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Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 276

by donscarletti (#46822863) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

Am I the only one who finds arbitrary restrictions in games, either because the technology couldn't cope, or because the game designer knows how you want to play better than you do, or just because, really annoying? If there's a door there, it should open. If it won't open, there shouldn't be a door there. How hard is this?

Easy answer, almost impossible.

Buildings have doors, how many buildings do you want in this game? Is this game set outdoors in a city how many doors can you see? Now, consider that on the other side of the door must now exist a room, for example a 20 floor building must have 20 individually created floors, devided into maybe 30 apartments for a residentual building or say 4 for a commercial building which are each going to need some their own assets or they are going to look the same. Lets say optimistically 200 man hours per floor to get it to fairly rough quality (skip concept art and iteration, re-use most assets), 20 floors per building, that's 4,000 man hours per building which at $30 an hour (average for 3d artists in US) is $120,000. One building, done poorly with absolutely nothing interesting inside.

So what do you want to do? Have a game with no buildings? But buildings work well in games and players play well in cities! Have no doors in buildings? But that would look strange! Have a game where all the buildings are the same inside? But that would defeat the purpose of having them, since players would have no reason to enter them!

One of the key thing about making a better game, nomatter from design, art, engineering is not adding more but working out clever ways of not doing things. Time and money are finite, GTA 5 cost $135 million to make, the vast majority of which was spent adding detail to the world, but most buildings are still empty shells. The key is to cue players to not notice what you don't have.

The problem you have with Tomb Raider is not a detail problem but a communication problem. From a design problem they have failed to communicate to you what can be grabbed and what cannot. Sure, they could have gone the Assassin's Creed route and procedually made everything grabbable, but Assassin's Creed's climbing wasn't much fun at all for that very reason, there was no searching and pondering aspect, you just push him in the general direction and he climbs. So it leaves you with the problem of making an attractive environment with a finite amount of interaction and they handled it, imperfectly, but as best they could.

The thing is, when making a game, adding more is not always possible. Skill in design means making the same amount seem like more.

Comment: Re:education doesn't work (Score 1) 289

by donscarletti (#46812773) Attached to: Our Education System Is Failing IT

When mentioning the positions of government officials online, it's a good idea to mention the country of the government they serve in, i.e.

It is interesting to realize that in 2001 (before 9/11) George W Bush did meet the Sweedish Social Democratic party leader and then prime minister Göran Persson who earlier was heading the schooling department.

The same of course would apply to former American President George W Bush, if you had mentioned his position.

Comment: Re:What about a re-implementation... (Score 1) 304

by donscarletti (#46759417) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

Every so called "safer" language (than C) is also less efficient.

Depending on what you're doing. Compiled languages without pointers (such as Fortran and Pascal) are usually much faster for mathematical tasks, since side effects are so few (essentially concerning globals only), the compiler can much more easily automatically vectorise, reorder, factorise and unroll code. They also happen to be more safe, since you cannot simply tell the computer to write at a memory address, buffers can be bounds checked and so no overflows or underflows.

Problem is, they generally suck for IO, which is why they aren't used for SSL. Still, you should qualify where they are less efficient.

Comment: I don't care if he was supporting a bill to impos (Score 4, Insightful) 1116

by donscarletti (#46700907) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

I don't care if he was supporting a bill to impose shariah on California, or give tax breaks to encourage polygamous marriage, or circumcise all males that enter the state. I don't have to agree with him, I can campaign against him, but it is still his right to think that.

The right to free political involvement is where all other rights come from. Once you permit someone to be harassed for their political beliefs, no-matter how abhorrent they are to you, then whatever your rights are will soon become subject to the whims of those who have the most power to harass their opponents.

Being against anything to the extent that it overrides your civility is the basic core of intolerance. History has been full of groups who have seen their cause as being more important than basic civility such as KKK, Taliban, Supreme Harmony Society, Hutu militia, Red Guards, some US Civil War era democrat politicians, and the result has always been roughly the same. To my knowledge Eich was not practicing uncivil behavior towards gays by discriminating against them or using slurs against them, he just supported a bill. This bill, you might believe is discriminatory in nature, but that decision in a democracy is up to the people and their representatives, and at the very least we all have the right to put forward any question for the people to decide on.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Fight Club (Score 0) 357

by donscarletti (#46621493) Attached to: An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

watching business owners whine about unfair it is that they have to provide birth control as part of their insurance plan

If you've ever been a manager you would know damn well why any company pays for contraceptives. Basically, it is just so much cheaper and less disruptive than maternity leave that it would be stupid not to pay it. Hell, most managers would ram the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill down their female employees throats if they were legally able.

In reality, contraceptives are such a small and predictable cost that you don't really need to be insured against them. It's not charity, it's business, and if anything, not providing them shows a respect to the privacy of their employees sexuality.

Comment: Re: Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by donscarletti (#46603567) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

No, that's gun possession. In the "rest of the world" we still have plenty of country's that hang you for sodomy.

