Becoming a games programmer

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martin
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Postby martin » Tue May 01, 2007 8:35 am

sorry, when I said friction isn't done that was misleading, apparently rotational friction isn't modelled - so two objects spinning in opposite directions which hit each other won't share any of their rotation with each other.
Also, Tom's using C#, and no library - all physics functions were written by him from scratch.
And I used grey text because the demo is on a black background.
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Postby martin » Tue May 01, 2007 12:00 pm

I asked tom about friction - things stop because there is a damping force which just kind of stops everything after a while, it just makes things easier to control; needless to say it's a togglable option and you can set it's strength.
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Postby Montyphy » Tue May 01, 2007 12:23 pm

martin wrote:And I used grey text because the demo is on a black background.


Except most of the time the demo window isn't being displayed and at no point does the window encompass the whole text.
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Postby wwarnick » Tue May 01, 2007 1:56 pm

martin wrote:Also, Tom's using C#, and no library - all physics functions were written by him from scratch.

I meant graphics library. DirectX, OpenGL, XNA?

Montyphy wrote:Except most of the time the demo window isn't being displayed and at no point does the window encompass the whole text.

Really, who cares?

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Postby Montyphy » Tue May 01, 2007 2:55 pm

wwarnick wrote:
Montyphy wrote:Except most of the time the demo window isn't being displayed and at no point does the window encompass the whole text.

Really, who cares?


I care.
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Postby xander » Tue May 01, 2007 3:07 pm

Montyphy wrote:
wwarnick wrote:
Montyphy wrote:Except most of the time the demo window isn't being displayed and at no point does the window encompass the whole text.

Really, who cares?


I care.

Seconded.

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Postby TheDan » Tue May 01, 2007 5:55 pm

Firstly, I haven't read all posts in this thread so apologies if I repeat something already said. I was just browsing through and the XNA mention caught my eye...

Today I handed in my university dissertation, which was on the subject of evaluating new hardware intefaces within modern games (I'm hoping to get into the games development industry myself), and the practical work for that was done in the XNA framework (XNA was released the same month as I started the work, so it seemed a good time to jump onboard). Personally, I found XNA to be very easy to develop a basic 3D application, with 2D HUD rendering (compared to SDL in C++, which is what I was previously experimenting with).

There were only two downsides that bothered me considerably during development:
- It's still very new, and so Microsoft don't seem to have completely decided where they want to take it. When it was first released there was a big fuss about re-usable 'components'. Then they scrapped that idea, and removed 3D audio aswell for some reason. & now the recent 'Refresh' release has added 3D audio back in.
- It's C#, which was new to me (although didn't take long to learn from a C++ background). This means that all of those great C++ game-development tutorials floating around the web are only useful from the theory side. I'm dubious as to whether the C# experience is going to look as good on my CV as the same project potentially implemented within C++, but at least I can claim I've used an emerging framework.

So anyway, that's my humble opinion on XNA
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Postby niksonpsi » Tue May 01, 2007 6:44 pm

XNA Rocks!! compared to managed DX it's as easy as 2+2 (sort of)
C# is also easier than C++ and if you know VB(or VB.NET), J++ and/or C++, you'll find that C# is easy to learn...

Also, a little question that I couldn't find the answer on the NET...(not .NET but InterNET)

Can XNA render primitives? 'cause the Documentation provides only a tutorial teaching you to render figures not 3D primitives...

hehe--- a little bit offtopic----

edited: hehe C# is also easier than C#... sorry...
Last edited by niksonpsi on Tue May 01, 2007 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Montyphy » Tue May 01, 2007 6:48 pm

niksonpsi wrote:C# is also easier than C#


That is really quite impressive.
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Postby xander » Tue May 01, 2007 6:53 pm

I am beginning to suspect that many of the "developers" here are really quite self centered. The only reasons that I have seen offered up for choosing C# and XNA over C++ and OpenGL all seem to do with ease of programing. So what? If you are any good, you can write your algorithms and make them work in any language. The end user doesn't care how easy something is to program, they care how well it works. Unless you are the only intended end user, then you should pay some heed to how well the program will run, how portable it is, how is uses (abuses) system resources, &c.

I would also be concerned about using a proprietary system for building up things that are of any value to me. If MS were to pull the plug on .NET, or try to replace it with something else, you would be SOL. On the other hand, there is no one that can pull the plug on your ability to compile and run programs written in C++.

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue May 01, 2007 7:10 pm

The developers time is currently the most valuable part of any development work. If the quality of code were the only issue everything would just be written from scratch in assembly or C.

