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What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the internet-people-curse-your-mother dept.

Games 181

An anonymous reader writes "Alex Norton is the man behind Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, an upcoming indie action-RPG. What makes Malevolence interesting is that it's infinite. It uses procedural generation to create a world that's actually endless. Norton jumped into this project without having worked at any big gaming studios, and in this article he shares what he's learned as an independent game developer. Quoting: "A large, loud portion of the public will openly hate you regardless of what you do. Learn to live with it. No-one will ever take your project as seriously as you, or fully realize what you're going through. ... The odds of you making money out of it are slim. If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out. Just how MUCH you sell out is up to you.' He also suggests new game devs avoid RPGs for their first titles, making a thorough plan before you begin (i.e. game concepts explained well enough that a non-gamer could understand), and considering carefully whether the game will benefit from a public development process."

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181 comments

JABBERWOCKY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083031)

That's all you need to win !!

Wait... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083053)

People didn't know this?

Re:Wait... (4, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | about a year ago | (#42083361)

People do, that's why no-one tells you it.

Re:Wait... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083407)

Young people never listen to other people's advice.

It's very good, because it means young people will sometimes succeed where older people failed.

Re:Wait... (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#42083445)

Heh, reminds me of a clip from "Triumph of the Nerds" where one of the personal computer pioneers admitted to getting involved because they were too naive to see how crazy it was. Now look where we are.

Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083063)

-1 point: Article talks about Procedural Generation of the game world, but fails to mention MineCraft.

Re:Um,,, (1, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about a year ago | (#42083117)

Elite too.

Re:Um,,, (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083199)

Forgive me for breaking in here, but TFA mentions both Minecraft and Elite.

But then again, this is slashdot, so...

Re:Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083755)

But it's hidden in the second sentence of the first link in the submission.

Using procedural generation in games is nothing new of course, as fans of games such as Elite or The Sentinel will know that we’ve been seeing it in games for a good 25 years.

That's like one click and then having to read a full paragraph (of two sentences).

Maybe someone should make an app that would spoonfeed heuristically all the relevat pop-culture references so this unnecessary "see, I can make smart remarks without any actual brainfunction" would stop.

Re:Um,,, (2, Insightful)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year ago | (#42083135)

I know almost nothing about Minecraft, but why should it be absolutely mentioned? Is it the first of the genre? The most successful? Is it an innovative modification of the original idea?

Re:Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083169)

It is not even fully in the same genre, but it should be mentioned because it is the most successful example of a game designed around the concept of infinite, procedurally generated terrain.

Re:Um,,, (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year ago | (#42083503)

it is the most successful example of a game designed around the concept of infinite, procedurally generated terrain

Most successful? Someone at Blizzard [wikipedia.org] might not think the same way...

Re:Um,,, (4, Insightful)

Zalbik (308903) | about a year ago | (#42083753)

Most successful? Someone at Blizzard [wikipedia.org] might not think the same way...

Yes, most successful

Diablo I sold 2.5 million million copies
Diablo 2 sold 4.2 million copies
Diablo 3 was not by any stretch of the imagination procedurally generated.

Minecraft has so far sold 11 million copies. Almost double what Diablo 1 and 2 ever did. And it's still selling very well.

Stats sourced from here [statisticbrain.com] and here [wikipedia.org]

Re:Um,,, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083927)

2.5 million million ?
2.5 * 10^12 ?

Re:Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083815)

Diablo is not infinite at all, and the majority of that game is scripted. The same applies to Diablo 2. As much as I love these games, they definitely don't fall in the same class as (say) Minecraft.

Re:Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083291)

He probably meant that on Slashdot, you have to mention one or more of the following, whenever it is even barely related to topic at hand:

  • bitcoins
  • apple, jobs, iPhone, iPad, iOS
  • google, gmail, android
  • minecraft
  • microsoft, windows, IE
  • global warming
  • facebook
  • ...

