contest idea - game utilities!

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Post: #16
Hmm I don't know AnotherJake, the big shot Maya animators in my class switched to Blender* so they wouldn't have to actually pay through the nose (since college cost them a lung and a trachia) and they were pulling off some pretty cool stunts.

There were a couple of other open source/free tools they were exploring do amazing things, but I didn't get involved, they were just too nerdy for me...yeah even nerdier than programmers...I never imagined it possible.

*[edit---they switched to Blender not to Maya...I need to take more naps]
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Post: #17
AnotherJake Wrote:Real life dictates that any major amount of time spent doing something requires money to pay bills to live while doing that something -- no matter how much you wanna do it for free. And making great software is something that takes major amounts of time. IOW, free stuff is great, but most software is made by real people who have real bills... and there will be no real Maya competitor without real money...

...unless you maintain a day job for money, and do your freeware coding at night and on weekends. That way it doesn't cost anything but time, assuming you already have a computer and the other resources you need. This is how I'm currently operating.

Working like that doesn't play very nicely with having a social life, though. Wacko
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Post: #18
I'm studying for my computer animation degree; there are a few people here using Blender, a few more using 3DSMax and a few more people using Maya.

Blender is my favourite and I'm now pretty good with it. But at the time I switched, the only thing that made me persevere with learning the interface was that it was UB and Maya wasn't. Now I'm glad I did, because it means I can feel confident that I'm not breaking the law when I work on any projects outside uni work. And it gets hefty updates often.
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Post: #19
maximile Wrote:Blender is my favourite and I'm now pretty good with it. But at the time I switched, the only thing that made me persevere with learning the interface

And that is the problem with Blender, the interface. I haven't learned Blender yet, but I am a lot better with it after "using"/playing around with it for quite some time, still, using Cinema 4D is a lot easier for me even though I haven't used it for years.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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Post: #20
Nayr Wrote:Wyrmage (or however you spell it): Blender is actually considered by many to be maya-quality; however, most graphics companies have their heads up their MMhmms and refuse to use non-commercial software.
Not at all. There are important things for gamedev Blender does not support, or just recently supported. Tangent space normal map generation and multiple UV sets, for starters.

But back on subject, guys ;-)
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Post: #21
Blender's modelling and UV mapping tools are pretty good, even compared to commercial apps. The animation tools may still have a ways to go (for pros) but they are more than enough for typical game type stuff, and definitely the best tools you'll find for the price.

As far as the interface goes, it's been changing for the better, just little-by-little. The first time I used Blender it didn't have menus or toolbars and pretty much went straight into the trash. More recent things like transform widgets and the modifier system provide much saner interfaces than previous incarnations of the same tools, and I suspect more things will become non-destructive and node-based in the future. There are still things I despise in Blender - materials, rendering options (those button panels in general) and that abomination of a file picker Mad - but hopefully these things will get a lot better, and soon...
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Post: #22
I'm gonna ignore the Blender guys vs everyone else derailing for now.

I do not understand why a game programming tool contest needs to result in a programming tool that is useful to everyone, or able to morph into a community project. None of the previous contests resulted in software that was morphed into a community project, nor where any of them useful to anyone (or at all). Incidentally the most successful contests where those which allowed a very broad interpretation of the target, like the "vectorized" one, or the no-type-rules-at-all udg ones.

Making a full fledged map editor that no one but the maker can use is in my opinion a far more worthier entry then a tool to crop a image to make it ready for further manipulation.

Therefore I think the any tools contest should allow for a very broad entry base, maybe not even further reduced by demands of usefulness, language or task to accomplish. Voting should be similar as for games, focusing on the fun to use the tool, and less on the task to accomplish with it.
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Post: #23
Those are fair points. The original post stated that the reasoning behind this competition would be to "help rapid development of games as well as the community in general", and so discussion went from to look for the best way to do this. But you're right, community projects and contests aren't necessarily the same thing, so perhaps usefulness could be optional? On the other hand, how do you judge the worthiness of a tool that is of use to nobody but the programmer? Ease of use, interface design and elegance? I do agree that limiting language doesn't help much. Certainly, the Blitzmax and Torque users always seem to be the ones with the most complete entries in the game competitions.
Personally though, whether or not usefulness is a requirement of the rules, it would be something I'd aim for with my entry.
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Post: #24
Bjoernke Wrote:Therefore I think the any tools contest should allow for a very broad entry base...
Some of us were saying earlier that we'd actually like libraries rather than tools. So broadening entries to allow libraries as well would be relevant in IMHO.
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Post: #25
AnotherJake Wrote:Some of us were saying earlier that we'd actually like libraries rather than tools. So broadening entries to allow libraries as well would be relevant in IMHO.

I would think libraries should form a different contest.

It is easy to pick up a tool and have a play with it in order to form some kind of judgement.

However having to write something to use the library to try it out makes judging it harder.

The only way I would see libraries fitting into the tools contest is if the tool distribution includes a library for using its output. Again though it would not be fair to expect someone to write an app to judge the lib part.
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Post: #26
Hmm... I guess you're right. I hadn't really thought about that.
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Post: #27
I'd like another vectorized-type-thing... that really proced some good stuff!

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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