Submitted by Jon Merkle on Mon, 12/17/2012 - 13:14
The phrase "decision making" in the context of video games often has to do with story. A player's choice may save or condemn an NPC, please one faction over another, or even destroy a location. But these choices are premade; they're presented at a certain point with a defined set of outcomes. I find that more than these scripted sequences, emergent decision making (the kind that can't be planned by the designers) holds far more weight and is far more memorable.
So over the past couple of weeks I've been playing games on iOS, mainly free ones, and it got me thinking about the in app purchase (IAP from here on) thing that's become so common lately.
On one hand I think it's useful. Players can preview apps before throwing money at it, but more often than not, it seems like the free versions are so incomplete, they make me wonder why the developers bothered making them in the first place. In my mind, IAPs would ideally be used to support the player's experience, but fun should not be a slave to microtransactions.
Heavy topic for my first post! It's a bit rambly, bear with me.
It's been an interesting couple of years in the gaming community. Reports of sexism against women in games, whether they're developers or just fans, have been on the rise, and it's a mix of increased awareness as more women and other minorities speak out with more avenues to do so thanks to the internet (NSFW warning: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/), and greater backlash as others push back.
My first contact with C++ was in 1988 when I was implementing a compiler for a custom bit-sliced microcode computer. At first I was awed by the bells and whistles of this shiny new language. However, once the honeymoon was over I felt that C++ was going the wrong direction. (In contrast, I consider languages like Scheme, Haskell, Python, or Ruby more "correct" in terms of their alignment with thinking about algorithms and computing in general.)
Submitted by Jon Merkle on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 14:03
Having worked on numerous projects in Unity3D, one issue that's come up time and again is the choice of user interface systems. On paper, Unity has a default UI system (the built-in GUI classes), but certain problems and issues with scaling make another, more DIY system seem attractive from time to time. I am referring to doing the UI in 3D space rather than 2D space.
Today's tidbit -- dropping in the Google sparse_hash_map data type. sparse_hash_map is a fairly efficient (fast and low memory usage) map. The below code counts the unique lines found in the standard input.
Today's code tidbit -- counting unique lines of text using C++.
The program will read from standard input, and output a list of unique lines, each preceded by the times that line appeared in the input. Just a tidbit, here. This example is not very robust and could be extended in all sorts of ways.