This list is subject to variations depending on what the last techie buzzword is

Re:Um,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083325)

An indie game, programmed (at first) by one person, that "As of November 12, 2012 the game has sold over eight million copies on PC and over eleven million copies across all platforms.", and was recently released on Xbox 360.

Minecraft received five awards from the 2011 Game Developers Conference: it was awarded the Innovation Award, Best Downloadable Game Award, and the Best Debut Game Award from the Game Developers Choice Awards; and the Audience Award, as well as the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, from the Independent Games Festival in 2011. In 2012, Minecraft was awarded a Golden Joystick Award in the category Best Downloadable Game.

Complex systems can be built using the in-game physics engine with the use of primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone. For example, a door can be opened or closed by pressing a connected button or stepping on a pressure plate. Similarly, larger and more complex systems can be produced, such as a working arithmetic logic unit–as used in CPUs

...and you know nothing about it?

Turn in your Geek Card.

Re:Um,,, (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42083405)

....and almost none of that has anything whatsoever to do with the procedural generation, which is actually pretty boring as far as it goes. Games have been doing complex procedural generated terrain since.... well, I don't even know (Rogue, at least), with complex variations much more sophisticated than Minecraft. Minecraft is insanely popular, but as far as good procedural generation goes, it's really not at all spectacular. I mean, hell, Dwarf Fortress (while non-infinite, it could be made so, if it was practical to do so as far as gameplay goes) procedurally generates weather pattern effects on terrain and political/economic shifts in population over an indefinite (user-set) period of time.

Re:Um,,, (1, Troll)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42083563)

i'm an engineer and a programmer and i've never heard of minecraft, let alone played it. i wouldn't know all that sort of crap about any game that i've ever played (you probably didn't know all that either before you looked it up on wikipedia immediately prior to your rant).
you're just a knob head, and i imagine real geeks don't give a rats about "geek cards".

Agree with the first project warning (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083067)

I fully agree about not making the first project an RPG. A good RPG needs good story, graphics, game balance, hopefully multiplayer and there are a lot of "gotchas" to be found. Plus any good-sized RPG will end up being huge. Almost any other type of game is probably easier for a single-developer studio to create.

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

preaction (1526109) | about a year ago | (#42083137)

Easier, sure, but who ever had fun doing easy things? I've been the lone developer on an MMO RPG for about 3 years now, and we've just started releasing previews to small groups of our followers.

If you can keep at it, do it. If you can't, try something different. The only necessity is to finish: Anything finished is better than anything not finished.

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#42083181)

I guess one of the point of being a game developer is to make money out of it. If you are doing it for fun, then sure, you can spend 3 years on your pet project. If you are planning to make money, how do you eat for 3 years?

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#42083177)

Multiplayer? Outside of MMOs, I can't think of any (popular) RPGs that support more than one player. The Tales series comes close, but you can only have more than one player during combat.

Re:Agree with the first project warning (2)

sammyF70 (1154563) | about a year ago | (#42083211)

NWN ...

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#42083263)

Baldur's gate, Icewind dale.

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about a year ago | (#42083377)

Torchlight 2.
Diablo 2, and Diablo 3.

Re:Agree with the first project warning (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year ago | (#42083511)

Baldur's Gate had multiplayer.

Rescue on Fractalus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083105)

Also a generated world.

Why? (3, Interesting)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | about a year ago | (#42083127)

In the article he claims that it would take three weeks to walk across one segment of the map, even with noclip enabled, and then it would just create a new segment.
I just am wondering who would play a game that much that they would even care? Few people are going to really "complete" even Skyrim much less an "infinite" world.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083185)

In the article he claims that it would take three weeks to walk across one segment of the map, even with noclip enabled, and then it would just create a new segment.
I just am wondering who would play a game that much that they would even care?

For an MMORPG, it would matter a great deal. Being able to find a pristine area for yourself that 14 year old Kevin and gold farmer Deng Wu are statistically unlikely to ever find would be great.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

loneDreamer (1502073) | about a year ago | (#42083269)

Why are you playing an MMORPG if you prefer not to interact with other players? You would probably be better with a plain old RPG.

