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Comment Mods (Score 1) 175

I know this is Slashdot, but since when is elitism considered "insight?"

A code is simply a system of rules that you use to translate one form of communication into another form. If that's all you're doing when you're programming, turn in your keyboard now. Writing HTML is coding but it is not programming. Programming is writing a program - a system of instructions which inform the computer how to perform a novel task. HTML is scripting however, even if the script is trivial - it says "Do what this says" to the interpreter.

If you are the sort of guy who tries to impress people by saying you're a "coder" you probably deserve the confusion you get. If you're a software developer, say you're a software developer. If you're a systems programmer, say you're a systems programmer. Don't try to redefine the word "code" to mean "only people who I consider my equals."

Comment Re:You don't "code" HTML (Score 1) 175

Just because something you have written contains logic-related program code does not mean you have imparted logic into it. Even idiots can write code that works, if you've imparted logic into it, it works properly.

I'd argue that an intelligently crafted bit of HTML with elegantly cascading classes in CSS takes as much art as writing a device driver (and I've done both enough to know how to do either right.)

Comment Re:A little from column A, a little from column B (Score 1) 462

I second this wholeheartedly. There's always a market, even among the hardcore gamer, for variety.

I may have bought the whole Half-Life series for its immersive storytelling. I may have bought the GTA games, Mercenaries 2 and Just Cause 2 for their sandbox gameplay. I may have bought Mirror's Edge and Assassin's Creed for their unique movement systems and fluid gameplay. I may have bought Oblivion, Ultima 7, Wasteland and Starflight 2 over the years for their immensely deep replayability, captivating stories and powerfully complicated game mechanics (excepting Oblivion).

But I also bought LittleBigPlanet so I could flop on my couch with friends and build something fun and stupid using springs and motors. I bought PAIN and Flatout for their pick-up minigame-oriented gameplay. I bought Mariokart, Goldeneye and Chu Chu Rocket for the simple competitive gameplay.

Casual gaming is far from mutually exclusive with hardcore gaming, and completionists aren't always different people from the use-once-and-discard arcade crowd either.

Comment Re:No one wants to be behind the times (Score 1) 252

The tiniest of microparticles left in a stream behind the ship... Microscopic chaff sparsely spread, producing the attenuation that an atmosphere would provide in terrestrial battle, rendering the laser ineffective at long range. Powering a laser produces heat. Heat is difficult to disperse in space. Produce armor plating or a directable reflector which is capable of surviving a few nanoseconds of laser, a discharge mechanism which dumps out a huge clump of reflective chaff in that time, and then leaves behind a trail of lighter weight chaff and soon you have a situation where it'd do more damage to the attacker to shoot (from the heat from their emitter) than it does to you to catch.

Comment Re:No one wants to be behind the times (Score 1) 252

Actually, it'd probably be a pretty novel experience playing a game which realistically simulates space combat... It'd become a matter of relative speeds - you're probably already moving at a ludicrous clip, the trick is to dance in and out of range at the maximum accurate weapon range using braking and thrusting maneuvers.... Forget changing direction rapidly, but you could probably do some minor jinking to avoid long-range damage.

The Lucasarts X-Wing and Tie Fighter games had a mechanic which would blend well with that style of combat - namely shield juggling. Assuming you'd allow enough of a fudge factor in your science to permit some analog of a force field, changing the orientation and concentration of a field to deflect incoming fire from multiple directions is a tricky but engaging mechanic.

Finally, it wouldn't have to be completely soundless - remember electromagnetism - assuming hull sensors which picked up and amplified emp and vibrations caused by passing through magnetic fields from shots or engine wake, you could hear a lot of really odd sounds. And as far as explosions, don't forget the stuff that a ship is made of has to go somewhere if it blows apart, and that somewhere is pretty much everywhere. Anything blowing up behind you (movement-wise) would be eerily silent and anything blowing up along your vector of movement would sound like electromagnetic shockwaves and a nasty hailstorm.

Comment Re:Play homemade levels instead (Score 2, Insightful) 379

If your company can't offer value added over or at least equal value to "homemade" levels, you're likely in the wrong business.

Furthermore, you can just release high-quality mod tools above and beyond the quality that the public tends to provide and sell those as part of the pack.

Player mods didn't sink Quake or Doom (both of which could play mods in their free shareware version.)

Comment Re:I remember Elite (Score 1) 325

It's not always about the first games, it's sometimes about the games that defined what the genres were to become.

Half-Life was the first FPS to deliver a storyline more sophisticated than the average C-rate late night Skinemax sci-fi flick.

Doom was the first to add the speed, immersion and immediacy to FPS, and was probably the most popular multiplayer video game until Starcraft came around.

World of Warcraft triggers the grumpy reflex in old timers like myself, but you've gotta admit, it's a phenomenon that hasn't been seen since Pac-Mania - the whole developed world knows about it and probably plays it - it's ubiquitous. On food, t-shirts, television, every corner of the internet and stuck all over magazines. A couple of years ago I saw two complete strangers in their forties arguing about druid specs... I haven't played the game since beta and am personally sick to death of hearing about it, but it's got an undeniable place in the annals of video game history.

The Sims may not have been the first tiny people simulator, and it wasn't even the first to have a complicated learning AI (off the top of my head, the Creatures series predated it.
What is has, however, is probably the largest sales numbers in history; and it essentializes the nurture/imagine/manipulate instinct to a degree that has not been surpassed.

Also of note, Turrican was released a full three years after Metroid.

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