That said I think languages like Java produce products that are far below acceptable levels from the end user's point of view. This means that despite their easy of use from a programmer perspective I generally refuse to use them. I've actually been fairly happy with the C# programs I've used so I can't make the same objections to its use. The portability object still stands though.
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Postby shinygerbil » Tue May 01, 2007 8:45 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:I've actually been fairly happy with the C# programs I've used so I can't make the same objections to its use. The portability object still stands though.
From what I've heard, C# programs have few extra overheads once they are running, because at the beginning some kind of 'image' of the executable is made. It always seems to me that even miniscule .NET-based programs take a very long time to load the first time .NET is used in any given session, but subsequent runs of the program are quick.
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Postby wwarnick » Wed May 02, 2007 2:44 am

xander wrote:I am beginning to suspect that many of the "developers" here are really quite self centered.

Thanks.
xander wrote:The only reasons that I have seen offered up for choosing C# and XNA over C++ and OpenGL all seem to do with ease of programing. So what? If you are any good, you can write your algorithms and make them work in any language. The end user doesn't care how easy something is to program, they care how well it works. Unless you are the only intended end user, then you should pay some heed to how well the program will run, how portable it is, how is uses (abuses) system resources, &c.

Then I guess I'm not any good. Are you? By your logic, children should learn to read with Shakespeare.
As a student, far from professional, the end user can kiss my butt. Why? Because I will most likely be the only end-user.
xander wrote:I would also be concerned about using a proprietary system for building up things that are of any value to me. If MS were to pull the plug on .NET, or try to replace it with something else, you would be SOL. On the other hand, there is no one that can pull the plug on your ability to compile and run programs written in C++.

I'm learning. Thus, I am starting small and moving up. If this ever became a career, I would most likely teach myself C++ and DX or OpenGL. If Microsoft pulled the plug, then I'd make the switch even sooner. As simple as that.

I and many others (not all) are just learning. We don't profess to be experts. Until we do, our focus isn't on pleasing the customers. Our focus is on learning to develop games.

Try being a "developer" sometime, xander.

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Postby xander » Wed May 02, 2007 2:58 am

wwarnick wrote:--==<snip>==--

Thanks for replying to something that obviously didn't apply to you. Or did you miss this line:
xander wrote:If you are any good, you can write your algorithms and make them work in any language.

or this line:
xander wrote:Unless you are the only intended end user, then you should pay some heed to how well the program will run, how portable it is, how is uses (abuses) system resources, &c.

I was not talking about students, and I was not talking about code that is intended to be used in house. If you are learning, or no one else is ever going to need to use your code, then the requirements of a normal end user don't matter at all. On the other hand, if you are trying to develop software that lots of people are going to use, then the requirements of the end users do matter. In that case, the ease of development should be secondary to the needs of the end user.

This does not mean that C# and .NET are inherently bad for all purposes. If your end users are all going to be Windows users, and you know they are all going to have .NET, and you know that they are not worried about performance, then sure, .NET makes sense. If you are trying to build games, where every ounce of a computers ability will be stressed, and you might want to port it to another system (Mac, Linux, older version of Windows, newer version of Windows, &c.), then your comfort should be secondary.

Also, I stand by my statement -- if you are any good, you should be able to write code equally well in any language. As a student, you are not expected to be good, so I don't know why you take offense at that. If you are a student, you are, by definition, learning. If you are learning, you are not expected to be good. Once you have a good knowledge of how to build algorithms, it shouldn't matter what language you are building them in, they are all fundamentally the same.

And, to clarify a bit, I am sure that there are good reasons to use .NET for many kinds of applications. The only reason that I have seen, so far, is that it is easier to code in. That's just lame, if you are talking about commercial grade software.

As to trying to be a developer, I have been playing with computers since the early 80s. I got to be fairly good with BASIC and Pascal as a child, but didn't feel the need to pursue software development as a full time job. I know enough about algorithms to be dangerous, and am perfectly able to implement what I know equally well in BASIC, Pascal, Python, PHP, C (not C++, never bothered with it), and HP UserRPL and SysRPL. All computer languages are basically the same, it is just a matter of placing the semi-colons in the right place, figuring out oddities with branching and looping structures, and figuring out the idiosyncrasies of the language that you are working in.

I should also note that, on these boards, it has been often suggested that before you develop something, you prototype it in a language other than the target language. This implies that a good developer is equally comfortable in at least two languages.

xander
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Postby Trust » Wed May 02, 2007 3:43 am

If you're going to learn Spanish, just to speak, and you think you might use English later, why not just learn English?

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