Re:Why? (2)

slippyblade (962288) | about a year ago | (#42083419)

I keep saying this over and over and over.

Real life is the biggest MMO out there, and strangely enough, I like to do things by myself sometimes. So why shouldn't I be allowed to do stuff by myself in MMO's occasionally. I've played far to many MMO's where you have to be in a group to wipe your ass for crying out loud.

Just because a game has multi-player in the title does NOT mean I should HAVE to be in a group to accomplish every little thing.

Re:Why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42083487)

You don't see how it would enhance MMORPGs to be able to have a bigger world, so that players could create locations you're unlikely to stumble upon by accident?

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42083491)

well.. daggerfall, an older game in the elder scrolls series, is actually much bigger than skyrim(iirc about the size of england in real life), because it uses generated content. which on that days graphics and level complexity worked pretty nice.

also there's of course frontier which gives you an entire galaxy(albeit only a smallish portion near sol of it is populated).

the point though with it is that it gives you a sense of being an explorer - but the novelty gets ruined if there's no special places to find in there(which gets us to why only hundreds of systems in frontier are interesting.. however in frontier first encounter there's thargoids to find - which you could find by pure chance or more likely by following the buggy plot, which does send you on a cool mission into deep, deep space. that's much cooler than taking a jump in freelancers insanely limited world).

Infinite (3, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083143)

Ok, so how do you create an infinite world with procedural generation?
You can't limit yourself to, say, a 64-bit int, cause that's not infinite. You could, presumably, use linked lists, but then you'd run into speed issues. Arbitrary length BCD (or similar)? Yeah, but the procedural generation routines have to be able to handle them. The memory required quickly grows towards infinity too.

Also, a procedural generation based on coordinates (which, when all comes to all, just is a seed number) has to be robust enough to not repeat as the seed becomes arbitrarily large. A simple PRNG won't do, or someone may find out that the world repeats if going flaxtythree billion miles in either direction.

Too bad there are no details in just how this is done, because that's clearly the interesting part.

Re:Infinite (5, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083157)

</I>

 

 

Re:Infinite (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#42083479)

Thanks. My browser really needed that.

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083643)

</em>

Seriously... the italic tag is deprecated and not used anymore since... December 1999!
Welcome to the 21st century!

Oh, and Slashdot's lack of Unicode support can suck my balls!

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083851)

I meant 1997!

Re:Infinite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083187)

Your pedantry is noted. However, from a mortal human's perspective, 64-bit is infinite. Nobody cares if it repeats at a distance that you could never reach if you started the game today and left the "move forward" button mashed down until your death.

Re:Infinite (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083229)

However, from a mortal human's perspective, 64-bit is infinite.

Computers don't have a human perspective. Yet.

Nobody cares if it repeats at a distance that you could never reach if you started the game today and left the "move forward" button mashed down until your death.

You're presuming that you'll be limited to walking or other slow means of transportation. And that there are no bots involved.

Re:Infinite (5, Informative)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year ago | (#42083433)

However, from a mortal human's perspective, 64-bit is infinite.

You're presuming that you'll be limited to walking or other slow means of transportation. And that there are no bots involved.

Actually, no, he isn't.

Let's just say that you have millimeter precision in a 64-bit integer, which would make the world 18,446,744,073,709,551 meters across. Even at the speed of light, it would take 61,531,714 seconds to traverse that distance, or nearly two years. Got that...we're talking about a world that is two light years across.

So, as long as you limit travel to some reasonable speed (e.g., 300km/sec, or nearly 10 times faster than anything man-made has ever travelled), the world is infinite for all practical purposes, even with a "faster time passage" UI. Likewise, teleportation could have a limited distance (even thousands of miles) and not be a problem unless it took literally zero time to complete.

And, this is assuming that the 64-bit number is used to directly map each millimeter. If, instead, it is a more granular area and the sub-areas are procedurally generated (which is what TFA says), then perhaps the resolution is a somewhere between 1 and 100 meters. This increases the world size to anywhere from 2,000 to 200,000 light years.

