"Aquaria-Like" Mouse Leading Possible?

New releases and general discussions.

Post » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:45 pm

One thing to consider is that some people may not fully understand how a percentage works for this.
Since its Christmas time, and we will all be checking out those after Christmas sales lets look at how percentages apply to sales!

All right its the first day after Christmas, and in one particular store everything is 75% off.
To figure out the price of a $20 item we would multiply 20 x 75%. Ok thats fine, but what if you dont have a calculator? Well we have to remember that a percentage is always based on 100, as in 100% is full price, for one item. If you were set that equation up you could just say 20 x 1, since we're paying full price. Now if you think about that all we really did was move the decimal up two spaces, IE 20 x 1.00. With that in mind if we were to take our sale percentage, 75%, and move the decimal up two spaces we get .75, or 0.75 for Construct. We can then take our original price, 20, and multiply that times 0.75, and get 15. So we can now say 75% off of $20 is $5. If you wanted to check that in you head real quick you could say half of half. Half of 100 is 50, and half of 50 is 25, and 100 minus 25 is....75... sooooo half of 20 is 10, and half of 10 is 5. Simple ehh?

Now that we know that all we have to do is change the decimal, we can now easily figure out what the price will be on the second day when the sale price goes to 80%
20 x 0.8 =?
Anyway if you wanted to set that up in a lerp we would say lerp(0, 20,0.8).
Zero for a since thats the lowest price we can get in a sale. 20 for b, since thats the original price, and 0.6 for our current percentage. That gives us what we want to take off of our price.
But if you wanted to get the exact price we would change that to lerp(20,0,0.8)

Edit: fixed the top part...derr, Im a dumbass sometimes
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Post » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:22 pm

Thank you all for these really excellent comments and examples. I know math is behind everything to do with sophisticated game behaviour - I just think it should work "behind the scenes" - part of what makes a thing work, but not requiring the user to implement it directly.

And, forgive me for saying so, since Construct is being aimed, primarily, at the non-coding user, I think ultimately things would be better off being given a visual counterpart, a visual method of establishing and adjusting this type of behaviour.

Really, in the example I cited, a spring that is not very springy, (which has an adjustable springiness value) would seem to do the trick, with a couple of mouse clicks and and a slider adjustment.

But I don't expect the Construct developers to make things this simple - just pointing out that it would be very nice if they did.

Psmith
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:14 am

[quote="Psmith":hqkxcuir] I just think it should work "behind the scenes" - part of what makes a thing work, but not requiring the user to implement it directly.
[/quote:hqkxcuir]

The thing is, Construct is practically as simple as it gets, math wise. The math is already simplified with expressions like anglediff and so on and so forth.

[quote="Psmith":hqkxcuir]And, forgive me for saying so, since Construct is being aimed, primarily, at the non-coding user, I think ultimately things would be better off being given a visual counterpart, a visual method of establishing and adjusting this type of behaviour.[/quote:hqkxcuir]

It would be impossible to make everything have a visual counterpart or behavior. You can't expect to make anything you want without making a bit of an effort to look into mathy side of things. This is game development, and math shall forever be intertwined with it. Construct is aimed at the non-coding user, but non-coding does not mean non-math or non-logic.
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:59 am

[quote="Davioware":3k4zkw76]This is game development, and math shall forever be intertwined with it. Construct is aimed at the non-coding user, but non-coding does not mean non-math or non-logic.[/quote:3k4zkw76]

I couldn't have said it more plainly myself.



And now for a long-winded wall of text:

Of course, it is possible to make an entire game out of just behaviors and simple events like "Enemy.Count = 0 -> Show 'You Win!'". But anything more complex is going to need a knowledge of math and logic no matter what game creation system you're using. Having a visual representation of every object property, event command, and math function available would be extremely cumbersome, bloated, and inefficient.

It's not too hard to say "hmm... a speed of 800 is too high for my enemy, I'll type in 400 instead." And it's not to much of a leap from that to say "I want my enemy to slow down the closer it gets to my player, I bet lerp() would be useful here."

And how would one visually represent such a thing in an event-creation environment? The concept is much too abstract. To specify it in visual terms you would need a special visual representation prepared in the event editor to cover the situation should it ever happen to arise in the course of someone clicking together their game.

