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61  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-31 16:36:41
I hardly think cat vs dog is the stuff of flame wars, after all, cats are the pet equivalent of Vi, doubtless some people like them but Emacs is much more loyal and intelligent...  Grin
62  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-31 14:26:54
Much more of a dog person, to be honest.
63  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-28 20:27:19
+1 to #32 with a side order of "life is easier with version control."

And if we paid attention to #31 this thread would only have three useful posts on it, and none of them mine. Ooh, actually, that's not right! I do belong to that hallowed company! Never mind, as you were Grin
64  Game Development / Artificial Intelligence / Re: Good book on AI? on: 2006-10-28 00:44:19
I think there is a best kind of AI. If we could just devise a superhuman intelligence able to redesign itself better and thus transcend the limitations of human science think of the fun we could have!

Not best for games, maybe, but best for classic sci-fi cliche!
65  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-27 15:33:39
My approach is to always make the best plan that I can, but design in the expectation that the plan will need to change and be ready for that...
66  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: ZoomIn function on: 2006-10-27 13:34:21
I see, that makes sense Smiley
67  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-27 13:29:54
I'm currently trying to prototype my turn-based combat mechanic in Flash. That way I will know what I want to build in Java before I start and hopefully have ironed out most of the "not fun" variants on it.

It's reminding me why I hate ActionScript so much...
68  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-25 13:01:45
23. Think in detail what you are going to build and make as much of a plan as possible before you start. Then look at all the available libraries and other resources that can give you a head start. Writing a game is such an epic task in itself that you're going to need all the help you can get if you're ever going to get it finished.
69  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-24 23:38:38
My game-writing plan can be summed up by "What you're doing is ambitious enough in itself, don't get ambitious with extra stuff..."
70  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Pearls of Wisdom on: 2006-10-24 13:26:52
I would quibble with the documentation suggestions, which could be replaced by "document anything which isn't obvious."

I would perhaps replace both with "No matter what language you are working in or platform you are developing make sure you have read Code Complete."  That will give you all the coding methodology advice you could possibly need.
71  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: ZoomIn function on: 2006-10-23 10:38:51
What is the difference between moving the view-platform and zooming in? The view of a 3D environment is not the same as a camera.

I believe you can control the FOV in Java3D and probably do what you're talking about doing with OpenGL, but I'm not sure it's a good solution to the problem you're describing.
72  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Good implementations of turn-based combat? on: 2006-10-22 22:47:32
I have a GBA so I may be able to lay hands on a copy for myself, although whether I'll be able to see it through the horribly scratched screen of my original console is a moot point...

The idea of having several attacks the pokemon can know is interesting- it suggests to me the broadly unrelated concept of having several attacks per turn, so that for example you get two moves in a turn that you could either use for move -> attack, defend->attack  and so on. Special attacks may take several turns to use and as characters level up they gain more moves per turn, so that at a high level you could have, for example cast shield on self->move->attack->retreat and so on. Special attacks could take up an extra move, time-slowing effects could give you extra ones and so on. That might be able to give combat a lot of depth.
73  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Good implementations of turn-based combat? on: 2006-10-21 21:09:42
I only played that in passing - what were it's good and bad points- what made it work well for you as a player?
74  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Good implementations of turn-based combat? on: 2006-10-21 20:26:21
I'm trying to think how turn-based combat could work in a game I may or may not be going to write (I know that is a bit vague, but I don't want to make any commitments until I know I have a chance of finishing the thing) and I was wondering if any of you had any good ideas about ways of making turn based combat fun and tactical while remaining easy to understand and hopefully to implement Smiley ...

Any good thoughts on stuff you've liked in other games with a turn-based element to them also would be welcome, as would any thoughts on stuff you found really annoying...
75  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Any evolutionary traits you can think of... on: 2006-10-21 20:03:05
Some of these traits are kind of tied actually, so you may need to think up more- for example, diet has a huge effect because if you are modelling that correctly herbivores pretty much have to eat for a lot of the time and eat a large amount purely because the food they consume has a very low energy value, whereas carnivores are in the reverse situation as they get very high value food, but if they overdo things they will wipe out their own food supply and kill themselves off, as well as the high energy input required for successful predation.

In fact, finding many Orthogonal traits is going to be surprisingly difficult, but if you're using a genetic system perhaps you don't need to- if you set up the environment right, they should find themselves.
76  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: 3D graphics in Runescape - how? on: 2006-10-16 15:47:33
I know they were staying with the client 1.1 because that was the only thing they could be sure that users would have.

Not sure about the server, though. Surely they would be crazy to keep using the old VM for that.

Actually, I know someone who works there, maybe I should just ask...
77  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: 3D graphics in Runescape - how? on: 2006-10-14 23:27:27
the only thing about Runscape that really impresses me is the seamless networking
Technically it's quite an achievement to have done all that with only the 1.1 level VM, but the main thing that impresses me about them is how many users and how much content they have.