I bet even with a world as big as the Milky Way galaxy, there will be people who complain that the game is overpriced.

Re:Infinite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083769)

The ability to teleport (via wormhole, naturally) destroys your thesis entirely.

Re:Infinite (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#42083923)

1. If you make the universe wrap-around as suggested above, how would you even *know* that you'd gone "past the edge"? A single wormhole taking you from (1, 0, 0) to (-1, 0, 0) is only giving you 2 millimetres of travel, not (2^64 - 2) mm!

2. Let's say your answer to the previous question is something like, you're in a space game examining the parallax of the distant stars. Even so you can only notice this if you can teleport a significant fraction of a light year (without spending a significant fraction of a year...). That's really just unnecessary. Limit the teleport radius to 1 light-second (if your wormholes are mobile, it's sufficient to constrain their initial state to be like that). You can still teleport a distance many times the length of Earth's equator, and yet you're still not going to reach anywhere near the limits. A light year is *big* and there's just almost no good reason in a non-space game to have a teleporter that takes you halfway across the universe to the edge in a reasonable timeframe; if you think there is you aren't grasping the enormity of a light year. For a space game you can address at much lower granularity, and planets can be instanced with one more 64-bit coordinate. Or your wormholes can travel between instances using that extra coordinate. Or...you could just have planets be much closer than they are in real life (it's not like it's any less realistic than the FTL travel to get there, or even relativistic travel).

Re:Infinite (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083875)

Let's just say that you have millimeter precision in a 64-bit integer, which would make the world 18,446,744,073,709,551 meters across. Even at the speed of light, it would take 61,531,714 seconds to traverse that distance, or nearly two years. Got that...we're talking about a world that is two light years across.

The standard mode of long distance transportation in MMOS and even some SPRPGs is teleportation. Travel speed doesn't enter the equation.
And I'm sure it was unintentional, but at your speed of light, time becomes irrelevant too. Any travel at the speed of light in vacuum becomes teleportation in the time frame of the traveler.

(And not that it matters if you have teleportation, but even at sub-light speeds, relativism enters the equation - at 99.95% of c, going your two light years would only take 22.5 days. Even at a pedestrian 95% of c, you don't travel 0.95 light years per year, but more than 3 lyr/yr, due to the Lorenz factor. And in a game, there's no reason to limit speeds thus.)

Re:Infinite (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about a year ago | (#42083253)

If the game is offline, it could just as easily unload portions of the map that are outside of line-of-sight, or a given radius from the character. Events taking place in the unloaded areas that impact the visible ones may be abstracted away to use less memory, with terrain and mob states saved and loaded as the player approaches them again. That should take care of repetition as well as keeping the memory use constant.

Re:Infinite (1)

romiz (757548) | about a year ago | (#42083257)

Just implement the calculation of any irrational number. If I remember well, you get an infinite string of digits, non-repeating, in any base you take.

Re:Infinite (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083907)

Just implement the calculation of any irrational number. If I remember well, you get an infinite string of digits, non-repeating, in any base you take.

Yes, but doesn't that become more and more time consuming as the number grows? Isn't this why no one does things like "the encryption key starts at the 10^175102457341-th decimals of e"?

Re:Infinite (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | about a year ago | (#42083293)

Pretty easily actually. Giant endless featureless flat plane... don't even need the character's current coordinates, because they are irrelevant, as nothing noticeably changes as you move around the plane. Only if you demand that the environment cannot repeat do you require infinite memory, but infinite itself does not require that restriction.

Re:Infinite (3, Insightful)

Nationless (2123580) | about a year ago | (#42083403)

In fact surely by definition an infinite world will repeat itself due to it being infinite and therefore an infinite amount of repetition?

Isn't it like saying the second full rendition of Shakespeare that was just created is a bug and the infinite monkeys will be adjusted accordingly?

Re:Infinite (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42083529)

In fact surely by definition an infinite world will repeat itself due to it being infinite and therefore an infinite amount of repetition?

