Monthly Archives: April 2013

2 posts

How much can you ever really know?

The problem with the internet is that its so incredibly HUGE, with so much information, that I often get the feeling that my own knowledge of… well stuff… is really incredibly limited. Young people nowadays are encouraged to “not really know stuff, but to know how to find stuff”. I think this must be very frustrating and yet I don’t think they really know anything else!
With making a game, I am struck by how much there is to learn, and how much I will really NEVER know or understand. Heres a quick list of things that I know exist, but really know nothing about!!! Anyone who can concisely fill me in to anything here please comment below.
IK Inverse kinematics. I knw it has something to do with moving characters, and that if you move one bit others follow, but then what is FK Forward Kinematics? Quaterian.. something to do with degrees or turning? Calls How er.. often a computer is er… used? Draw Calls?, er graphics card er… calls? Shaders Materials and Textures I know what texture is, but materials verses Shaders… not really… Materials are how something appears textures and bumps and specular maps etc, and Shaders… er well… something to do with them… like on a higher level?
OK, the list can go on forever…
In music its the same, one of the reasons I like staying with hardware loopers, is that over time I learn more and more, until I really begin to get to grips with obscure features, although the EDP is so deep Im still finding out new things all the time. With Software, and this is the same in graphics programs too, there is always the latest update, new features, so if the software is YOUR instrument, it can be incredibly frustrating… imagine learning the violin for 20 years, then someone comes along and say, now you can blow into it, and there’s new scales… its like you never knew how to play it!
I have NEVER really specialised in anything, Ive always been interested in many things, never become a GREAT guitarist, you know… with an acoustic guitar.. never been a REALLY GREAT film-maker, never really become brilliant at 3D modelling, or graphics… I guess Im pretty good at a few programs, Final Cut Pro for example… I think Im very good at composing music, using a variety of programs badly… But I really think its very important to LEARN stuff.. not just follow tutorials, and then think “My work is done!” Doing things the second time round is always very rewarding, because you finally begin to recognise what you do know.
I think its totally stupid of teachers to use computers so much, they have some personal knowledge and have done some things many times, they are the perfect vehicles for moving that information from themselves to the kids, a computer just lets the kids be engaged in the subject, but only as long as they are actually doing it… The brain needs to “play” with the ideas, and the information, the hands needs to work with things, the eyes need to look around and gather their own information and the ears need to listen to fragments of information from everywhere and compare it with what the brain has stored… to make its own connections and bridges of understanding.
When I started going to London, I took the Tube everywhere, I had no idea of the distances between stops, then one day I walked from Covent Garden to Leicester Square and discovered that it too 10 minutes! From then on I walked everywhere. And now I can FEEL my way from one place to another, even new places, because my sense of direction was improved.


How much can you ever really know?
I think I know more than the internet actually!

So there!

Making a game is like playing a game.

The more I think about the process of making a computer game, the more I think that its like actually playing a game!
A game like World of Warcraft, with quests and sub quests, involves receiving some instructions, and going off to find the solution. Before you know it, you realise that you dont have the right sword, or magic spell, so you must take some other quests to build XP, or gain some knowledge, these mini quests involve getting some more stuff, take you to new places, where there are new quests, that need new items to succeed, and you easily lose track of the original main quest you embarked on.

Right now, for instance, after having build a lot of content, a village, a cabin in the woods, a hospital, a church, a research Station, both interiors and exteriors, I have finally begun to stitch them together in game-play.
I start with the intro sequence, important for me because after a short film, the user should press a button and actually join the game, so the intro is like the game launcher. However, the intro sequence needs weather and lighting, so I need to figure out some stuff. I discover that these effects are best held by the main camera, but if I’m cutting together cameras into a sequence to create a “filmic” edit, I must add these effects to all the cameras in the scene, or else one camera angle will not have the required visual effects (fog, leaves blowing, darkness) This is a lot of work, so now Im thinking about making the camera angles and movement animations with dummy cameras, then using their positions as “pointers” that the Main Camera (the one with all the shit on it) will “snap” to. Now THIS MEANS, that I must finish my weather system. This is a bought system, so its not too much work, but due to updates and errors, needs some fixing. THEN I must figure out this camera following thing, then the order that things load after that.

Right now Im having lots of problems with fog just disappearing after a few seconds, I think I need to completely delete the system and rebuild it… to I’m wondering if I can just copy all models into a new clean scene without any programming, and start again…

But this is like a HUGE multi-player WoW Raid, and need to set aside 5 hours uninterrupted to do it…

And thats never gonna happen!