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In my last rant (https://devrant.com/rants/5523458/...) I regaled you lovely folks of how I had to diplomatically yet firmly defend my work/life boundaries during off-work hours for non-life threatening affairs (a frustratingly common occurrence), and concluded the thread by mentioning that I still had a job, but would make a note of my frustration of that for whatever exit interview happens.
Well, no need for those notes any longer.
I and half of the engineering force, along with several senior managers were laid off this morning in the form of a "mandatory on-site all hands".
I live and work in NYC. Several people took trains and booked rooms from as far away as Boston to be here (or at least I know of specifically two people who commuted up here on Sunday to be here for the "all hands"). I presume those people used their travel benefits to get here and back.
We were dismissed before the meeting even took place, and according to a coworker I became friends with (yes, despite my snarky comments in other threads, I *do* actually have coworkers I became friends with lol) who survived at least this round of layoffs, once the actual all-hands commenced, the company first disclosed the layoffs, then announced being awarded a major contract with the very client the entire org had been working on overdrive to win for the last nine months. He had already been looking for a new job and got an offer last Friday, had been mulling it over, but told me once we were off the phone he was calling them up and accepting. He had three people reporting to him, and lost two. Even he had no idea it was coming until one of his now-former subordinates asked him to come outside and told him they'd just been let go.
I knew going in to this startup that "it's a startup, anything can happen, just mind the gap". That's why I asked on numerous occasions and tried to get time with our CFO to ask about revenue and earnings; things that in my years at this place were never disclosed to the rank and file, I'm not a professional accountant or CPA by any means, but I did take a pair of corporate accounting classes in community college because I like the numbers (see my other rants about leaving the field and becoming a math teacher), and I was really curious to know how the financial health of the business was.
It wasn't so much a red flag as it was an orangish-yellow that no one ever answered those questions, or that the CFO was distant but not necessarily cagey about my requests for his time; other indicators were good while interviewing--they had multiple fully integrated, paying customers (one of which being a former employer from years ago, which aided me in having strong product familiarity during the job interview), but I guess not enough to be sustainable.
Anyway. I'm gonna use the rest of the week to be a bum, might get out of the city and go hang with friends Pittsburgh, eat some hoagies and just vibe for a while. I've got assets and money stashed up to float pretty easily for a while, plus a bit of fun money so losing the job isn't world ending. Generalized anxiety because everything is going to shit worldwide, but that quickly faded into the backdrop of the generalized anxiety I always have because existentialism or something like that.
Thanks for reading. Pay the teachers.5
3 weeks into a new job I learned that my predecessor (who resigned and was out the door two days after I started) didn’t know how to secure s3 buckets when all of our production image assets got replaced with elder porn.
Jury’s still out if it was actually him the whole time.1
Stories from Gary #000
Short background info:
So I'm working as a game dev for 3 years now and by now I can say that I've seen some shit. Mostly because of one of our game designers, let's call him Gary.
So Gary, from here on called GDG (Game Designer Gary), is a regular game designer (GD). His job is to come up with new game ideas, commission the assets, make sure that translations are done, etc. - simply put, he has to get a lot of shit together before we can start working on a new game.
Would be no problem at all if GDG wasn't lazy as shit and would work for once in his life. No dev really wants to work with him anymore, since he's known for calling a game or any issue "ready for development" even if half the assets or specs are still missing.
Let's move on to a particular situation that happened a couple of months ago.
I had an issue assigned to me, which was about implementing the translations for a new game. As I read the issue and checked if everything I needed was given, I noticed that the most important part was in fact missing - the keywords for the translations.
So, I called GDG and asked where I could find the keywords, to which he responded "Oh, I'm working on them right now... and by the way I got a weird bug with the translation program. Can you come check it out?". Sigh. I went over to his office, rambling about how I should be able to help him with a program I rarely use and which was written ages ago.
As soon as GDG saw me coming roundbthe corner, he started explaining how the keywords aren't ready yet, since the program to create translations and their keywords won't let him name a translation.
"I can create new translations, but I can't assign a keyword to them."
"Okay, show me what you did", I told him, eager to leave.
He started to type the keyword, which turned out to be huge ass long and immediately I noticed a little counter, like "x/50", directly beneath the text field started to count up with every new character GDG typed. See where I'm going with this? HE WASNT ABLE TO RENAME A TRANSLATION BECAUSE HE WAS TOO LAZY TO FUCKING READ AND CONCENTRATE FOR ONCE. Sorry for that, but even thinking about it gets me angry again.
To some this might sound like nothing, but it really got to me at this point. Maybe it will become more understandable as I post more GDG stories.
tl;dr: A 40 something year old man, who's been working in his job for over 10 years wasn't able to use a program which he daily uses and asks me for help, only to find out he's a complete dipshit.4
Everyone and their dog is making a game, so why can't I?
1. open world (check)
2. taking inspiration from metro and fallout (check)
3. on a map roughly the size of the u.s. (check)
So I thought what I'd do is pretend to be one of those deaf mutes. While also pretending to be a programmer. Sometimes you make believe
so hard that it comes true apparently.
For the main map I thought I'd automate laying down the base map before hand tweaking it. It's been a bit of a slog. Roughly 1 pixel per mile. (okay, 1973 by 1067). The u.s. is 3.1 million miles, this would work out to 2.1 million miles instead. Eh.
Wrote the script to filter out all the ocean pixels, based on the elevation map, and output the difference. Still had to edit around the shoreline but it sped things up a lot. Just attached the elevation map, because the actual one is an ugly cluster of death magenta to represent the ocean.