The set of integers is infinite; but has no repeated elements. There isn't anything forbidding an infinite world from being repetitive; but infinite size does not require repetition.

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083601)

A repeat is not just some local feature being the same, a repeat in this context is if two positions in the game world are indistinguishable from each other in any way what-so-ever. An infinite world need not have any repeat in this sense. A world implemented on a necessarily finite computer must have repeat of this kind, though it may take you more than human life time to encounter any such repeat.

Re:Infinite (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#42083935)

Imagine a world with trees radiating from a central point that are mysteriously shaped like numerals. The central point, where you start, has a tree that looks like a 3. You find the universe is symmetric but non-repeating. Going out from the center, is 1, then 4, then 1, then 5, then 9...

Re:Infinite (0)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42083593)

Yep, in fact if the environment is truly infinite, some portion of it (for an arbitrarily large, but non-infinite "some") will end up repeating, it's unavoidable. The only thing you can do is make the portion so small over a given segment of the space that no human will ever notice the repetition.

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083409)

It's not that difficult, really. For one, you don't have to keep the entire world map in memory, or even on disk. With a procedural generation you can begin with a random seed and feed that into the generator. Then save that random seed. Wherever the character goes, the local area can be created with a combination of that random seed and the current X,Y[,Z] coordinates. This means very little stays in memory or on the disk, you just need to know 1) where you are and 2) what your original random seed was.

Re:Infinite (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42083455)

It's not that difficult, really. For one, you don't have to keep the entire world map in memory, or even on disk. With a procedural generation you can begin with a random seed and feed that into the generator. Then save that random seed. Wherever the character goes, the local area can be created with a combination of that random seed and the current X,Y[,Z] coordinates. This means very little stays in memory or on the disk, you just need to know 1) where you are and 2) what your original random seed was.

That part is the obvious part. The less obvious parts are that (a) that the seed adjustment (i.e. your coordinates) have to be infinite too, and (b) the procedural generation routine has to be able to handle infinite size seeds.
That's what I wonder how they handle - I'm sure they do, but would like to know how. (a) can be easily circumvented by using something like infinite length BCD for coordinates, but (b) isn't that simple.

Re:Infinite (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42083559)

It's not that difficult, really. For one, you don't have to keep the entire world map in memory, or even on disk. With a procedural generation you can begin with a random seed and feed that into the generator. Then save that random seed. Wherever the character goes, the local area can be created with a combination of that random seed and the current X,Y[,Z] coordinates. This means very little stays in memory or on the disk, you just need to know 1) where you are and 2) what your original random seed was.

It isn't difficult if you are willing to settle for 'pretty damn huge'. It gets rather trickier if you want 'arbitrarily large' or 'infinite'. Unless the world has edges(or some sort of edgeless-but-closed geometry) the memory consumption of storing the X,Y,Z tuple alone can grow without bound. You probably won't have trouble with maps far larger than you need; but you'll need to find an infinite tape for your turing machine before handling arbitrarily large or infinite maps...

Re:Infinite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083577)

If you can't walk to the end of this thing within a human lifespan then that's perfectly good enough to call it infinite in the context of a game. It's impossible to make it actually infinite and non-repeating because you have to store something about the surroundings. There has to be a limit to what you can store since a computer has limited memory, so you can store at most N bits to describe the current state of the game for some N. If you walk in one direction for long enough, you'll have exhausted the 2^N possible states that those bits can be in, and after that point there must be a repeat of the state of the game, which means that for all intents and purposes you are now back to where you were before so it isn't actually infinite. It'll take you a lot longer than a human lifespan to reach all 2^N states on a modern computer so this is just pedantic wanking - if you can't tell that it isn't actually infinite, then that's as good as it being actually infinite in the context of a game like this.

