cas Smiley
6  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-09-25 19:55:31
Be interested to see a standalone Collada loader library.

Cas Smiley
7  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Should i allow everyone to see my game source code? on: 2014-09-25 15:40:10
Doesn't really hurt...

Cas Smiley
8  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm scared of Unity on: 2014-09-25 12:59:46
Oh I dunno... it's easy for people to roll eyes in despair about how easy it is to make games with Unity but the reality is it only makes one small aspect of writing games easy. An admittedly particularly difficult and expensive or time consuming aspect but it's one less barrier... just leaving all the other equally difficult and expensive/time consuming barriers to overcome Smiley

Cas Smiley
9  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: [Slick2d] Retro-Pixel Castles > KICKSTARTER, GREENLIGHT AND NEW BUILD LAUNCHED < on: 2014-09-25 12:21:43
More seriously... if you're considering doing any translation efforts, target them where the money is. That's German and Russian according to my stats, and French not far behind.

Cas Smiley
10  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-24 15:35:11
This is why the world waits with interest to see what sort of fun will happen as Javascript becomes ever more powerful Smiley

Cas Smiley
11  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm scared of Unity on: 2014-09-24 09:59:02
Only one crash here in a month or two of use, which is par for the course.

Eventually also programmers are going to come to realise that programming is just quite a small part of games development these days. You're pretty much dead in the water unless you find an artist. I know pixel art is all the rage at the moment but it might be a fad based on the age of certain demographics and also... there's pixel art and there's pixel art Wink And don't forget Unity is probably rather better for doing 3D work and 3D ain't easy content-wise.

Cas Smiley
12  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm scared of Unity on: 2014-09-24 09:02:13
Monodevelop will take away your pleasure in programming.  Emo

Cas Smiley
13  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-24 09:01:35
That said, it's probably blown right out of proportion. Of all the games released last year, you could probably count on the fingers of one hand how many depict women poorly... or even at all. A pretty large majority of games don't even feature people. It's easy to take potshots at titles that are hugely marketed in the limelight that fit a particular mould.

Cas Smiley
14  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-24 08:23:37
I wouldn't know about Sarkeesian myself having not really got the time or inclination to watch her videos but if her general sentiment is that women's portrayal in video games is shit then I agree, and I support feminism with absolute conviction*. I also have a general distaste for the huge increase in graphic violence in video games though, and that's never a popular view, but I can put that unpopular view right there alongside by utter contempt for the availability of firearms to the public in certain countries.

Cas Smiley

* This is because I actually know what feminism is, unlike it would seem, most of the internet. Of all** sexes
** Seems in the last 20 years there has been an unexpected explosion in the number of sexes we have to accommodate.
15  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: I'm scared of Unity on: 2014-09-24 08:17:47
We're using Unity Sad

I have these observations to make about it.

1. Bloody hell, you can't half get some stuff done so fast. The vast majority of game development wank - you know, lighting, shaders, just loading 3D models let alone rendering or animating them, game loops, etc. - all works and been done for you. All you have to do is "make game".

2. It's not exactly super-fast but then that's because it's super-flexible within the bounds of its design remit. So you won't be making Dawn of War or anything with 5,000 units running around but for mostly anything else... it looks like it'll cope.

3. The ability to deploy on mobile devices as well as desktops is of course still the massive red herring that it is with every other cross-platform dream environment. You do not make desktop games to run on phones, nor vice versa. Just give it a rest already. If you base a decision to use a tool because you can magically make the same sourcecode run on the other, you need to get your head out of your arse and think about what the hell you're up to.

4. C# (on Mono), everyone will tell you, is superficially similar to Java and that they're functionally identical. I can now tell you that they're not really at all. C# is a fairly atrocious language that seems to have been designed by hackers and bodgers trying to play catchup with Java and C++ as fast as possible. It has readability almost as poor as C++, performance seems to lag Java by a decade (and that's because of shitty libraries mostly), and all manner of inconsistency and missing functionality and shittiness that you only realise you were spoiled with when you've used Java for any length of time and try to use something else. It really is a half-baked hack compared to the hundreds of man-years of academic effort and maturity and testing that seems to have gone in to Java.

5. The Unity IDE is a bit temperamental and buggy, but then what IDE isn't? It's particularly poorly integrated with Monodevelop, which is itself, a total crock of shit compared to Eclipse. Navigation is non-existent. Stuff like integrated Javadoc you take for granted. Browsing class libraries. Basic formatting and syntax colouring. All terrible, bugridden, non-functional or anti-functional (I usually have to type everything twice just to get the f**king stuff to format properly because it auto-formats stuff wrongly for me - every single time).