And unless you want to limit the power of Construct to a pre-defined, set number of conditions and actions, you would have to anticipate every possibility that someone might need when creating their game and hard-code a visual representation for each possibility into the event editor, which would pretty much be impossible.

The way it's set up now with the code-like expressions and math functions you can literally create ANY kind of 2D game you can think of, as long as you have the skill. Going visual-only would severely limit the power of Construct and pretty much cripple it to the point where it would be just a simple editor for a handful of game types.

Sure, you could plug in your own graphics and sound and whatever, but each game you make would pretty much resemble the last, and they would all be severely lacking any personality. You'd have a cookie cutter that can make a dozen shapes, but all of your cookies will still pretty much still taste the same. Want sprinkles on your cookies? Sorry, sprinkles aren't available because if we include sprinkles, then we'd have to include nuts and raisins and M&Ms and all this other stuff that's just too much work to put in.

Whereas the event system in Construct currently lets you make your own sprinkles because the abstract nature of code-like language allows for a huge amount of flexibility. Hell, you don't even have to make cookies. You could make mashed potatoes if you wanted.

So yes, you can make simple click-together games with Construct. But unless you put in the time and effort to learn what making a good game requires, then don't expect to be making very impressive games. That doesn't just go for Construct... that goes for every game creation tool out there. There is no 100% visually oriented game creation tool out there (with any real power) because it just can't be done.

At least not without intelligent computers that can understand your intentions rather than just your explicit commands, but that's a loooong way off :P
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:35 am

Dead Eye:

We have had some of this discussion before, maybe not in its entirety, but at least partially. I feel there is nearly no need to do it again. So, I'll just mention a few of my observations.

People who write applications seem to be obsessed with allowing for EVERY possibility to take place, whether or not it ever will NEED to, and that is O.K. Unless you are trying to make a specific application for a specific group of people. In fact, I'll take my observation further: the same sorts of people find it difficult to even make an application for a specific group of people, (what about the ones we are leaving out?). In essence, you guys, (for lack of a better term), write applications for yourselves.

I hear, on all the game forums I visit, over and over again the phrase "cookie cutter code" or "cookie cutter behaviours" put forth in a negative manner. I've said it there, and I'll say it here: there is nothing whatsoever wrong with cookie cutter code or behaviours - in fact, the more of them there are, the better OUR world will be.

You put enough and varied kinds of Lego blocks together and you can make a replica of nearly any kind of manufacturing facility. And, you don't need to know a stitch of math to do it - mostly things are put together in these ways by trial and error. Some of the best machines produced during the Industrial Revolution were produced by men with little theoretical or even working knowledge of advanced mathematical principles. Many were farmers, laborers and uneducated men.

And what are games if not just a kind of SEEMINGLY complicated machine. It appears the game is making decisions, but it is not - everything is running according to some sort of predefined process - processes made up of a number of very similar "gates" and junctions and switches. Run them all together and it looks complicated - but everything can be broken down into very elementary functions.

I believe I mentioned this application before, but some years ago there existed a 3D interactive "sandbox" called AxelEdge, by MindAvenue. It's approach to "games" was almost entirely visual, and even the "decision making" part of the toolset was visual in nature - 2 and 3 way switches and so forth. It didn't have every tool or component, but the ones it did have allowed for hundreds of thousands of eventualities.

Incredibly entertaining 3D experiences were being produced without any real physics or "coding" at all. It was great fun to use and a great loss when their company sold out. There were so many things you could make just by connecting things together - like an advanced set of Legos. Realistic springs, hinges, fasteners, rotators could be "physically" connected together to produce interesting and engaging results - and very quickly, indeed.

If you broke down the number of behaviours and events and processes contained in the best of all the existing "video games", you would find that they all make use of "cookie cutter code", or, at least they could - so similar are the things you see and experience in these games. You can write out the algorithms for these games in simple sentences of plain English. In fact, most of them are very linear in description. There is no magic going on at all.

Psmith
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:04 am

Hmm, no, see, while I and I imagine everyone else would like more behaviors and objects. What you're asking for is practically a "make me a game" button, and it just isn't that simple.