Re:Infinite (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42083639)

There is a slight disconnect of what is meant by calling something "infinite". Technically, it means "without boundary", which in this context simply means I can walk in one direction and never reach an end. You don't need to generate the whole thing or store it in memory all at once (that would be absolutely impossible), you just need to be able to generate as much as would ever be needed. That is still a technical challenge. I'm guessing that if you really expanded far enough, your computer would run out of memory. Either that or he destroys segments of the world that aren't in use. There is literally no other option. As others have pointed out, the world can and probably will repeat over some segment, that isn't actually a problem or a qualification for infinite at all.

You can never generate something that is actually infinite, it will always have some boundary. You can, however, extend that boundary as far as your physical limitations (computer memory, in this case), will allow. In that sense, it is infinite (indefinite in size is a better word and is what he actually means).

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083741)

It's not 'actually' infinite, just very very very very large. Infinite would be impossible.

Re:Infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083913)

Well, I think a lot of the time when the word 'infinite' is thrown around with these things, it's meant as a bit of an exaggeration. On any finite digital computer, the game world must, and will, eventually either repeat itself or come to an end. However, the main point is that it's possible to generate more nonrepeating content than any human (or even all humans on the planet) can hope to explore in their lifetime, i.e. effectively infinite. Moreover, the space of possibilities is growing much faster than the rate at which they can be explored, with no indication that that will stop.

It may be that quantum computers could get around the problem of finite-ness, but I don't know very much about that subject.

true if you're a n00b developer (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year ago | (#42083173)

however if you are experienced and have a good game idea, how would this advice apply?

Re:true if you're a n00b developer (2)

Dunge (922521) | about a year ago | (#42083413)

"A large, loud portion of the public will openly hate you regardless of what you do. Learn to live with it. No-one will ever take your project as seriously as you, or fully realize what you're going through. ... The odds of you making money out of it are slim. If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out. Just how MUCH you sell out is up to you.' This apply to every games. From indie title to AAA games.

My program is still paying the rent 10 years later (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year ago | (#42083627)

Sorry, my opinion still stands. When I was a n00b, I felt that I had to "sell out" to make make money selling software. Then, ten years ago I created some software purely guided by my own design ideas and principles, and today, 10 years later it still is paying the rent, so now I would have to disagree.

Re:My program is still paying the rent 10 years la (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083917)

What software is that?

Optimax, a genetic optimzer (2)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year ago | (#42083955)

It's an add-on for Tradestation. It enables traders to optimize the code which implements investment strategies.

Really. (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42083195)

What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev

Unless you follow Slashdot and all the stories about the Game Dev Surfs and the sweatshops they work in... How many times a year? 5 or 6 or 10?

Poor, poor Game Devs... One really hurts for these people working in servitude...

" If you want to succeed..." (4, Insightful)

blogagog (1223986) | about a year ago | (#42083201)

" If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out." I'm fine with that. What are the steps required to sell out? Count me in.

Re:" If you want to succeed..." (3, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42083225)

" If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out." I'm fine with that. What are the steps required to sell out? Count me in.

Seriously. I don't live in mom's basement, I've got a mortgage to pay. Where is the line to "sell out"? Are they playing Green Day in the background?

Re:" If you want to succeed..." (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42083393)

" If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out." I'm fine with that. What are the steps required to sell out? Count me in.

Step one: Launch successful or semi-successful company(i.e. origin, bullfrog, maxis, bioware, etc)
Step two: Create and sell a series of unique or gound breaking products
Step three: Get semi-rich
Step four: Become deluded when mega-conglomerate comes along and tells you, you'll retain your "artistic integrity and nothing will change" then sellout
Step five: Leave the company after a string of failures because your new overlord has destroyed your once beautiful reputation

Re:" If you want to succeed..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083949)

Otherwise known as "Doing a Molyneux."

Re:" If you want to succeed..." (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42083521)

"Selling out" means half your idea is good. Then someone tells you the rest of your idea sucks, and if you listen to them and make it better, it's "selling out."

So start by coming up with a half-good idea.

Re:" If you want to succeed..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083781)

Selling out means viewing all interactions with other human beings as economic transactions. If the interaction made you money then it was productive otherwise it wasnt.

