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Dan (guest) 04 Sep 2018 15:20
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Wrap Up

Really wish I'd found this tutorial set a year or 2 ago. As a front-end designer who knew nothing about programming, I'd always ham-fisted (Or beef-fisted(?), being across the pond…) my way through jQuery in a procedural (Spaghetti) style to get the View to do what I wanted.

2 years ago (and 3 days if I'm being pedantic) I got dropped In the deep end of our IT dept as the previous manager/.net dev left without serving his notice, and had coincidentally not done any planning or development work regarding a major update with a 3rd party api. I stepped up and said let me try something in PHP (the only back end language I had any clue of at the time) while they tried to find a replacement, it took some googling but I got there in the end!

Fast-forward 2 years, we had a replacement who came and left in the blink of an eye (because as a developer, I could out-code him?!) and so I asked for the position. Since then I've been diving through the legacy code here, written in .NET or VBScript (Joy…) but had never had anyone to tell me the basics, until now ;)

This is the first tutorial series that I could actually follow, usually it gets complicated quickly and then someone starts talking about Dependency Injection and I just give up. I just want to know why I need to put the "Static" keyword on my method in order to get the solution to build! Stack Overflow only gets you so far but if extra reading is required you'll end up on Microsoft's Technical Documentation which assumes a greater level of understanding than I currently possess.

In short, Thank you for taking the time to write a basic guide for people who have little understanding of programming as a science (or art in some cases!). I've got a lot of refactoring to do….

by Dan (guest), 04 Sep 2018 15:20
Yan (guest) 01 Sep 2018 22:39
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Looping in C#

I'm not a smart man :/

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace Pyramid
{
    public class Program
    {
        public static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            for (int row = 0; row < 6; row++)
            {
                for (int column = 0; column < 11; column++)
                {
                    if (column == 5)
                    {
                        for (int star = 0; star <= row; star++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else if (column == 4 && row >= 1)
                    {
                        for (int starcolumn = 0; starcolumn <= column - 4; starcolumn++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else if (column == 3 && row >= 2)
                    {
                        for (int starcolumn1 = 0; starcolumn1 <= column - 3; starcolumn1++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else if (column == 2 && row >= 3)
                    {
                        for (int starcolumn2 = 0; starcolumn2 <= column - 2; starcolumn2++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else if (column == 1 && row >= 4)
                    {
                        for (int starcolumn3 = 0; starcolumn3 <= column - 1; starcolumn3++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else if (column == 0 && row >= 5)
                    {
                        for (int starcolumn4 = 0; starcolumn4 <= column; starcolumn4++)
                        {
                            Console.Write("*");
                        }
                    }
                    else
                        Console.Write(" ");
                }

                Console.WriteLine();
            }
        }
    }
}
by Yan (guest), 01 Sep 2018 22:39

Hey, I love your game! It’d be amazing if you still added content to it cause it has great potential and I’d be happy to help spread the word you can continue to benefit from the game!

Some cool things to add would be different drill heads that can drill through rock.
Different Jems like Saphire, Crystals, Opal, etc…
Maybe add other planets to mine since the space station is built and we can buy planets to mine.
Add an elevator system to store cargo in and transport it back to the surface.
Add in a mini map to show what’s around you and where your at
Obviously more upgrades and what not haha

Obviously a lot of ideas good or bad but still a thought, I still play this game in 2018 so it must be decent.

by Trayton (guest), 08 Jun 2018 08:01

You're talking about how some PDFs have like the table of contents displayed on the side in a PDF viewer, so that you can jump around more easily?

Also… are you the one who messaged me on Twitter about this same thing?

I'll look and see what I can do. It's auto-generated, though I suspect there's probably a way to get that in there.

Well, a year later….
XNA would be a solid choice. DirectX itself is probably not going anywhere soon as it pretty much drives the XBOX. Out of all the higher level wrappers, XNA is fairly lightweight and provides a great amount of control.. Monogame and Unity are decent and allow for a wider target framework, but it's still a learning curve.


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

I guess I wasn't as clear as I had hoped in the previous post. While the server would showcase previous content and playable games, it would mostly be a jumping point for doing networked gameplay in the future… something I think we all want to try a little more. I agree here we have that ability but it's a lot of work to dig through 10,000 posts to find the final bug free version of any given entry. It does also have the benefit of seeing the process from beginning through refactoring, and finally finishing things up. I don't and wouldn't want to take anything away from what we have here. I also definitely want to keep things here going at a nice clip, and expand in the future on our little community - We were doing a pretty good job with the suggested resources posts.
That being said, I like the idea of a Private Competition Group chat with structured meetings.


