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Messages - TheBitPriest

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@TheBitPriest - I like your thinking. Saying that, if we were going to have a mix of broad themes and specific challenges, why don’t we let the topic setter be the one to decide each week whether or not (or how strictly) to have a ‘original art only’ rule?

I think that could work. However, the reason I suggested alternating between broad themes and specific challenges was:

1. Participants could anticipate the scope of the contest ("June is here in a week... I can expect a broad theme. I'm in!")
2. The contest wouldn't be weighted too heavily in one direction or the other.

Many good ideas...

What if we did something like this: Intentionally vague, broad topics on even months and specific gameplay/story challenges on odd months.
Broad topics would restricted to newly created art assets, while gameplay/story challenges would allow preexisting backgrounds and animations.

For example, in December the theme may be "Any game about winter or holiday," while in January it would be "A game with multiple player characters that have different strengths who work together to solve a mystery."

If you tend to like stories or interesting gameplay challenges, you know that every other month, MAGS is your place to shine.  If you prefer more freedom in game design, but like to paint and animate, you know when to set aside some time for a MAGS.

So, it would still be *M*AGS (occurring monthly), people would be able to anticipate the scope of the project based on the month, and game makers with different strengths would know when to participate.

For some people, it would be an every-other-month event. Others may still like to participate in them all.

Plus, we could try it then reevaluate... It doesn't really change the contest very much.

What do you think?

On the one hand, MAGS has some issues:
  • The allotted time can be a problem (only one month)
  • Timing can be a problem (being ready to start at the beginning of the month)
  • The challenge of creating all assets from scratch can be tough if you lack skill in either backgrounds or animation.
On the other hand, these issues have some benefits:
  • The need to do a game in a month requires the developer to narrow the focus.
  • The start times are very predicable.
  • Gathering assets outside of your skill set fosters teamwork.
  • Requiring original assets results in original games.
But still... a few ideas to pick from... I wouldn't imagine implementing all four of those changes.  Just continuing the discussion...

  • Add categories to the voting system, instead of finding one winner (best original art, best animation, best game, etc.)
  • Allow RON or other freely available assets, but categorize the game as such (best gameplay, best original art, and so forth), or let the "market" decide (if it's the best game ever made with Sam and Max since Sam and Max, then fine, otherwise mega-down-vote for making another Sam and Max game).
  • Announce the topic one month earlier allowing one month for design and one month for implementation.   
  • Allow all of the winners between the months of X and Y - 1 to plan the 11 game topics from Y + 1 to X' for the next year.  Announce all of the topics in month Y, giving people the freedom to pick a month that they want to join and plan for it (take a week off, gather a team, sketch a few thumbnails, practice a new skill ... but no actual game code or assets). With this idea we should keep the "all original" restriction.

I have not gone to it in years, but there were always recruiters at GDC. http://www.gdconf.com/  ...an army of recruiters, really, doing live interviews. 

Other than that, go straight to the game company websites. You'll have better luck. (How about this?  https://telltale.com/jobs/job/obsW6fwp)

Sometimes, you have to dig around to find the studio's corporate site (Like this one: https://jobs.zenimax.com/search). 

Some of the positions are entry-level (i.e. needing programming experience, but not 5+ years of game industry experience):
https://jobs.zenimax.com/requisitions/view/1784 (desired skill: "Ability to fearlessly jump into large, existing code bases" <- That's you!)

Congratulations to all!

It’s perfect for our game! Fantastic!

Congrats! Do I need to play the first Cpt. Disaster game first?

In a way, this is the first Captain Disaster game. It just took a little longer! There’s one reference to The Dark Side of the Moon in Act 3 (maybe two).

You should give The Dark Side of the Moon a spin. It’s clever, but there’s no need to play it first.

Thanks all! As I said on the GIP thread, it was a wild ride.

Some day, we'll write up a good post-mortem. We had at least as much drama in our real lives as the game itself!

Stone Spring Studios is the name I gave to an umbrella company for my game development efforts. :-D

No big deal...

But what IS a big deal is that the final distributable was just sent to CaptainD! I sincerely hope everyone enjoys the game!

It's been a wild ride! Dave and I have designed/redesigned, set a course/reversed that course, engaged/disengaged, formed an away team, beamed down to the planet, lost a few ensign, decided it was a wasted trip, apologized to their families, sent flowers... all of it, over and over again.

The end result may not be perfect, but we truly hope that the players will be entertained! 

CaptainD has done a fantastic job coordinating the voice acting for our game, and he has also really grown as an actor along the way.

Just a note: These screens are already out of date. 8-) We're making daily progress as we go back through, polish screens, update dialog, delete scenes, etc.  It's coming together.  It's been an honor to work alongside some of AGS's most talented artists. 