Selling out means giving up honesty, integrity, descency, compassion, and empathy. If harming another person enriches you(or more likely enriches the corporate executives and board members who hold your leash) then you willingly do it.

A perfect example is allowing advertisers access to your customrr information in order to spam them. If you are willing to work for someone who does that you are a sellout and you are making the world a worse place.

I made a game recently. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083215)

Nobody plays it [kimmoa.se] , even though it's freeware and has no ads.

Re:I made a game recently. (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#42083301)

It is a great looking game, but unfortunately it seems to be buggy. After clicking around in the first scene (the island), there is a bad rendering issue going on, and the game becomes unplayable, text becomes hardly visible:
http://www.anonmgur.com/up/7b4104f09fe37214d5919c78e34c4f27.png [anonmgur.com]

Re:I made a game recently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083467)

I can tell you why nobody plays it: it's awful. Don't quit your day job.

Re:I made a game recently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083485)

KimmoA.se? As in Kimmo Alm from anontalk? Somehow it doesn't surprise me that the game you made is:
a) glitchy to hell and back, and
b) played by absolutely no one.

Re:I made a game recently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083523)

lol is he still living with his mom? Or did she finally get sick of all his pedophilia and boot him out.

Re:I made a game recently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083533)

that is pretty awful dude, way to spam crap

Re:I made a game recently. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083631)

Your mom was pretty awful last night but I still paid her. What's your point?

Re:I made a game recently. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42083541)

Yeah, another point about being a game dev, which your program demonstrates,

these days developers matter less and less as artists matter more and more.

Re:I made a game recently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083545)

Reading your website (http://www.kimmoa.se) leads me to believe you are one of those 20-something man-children who never grew up. Thanks for the laugh.

Creating (1)

Zurriel (2762689) | about a year ago | (#42083239)

When it comes to creating anything, being the only person who knows how much work went into it or being the only one to appreciate its supposed depth is pretty much par for the course. This guy's experience is basically that of anyone who has ever made anything, and most of his bullet list about independent development could be applied to writing, physical art, music, etc. Part of game design becoming more accepted as an art form is learning to accept that everyone's a critic.

Sounds like pretty much every job there is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083241)

Title says it all.

I feel for the man but. (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42083359)

"You can read 1000 praising comments, but if just one of them is bad, it will ruin your whole day.

The fact that I was trying to do something new with my game was evidently a horrible crime to many people and I would get utterly horrible comments ranging from put-downs to persanal abuse that would get them arrested if said in person&#8230; Even one or two death threats. It&rsquo;s a sad fact of life that people who are too scared to follow their own dreams will often try to talk you out of following yours. It&rsquo;s easy for people to say &ldquo;just ignore those comments&rdquo; but that&rsquo;s simply not possible.
"

This is the internet, your not going to last long if your easy troll food. I don't anything as epic as this guy does, but we all get trolled every one in a while. If you

Advice - roll with the punches. Surround yourself with supporters.

Re:I feel for the man but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083501)

Or troll the trolls.

Randomly generated terrain... (1)

Dunge (922521) | about a year ago | (#42083453)

... always look like crap and gives bad gameplay

Re:Randomly generated terrain... (3, Funny)

lahvak (69490) | about a year ago | (#42083589)

Not true, terain in nethack looks simply awesome!

What does it mean in this context to "sell out"? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42083497)

[nt]

Re:What does it mean in this context to "sell out" (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about a year ago | (#42083649)

Work for Zynga?

Nobody hates your game? (5, Insightful)

griego (1108909) | about a year ago | (#42083549)

If I were a game developer and nobody hated my game, I might be worried about that. If all the public does is collectively shrug its shoulders at your work, you might be in trouble.

If you're not indie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083585)

Yes, exactly. If you're not indie, then? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=617lGZjYyNo

Yeah, it's only you. (Gamedev here) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083625)

Sorry, but if you want to survive in the Internet economy (as opposed to the Content Mafia one), you got to know how to work the masses. How to create excitement in the masses.
You have to have creative leadership. Inspire people. Touch them.

