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In response to reply on Sunday morning fun
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Reedbeta 167 Jan 13, 2014 at 17:51

For sure the guy who made the call would lose his job over it, though, and that would just be mean. Stainless had his fun already, no need to get lawyers involved. :)

In response to Sunday morning fun
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Vilem_Otte 117 Jan 13, 2014 at 10:56

Haha, this made my day. I’d try contacting phone services about information about the call - as you clearly made a bet in it, which is an agreement (and in our country, agreement over phone is an agreement), also most phone calls are stored for I think 2 or 4 weeks, so you could clearly start a lawsuit against them in my country.

In response to Sunday morning fun
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Stainless 151 Jan 13, 2014 at 08:28

I actually do use geothermal. That’s the real funny bit.

The complex I live in has a geothermal plant built into it.

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fireside 141 Jan 13, 2014 at 02:57

I’m fairly comfortable with Unity, but still have a ways to go. Actually, I’ve found it to be kind of hard to get used to because everything has to be done the Unity way. The editors make up for it, but I think the way it’s scripted is kind of round about and hard to organize. It seems kind of backwards in a lot of ways. I have to spend hours pouring over the script reference to figure out how to do something. The tutorials are full of details, but short on overall organization. A game manager class would have been a good idea. Most tutorials don’t even use one, so your stuck figuring it out yourself. The first thing most people do is start adding way too many scripts on the main character, GUI, everything. I’m still not sure I have it the way I want it, yet, and I’m working on about my third try at a game. I would have to say, scripting wise, it’s the most awkward engine I’ve ever used. On the plus side, it’s the easiest engine I’ve ever used to get a model into it from Blender, other than the Blender game engine. The GUI is pretty decent for a built in. The physics are decent and built in. All in all, good, but scripting, blah.

In response to Sunday morning fun
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TheNut 179 Jan 12, 2014 at 16:42

“Don’t call me Sir, I work for a living”, haha. Personally I would have told him I use industrial craft’s water mill generators to power my house. It only costs 4 wooden sticks and blocks. If he’s a savvy gamer, he’ll realize he’s been jested.

In response to Sunday morning fun
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fireside 141 Jan 12, 2014 at 12:26

I actually made 45 dollars from them from a law suit that somehow had my name on the mailing list. Right now I’m just being called by the charities. They’ve kind of ruined it for themselves because I know if I give them any money at all, I will be hounded for the rest of my life because then my name goes on the very current sucker list. I bought something from these handicapped people once, but it turned out handicapped meant they wore glasses. The overpriced trash bags they sold me rip all the time and I’ve had them forever because I hate them.

In response to Xmas Demo Fun
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TheNut 179 Jan 10, 2014 at 15:51

Not sure if markdown supports some sort of html syntax that would allow us to reference a PHP powered polling app. Worse comes to worse, we just spam our votes here in the chat :)

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stateq 101 Jan 10, 2014 at 02:44

Excellent tutorial. If any Linux users are having issues compiling, it seems that the makefile in the Linux port is missing the the ALUT library link. In order for it to compile properly, please modify the COMPILEFLAGS in ‘Makefile’ to include ‘-lalut’. It should look similar to the following:

COMPILEFLAGS = -lopenal -lalut -logg -lvorbis -lvorbisfile

In response to Developers Wanted
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MajorJeff 101 Jan 09, 2014 at 22:21

It is contract work which will last until project completion. It is off site which means you can work from home.

In response to Xmas Demo Fun
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Stainless 151 Jan 09, 2014 at 12:55

Well now Xmas is over, I suppose we should close this down.

Does anyone know how to set up a voting system on Devmaster?

We should try and get people to vote on it.

In response to Developers Wanted
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Stainless 151 Jan 09, 2014 at 11:26

Give us a few more details please.

Contract work, permanent, location, on site, off site, etc.

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MrLange 102 Jan 08, 2014 at 21:36

I have written very thorough documentation on a great deal of the software already which had been broken down further by the lead programmer. We still do not know how long these pieces will take. As undetailed as the above list is, I thought someone might be able to give an estimate on at least some things. Thank you for your advice though, this is very helpful.