[quote:y21tqve8]People who write applications seem to be obsessed with allowing for EVERY possibility to take place, whether or not it ever will NEED to, and that is O.K. Unless you are trying to make a specific application for a specific group of people. In fact, I'll take my observation further: the same sorts of people find it difficult to even make an application for a specific group of people, (what about the ones we are leaving out?). In essence, you guys, (for lack of a better term), write applications for yourselves.[/quote:y21tqve8]

You're wrong. If Adobe had only produced Photoshop way back at the beginning, just for the use of photo retouching and prevented people like myself from being the earliest ones to use it as an actual painting tool and not just a retouching tool. Then things would be very different now. If the 3D applications only allowed basic primitives "because nobody would need to do anything more complicated than that", things would be very, very different.

And if Bill Gates had stuck to his "People will never need more than 640k" well.. none of us would be here now having this conversation, we'd be sat in front of DOS attempting to dial up a BBS.

My point is, not I or you or anyone else can possibly ever put a limit on what can be done with an open application. Just because you haven't thought of it, doesn't mean it can't happen.

[quote:y21tqve8]I hear, on all the game forums I visit, over and over again the phrase "cookie cutter code" or "cookie cutter behaviours" put forth in a negative manner. I've said it there, and I'll say it here: there is nothing whatsoever wrong with cookie cutter code or behaviours - in fact, the more of them there are, the better OUR world will be.[/quote:y21tqve8]

Cookie Cutter anything is bad. Just look at the pile of shite that gets churned out of that Poser Application on a daily basis. Everything looks, acts, behaves exactly the same. There's no creativity involved, no thinking outside the box. Just the same old tired model looking off with a blank stare into space and being lit badly while dressed in the same clothes all the other models from everyone else wear.. It's like bad porn!

Cookie Cutter anything - breeds laziness. Yes more objects would be nice, but you do realize that by making an object, behavior, effect or whatever for EVERYTHING that's possible, going to be possible or should be possible. You're pretty much making a scripting language with pictures instead of words. So really in the end you've achieved nothing except a much larger development time, a greater overhead, and a whole new set of problems that are very similar to the old ones.

[quote:y21tqve8]
You put enough and varied kinds of Lego blocks together and you can make a replica of nearly any kind of manufacturing facility. [/quote:y21tqve8]

But.. what if I didn't want to use Lego blocks? If everything is already predefined and cookie cutter. Then that limits me creatively. And I can dress it up however I want, but it's still the same Lego blocks you used.

[quote:y21tqve8]And, you don't need to know a stitch of math to do it - mostly things are put together in these ways by trial and error. Some of the best machines produced during the Industrial Revolution were produced by men with little theoretical or even working knowledge of advanced mathematical principles. Many were farmers, laborers and uneducated men.[/quote:y21tqve8]

Actually you DO need to know math to do that. You might not realize you're using mathematics, but you are.

[quote:y21tqve8]And what are games if not just a kind of SEEMINGLY complicated machine. It appears the game is making decisions, but it is not - everything is running according to some sort of predefined process - processes made up of a number of very similar "gates" and junctions and switches. Run them all together and it looks complicated - but everything can be broken down into very elementary functions.[/quote:y21tqve8]

Well you can say the same about the human brain, at it's essence it's not very complicated at all. But there's a bloody big difference between Manic Miner and the human brain! :)

[quote:y21tqve8]I believe I mentioned this application before, but some years ago there existed a 3D interactive "sandbox" called AxelEdge, by MindAvenue. It's approach to "games" was almost entirely visual, and even the "decision making" part of the toolset was visual in nature - 2 and 3 way switches and so forth. It didn't have every tool or component, but the ones it did have allowed for hundreds of thousands of eventualities.[/quote:y21tqve8]

From a review:
The mostly scriptless interface makes Axel Edge very easy and flexible to use in terms of building projects. For game developers, however, it's also its biggest drawback. The lack of any user-definable data structures means there are no variables, no dynamic or user-entry text capabilities, and no internal tools to query server-side data. Therefore, common game functions such as scorekeeping can't be accomplished practically with Axel. The built-in sensors and reactions address most of the basic tasks for projects such as an interactive product demonstration, and the basic scripting interface does allow for some customization, but they fall short for creating games of any serious depth.