6. Oh, it turns out that you can string together trivial tech demos in Unity in no time at all - because all the tech has been done for you. But it then turns out if you actually want to make a game you've got to get pretty clever with C# "scripting" anyway. And in fact you end up doing all the hard stuff in C#. And you need to actually design a game too, which IMHO is actually the very hardest part of game development. I used to be worried about Unity coming along and "democratising game development" (read: suddenly opening me up to vast competition) but actually it turns out that the "engine" development part of game dev - the bit that people worry about the most because it looks the hardest - is actually one of the smaller aspects of game dev.

7. Being able to easily target PS and XBone at the same time as Steam is a massive advantage if you have the right connections and understanding. Java is a major hassle in this respect... well it would be if I hadn't just managed to run Ultratron, unmodified, using IKVM. Hmmm.

Cas Smiley
16  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Why are people jerks? on: 2014-09-24 07:43:50
I got various threats of violence and wishes of death in several unpleasant ways but nothing I'm frightened of. Apart from having a thick skin... I'm apparently quite scary in real life compared to the average keyboard warrior Smiley Being a 6ft 14 stone hairy arsed biker with broken front teeth helps.

It's a bit of a shame so many people utterly misunderstood the post but it was what I expected. I notice how the followup post which explains it all got zero attention, confirming my suspicions about the way the internet works.

Cas Smiley
17  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-24 07:39:39
If it's trivial enough to be downloaded on the fly as an webpage it's trivial enough you probably should have done it in Javascript in the first place and stop making life difficult for yourself Smiley
Though there's a lot to be said for crosscompiling Java into Javascript a la libgdx.

Cas Smiley
18  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Enemy class hierarchy on: 2014-09-22 08:57:59
Probably not that.

Just one class for enemies. Then control different aspects of behaviour with plugins. In Revenge of the Titans, we've got just one "gidrah" class, and it's controlled by a "brain" (which chooses its objectives), a "movement" which controls its navigation and movement, and optionally a "weapon" it uses.

Nav and movement are controlled again by separate plugins for different sorts of movement - we've got two basic sorts in RotT - "ground" movement with A* pathfinding, and "flying" movement which ignores terrain.

and so on.

General takeaway: composition using interfaces rather than deep class hierarchies.

Cas Smiley
19  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Are Java applets really "dead" for indie developers? on: 2014-09-22 07:32:33
Totally dead more or less. Even the old stalwart Flash has had its day and has been put out to pasture. You have Apple to thank for it mostly, and a general move towards doing everything one way (JS/HTML/CSS)

Cas Smiley
20  Games Center / Featured Games / Re: Daedalus - no escape on: 2014-09-19 16:00:57
Jolly well done Smiley Consider dropping a buck on the Patreon to support the SteamPuppy library if the launch goes well!

Cas Smiley
21  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-18 16:20:00
It's a PITA but the solution is simple... "don't read the comments". I'm gradually coming round to this way of thinking myself - just simply stopping participating in internet gutter culture aka "comments sections". And that includes pointless wastes of space and time like Reddit and 4chan. Think I might even turn comments off on our blog too.

Cas Smiley
22  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Best way to go about many objects checking array for data? on: 2014-09-18 10:53:10
That might not make for the interesting gravity-based game/simulation the OP is looking for, of course Wink

Cas Smiley
23  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Best way to go about many objects checking array for data? on: 2014-09-17 11:53:55
As your rule is "every object influences every other object" then there is only one way to do what you want which is to loop through the entire array of objects (O(n2). Yes, it's slow, but that's physics if you want to do it right.

Cas Smiley
24  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-16 21:39:42
Hi Chris, long time no see Smiley

Cas Smiley
25  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-16 21:24:52
It's "luck" in the sense that Markus did not set out to make a $2bn game. He was just having fun.

Cas Smiley
26  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: What I did today on: 2014-09-16 18:35:31
More horror in the land of C# and Unity for me. Put in the logic behind crafting items for Basingstoke.

Cas Smiley
27  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-16 14:38:43
Now he's loaded I wonder if he could spare a buck a month for our Patreon.*

Cas Smiley

* Shameless plug
28  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Check for null or check for implementation? on: 2014-09-15 08:08:25
Make OOP purists recoil in horror with the suggestion that you stick loads of methods into a base class! That's what I do.

In general I look back from the requirements ("I need to be able to this, this, and this, with the things in a list") and then work out what thing needs to be done to satisfy those requirements ("so I need to have this, this, and this declared for all potential objects in the list"). Quite often that leads to the perfectly reasonable design of having a phat base class full of abstract methods (or, more usefully, an interface).

Then I move on to more actually difficult problems Wink

Cas Smiley
29  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion? on: 2014-09-13 22:16:55
Don't, it makes me cry myself to sleep every night...

Cas Smiley
30  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: great article on good coding practice on: 2014-09-13 09:16:39
Ah, you should see Chaz and Alli's scriptings in C# in our Unity game. My eyes are bleeding and my brain wants to leap out of my head and run off somewhere where it only has to think about brussels sprouts.

Cas Smiley
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