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Comment: Re:Article is empty (Score 1) 288

by Quirkz (#46833783) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

The way MMORPGs implement it, crafting is dull, tedious, and limited. The players can't employ imagination to create novel items, they are restricted to a small set of fixed recipes. The game designers couldn't allow much latitude on crafting, or the players could and would make items so powerful that they completely unbalance the main game.

It's not just game balance, it's coding for the flexibility. It's one thing to code eight potions for eight reagents, with the restriction that each potion gets exactly one reagent, and another thing to code for roughly 100 different potions, if you free it up to allow each potion to have any combination of 1-8 reagents in it. What do all those potions do? What are they called? Can you even think up 100 different unique effects for them to have? And, ultimately, does it even add anything to the game to have a 100-potion exploration space (and do you give hints for recipes, or let players keep a cookbook to remember, or is discovery part of the game?) rather than just a simple setup of 8 obviously handy potions. Is the time required to allow this advanced crafting better spent on coding more spells, or another level, or doing more gameplay testing?

Comment: Re:Shocking... (Score 2) 552

by Quirkz (#46823629) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

And they should. You can't go around screaming "mercury" like there's only one form of an element, and it always has the same property no matter what chemical compound it's part of. Imagine we had the same lecture about "sodium" (an explosive metal) or "chlorine" (a deadly poison). Can you BELIEVE they put sodium AND chlorine in our TABLE SALT! It's an explosive deadly poison! They're killing us all!

Oh, actually, I didn't get through the quackery far enough to see that chlorine came up in drinking water. This AC really hasn't ever heard of table salt.

Most of the stuff in that post is conspiracy level "they're lying to us and everything's a poison" diatribe. Do a little research and you'll see that 1) thimerosol wasn't in most vaccines and was removed from nearly all of them at this point because of the paranoia and FUD, 2) even when it was in some vaccines, it is mercury compound with no demonstrated physical harm, unlike, say, the stuff in old thermometers, 3) this "mercury is always evil" argument ignores any rational analysis of toxicity levels, disregarding how minimal the amount of mercury was in any of the vaccines compared to other general exposure.

Comment: Re:Alarm clock???? (Score 1) 694

by Quirkz (#46790273) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

That's a curious take. I'm not sure I'd trust myself to actually wake up, though I guess I could keep the sound-based alarm as a backup until I was sure. I've also got young kids and occasionally have a *really* short night of sleep, which again makes me think I might sleep though light on bad days.

It's certainly not quite as efficient on the power side of the spectrum, but I'd guess not bad if it's just a few minutes. How do you tell the alarm "okay, turn off now, I'm up"? Just set the timer for x minutes and assume it'll be enough?

Comment: Re:It's easy (Score 1) 466

by Quirkz (#46773297) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I've tried duct tape art, a web game, a book, and a dot-com startup, but no apps yet. I think that's next of my checklist of educational monetary failures, though. If they say you've got to try seven businesses before one becomes successful*, I've only got three more to go before I hit it big.

Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 466

by Quirkz (#46773117) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

He also neglected to include any sort of interest/growth in that calculation. You could easily get there in much less time at $25k/year with even 5% interest. Or some problems come up and it takes you 30 years instead of 25 - that's still shorter than most people work. Or get a few raises and work your way up to contributing $50k/year in a decade.

In other words, there are obstacles, but there's plenty of wiggle room in both directions. If you're paying even a little attention, it's not a hard goal to hit with a developer's salary, which is generally considerably above median income.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 3, Interesting) 797

Survival of the fittest is the only rule in life.

Don't be silly. Survival of the fittest applies to the wild. The entire *point* of culture/civilization is to blunt that harshest of rules. It doesn't always work so well, and it can easily be exploited, but the GP is entirely correct when he says that bullying should be treated as wrong and discouraged.

Comment: Re:Financial pressure to exploit players (Score 1) 181

by Quirkz (#46714027) Attached to: Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

4. When their quota/sales target is not met, developers/publishers are under pressure to make up the difference.
5. One of the easiest ways to boost sales is to introduce items which will confer a greatly desired benefit on its purchasers. OTOH, non-buyers who cannot enjoy the greatly desired benefit will endure a comparatively degraded playing experience.

These two aren't necessarily true.

4. Smaller developers especially may not have things like quotas and sales targets which dictate their entire behavior. They're also more likely to be developing for fun as much as income such that $$ aren't the only consideration. And they're more likely to pick free to play as a model just because nobody will pay up front for a game/company they've never heard of.

5. There are plenty of ways around this. Many games don't even require direct player-to-player competition. You can also segregate players so that payers and non-payers can compete in different tiers, or allow modes of gameplay which exclude or dampen the benefits of "pay to win" items. You can even allow ways for non-playing players to gain the same benefits, but in ways that are inconvenient enough the really dedicated will do it, while some others will decide they'd rather pay than put in the effort.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]