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Stainless 151 Jan 08, 2014 at 08:33

Don’t assume that because you are using Java, it’s portable.

Java was a good idea that fell apart under real world conditions.

Anyone who has had to deal with Java, pJava, Midp, JDK 1.N, etc will tell you what a nightmare it can be.

Having actually written a JVM, I know from experience how crap Java can be.

The JVM we wrote was typical 130 times faster than the one written by Sun. This caused massive problems getting it certified. For example, the garbage collector in Java had a known problem that means it will eventually crash. To be certified, your JVM had to run a test for 10 hours. Since our’s ran so much faster than the standard JVM, we had to run for the equivalent of about 130 hours. Nightmare.

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TheNut 179 Jan 07, 2014 at 16:07

First thing I would recommend is you create a complete requirements document outlining all the functional, non-functional features, and use cases of your software and then create a work breakdown structure. Typically this is done by an experienced project manager / software engineer, so I don’t know if you have any background in this or if anyone in your current team does. When done right, it’s your blueprint and timesheet for the project. When done poorly, you will underestimate the work, go over budget, and likely the final product quality will be very poor.

Tasks must be broken down into very small parts, usually no more than 8-24 hours of work. If a task is greater than that, you need to break it down into more parts. For example, don’t just ask “handle 3d model formats”. Be very specific. Example:

  • Task 1: “Design 3D model importer/exporter system”
  • Task 2: “Implement 3D model importer/exporter”
  • Task 3: “Implement OBJ importer”
  • Task 4: “Implement OBJ Exporter”
  • Task 5: “Test OBJ importer”
  • Task 6: “Test OBJ exporter” Etc.

It’s much easier to look at something like that and say, 16 hours for that task, 8 hours for that task, etc. You need to factor in time for R&D (no developer knows everything), time for designing and prototyping, time for implementing, and time for testing, including writing unit tests. The sum of all the parts equate to the total estimate to complete the project. It’s not uncommon to have hundreds of tasks, so don’t worry if you start filling up pages after pages of tasks. The more granular, the more confident someone will be to give an accurate estimate. When done, you enter these tasks into a content management system (CMS) such as JIRA. You’ll now have your blueprint. When hiring a contract worker, you ask them to fill in those estimates and then negotiate the contract.

Beyond that, there’s no reliable way anyone on the Internet can give you an estimate. It’s purely subjective and not the best way to go about it. I mean we can throw numbers at you, but it’s pure hearsay.

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MrLange 102 Jan 07, 2014 at 14:09

It’s being written in Java, so it targets any platforms Java does. And no, this is not a game engine, it’s more of a software for animation and simulations that can help previsualize game concepts.

This information actually helps a lot, thank you.

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Stainless 151 Jan 07, 2014 at 10:48

Without knowing what you actually want to do, we can’t help. We would need to know target platforms, operating systems, compiler, etc.

From your original post, I would have said you want to write your own game engine. Which I agree with Reedbeta is probably not a good idea.

However, to give you some kind of numbers to work with. I charge £400 a day, and I’m busy. Recent projects include….

  • Porting a complete modern AAA game to a new platform. 21 days
  • Porting a casual game to a new platform. 1 - 7 days
  • Porting a library like OpenAL to a new platform 1 day
  • Porting a complex library like OpenMax to a new platform 14 days
  • Writing a custom video compositing application using CUDA 21 days

Hope this helps

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MrLange 102 Jan 07, 2014 at 06:10

I suppose a better way to put it would be “first time we’ve ever embarked on a project of this magnitude.”

The software we’re making has a different structure than game engines and other software. We need it to be flexible to our needs and not depend on existing engines. Programs from Unity to Blender had their engines created from scratch because it was necessary and the most practical way to do it. Most of things we’re aiming to create are not that difficult either.

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Reedbeta 167 Jan 07, 2014 at 05:49

Well, you said “This is the first time we’ve embarked on such a project”, which I assumed meant a game-like project. If you are actually an experienced game developer, I apologize. (Besides, I would expect a team or technical lead with game development experience to have someone able to make these estimates themselves, rather than pinging a web forum for free advice…)

Does your “completely different” approach affect the rendering layer a great deal? If so, we would need to know a lot more about it in order to come up with any reasonable estimates.

