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Comment not at all crap (Score 1) 91

I don't much like the 'crapsoftware' tag. Inkscape has a few rough edges but it's been a life saver many a time. Well, not literally a life saver but I have used it to do many bits of vector art and it's a lot more portable and less fuss than Adobe's software (i.e. if I'm in a fix and not at my machine yet need to do some desktop publishing, I can install it in 5 minutes and it does the job). It's also more pleasant to use than GIMP or Blender, although they're also great when I can get hold of my preferred software for those tasks.
So, massive thanks and kudos to the guy(s) behind it!

Comment Re:We're off to a bad start already.. (Score 1) 324

To be fair, at my company, most of us do actually work sensible hours until crunch time when all bets are off. Our last crunch hurt a bit but didn't last as long as in many game companies I've heard of. Most of our relationships are still in tact and more daughter still recognises me!
    As for the game designer job - it's a tough one. It's one of those jobs that I think many people think they can do and unfortunately, one that many who are put off by the more technical or artistic roles (as they sound like too much hard work) are attracted to. If you fall into that category, forget it - precisely because the remit of the job is vaguer than coding or any of the artistic disciplines, you have to show some demonstrable skill, which is hard because it's the job is less well defined.
    The best game designers are not only great at designing fun games, they have a good understanding and respect of the technical side too and appreciate how much work a given feature is. There's also a lot of detailed design doc writing involved and more meetings than you can shake a stick at. For some games, in depth knowledge of a particular esoteric subject relevant to game you're working on would also be useful.

Comment Re:Here's a thought... (Score 1) 856

Japan still registers bikes - When I lived there, my g/f bought me one for my birthday and registered it. The police often stopped cyclists to check their registration details and as foreigner, I stood out and was checked regularly (I eventually learned where their routes were and could get to work more quickly by avoiding them). It was sometimes difficult to explain why my bike was registered under the name of a Japanese girl so I usually launched into the explanation before they checked the bike's code.

Comment Re:Here's a thought... (Score 1) 856

Sigh, I hate this stupid meme. at least in the U.K., we pay vehicle excise duty which no more pays for the roads than the V.A.T. on a chocolate bar. The local council are responsible for their own roads so upkeep of those comes from their coffers. I pay 33% of my earnings as income tax and on top of that I have to pay council tax. The comparatively paltry amount that we have to pay for the privilege of owning a car would not pay for the upkeep of the nations roads and motorways. On top of this, I voluntarily pay more money to Sustrans, a charity that builds cycle paths than it costs to keep the family car on the road - we only use it maybe twice a month, yet still have to pay tax.
    In short, I suspect I pay a whole lot more than you do towards the upkeep of the roads and yet I find it difficult to cycle to work without putting myself in danger, caused by the noticeable minority of dangerous drivers. They're probably muttering these same ignorant missives as they force me off the road for the umpteenth time.
    And as for the registration process - ha! Cars have these checks because they are an order of magnitude more complex and dangerous than bikes! If you've got a flat or bald tire on your bike, you're going to notice it pretty quickly and then will have to push your bike home as the air escapes. Riding in such a condition is more likely to hurt yourself than anybody else. To reiterate the statistics I mentioned in a previous post - 3000 deaths caused by drivers annually in the U.K. Compare that with 1 death every two years caused by a cyclist: it's a 1:6000 ratio!

Comment Re:Here's a thought... (Score 1) 856

This is a general reply to the blase attitude towards the very life of others that some drivers here are espousing. So If you are a reasonably considerate driver, don't take it personally.
    What is more important: that you get to where you're going fractionally faster or that you have respect for the safety of other people. In my country, over 3000 people die annually due to collisions with cars and most of those people are pedestrians or cyclists. Hundreds of thousands are injured. 2008 year was a good year and 'only' 2,943 were killed (this isn't a global figure, just in the UK). That's 2,943 families now missing loved ones. ( That's a quarter of a million people since records began, in the UK alone (extrapolate for the world's population, that'd be closer to 25 million people killed on the worlds roads in the past 84 years).
    Most drivers I encounter are polite and considerate and I'm polite and considerate right back to them - if I'm holding up a bunch of cars, I'll pull over to let them past if it's safe to do so as I want them driving up my arse about as much as they want to be held up by me.
    However, most days I'll encounter some retard who thinks that driving like a lunatic is their god given right - these are the people who kill people like me and they should not be allowed on the roads.
    If getting from A to B as fast as possible is, in fact, more important to you than somebody else's continued existence, let me put it to you in other terms: your journey is going to take a lot longer if you have to deal with the aftermath of killing a cyclist or pedestrian because you were driving too damn fast.



Stoned Wallabies Make Crop Circles 104

It's the tripnaut! writes "The BBC reports that Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around 'as high as a kite', a government official has said. 'The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,' says Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania. 'Then they crash,' she added."

Comment Re:the 1950's called (Score 0, Flamebait) 159

Wouldn't you get in to trouble if you kept communist's kids under your bed? On a related note, thank goodness Ronald Raygun, that clown off of that advert for fat clinics and possibly even some sort of distorted republican Jesus with guns saved us all from the evils of sharing.
    Now we all work 16 hours a day to make rich people even richer (hell, it gets me out of bed in the morning. Gawd bless all those upper management and banking types, they need it more than we do) and the world is just peachy!


Comment Re:The answer isn't more marketing nonsense... (Score 1) 511

Couldn't agree more to all of these, particularly the tool chain point.. but then again, I'm programming game tools right now (as in, right now, this minute, for a project that needed them at the beginning) so I may be biased.
    The small army you mentioned also creates problems of its own, particularly in terms of cost and communication.
    Quality is also a huge issue, particularly for PC games. The absolute maze of hardware out there is one significant factor is ramping up the costs associated with PC game development, particularly if your aiming to develop a games that shows off modern hardware and yet still work on older machines so you can still sell the thing to enough people.
    Based on my own experience, I think you're absolutely right in assuming that many games companies haven't taken tools and pipeline issues seriously in the past. In my mind, getting these right is the only way to make a top notch game within a reasonable budget.
    Explaining this to the powers that be is not always the easiest task for us developers.

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