[quote:y21tqve8]Incredibly entertaining 3D experiences were being produced without any real physics or "coding" at all. It was great fun to use and a great loss when their company sold out. There were so many things you could make just by connecting things together - like an advanced set of Legos. Realistic springs, hinges, fasteners, rotators could be "physically" connected together to produce interesting and engaging results - and very quickly, indeed.[/quote:y21tqve8]

You keep mentioning Lego, maybe you'd be happier with those Lego building applications? ;)

[quote:y21tqve8]If you broke down the number of behaviours and events and processes contained in the best of all the existing "video games", you would find that they all make use of "cookie cutter code", or, at least they could - so similar are the things you see and experience in these games. You can write out the algorithms for these games in simple sentences of plain English. In fact, most of them are very linear in description. There is no magic going on at all.
[/quote:y21tqve8]

Don't really need behaviors at all for them then if they're so simple. :P
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:16 am

Imagine . . . a game without scores. Who would ever play?

Psmith
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:24 am

Lost Your Keys:

You probably have never tried Poser yourself or you would know that you can rig and animate absolutely anything with this wonderful application. I've made many custom characters completely externally to the application, (which it was designed from the beginning to allow), none of them "human" and the rigging tools are superb, its animation interface is quick, simple and intuitive to use. It does what it was designed to do for the audience it was designed to appeal to, very well indeed.

If it is an example of "cookie cutter" something, then it is a fantastic one.

You can produce shite with it, however, if you are so inclined.

Psmith
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:31 am

Hilarious.
Psmith will never end his crusade. Everyone must lower their intelligence and skills to suit his needs.
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:01 am

[quote="Psmith":75qxgr26]And what are games if not just a kind of SEEMINGLY complicated machine. It appears the game is making decisions, but it is not - everything is running according to some sort of predefined process - processes made up of a number of very similar "gates" and junctions and switches. Run them all together and it looks complicated - but everything can be broken down into very elementary functions.[/quote:75qxgr26]

Well, you can say this about computers, or as Lost my keys pointed out, the human brain. Yes, games run on predefined processes and logic gates. That's what the event system is, a system of elementary processes and logic gates. Any further simplification of these logic gates would hinder their power and flexibility.

[quote="Psmith":75qxgr26]If you broke down the number of behaviours and events and processes contained in the best of all the existing "video games", you would find that they all make use of "cookie cutter code", or, at least they could - so similar are the things you see and experience in these games. You can write out the algorithms for these games in simple sentences of plain English. In fact, most of them are very linear in description.[/quote:75qxgr26]

I see you have never been in the nitty gritty of developing an original game. Sure, a lot of basic ideas are the same among game genres. But say you wanted to break away from the genres, and create a new one. Where would the cookie-cutter code come in handy?

Psmith, the creation of new game mechanics and complete control over what goes on in your game will, and has always relied on math. There just isn't a simple, or feasible way of cookiefying every possibility. Polish and originality in games doesn't come from predefined behaviors, but from tiny sparks of experimentation (not possible without math) which add that extra something to a games core mechanics or appearance.

Try telling a math teacher to do his job without talking about numbers. Sure, he can beat around the bush all he wants with clever pictures and metaphors, but when it comes to the test, kids won't have a clue what sin does.

I'm sorry, but for serious game development some openness to math is a definite requirement. Numbers do not mix well with pictures or words; that's why they're numbers. A lot of things are possible to do without math, and a lot of things aren't possible without it.

[quote="Psmith":75qxgr26]There is no magic going on at all.[/quote:75qxgr26]

Of course not, but there is a lot of math and hard work which goes into building something from scratch. There was no magic going on when da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, just brush strokes on a canvas. And that's what Construct is, a canvas. It appears that what you want is a coloring book, or perhaps tracing paper. If you don't want to learn the math necessary to paint with Construct, well, your missing out on a large opportunity to express yourself with much more freedom than Lego's will allow. But Construct is like Lego's even! It's just that they're really really small, there's a hell of a lot of different pieces, and there's no instruction booklet.
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