Fair play to them, they do a top job from that point of view.
78  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Data Recovery - rip off?? on: 2006-09-24 13:39:43
The funny thing is that we're always binning old kit that works but is a bit too slow for what we need. Or we have it lying around the house getting in the way. My tip for the top is to bodge together a subversion server from some of that kit and use it to maintain your versioning system. Failing that get an external hard drive, run svn on your own machine but keep the repositories on the hard drive. That way you have your data in two places at least, so if either one fails you're not too badly stuffed...
79  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Simple regex help on: 2006-09-17 21:07:41
Ah, young padawan, once I was like you. They are not evil, though they are subtle and quick to anger. The real problem with them is that they are powerful and if you are weak and tempted by the dark side you could easily be consumed by their greedy evaluation. If you are afraid of them, you aren't ready to face them yet. Don't worry about it, they will still be there when you are ready.

Perl though, that is evil...

80  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Simple regex help on: 2006-09-16 23:23:22
Regexps are fantastic. One of the most useful tools we have, but pretty much a programming language in their own right.
81  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Data Recovery - rip off?? on: 2006-09-15 10:26:06
If it spins up but you can't boot you can often get away with using a CD distro to boot up and just find stuff on the drive from there.

Otherwise it is pretty much time to get in touch with the pros.
82  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: My Band's Single Comes out today! on: 2006-09-15 10:23:18
Or  time to wake up, which is also quite bad.
83  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Had my first Advanced programming class today with C++ on: 2006-09-12 21:04:24
Yes, certainly, but I think if I went back to having to manage my own memory there would be quite a lot of upset before I remembered the details of how to do it without causing horrible leaks everywhere...
84  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: Slow on: 2006-09-11 10:52:41
I'm still reading but I know how to do most of what I need to with J3D so I will mostly try to answer questions.

tbh, when I get around to writing my classic game (which has kind of slipped into something I'm starting to do now instead of a random idea) I'm going to use the monkey-engine for the 3d bit cos it gives me more stuff I need on a plate without having to work for it. As my general game concept is stupidly ambitions I am quite happy to let the engine do as much as possible...
85  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Anyone know any advantages of Perl? on: 2006-09-07 10:46:43
If I wrote that in perl I would become so good at writing in the language that I wouldn't need to have written it.

At the moment it's the function calls that do my head in. You don't get named parameters, you just pass an array, so you call mySub( $a, $b $c ) and in mySub you just have a parameter array @_ containing $a, $b and $c. That is fine if you're passing single values but if one of your parameters is an array itself you end up having that as part of the parameter list so if $a was an array you would get $a[0]. $a[1], $a[2], $a[3], $b, $c as your input parameter.

I know there are workarounds and I'm sure it's mostly just something you need to get used to but it's very annoyingly confusing to start with.
86  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Help! Game ideas on: 2006-09-07 10:41:27
But they've given you the marking criteria right there, if you fulfil them, surely they have to max out all your marks?

In things like this I never trust to hearsay, see if you can get in touch with one of the graders or the board who handles it or whoever and ask them directly. I doubt they'll have a problem - the vast majority of what they see will be such rubbish code anyways that a well-written and complete game will still be 90% better than most of what they have available to them...
87  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Help! Game ideas on: 2006-09-06 11:08:02
You could just try coming up with a simple gameplay idea and working out how to implement it but it is probably easier to work from an existing template.

Bear in mind that most games need a lot of artwork assets, which can take ages and detract from the time you have to actually develop your code so you probably want to work from something quite artistically simple.  In fact, this makes me think you could probably do something quite interesting and worthwhile if you looked at a component rather than a whole game. You could look at content generation- as games grow more complex, any given game will need a lot more scenery in terms of terrain, buildings, furniture and so on- there are a lot of interesting things that could be done towards generating those. Could you make a rock generator that creates realistic rocks, for example? It sounds simple, but once you start thinking about weathering, erosion, generating the object and it's textures, bump-maps, normal-maps and so on it can become as complex as you want it to.
88  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Anyone know any advantages of Perl? on: 2006-09-06 10:52:24
That is actually very accurate...

Half of what I'm doing is maintaining someone else's perl. I don't think it's particularly poor, but it's pretty hard to follow in places...
89  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Re: Anyone know any advantages of Perl? on: 2006-09-04 16:06:27
I do a lot of Ruby. Going to perl feels a lot like stepping out of my foundry and knocking flints together.

I think it's the namespacing thing that is doing my head in. The whole concept of things being global by default just does my nut in.
90  Discussions / Miscellaneous Topics / Anyone know any advantages of Perl? on: 2006-09-04 14:00:06
I'm doing some work with Perl at the moment and it's driving me totally mad. Who on earth thought that any of these features would make for a good language? How come it is so popular and successful?

Seriously, the namespaces, the way you make function calls, pretty much everything about the language is insane. It's like trying to knit yourself a car out of spaghetti. I'm guessing it's just that I'm accustomed to using languages that were designed by intelligent and sane people and there must be something good about it, but I can't for the life of me work out what.

Any suggestions?
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