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Search - "little game"
Most successful project... What is success?
My first computer at 8 years old was a Commodore64. There was no internet yet, so I used the manual to learn about BASIC and assembly, sound and sprite registers, and created a pretty elaborate RPG. Mostly text, some sprite art, soldered some eeprom cartridges, optimized the code. Spent almost a year on it. An enthousiast magazine picked up on it, revised, QA'ed & published the game, sold a little over 10k samples. I got ƒ0.25 per sale, and I was completely overwhelmed how much candy one could buy for ƒ2500 ($2k corrected for inflation).
I was employee #3 at my current company, started when it was worth nothing and the website redirected to a set of Google Forms containing all the logic. I wrote a large part of the first, monolithic backend.
Now there's teams in a dozen countries, and an estimated revenue of a quarter billion.
So obviously my current "project" is more successful.
Still, my current job sucks, the company turned into a desolate passion-free wasteland full of soulless fake hipster zombies and managers who seem to derive sexual pleasure from holding extremely ineffective meetings, endlessly rubbing their calendars together in their bureaucratic orgy of ineptitude.
So, I'm more proud of my C64 game.2
I have nothing to play recently so I started playing old games.
Today I launched gta vice city on my old pc. Got more than 200 hours in that game during my childhood. Game from 2002 and I laughed when driving a car. It was so natural and fun. Michael Jackson singing Billy Jean and police chasing my ass when I’m trying to find a bribe in the city. That was fun.
For me most of today’s games can’t compete in gameplay mechanics with that game from 20 years ago.
Maybe we have better graphics but gaming fun got worse.
I think it’s cause most of games are made on commercial engines to save money and game studios focus on graphics cause it’s cheaper than paying software developer.
They focus on games to be competitive between players so ai got worse.
Big studio games became generic like movies, they don’t want you to have fun but they want to give you a story around by delivering lots of content in game, achievements, stars but the gameplay itself is bugged and meh.
They don’t focus on things people want to do but they focus on target groups. Most today’s big title games are meh cause they’re made by people who don’t play them.
They don’t play them cause they don’t have time cause of management that changes requirements cause they asked target groups and that would sell. Well if I play a game I’m not interested in story despite some basic stuff to keep the progress forward, if I wanted a big story I would watch a movie or tv show. I play games to explore, feel the world and have fun. I don’t need a linear deep story for that cause I’m in game so give me good gameplay so I can feel the world.
Most of classic game hits didn’t had tons of text and tons of stuff to do but they somehow wanted you to play more. Cause they were competitive between player and computer, the controls felt natural and while progressing you was eaten by the game mechanics more and more not by the story but by amount of stuff you could do as you progress or difficulty increase or enemies behavior change.
Now we’re getting all at once, mostly pointed and with detailed tutorial what you can do. There’s no explanation there’s no discovery what you can and what you can’t do at start. You get all and you decide to throw game away because the moment you launched it you got everything so you spent money just to get stuff you won’t play cause it’s meh and you go back to cs or other looter shooter to kill people cause you’re pissed off that the game was meh.
Well I’m glad I was a kid in 90s and 2000s cause I could enjoy gaming before it was targeted to broader public and become another shallow mass media industry that don’t give a fuck about gameplay cause they want to tell you so many things, they want you to know them cause they’re so important that they forgot that I can read a book and I came to play game to get a different feeling then reading book.
Modern games are like books filled with small stories and nice graphics where you can open it on every page and read a little piece of shitty crap.
Just take this piece and go to toilet so you can wipe your ass with that story and begin other one, look around, puke and go to toilet to take a dump again. I lost my hope to get something fresh or filled with nice gameplay from gaming industry. It’s dead.4
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
Once again I am done with World of Warcraft. The game is developed by incompetent morons who completely lost the narrative and a company that solely focused on profits. Loved the game through 2005-2010, but nowadays it's just a toxic cesspool of egoistic people that play like they're on their way to the next MDI championship. Zero tolerance for mistakes, pointing fingers and calling people out and overall horrible attitude. And who can blame them? Most of us are 30+ something people who have 9-5 jobs and families, so the little time we have to play has to be perfect and not ruined by someone, making me feel like I've wasted my time.
I've also noticed I've turned more egoistic while I used to be more of an altruist. Not in the game, but in real life. Over the past year I've almost spent more time focusing on the game than the world around me. I haven't been slacking off in my responsibilities, but I've been chasing that periodic dopamine rush you get from achieving something in the game. That stops now. Uninstall. Purge files. Just the thought of readjusting my addons makes me shiver, so that's going to be a nice deterrent.
Fuck that community. Time to get back to those personal projects that I never finished.
(Instead of talking to a psychiatrist, I just vent here.)3
I'm just super disappointed in people. A lot of people flaky and not as good as I think they are. I tend to be an idealist, and I believe in helping others to do a net positive. But what I find is that people just don't give a shit about anyone else except for themselves. If it's even a slightest inconvenience to them they won't do it. You ask for one little thing despite you helping them out a shit ton, and they won't do it for you.