We have held back revealing much of Act III (hence the development silence), but we can reveal that towards the end we double-down on retro.

Double. Down.

It's meta-apple-II-tastic!

Just adding the current missing feature that was bugging me today.

* Built-in debugger

* Lack of some common debugging features such as "watch variable"

Editor Development / Command Line Tools
« on: 13 Jul 2015, 13:26 »
I know I've seen the idea of breaking up AGS into command line tools given at least a passing reference in the past, but has anyone ever made a serious attempt to do this?  ...decoupling the editor from the compiler/linker, and so on?  I think the advantages are obvious (and have been discussed: automated builds, editor independence, all leading to easier-to-implement cross platform development environments, and so on).  Has anyone gone beyond the conception stage with this idea?

General Discussion / Re: What to do about Greece?
« on: 06 Jul 2015, 00:07 »
I appreciated this self described user-friendly chart of the US debt situation.  I wonder what Greek's chart would look like using this same format?

I thought blurred time and confusion were side-effects of the death ray. . .

I can see the truth now, monkey424.  Thank you.

Thanks for starting this thread, monkey424.  I've enjoyed reading it in that I find myself intrigued by conspiracy theories.  I appreciate their creativity.  This one is unique. 

Just a few thoughts from personal experience: 

I think 9/11 is a little less mysterious to those who were close to it all.  I had family that was there.  They saw it happen.  I was in the DC area.  I lived in NYC a few years later, worked with people who lost family, listened to their stories... Some of them were convinced that it was a conspiracy, but none of them doubted that the towers were hit by planes.  A few people held the idea of controlled demolitions, but after awhile, even they changed their minds under the weight of the data.

One of the problems with the government conspiracy theories is that they are far too elaborate.  The US government is just not that organized.  I grew up around it, worked in and around it... it's generally not that interesting.  Fiction is much better than reality.  I even have a friend who worked on the NIST fire report.  I might see him this weekend.  I'll see what he thinks about the videos.

The buildings were hit by planes. They collapsed under the weight of falling concrete after the bonzo-hot, fuel-driven fire destroyed the support at the impact.  They were crazy-huge buildings.  Lots of paper on every other floor, far, far from the fire.  They were so big that you would fall backwards from dizziness when you tried to see the top from the sidewalk below.  That's tons and tons of weight.  I've never stopped to calculate the mass required to tip them, but it would take way more than a plane.  The collapse created much collateral damage.  It was sad and shocking.  That's all. 

What may have been the most shocking thing about 9/11 is that the general public did indeed think that the government was more organized, omniscient, and so forth.  But those who have worked in and around it weren't too surprised.  It's the government. 

This is a link to the latest version of one of my projects from when I was a Software Engineer in the DC contracting world.  Nothing secret about it.  http://www.necam.com/Biometrics/doc.cfm?t=IntegraID 

The point is this:  I was surprised to learn that one of the major topics at the NEC Internet conference (advertised on that page), even one of the hopeful purposes of the software, was to develop standards so that agencies could communicate... because... they didn't.  This was the late 90s.  It wasn't surprising to hear the reports about 9/11 and how the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, local law enforcement, etc., etc., did not see it coming because no one talks to each other.  Silos.  All of them.  Agencies compete.  It's no secret.   There's no cabal.  They talk more now, but they definitely didn't communicate before 9/11.  About the best ground for conspiracy is the links when heads of governments get together for golf.  Now even the POTUS is getting snubbed...  Is he still a functionary of the one world government?   

I know that what I've described does not speak to this particular theory, but they all have similarities.  Plus, this is an adventure game forum, and these theories are (not trying to offend anyone by saying this... just IMHO...), very well-spun stories.  Fertile ground for SciFi like LOST, X-Files, Fringe -- in other words, there's a game here somewhere!  Thanks for sharing!  Bonus points for the first game dealing with the backstory of the building-destroying-super-death-ray.  Fringe gave it a good treatment in season four. 

Oh, and on Flight 93, just yesterday I was in the home of a person who had jet fuel dumped on their farm as it flew over their house.  So... no holograms there.  Unless it's more like STTNG replicator technology. ...which has yet to be ruled out... 

...and, Mandle, that's another fantastic idea for a story. Even OBL was trying to clear his name... Maybe so? 

This just popped up on my Google feed, and I logged in to see if anyone else had a thought.  You zeroed in on the part that caught my attention!  So... More verbs?  Less story?  From the master himself?  It will be worth waiting to see what he produces.  If anyone has the clout to make the claim and take the risk, it's The Ron Gilbert himself!

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