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

Matt (guest) 16 Apr 2018 21:08
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » More Math in C#

I just wanted to mention quickly - as of Visual Studio 2017 (maybe earlier versions, not sure) there is a really neat tool that let's you quickly test simple math (and other short experiments) called "C# Interactive".
Go to View -> Other Windows -> C# Interactive

In the interactive window, you can see values by simply typing the variable name (but WITHOUT the semicolon!). For example:

> int a = 4 + (int)4.0;
> a
8
>
by Matt (guest), 16 Apr 2018 21:08

Hey there.

I hope that this the right place to post it.

I've bought the digital version of your book and really liked your book - really easy to follow (at least if you have some programming experience) and easy to read.
However, I would like to ask one thing - if it is not too hard for you, is there any possibility that you could add an index to the pdf version of the book? Jumping to table of contents all the time or using Ctrl+F to find something is not fun - index would be helpful and really really appreciated.

Thanks.

Update for digital version of the book? by Yuval (guest), 11 Apr 2018 11:37
Chris (guest) 01 Apr 2018 22:15
in discussion Community Projects / Competition #13 - Fall 2017 » Tunnel Lords

Your efforts are an amazing help - keep on going!

by Chris (guest), 01 Apr 2018 22:15

I originally came here to post some possible dates for Competition #14, and I'm happy to go ahead and get that on the calendar, but I wonder if anybody has any thoughts on how we might change the competitions to make them more valuable for us.

I feel like there's got to be a better way to motivate us, though I'm not quite sure how yet.

I gain some momentum on my own project when reading about the success you all have during the competitions. Ultimately though, motivation for my work comes from elsewhere and is just expressed in the competitions. I've really appreciated the competitions that I have participated in and enjoyed reading the progress others' have made during them.

I think the process only goals are unhelpful. I cannot finish a major project without an endstate in mind that I work towards. So I need a goal/plan for version 1.0.0. I need a schedule to realize when I fall behind on the plan. Having a plan and a schedule allows me to realize when I am succumbing to feature creep or spending too much time continuously refactoring code. If I focused only on process goals, I believe it would hurt my momentum. (I am pretty far behind on some of my own goals right now, but if I focused on the process only, I think I would have actually just given up by now.) Sorry if this seems like criticism.

Also, I'm not sure that what PiscesMike is suggesting would be necessary about the dedicated server. A forum is sufficient for sharing this kind of info and the real deliverable we all are looking for is a finished product anyways. However, if such a site is created, I'll give it a crack and post some content.

I am spending a lot of time on Tunnel Lords right now, so as far as dates go, probably starting 2 weeks ago would have been perfect. I'm afraid I may not be in a position to join a competition by the time a date is decided on, but perhaps I will fall far enough behind to prove myself wrong. :/


Private Competition Group

One suggestion. We could create a private chat room dedicated to the competition that only members of the competition were part of. Basically a place to talk about goals, progress, ask for technical advice, share builds, and hold each other accountable. Then we could log into the room and encourage/help each other without distractions from non-participants. Part of the agreement of signing on for the competition is spending a fair amount of time in the chat room each week being available to talk about development.

I would even consider making a mandatory meeting weekly in the chat room at a specified time. To join the competition you have to agree to hit the meeting every week. During the meeting, each person would spend 3-5 minutes talking about what they accomplished on their game. Or you would have to say you did nothing and why.

Of course, this all has major ramifications for people who are off too far in time zones or work evening/night schedules.

If I am in a spot to join the next one, I would be willing to commit to being available more regularly in this sort of setting.

-Brett

"Ah, Asteroids3D, we barely knew ye!"


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

I'm going to also throw this out there:

I think its also hard to get motivated because we don't really ever see much of what we do get done. Aside from the working group and those who check out my Youtube videos, our games kind of drift off into the digital void. I've mentioned before about creating a site where we can watch videos and download a playable version of the things that we do get done. It would showcase everything all in one convenient place, and avoid the drudgery of having to dig through now 4 years (wow!) worth of forum posts.

I actually did attempt to do this (http://liquidsatin5702.wixsite.com/games) but ran into some issues with hosting the games. It seems WIX will let you do something like this, but they want to go the route of the Google Play store, Windows store, or some other app vendor and I didn't really like that. Or, that is to say: I really didn't like that, even though you could set the price to free. After that it seemed like the best option was to set up a server and just host the files myself.

Aaaaaaand a (couple) year(s) later, I'm still of that opinion, which brings me to this post.

I'm going to set a hard goal of having a server up and running by the end of April (April of 2018. Sad I feel like I have to write that down to make sure it happens). That should be plenty of time… I've actually cleaned up the living room enough so that I have my 15 systems all crammed together and can get to the different bits and pieces I might need. Well, except for the video cards. Those are at work on loan to our hardware Rat. Not that that matters though, I now have keys and an alarm code so I can get in any time.