Anyway, if folks think fornicators should be flogged and those who practice fellacio and cunnilingus even in marriage should be imprisoned and a widower's marriage to his late wife's sister should be null and void, it is still a political matter. Just because you or I think something is incorrect or unimportant does not make it not an issue.

Comment: Re: Options (Score 2) 107

DirectX has been MS only since it's inception, it has always had the implication of whatever you are making not being able to use of windows.

The difference now is that OpenGL is no longer crap and DirectX is no longer the clear front runner, so people can start saying again "hey, why am I using DX?" Rather than taking for granted that it is better for games.

Comment: Re: Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

In other news: a guillotine can slice only once, but, through a smaller knife, understanding of anatomy and use of tourniquets, many thousands of fairly deep cuts can be administered on a living prisoner, allowing far more substantial sentences to be given.

Ridiculous, this sadist should be sent off to The Hague right now while she is only guilty of conspiracy, if she be allowed to put it into practice, she may be sentenced to a term that she is unable to serve, and this would be simply immoral.

Comment: Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score 1) 218

by donscarletti (#46490299) Attached to: Happy Pi Day

22/7 is slightly closer to pi than 3.14 is to it, so I don't see how it could be any worse of an approximation. Technically speaking, any rational number, no matter if it is expressed as a fraction or a decimal can only be an approximation of pi. You never seriously thought that a continent that almost exclusively uses the metric system would have a worse approximation to the US did you?

But approximations aside, the most practical way we could really have a pi day is by expressing the date as an angle, most conveniently, the ecliptic longitude of the sun, measured in radians from the vernal equinox, which would naturally make pi day coincide with the autumnal equinox.

Comment: Re:I would say yes, but..... (Score 1) 263

by donscarletti (#46343315) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

If you think this is a problem, you probably don't understand why having architecture experts who make these decisions is a good thing, rather than letting developers do what they like.

Depends on who your architecture experts are and who your developers are. If the people who actually would make the best decisions are in the architecture roles and are making the decisions, this is probably the best for the company. This is not a given, it's possible that those architect roles are for ex-developers who have made great contributions in the past but have been outclassed by younger developers to semi-retire without surrendering control of the decision making process, regardless of their current merits, or it could be that management's assessment of people's relative strengths is simply not perfect. You tend to find people who have been at the company for a long time as architects, they tend to keep making the same types of decisions, which tends to lead to stagnation and possible loss of competitiveness over the years, whereas if developers come and go more frequently, the ideas they bring and decisions they make tends to have more variety and one sees more ideas come and go and the bad ideas being replaces (and hopefully the good ones remain).

The second issue is that if the blood sweat and tears is coming from the developers, management could probably get more blood sweat and tears out of them if they were allowed to do things their way. Of course, if someone wants to do something in an extremely stupid way, they will only waste their own time and others, but 90% of decisions aren't important enough that choosing the "right" way isn't going to achieve more than some extra passion and effort.

Thirdly, whatever is best for the project/company, it is almost always better for a developer him/herself to try it their way than be told what the right way is. Whoever the architects are, if they are good, they certainly got their position and skillset from making their own decisions, rather than implementing things according to others' plans. So as a rational, self-interested actor, the environment where one can make one's own decisions, right or wrong is better.

Comment: Re:Moving jobs to foreign country = treason (Score 1) 124

by donscarletti (#46324213) Attached to: Indian Hustle: How Fraudsters Prey On Would-be US Tech Workers

Why is moving jobs to foreign country not treated as treason?

You may be interested to know that treason is the only crime defined in the United States Constitution.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

It is defined in Germany as a violent attempt against the order of the Federal Republic of Germany (for high treason), or betraying a state secret for the purposes of harming the state (for treason).

India is not the United States' or Germany's enemy, even serving in India's army and killing people on India's behest is not treason, as long as India is not at a state of war (declared or undeclared) with that person's own country and the acts are not against that person's own countries or its allies.

As far as German law is concerned, unless the intent is explicitly to cause harm to the German state, one cannot be convicted of treason. As far as American law is concerned, unless it is helping America's enemies or directly waging war against America, it cannot be treason.

So, that's basically why it's not treason.

Comment: Re:Throwing stones (Score 1) 325

by donscarletti (#46278685) Attached to: N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'


So, you're comparing locking a guy up for a couple of years because he organises a massive and successful revolt (then letting him out when he got sick), with killing people for picking up South Korean leaflets, entering China or making international phoneccalls.

The Raj literally kept Gandhi locked in a palace when he revolted during WWII, a palace! Try organising a revolt in peace time in North Korea and see what happens to your entire family.

The British had 77 years during which they could have easily killed Gandhi, since he lived all but the last year of his life in the British Empire (including many years in the UK) and never kept his location hidden. Instead they didn't, and he was gunned down by a fellow Hindu in newly independent India.

Seriously, some people need to understand the concept of magnitude.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234