Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: It depends... (Score 1) 240

by KillzoneNET (#33805560) Attached to: Best Education Path To Learn Video Game Programming?

Really it depends. Most of it is just pure luck. Sure. You can tell them the same old story I've heard from just about everyone on the internet.

"Go into the Modding Community. Get into open source games. Do a map. Do a mod. Create a small game. Create a team or join a team and try to contribute."

Look at those and you'll see a common misconception. Creating games has little to nothing to do with most of the above save for the last two. Getting into the modding community is nice and all, but that kind of experience can lead to nothing more than an ego boost. Getting into open source game projects or small game development kits will teach them the basics, but nothing more. Doing maps is only viable if the person is into wanting to create maps and do level design only. Doing a mod in retrospect depends on the scale of the mod, but if it is just a normal mod and not something that truly creates a new game from the ground up, then it is just a dive into the internal workings of a particular game and not the elements that made the game come to be.

Creating a game though is where it really begins. Even more so, to do so in a team. Doing either of these takes commitment. Telling kids, even college students, that they have to start a game project from initial idea to an actual finished product is something like Mt Everest for most people. In most programming classes (even game design and graphics programming classes) I've done, students who create a game do so with that deadline in mind and then finish the game. After the deadline for the project is up, they toss the game aside and move on, not completing their work.

Now I've got an interesting take on game development so far. I started off as a kid wanting to create games, figured that the one thing I really needed is a degree in CS. The thing is I started off already knowing what I wanted to do. I wanted to program. Kids and adults who want to create games start off by saying they want to create games, but never realize that there are many elements that go into what creates a game. Concept artists, 3D modelers, animators, level designers, game designers, game programmers, UI artists, quest design, AI programming, graphic programming, physics programming, sound design, and countless other roles are what make up a game in the industry. Indie development means you will find that people will have multiple roles, but ultimately a person has to choose their path and stick with it.

At my university I got immensely lucky and found that my school actually had a dedicated game development degree. I didn't go for it and decided to stuck with my CS degree, but I soon caught wind of a game project funded by the NSF that was in first steps of development at my uni. Several chance encounters later and now I'm in the forefront of what it really means to create a game from beginning to end. I've dabbled heavily in game concept to programming. I've got hands on experience talking to people who are truly motivated into creating the game we have envisioned. What really amazes me is how many times I have interviewed people who are interested in joining our project as a programmer only to find that they immediately come to the realization that it just isn't for them. Over the course of the summer we started with a strong team of almost 20 people. Most came by every now and then, worked a little and then dropped off the face of our known universe. By the end we only had 8 people. The ones who kept through are the ones who are now veterans in our field. We got people who worked with us go on to Activision and Dreamworks. In the previous years we produced a game and several of the guys moved on to create their own game development company (though now it seems they have moved on to teaching game development instead around the world). The guys who still work on it are dedicated to it and will likely land jobs with the work we have done.

So in essence what you really need to do is ask them a series of very serious questions:
1) Do you REALLY want to work on games? Not because you like to have fun with them, but as a job to create the stuff over countless hours of effort?
2) What do you want to do? Programming? Sound? Design (mechanics/story)? Level creation? Art? This is important. Programming is not all there is to it.
3) Are you motivated to start doing anything you can right now?
4) Have you even begun trying to go on that path? If not will you start right now?

With those questions in mind you then have to inform them whether or not they should do it or not. If they are willing then all you can really tell them is to go where they are able to. Universities are not bad but getting a more general degree will give them time to realize what they REALLY want to do with their life. Game colleges like FullSail are great, but they are more focused and from my understanding is only really useful for those who are 100% committed to doing games.

To end this long post, so far for me in the end it really is luck. I always wanted to program for games, but I never truly knew the pains of creating a complete game from scratch with 8+ other guys would be and how long of a commitment you need in order to get anything accomplished. It may end up much harder for others than it was for me that's for damn sure.

Comment: Re:Know what this means? (Score 1) 225

by KillzoneNET (#32038670) Attached to: Students Flock To GMU For a Degree In Video Game Design

I doubt it though. My school (California State San Bernardino) has a game dev degree. Unlike this article, I don't see people flocking to it. It's a cross between both mathematics and programming that get's kids who are interested to quickly change their mind for something else.

For the most part it comes down to their motivation. A lot of students I know going through the course are guys who are half motivated to do anything. Having managed teams of these guys, I know from experience that these guys will likely half-ass an entire project that others are depending on for them to complete. But thats not everyone and there are a few who have done well for themselves. For example 3 alumni have went on to form a company to create games for the iPhone and other mobile systems. They even go around the world instructing companies who want to use Unity to create games and such. In the past a group of students along with some professors created an xbox 360 arcade game called VectorForce which held its own in the shooting genre for quite some time.

Right now I'm involved with the team creating an action RPG using the Unreal Engine 3 called Mythic. The project is funded by the NSF and we have several schools (local colleges and high schools) working together to create assets for the game, but we are having trouble making people understand that we need little things. Above we got someone ranting about a former friend making trees for a game. We NEED that stuff to even create the game. Making kids understand that we don't want them creating an entire world on their own is proving difficult.

One last thing to note, I'm a CS major. Even though we do have the game dev degree, I like to program more than just taking arbitrary classes that make me feel like I'm doing something towards game development.

Comment: Re:6x 22"? What about one large TV? (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by KillzoneNET (#31685620) Attached to: Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels

Looking at the videos, I can confidently say that yes, it'd be better to get a large TV.

