Inverse Duff’s Device

July 28th, 2009

Just something hilarious I stumbled across.

enum {
NO_CLEANUP,
CLEANUP1,
CLEANUP2,
CLEANUP3
} cleanup_mode = NO_CLEANUP;
bool done = false;
while (!done) {
switch (cleanup_mode) {
case NO_CLEANUP:
// Build Step One

if (failure_condition_one) {
cleanup_mode = CLEANUP1;
continue;
}
// Build Step Two

if (failure_condition_two) {
cleanup_mode = CLEANUP2;
continue;
}
// Build Step Three

if (failure_condition_three) {
cleanup_mode = CLEANUP3;
continue;
}
break;
case CLEANUP3:

case CLEANUP2:

case CLEANUP1:

done = true;
}
}

(and if anyone can tell me how to make the formatting work, it’ll look nicer, too)

Kalb’s First Law of Game Design

July 5th, 2009

Note that I am still looking for a better turn of phrase that is both succinct and easy to say, while still getting the message across without too much additional explanation. It is the additional explanation bit where I feel the current wording is lacking. “What you see is what you get.” See? Needs explanation before you know what it really means.

What I’m trying to say with this law of game design is that if the game looks right, then it is right, and vice versa, regardless of what is going on behind the scenes. It doesn’t matter how closely your physics code matches the real-world equations, if it looks like the ball is falling too fast, then you need to change the code. Conversely, if the game appears to be running correctly, then it doesn’t matter that behind the scenes is a mess of spaghetti, and spending time correcting it, if there is no visible lag or slowdown, is time wasted.

Hints

May 19th, 2009

“Do these effectively hide my thunder?” -Tobias F√ľnke

I’m not good at hints. I’m especially not good at hints I don’t want to believe. Eventually, though, given sufficient beating-over-the-head, I can, in fact, get it. Eventually. That is all.

Two’s company, Three’s a crowd.

April 29th, 2009

Four is an adventuring party. I recently joined a D&D 4E game (yeah, as a player. I know, right?) with a party size of six. I thought nothing of it at the time, as I had never had fewer than that number of players in any game I had previously participated in. However, last week two players were missing, so we had a party of four.
Holy Crap.
Everything was better. Discussions took less time (enough less time that some effort could be devoted to discussing in character) and combat was amazing. Being 25% of the group instead of 17% is good, but the feel of it was much more than a one-third improvement. Everything seemed snappier. I am fairly certain that this had nothing to do with the particular people who were absent, and everything to do with the way the game works (4th edition is quite cool, by the by). I will say, however, that in the future, if I run a game, I will absolutely limit it to four reliable players (maybe five, if it’s likely that one will be missing on a given night). It’s just better.

Hyprocrisy v 2.0

March 22nd, 2009

Yeah, it’s back. Yeah, I still despise it. In other news, my flight to GDC was canceled, so I’ll miss Monday’s sessions. Hate Hate Hate.