Now, if I can get that dedicated server set up and running that will open another option to us, and one I think we should at least think about/discuss/throw it against a wall and see what sticks.

I think we should create a persistent online game world. It could be nothing more than having a website to register users and a simple landscape to run around (3D), or some game lobbies to share some fun fast action 2d blaster games. This would pretty much be a no-pressure venture. Join in and and help out with coding, art, modelling, texturing, music, or anything you feel might add to the experience. Or opt out and simply watch, play, and enjoy.

Point being, it might help draw interest and create motivation to see one (or more) of our projects grow into an organic, living creation that will tear off into only God knows what. Or age with grace and go the way of the dinosaurs.


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

I wish I had some valid points to argue with you about this. Sadly, I don't. I have to agree things here recently seem to have taken a turn for the very unproductive, especially so on my end. I did get one application written here recently, but it had nothing to do with game dev.

I will say, sometimes the worm turns with life and things that were once very popular drift into obscurity. (Don't worry if the worm turning makes no sense: It's not supposed to, it's an Al Bundy quote). I DON'T think that's what's happening here though - We'll always be the cool kids. I think what is going on is that we've (all) grown and learned things that perhaps we thought would still be mystifying to us. We've taken on different paths than what we may have been planning. Speaking for myself only, I've gone from a stay at home caregiver with tons of free time to pursue my own projects to working sometimes 70 hours a week to settling into a nice steady 9 to 5 'normal' job. I've also been promoted at work, away from so much straight computer work to a mixture of that and other responsibilities. RBWhitaker has gone through a similar transition, as others have as well I'm sure. All that being said, I think it's led to a shift in priorities and available time.

I think it may be time to re-evaluate exactly what we're aiming for here and in the competitions. As I've said, I think we've all grown quite a bit and perhaps need a bit of a push into unfamiliar territories, ideas, and avenues of expression. I'll throw out what my thoughts are now:

I think, as a whole we've moved beyond the 'beginner' stage. Sure we still get the new people who have questions, and it's always fun helping someone wade through a nightmare when you can. So, I would personally push for something a little more challenging. Maybe some basic 3d gaming. Networking is another thing we could explore. We've touched on it before but seem to get stuck in a rut when actually trying to get something out. Either one of those would be fun and challenging.

Carrying on with that idea, I think it would be neat to try and get a few releases out. Maybe nothing super fancy, just a nice, well rounded game or two with some nice special effects and decent game play. To that end, it might be in our interests to sort of form the competitions around a particular game, or set of games - and to carry on work on that game through the various competitions and collaborations until it is completed. Again, this doesn't have to be the next big MMORPG, just something with a little more polish and thought than our normal attempts.

It might also be good to create a set of base classes like a framework that we can reuse as we move forward. Each game obviously will need to have it's own unique implementations, but that's no reason we couldn't make a few general things that kind of define the game structure we've come to know and love. gameObject, various controllers, gameState, and renderers come to mind right off the bat. Data serializers, Persistence Modules, and a NetworkInterfaceObject would also be pretty useful.

And, if we manage to tackle those and are doing well, we could add support for a separate set of framework classes based on an Entity Component System. I'm still working on getting my head around all the nuances of that!

Anywho's, just my thoughts. Feel welcome to chime in with anything that might come to mind!


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

We've been doing this competition thing for a while now. We're on #14. That's pretty good! But I can't help shake the feeling, especially after the last one, that they're not providing the motivation or the framework needed to make a difference for those of us wanting to participate.

I originally came here to post some possible dates for Competition #14, and I'm happy to go ahead and get that on the calendar, but I wonder if anybody has any thoughts on how we might change the competitions to make them more valuable for us.

I think every team that signed up last time ended up dropping off the face of the earth before the end of the competition. Some of us never really even got started.

I feel like there's got to be a better way to motivate us, though I'm not quite sure how yet.

Any ideas?

RB,

Sorry to hear about the delays. I would ask how far along towards completion you think you are/how long to go, but I guess that goes against your current model of thinking. Tried to catch you on chat a while back but it didn't work. Back when PiscesMike was trying to get an impromptu Game Jam started. I just don't use Discord that much.

If you get to the point where you are ready for some testing, message me and I'll be happy to help.

I've been working on Xbox One integration of Tunnel Lords, although the work has been pretty slow due to not committing a lot of time. Documentation for MonoGame on the Xbox isn't great either, so research/trial and error consume a lot of my time.

I made a commit to fix some typos in the MonoGame framework that got accepted. It was enjoyable to payback some help to MonoGame even if it was an insignificant addition. Now that I know the flow for branching and making pull requests (I've become fairly fluent with Git through other projects I've been working on) perhaps some more help will flow eventually.

