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Messages - Snarky

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Could we please not fork the official version but instead try to get the improvements incorporated into it from the get-go?

General Discussion / Re: lost in translation...
« on: Yesterday at 00:52 »
As for the technology taking jobs away from humans: I doubt this will happen anytime soon: Even if the computer can write a flawless sentence with the same meaning, it still does not understand the context of the line, the personality of the speaker/writer, the emotion behind the language, or the overall story of the novel/game/etc...

And for it to understand all that: It would need to be a true A.I. with human emotions which ain't happening anytime soon...

I was talking about AI in general, not just for translation, but again I think you guys are focusing on the wrong thing. I would bet that 90% of paid translation jobs are not in any way "artistic"; it's for business letters, instruction manuals, restaurant menus, multilingual signs, textbooks, news reports, corporate websites... and a whole lot of it is for laws, treaties and contracts, which will of course still at least need human verification (though perhaps less than you'd think: there's a lot of boilerplate). Not to mention the work done for intelligence organizations.

And there are plenty of other industries and professions that could be disrupted by the fall of language barriers, leading to consolidation and rataionalization (tech support is an obvious one).

General Discussion / Re: lost in translation...
« on: 28 Sep 2016, 10:02 »
Resurrecting an old thread because this article made me think of it:

Starting today, Google will rely more heavily on artificial intelligence when it translates language. The new method, called Google Machine Neural Translation, cuts down errors by 80% compared to its current algorithm, and is nearly indistinguishable from human translation on standardized tests, the company said.

We're living through an AI revolution. It will be very interesting to see where it leads. (One consequence will almost certainly be the loss of jobs in many fields, as more and more tasks can be automated.)

AGS Games in Production / Re: Lamplight City
« on: 26 Sep 2016, 19:01 »
BTW, is this a Wadjet Eye title or have you gone solo again?

I think the mix of 640x400 backgrounds and character sprites in half that resolution looks fine, and a good compromise if the full-res character animation is too costly/time-consuming/difficult. It's sort of a nineties vibe, like in those games that used low-resolution video captured characters against high-resolution static backgrounds. Will be interesting to see how it looks with character scaling.

- Heavily inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.

I'm calling it now: the mysterious benefactor is a homicidal orangutan.

AGS Games in Production / Re: Lamplight City
« on: 26 Sep 2016, 16:31 »
Beautiful graphics and an intriguing premise. Looking forward to it!

General Discussion / Re: I'm a married man :-)
« on: 24 Sep 2016, 14:43 »
Felicitations and lots of happiness to you both!

Here's a page with fonts:
Here's another one:

I would recommend against typewriter and particularly broken typewriter fonts, which draw a lot of attention to themselves and can be exhausting to read. If you read a Stephen King novel, it's not 300 pages set in bleeding letters, you know. When there's a lot of text, it's usually better to keep the design element pretty subtle. You can create distinctive moods simply by e.g. using a narrow font with wide spacing, or a particular kind of serifs. You don't have to go crazy with it: save that for titles and potentially in-world text. If you insist on getting fancy, maybe consider using text-boxes with some particularly appropriate design in the borders or background.

If you don't have any clue what direction you want to go in, check out other games (primarily professional/commercial titles, since amateur games can be very hit and miss when it comes to font choice), see what you like and don't like about their choices. You can search for adventure games by genre and other criteria here. Then just experiment. Be open to feedback: if players tell you something is ugly or hard to read, take that seriously.

Oh, BTW: When you start experimenting with different font, pretty soon you'll want a font manager. A font manager makes it easy to keep track of tons of fonts, you can make different selections for different purposes (e.g. a set for fonts you're using in the game, or a set for different alternatives you want to try out), and you can load only the ones you want (so that you don't have 10,000 fonts to scroll through all the time when you just want to write a document in Word), without having to install and delete them from your Windows Fonts folder all the time. Good font managers are NexusFont and FontBase.

Could this be one of those Direct3D 9 vs. Direct3D 10 dealios? (They're not compatible, so even if you have D3D10 or newer you'll still need a separate version of D3D9.)


I've never really got to grips with the while command

:shocked: 8-0 :shocked: 8-0 :shocked: 8-0 :shocked: 8-0

Are you saying that for fifteen years (or however long you've been an AGSer) you've been coding without loops?

There was The Journey Down that was remade in a different engine.

There have been a few remakes or remastered games with improved graphics (like The Shivah, Bestowers of Eternity/Blackwell Legacy, Ben Jordan 1 and 2, etc.), but I think they mostly stick to the same resolution (though some of the Wadjet Eye titles have switched to higher-resolution dialog portraits); at least the updated versions are rarely what you would call "HD".

I haven't bothered to figure out exactly what you're trying to do, but the issue is in your IF conditions. The first checks that the character is greater than or equal to 0 AND greater than or equal to 9 (you probably want greater than or equal to zero and less than or equal to 9). The second does the same, and here you probably want less than (and not equal) to 0 OR greater than (and not equal) to 9.

The Rumpus Room / Re: What grinds my gears!
« on: 15 Sep 2016, 20:59 »
Speaking of cars again. It really grinds my gears when a car is closing in on you at night and don't switch off the full headlight (not sure what the name for that is in english. Driving beam?) removes your vision completely!
Speaking of cars some more, it grinds my gears that some people have their headlights on when it's a bright and sunny morning...
Are they Volvos, by any chance? I'm sure I'll be corrected but I heard Volvos always have their headlights in because they are from Sweden, where the sun don't shine.

To be clear, Volvos don't have always-on high-beams, because that would be insane.