If your special sauce is more front-end and doesn’t affect the low levels too much, though, then I still say you can get a lot of mileage out of off-the-shelf components, perhaps using parts of existing open-source libraries and engines, and building your own front-end over them. There’s just no reason to pay people to write the 1000th iteration of a basic GL engine with alpha-blending, deferred lighting and real-time shadows from scratch.

In response to reply on Non-AABB question
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Alienizer 109 Jan 07, 2014 at 05:41

oh I see, I get it. Thanks again Reed for your help.

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fireside 141 Jan 07, 2014 at 05:40

I guess Google chrome can read asm.js now. I can run Epic Citadel at 43 frames per second, 1600 x 900 on my amd laptop with an A8.

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MrLange 102 Jan 07, 2014 at 05:06

If any of the things you suggested were viable options we wouldn’t be bothering with this. Believe me, I know all of this very well. We’re not creating a game or simulation. We’re creating a program capable of animation and simulation. Its approach is completely different from software like Unity and 3d animation suites, and we believe it will be far more efficient. We can’t depend on external engines to get it to work, we have to create a lot of it from scratch.

“Especially since you have no previous experience in game development” I’m not sure how you inferred that, I have quite a bit of experience in game development.

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Reedbeta 167 Jan 07, 2014 at 05:00

Is your goal ultimately to make a game or simulation of some sort? If so, you should seriously question the wisdom of building your own game engine. It will be much cheaper and easier to use an off-the-shelf engine such as Unity, UDK or CryEngine. Especially since you have no previous experience in game development, there are a lot of minefields and issues you probably haven’t thought about, that you can sidestep by using an off-the-shelf engine.

All the features you listed are very basic and any mature off-the-shelf engine should have them. The only exception is the video enc/dec bit. Many engines have support for playing video files, either full-screen (cutscenes) or into a texture that can then be rendered in the 3D scene (for showing video on a TV in the game world, for instance). Support for encoding video is probably less common. If you just need to capture video/audio of what the engine is outputting, that can be done with external tools like FRAPS. If it’s something more complex you’ll likely need to mod the engine, but that can be done with a source license and will be way cheaper than building the whole engine from scratch.

In response to reply on Non-AABB question
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Reedbeta 167 Jan 07, 2014 at 04:26

They’re still boxes, right? Set up a coordinate system that’s aligned with the box, in whatever orientation it’s in. Then the box is axis-aligned in that coordinate system, by definition. If you transform the vertices into that coordinate system, you can calculate the min and max. Then generate the 8 corners from the min and max, and transform them back into world coordinates.

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fireside 141 Jan 07, 2014 at 04:08

Javascript has quite a ways to go before it’s really useful for 3d, but I think it will get there. I don’t think native client will be around much longer because it’s kind of the same as java’s write once, run everywhere. That doesn’t work very well in practice because you have to keep fixing each individual application. It’s kind of write once, fix everywhere. We kind of have the same problem with javascript and browsers, but I think with standards it will work out.

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TheNut 179 Jan 07, 2014 at 03:41

The three major issues he posted are indeed a problem, although they are just inconveniences. I’ve learned to accept that for the greater good that browsers at least offer the ability to become gaming platforms and even much more. Plus you get use to the limitations rather quickly and just work with it. ECMAScript 7.0 has plans to evolve the language from out of the stone age. Overloading, concurrency, real classes.

I personally would not recommend emscripten as an alternative. Last I tried to use it, it was like trying to build a rocket ship to land on the moon. Documentation was equivalent to interpreting hieroglyphics, toolchain could only run on Linux, requires CLang, and special platform handling. You can’t just dumbo drop Win32 or OpenSSL stuff in there and expect a working JavaScript app. Even if you spend the time to familiarize yourself with that, you’re going to be building huge JavaScript applications. All that bytecode is going to translate into JavaScript code. At least with a pure JS framework, the browser is responsible for streaming MP3s, loading PNGs, JPEGS, etc. Compact, efficient, and using native browser functions. It’s a nice idea in principle, but I just don’t think it’s the right way. I’d sooner promote Google’s native client, which would make more sense.

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