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design. prog. dump.

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[Jan. 1st, 2008|03:41 am]
design. prog. dump.

designprogdump

[mad_and_crazy]
I haven't posted anything here in awhile, so here's a links dump.

Coherant stylized silhouettes. I think that a lot of NPR renderers miss this interesting idea - having painterly silhouettes, such as cacti with spikes or hair on a teddy bear, and then having it behave in a "coherant" manner under rotation and translation. I would be happy if I could believe that this extended well to video games, but it's a good example of a problem that somebody, somewhere, should tackle.

Variance Shadow Maps - a.k.a. a really cool application of the theory of probability and statistics (specifically: random variables.)

Interacting with the Windows clipboard. Something that I have been told off about in my own work is that my applications (i.e. my in-game text editor) don't behave in a manner that is entirely consistent with the operating system that they run under. In this particular case, the bitching is coming from egometry who is invited to justify *why* this is important in a comment to this post. I guess this is one of those things that a lot of people just don't take the time to do right.

Charles Bloom notes:

I think one of the big mistakes people in game dev make is they put their best programmers on core engine technology, like rendering or networking, etc. Yes, that stuff is important, but once it's reasonably good, the user can't really feel the difference between good and great renderer programming. On the other hand, things like controls, camera, motion, input, latency, animation, these things provide direct feedback to the play experience, and even small improvements can make a big difference in the sensation of quality. Those are the things that really make a game feel polished and good, that make it like a Nintendo or Naughty Dog game - clean, responsive, pleasant to interface with.

Engine coding is fun because the technology is challenging, the algorithms are interesting. It's frustrating because an engine in itself doesn't show up on the screen - you need people to use it well, which rarely happens. Gameplay coding is fun because you can do features all alone and get cool results in the actual game. Gameplay coding is frustrating because you do 3 features that are cut for every 1 that's used, and you have to spend tons of time polishing silly little features and eventualities that the player will never notice.
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