Actually, what they have are always-on "daytime running lights", which have been mandatory in Sweden for almost 40 years (and for decades in the rest of the Nordic countries, as well as Canada), a rule that has recently been adopted all over Europe. It used to be that manufacturers could choose whether to add separate lamps or just always leave the low-beam lights on (which I guess some Volvos did?), but under the new rules it has to be a separate set of lamps.

And this is a good thing, because lights improve visibility and safety even in daytime, as long as they're not excessively bright.

The Rumpus Room / Re: What grinds my gears!
« on: 14 Sep 2016, 22:10 »
It's hard to rationalise sometimes why you love a movie that you have loved since you were a kid - also whether you have read the book before or after seeing the movie makes a big difference.  I've always loved Phil Harris' voicing, Louis Prima's singing, the songs in general and the personality clash of Baloo and Bagheera.  Perhaps not the best if you look at it analytically, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Sure, and as far as I can tell it's pretty well regarded (as demonstrated by the live-action remake); my opinion is probably in the minority. The film does have some great songs, strong character design, fine animation and beautiful backgrounds.

The Rumpus Room / Re: What grinds my gears!
« on: 14 Sep 2016, 15:24 »
Nothing beats The Jungle Book for me!

That's one of my least favorite Disney animated features! I hate how it completely ditches all the coolest bits from the Jungle Book stories, how it's all just a long sequence of "and then Mowgli runs into some other wacky characters", the utterly underwhelming ending (with Shere Khan just running away after a short squabble) and the lazy recycling of the same animation over and over within the film (particularly egregious with Kaa and the elephants).

Lilo and Stitch did the sister dynamic before, and Brave was also about the relation between two female family members, albeit a mother and daughter.
Even the rejection of Prince Charming and critique of Love at first sight was done before in Enchanted (Just compare this clip to Elsa/Hans meeting!).

True, Lilo & Stitch deals with sisterhood, but Lilo and Nani are much further apart in age, so it becomes something quite like a parent-child relationship. The Frozen version is pretty different.

There are definitely some parallels to Enchanted, but I don't count (mostly) live-action movies like that as part of the Disney animation canon.

Was "The Princess and the Frog" in 2009 the last 2D animated movie Disney did?  (That one was very good, but I can't remember any others since then.)

There was a Winnie the Pooh movie after that. It flew under the radar for some reason.

The Rumpus Room / Re: What grinds my gears!
« on: 13 Sep 2016, 23:09 »
I think you guys are overlooking some major elements of Frozen to say that there's nothing original in it. For example, that bit where one of the main characters goes pretty far down the road to become a villain, while the other tries to redeem her? You'll have to stretch quite a bit to find that in earlier Disney movies (Pinocchio and Lilo & Stitch probably come closest). The focus on sisterhood and rejection of Prince Charming are also firsts in a Disney movie, I believe.

My main beef with current Disney movies is simply that I wish they would go back to 2D animation, or at least animation with more of a 2D look. Ever since Tarzan and its Deep Canvas system, and then later with the Meander system used in "Paperman", they've had tools to do really nice painterly stuff that allows them to put hand-painted/drawn things into a 3D scene (though I didn't think "Feast" worked very well: basically just looked like cel-shaded 3D), but all feature movies have this cheap videogamey 3D look. I had hoped Moana would be 2D, since the Polynesian setting lends itself beautifully to more loosely painted backgrounds. Ah well.

The Rumpus Room / Re: What grinds my gears!
« on: 13 Sep 2016, 11:39 »
I've read about the Hayes Code before, though I doubt that it's solely to blame since it applied to cartoons and live-action alike.
I'd say this also has a lot to do with media technology as well, since the introduction of daytime TV created a huge demand for family-friendly content, and the loosened restrictions of recent times goes hand in hand with internet becoming big and many people being able to share content without relying on studios and tv-companys.

The death of cinematic cartoon shorts came about largely because a Supreme Court antitrust ruling forced the separation of cinema chains from movie studios. In the old days, studios like Warner, MGM, Paramount, etc. owned the movie theaters and controlled the programming (so a particular cinema would show only films from a particular studio). The ruling meant they had to sell them off, and that there had to be an open market in deciding what each cinema would show. The court also started to enforce an earlier decision that it was illegal to "block-book" short films along with feature-length films (i.e. sell them as a package). This made them much harder to sell, since people didn't usually buy movie tickets for short films but for main features, so they were an obvious target for cinema chain cost-cutting (the movie business went into a major decline around this time). Within a few years they were all but gone.

Critics' Lounge / Re: Scrolling room problem
« on: 12 Sep 2016, 02:35 »
So do you guys think this works?

Not really. The perspective on the seats seems to diverge rather than converge – I think it would look better if you simply reversed their order.

The room itself looks accurate perspective-wise.

Well, it's not "accurate" since two presumedly parallel walls have entirely different vanishing points, but it looks acceptable.

I tend to think the obsession with constructing everything in strict perspective is hard to reconcile with the decision to not use a consistent vanishing point, but that's just me.

I tried to do what Snarky suggest,but I just couldn't make it work.

Maybe I didn't explain it clearly. I'll try with a figure:

Now this is also not consistent (as you get closer to the horizon line, it becomes more and more obvious that the convergence point is not on the horizon), but it might work better as a fake. Or not. Here's another alternative:

Great. And you were able to solve your original problem?

How helpful it is is entirely up to you. If you take my advice, sit down and learn how to use variables to solve what seems like a simple problem, you'll have acquired a powerful new skill that will be of great value to you in developing the game. If you don't, my comment will not have been helpful at all. I'm fine with that.

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