-Brett

Re: What happened? by Brett208Brett208, 24 Feb 2018 22:52
misslolab (guest) 21 Feb 2018 05:48
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Hello World - Your First C# Program

I had this problem too. However I'm guessing that under the templates tab you choose .NET and there you will see console project. Hope that helps.

by misslolab (guest), 21 Feb 2018 05:48

Well I feel bad. I didn't realize this thread existed until just today. It has now been 6+ weeks since the competition ended, and I've started to forget some of the reasons why things sorta fell apart for me, though I do like the idea of us posting here about what happened.

In early December, work got extremely busy. I had actually been making pretty decent progress on my game. Our customer was threatening to call it quits, and so we were in a mad scramble to try to deliver the features they needed so they'd be happy. In retrospect, it would now seem like they had ran out of funding themselves, and were mostly just trying to pin the blame on us.

I could have and should have picked things back up in the second half of the month, when I had some time off. PiscesMike was ready to join me. I had lost momentum though, and never got going again.

It is yet another reminder that (for me at least) my goals need to be more about the process or the system that I'm working on to achieve whatever goals I have, rather than trying to complete some specific project by some specific date, since there's just way too much variability. Had I just worked on my game for 25 minutes a day (a goal for myself, once upon a time) I wouldn't have lost all momentum, and I likely would have continued. It's hard not to make some progress when you're forced to spend at least a bit of time every day on it.

I think the second thing that plays into my problems was that I began to realize just how big in scope the game was. This is the millionth time (in a million attempts) where I've ran into that exact problem. It seems to have an undue effect on me where when I realize it's going to be a while before I finish, it also hurts my motivation.

I think those were the two biggest reasons from my perspective. I'm frustrated that it seems like my phone has decided to quit telling me when I get emails. I rely on it doing that. Not sure if I messed up the settings or something, but I don't think I've seen it tell me I've got a new email in at least several weeks.

Re: What happened? by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 19 Feb 2018 02:23

I worked through part of the competition. No one else was posting, so I didn't have any motivation to continue posting. Also, my work was plagued with a lot of setbacks and my time working on Tunnel Lords was lighter than in past competitions for various reasons.

-Brett

Re: What happened? by Brett208Brett208, 27 Jan 2018 07:01

Unsure if anyone is really reading these threads or cares but I'll share anyways…

I've learned that MonoGame projects for Windows seem to be built on Windows Forms. Windows Forms do not have a method to lock the screen in portrait or landscape mode. So, if you play the game on a 2 in 1 laptop, you have to allow the user to rotate the screen when they change to tablet mode. I haven't looked into it yet, but a viable alternative would be to pause the game and throw up a dialog box saying to rotate the screen back into landscape mode. I have not researched if there is a way for Windows Forms to determine when the screen is rotated. I could probably live with this anyways because if you buy it on your laptop and it doesn't do well in tablet mode, you can always switch back.

A bigger frustration I'm dealing with is that if you want to compile your game for use with UWP/Windows 10 store, you are required to allow the user to resize the screen. I had planned on disabling this feature, forcing the user to resize the game in the options menu.

As a workaround, I looked into handling dynamic resizing of the screen. There is an event in UWP called Window.Current.CoreWindow.SizeChanged that fires whenever someone starts resizing their screen. However, when I call MonoGame's GraphicsDeviceManager.ApplyChanges, the application crashes. Something inside of SharpDX which I currently don't have loaded in my debugger.

I think there may be some other ways to detect the resize from UWP and perhaps I could get it to work without crashing. Or I could try to dig into what the issue in SharpDX is. However, I'm starting to think it might be prudent to abandon the Windows Store PC & Tablet release of the game for now. There have just been too many obstacles.

I would like to research UWP on Xbox One and see how viable it looks for Tunnel Lords. Resolution changes, rotating the screen, and full screen vs windowed are just not problems on a TV screen.

The sticking point is that I've spent a lot of time refining the touch screen and mouse code. Buttons are integrated into the menus as needed and the game allows intuitive fallback between the different input sources (touch, controller, mouse, and keyboard). I've solved all the known input bugs in the game and it actually plays fine in Mouse/Touch. So, abandoning the Windows Store PC & Tablet release would mean that work sort of goes to waste.

-Brett

Re: Tunnel Lords by Brett208Brett208, 27 Jan 2018 06:59

I'll go first, I had a huge mix of getting a Virtual Reality Headset (HTC VIVE) for chirstmas, and traveling, and work all piled on top of eachother. I never ended up combining my code I made during the collab with my game.

Re: What happened? by SwatacularSwatacular, 25 Jan 2018 22:23
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