Just look at things like Nuka Break. Or the Humble Indie Bundle.
Everyone loves them. Because they are nice, and honest, they offer something we love, and everyone knows it.

The lame shitty pseudo-"ideas" that fly with the Content Mafia won't fly with real customers. You can't just make total shit like FIFA 2012 or any EA "game" (based on target group studies where everyone went one single point higher than "meh") really, and expect them to cheer for you.

It has to resonate with their feelings. Like a really great song.
You can't ever do that by working the way the Content Mafia works. Ever.
You have to work like an artist. A true artist that doesn't compromise because he knows he has something special.
And it's clear that not everyone comes up with something special just like that.
Only great people do.

And apparently, your view of how great your idea is, is vastly overblown by what usually flies with the Mafia.
Or you just are a rare kind of personality in this society. That is understandable, but then you can't take those rare experiences and assume they are common in people.

Conclusion: Don't let him tell tell you shit! You don't have to sell out... unless you're shit. Just find something that resonates with more people
And: Yeah, a few thousand people can be enough. Look at how few people it took to finance those Kickstarter projects.

Sensationalist and stereotyped (5, Insightful)

Runesabre (732910) | about a year ago | (#42083665)

After reading through the first couple paragraphs, the tone of his whole article feels sensationalist and stereotyped to the point I really didn't care what he had to say. While it's fun to spout of hyperbole like "my computer illiterate producer who's only game play experience is Bejeweled" as if it represents what one thinks a whole industry is like regardless of reality, it's not very useful or constructive except for generating page hits.

I've spent 18 years in the game development industry (LoL, UO, TR, SWG, LOTRO, DDO) and while there are those occasional low points, it's not the norm.

One piece of advice he has which all budding indie game developers need to take to heart is do it for love and passion and don't expect to make any money out of it. If you do it for love and passion, players will notice and provide the greatest possible path to financial gain if your product is worth it. Regardless of financial world, you will have something that you created with that's genuinely yours and can leverage to land you bigger and better paying game gigs down the road. The key is to create something you love.

Re:Sensationalist and stereotyped (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083779)

Now who's stereotyped?

Game developers are a textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome. The working conditions suck, the rewards are slim to none, your audience despises you, and when it's all said and done and you're talking to your grandkids (assuming you can keep a positive relationship with your kids, who you won't see for months at a time thanks to scheduled crunch) you won't be able to say you did anything worthwhile. Oh, and your retirement is going to suck too.

No wonder programmers and artists of all kinds are fleeing the industry for something a little more sane.

Re:Sensationalist and stereotyped (1)

Runesabre (732910) | about a year ago | (#42083853)

Any and every job can feel like you describe when you're only in it for the money or simply don't have the right skills.

I've routinely hired new engineers in their late teens/early 20s straight out of college for $70K+. There's not many, if any, career paths that can boast entry level jobs with that starting point that don't require graduate level education or specialized training.

Earning your console license (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42083857)

Game developers are a textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome.

How much of this is due to having to "pay one's dues" by moving several states away and working for a well-known company for years in order to have a chance to earn the privilege to develop for a platform that has a gamepad? There are several genres that don't work well on mobile, where the only controller you can depend on is a flat sheet of glass.

Re:Sensationalist and stereotyped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42083895)

I don't know where you work, but none of the studios I've worked in have been like that. I don't doubt that the horror stories you've heard about the game industry were true for the individuals telling them, but there are plenty of people in the industry who are doing just fine - and I've also heard plenty of horror stories about programmers working in other industries, it's not like crappy management is limited to the game industry. It's by no means as simple as "game industry bad, other industries good", there's a lot of variation in individual companies.

OP is right, this account is exaggerated and needlessly sensationalistic.

incorect header (3, Funny)

leaen (987954) | about a year ago | (#42083831)

should be What Internet Nobody Tells You About Being A Game Dev

Re:incorect header (1)

Runesabre (732910) | about a year ago | (#42083867)

Have to admit this made me chuckle! +1

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