One thing to point out with those videos and the review is that the FOV is like a typical monitor. He goes on to mention how great it is, but its really just him sitting 3 feet in front of a 66" display. Anyone will say the same thing playing a game on a typical 40-50" display running at a much lower 1080p resolution.

The key to playing in such an array is to get immersion in games. You're much better off making a configuration of 1x3 displays so that you get a very high FOV and not just a glorified big screen TV. Hell you can save yourself more than $1200 in monitors (assuming you go for 22" each at $250 each) by getting a nice HD projector and a screen (or wall). It eliminates the heat and power consumption and not to mention there are no gaps. Sit up close and there you go, a fake 2x3 Eyefinity.

Comment: Re:NeHe's good! (Score 1) 117

by KillzoneNET (#31592574) Attached to: Recommendations For C++/OpenGL Linux Tutorials?

I'll also vouch for this. Having just finished (today actually) Advanced Computer Graphics at my university (which is OpenGL and SDL on Linux), using NeHe's tutorials helped a lot. Going down at the bottom of the page you can either use GLUT or Linux versions of the source to get a very good version of what is already on the site. They even build on previous lessons.

However I must say that the site is growing old. It references a lot of depreciated functions and, quite frankly, is not the best method to learn OpenGL unless you already have some experience in the concepts. What it does do is give you the basics without going into detail on what you are actually doing.

Another suggestion I'd recommend is the OpenGL Redbook which is available online. It covers the mathematics behind the code. It too may be a little out of date, so try to find something that can supplement for the newer technology.

Comment: Re:I started with BASIC (Score 3, Interesting) 548

by KillzoneNET (#31423876) Attached to: The Value of BASIC As a First Programming Language

I too started with BASIC. In my case this was freshmen year in High School back in 1999 on QBASIC. I had dabbled a little with HTML but that was nothing like an actual language that had logic. It was there that I learned the basic blocks that made me the programmer I am today. I went from simple logic to loops to graphics and sound.

By the end of the year I had a full animation of a house with Christmas lights and music. I even had a very primitive text based RPG working with the ending taken straight out of Monty Python's Holy Grail.

It was from there that I learned C++, JavaScript, and many other languages. The logic from BASIC carried me over very easily to other topics.

The problem with students is not the language they learn, but the fun they can find out of it. You have to find what interests them and drive them in that direction.

Comment: I for one, use my laptop for notes. (Score 1) 569

by KillzoneNET (#31055020) Attached to: Pen Still Mightier Than the Laptop For Notetaking?

And I can do it effectively well at that too. Formulas are easy in Word '07. Pressing ALT + '=' creates an equation space which, after learning all the ins and outs of the shorthand methodologies, became a breeze to use. For diagrams I use Dia. Its much quicker than drawing and I can do multiple diagrams in a single page for a single day's lecture.

I have not touched paper for notes in almost a year. Last time I did so was due to the professor making it a rule to not use laptops/netbooks in class (and even then, everything was on slides on the net, so taking notes was moot). I started this in physics of all things, where equations are very hefty. I did notes from the book and learned how fast I was able to take notes and decided to take it from there to class. I ended up with clean notes that were easy to read. My test notes (we were allowed a single sheet of paper full of notes) was a simple copy and paste of formulas on a 2 column page, printed on both sides of the sheet. I aced all my tests thanks to them. I continued using this method for 3 quarters of physics, all three ended with my highest marks I've had in a while.

Sure I goof off during lectures by being on the net and reading articles and such, but I mainly only do this for things I have knowledge on or if the topic is no where near the material we need to be learning.

Comment: The more I hear about it... (Score 3, Funny) 803

by KillzoneNET (#28712663) Attached to: Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe

the more I see MS giving the EU a big F U. Not only have they had to put up with them telling them to open their system up for competition, but they get fined for when they try to do anything otherwise.

"Blasphemy!" they say. "We will only lose more market share!"

And its true. My god, imagine Normal-Joe-User having the choice between several brands of web browsers and media players to choose from. Internet Explorer sounds old and so 80s, where as Firefox has the words "fire" and "fox" so its gotta be both exciting and cuddly right?

So instead of giving them the choice, they opt to not give them any at all, foregoing the need to even have to bother with the EU ever again. I can see Balmer and his cronies sitting in a meeting and they all unanimously say "fuck it," raising a middle finger across the Atlantic as hard as they possibly could.

Comment: Re:Run to my openWRT router and look for.. what? (Score 2, Informative) 272

by KillzoneNET (#27317801) Attached to: Botnet Worm Targets DSL Modems and Routers

Not sure what the ports it was using exactly, but telnet was definitely on. The username was still 'root' and the password was a simple word. TFA mentions the botnet has brute forcing capabilities so I imagine with only one thing to bust through, it wouldn't at all be a hard task to get into.

Funny thing is, I thought this was just a minor bug until the first thing I saw was this /. article when my router was restored.

Comment: Re:Run to my openWRT router and look for.. what? (Score 5, Informative) 272

by KillzoneNET (#27307571) Attached to: Botnet Worm Targets DSL Modems and Routers

Apparently I'm one of the "100,000" that got infected by this botnet.

This morning my router would not connect to any websites, yet my modem when directly connected to my PC still did. I reseted the settings to default, disabled the vulnerabilities that got the idiots in and put a stronger 35 character username and password.

How did I get infected in the first place? I left on remote access. And possibly my username and password weren't that complex. Live and learn I guess.

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias

Working...