Also, I'm so tired of people who always come up to me and talk big game about how we should work on a project together. But when shit hits the fan and I say let's do the work they don't do anything. Or I have to drag them along to get anything started.
Yeah, everybody is out for themselves, but I wish we were more kind to others and learn to take a hit to our own convenience every once in a while.
But maybe I should just find a better group of people to hang out with and fuck you all to my current group of friends. JK.
I'm going for a run to clear my head. Hopefully after I come back I'll be in a better mood.2
Data wrangling is messy
I'm doing the vegetation maps for the game today, maybe rivers if it all goes smoothly.
I could probably do it by hand, but theres something like 60-70 ecoregions to chart,
each with their own species, both fauna and flora. And each has an elevation range its
found at in real life, so I want to use the heightmap to dictate that. Who has time for that? It's a lot of manual work.
And the night prior I'm thinking "oh this will be easy."
(Also why does Devrant have to mangle my line breaks? -_-)
Laid out the requirements, how I could go about it, and the more I look the more involved
So what I think I'll do is automate it. I already automated some of the map extraction, so
I don't see why I shouldn't just go the distance.
Also it means, later on, when I have access to better, higher resolution geographic data, updating it will be a smoother process. And even though I'm only interested in flora at the moment, theres no reason I can't reuse the same system to extract fauna information.
Of course in-game design there are some things you'll want to fudge. When the players are exploring outside the rockies in a mountainous area, maybe I still want to spawn the occasional mountain lion as a mid-tier enemy, even though our survivor might be outside the cats natural habitat. This could even be the prelude to a task you have to do, go take care of a dangerous
creature outside its normal hunting range. And who knows why it is there? Wild fire? Hunted by something *more* dangerous? Poaching? Maybe a nuke plant exploded and drove all the wildlife from an adjoining region?
Having the extraction mostly automated goes a long way to updating those lists down the road.
But for now, flora.
For deciding plants and other features of the terrain what I can do is:
* rewrite pixeltile to take file names as input,
* along with a series of colors as a key (which are put into a SET to check each pixel against)
* input each region, one at a time, as the key, and the heightmap as the source image
* output only the region in the heightmap that corresponds to the ecoregion in the key.
* write a function to extract the palette from the outputted heightmap. (is this really needed?)
* arrange colors on the bottom or side of the image by hand, along with (in text) the elevation in feet for reference.
For automating this entire process I can go one step further:
* Do this entire process with the key colors I already snagged by hand, outputting region IDs as the file names.
* setup selenium
* selenium opens a link related to each elevation-map of a specific biome, and saves the text links
(so I dont have to hand-open them)
* I'll save the species and text by hand (assuming elevation data isn't listed)
* once I have a list of species and other details, to save them to csv, or json, or another format
* I save the list of species as csv or json or another format.
* then selenium opens this list, opens wikipedia for each, one at a time, and searches the text for elevation
* selenium saves out the species name (or an "unknown") for the species, and elevation, to a text file, along with the biome ID, and maybe the elevation code (from the heightmap) as a number or a color (probably a number, simplifies changing the heightmap later on)
Having done all this, I can start to assign species types, specific world tiles. The outputs for each region act as reference.
The only problem with the existing biome map (you can see it below, its ugly) is that it has a lot of "inbetween" colors. Theres a few things I can do here. I can treat those as a "mixing" between regions, dictating the chance of one biome's plants or the other's spawning. This seems a little complicated and dependent on a scraped together standard rather than actual data. So I'm thinking instead what I'll do is I'll implement biome transitions in code, which makes more sense, and decouples it from relying on the underlaying data. also prevents species and terrain from generating in say, towns on the borders of region, where certain plants or terrain features would be unnatural. Part of what makes an ecoregion unique is that geography has lead to relative isolation and evolutionary development of each region (usually thanks to mountains, rivers, and large impassible expanses like deserts).
Maybe I'll stuff it all into a giant bson file or maybe sqlite. Don't know yet.
As an entry level programmer I may not know what I'm doing, and I may be supposed to be looking for a job, but that won't stop me from procrastinating.
Data wrangling is fun.2
Every problem I ever had with a game development engine, only made me hope for something better.
After all, we’re independent developers, not activision! What the hell is an “indie” anyway? I’d even grown a sort of disgust at the term, as if saying it, without having published anything, was being fake. The word felt vapid. Like calling yourself an e-celebrity, or apple putting an i in front of everything.
(Don’t you know its year 20xx, we attach coin to brands now! Dogecoin, ecoin, walmartcoin, hospitalCoin for when you really really just want an appendectomy).
This is my newsletter, Y Intercept, and the story of my many embarrassing failures, and what I have learned from them.
Indie Game Development Tools
Stay tuned for more, like "how I once redesigned the same interface over two thousand times."
and gems like
"I wish it was more like Minecraft, But With Guns - and the awful ads that FLOODED the internet from that one little, terrible, god awful suggestion."3