Consequence of filtering is, the shoreline is messy and not entirely representative of the u.s.
The preprocessing step also added a lot of in-land 'lakes' that don't exist in some areas, like death valley. Already expected that.
But the plus side is I now have map layers for both elevation and ecology biomes. Aligning them close enough so that the heightmap wasn't displaced, and didn't cut off the shoreline in the ecology layer (at export), was a royal pain, and as super finicky. But thankfully thats done.
Next step is to go through the ecology map, copy each key color, and write down the biome id, courtesy of the 2017 ecoregions project.
From there, I write down the primary landscape features (water, plants, trees, terrain roughness, etc), anything easy to convey.
Main thing I'm interested in is tree types, because those, as tiles, convey a lot more information about the hex terrain than anything else.
Once the biomes are marked, and the tree types are written, the next step is to assign a tile to each tree type, and each density level of mountains (flat, hills, mountains, snowcapped peaks, etc).
The reference ids, colors, and numbers on the map will simplify the process.
After that, I'll write an exporter with python, and dump to csv or another format.
Next steps are laying out the instances in the level editor, that'll act as the tiles in question.
Theres a few naive approaches:
Spawn all the relevant instances at startup, and load the corresponding tiles.
Or setup chunks of instances, enough to cover the camera, and a buffer surrounding the camera. As the camera moves, reconfigure the instances to match the streamed in tile data.
Instances here make sense, because if theres any simulation going on (and I'd like there to be), they can detect in event code, when they are in the invisible buffer around the camera but not yet visible, and be activated by the camera, or deactive themselves after leaving the camera and buffer's area.
The alternative is to let a global controller stream the data in, as a series of tile IDs, corresponding to the various tile sprites, and code global interaction like tile picking into a single event, which seems unwieldy and not at all manageable. I can see it turning into a giant switch case already.
So instances it is.
Actually, if I do 16^2 pixel chunks, it only works out to 124x68 chunks in all. A few thousand, mostly inactive chunks is pretty trivial, and simplifies spawning and serializing/deserializing.
All of this doesn't account for
* putting lakes back in that aren't present
* lots of islands and parts of shores that would typically have bays and parts that jut out, need reworked.
* great lakes need refinement and corrections
* elevation key map too blocky. Need a higher resolution one while reducing color count
This can be solved by introducing some noise into the elevations, varying say, within one standard div.
* mountains will still require refinement to individual state geography. Thats for later on
* shoreline is too smooth, and needs to be less straight-line and less blocky. less corners.
* rivers need added, not just large ones but smaller ones too
* available tree assets need to be matched, as best and fully as possible, to types of trees represented in biome data, so that even if I don't have an exact match, I can still place *something* thats native or looks close enough to what you would expect in a given biome.
Ponderosa pines vs white pines for example.
This also doesn't account for 1. major and minor roads, 2. artificial and natural attractions, 3. other major features people in any given state are familiar with. 4. named places, 5. infrastructure, 6. cities and buildings and towns.
Also I'm pretty sure I cut off part of florida.
Woops, sorry everglades.
Guess I'll just make it a death-zone from nuclear fallout.
Take that gators!5
dR Community Server Showcase is open for suggestions! From devRant users, for devRants users. 🔗 https://devrant.com/collabs/3221539
You will find: guides, videogames, software w/ source available, useful web extensions, gamedev assets, and other stuff.2
Fuck, every time I read something about NFTs I lose another bit of faith in humanity I didn't even know I had.
I mean, I guess someone could make a bunch of cartoon characters (lets say, some sort of "pookey-man") using compatible styles and colour palettes. And I guess you could buy some of those if there is a product that makes trademark recognition a plausible dream (let's say, a videogame and/or anime).
But if the chance of success is akin to the chance of becoming a billionaire solemly from lottery wins, shouldn't the assets be priced accordingly?
Like a couple bucks a pop, at most?
Dropping a cool 30000 quid on a single lotto ticket sounds like the dumbest thing ever.
And yet at least a couple hundred hollow heads did it.
I just compiled a color palette for devRant-related drawings that anyone can import into GIMP and Inkscape. Already successfully using it for graphics promoting dR Community Matrix (more on that later), hence the name: "drcm-palette".
For reference I used colors produced by "Tailwind CSS 10-color Palette Generator": https://tailwind.simeongriggs.dev/8
Once again, due to poor management, I find myself exporting svgs from Figma, saving them as pngs, and importing them into our application... (remember I'm a developer, NOT a designer)
Don't we have a design team who can export the needed assets for a feature?
"Noooooo fullstackclown can do all of that himself! He's an expert!!!"
The fucks are lucky I dabble in digital art as a hobby and even know how to do this stuff...
New strategy to combat managers:
If you claim we can't afford the additional time for the tests that come with the feature, I won't build the feature.
If you claim we can't afford the additional time for the proper API versioning that comes with the feature, I won't build the feature.
And finally, if the internationalized texts, designs, and image assets are not complete when it comes time for development, I won't build the feature.
It's time to rise and stand against the "You're an engineer! do it all!" notions. I'm not a designer. I'm not a translator. I'm not a by-hand manual customer tester. And I'm certainly not going to take any more of your shit.2
Couple of new colleages started last year.
Working with the new Full stack dev: Your WP site is slow? Try this new shiny CMS and just start all over!
Working with the new designer:
Can you send me the assets? Can you send me the assets? Can you also send me asset A? Can you also send me asset B?
Working with the new project manager:
So is it correct that i’m planned in for five projects today?!