Kelgray and Beyond

int game_engine(void) {

Philosophy of Video Games

Or more accurately, the philosophy of RPG video games.  After spending a small amount of time in Bethesda’s Fallout 3 forums I found a point where two of my passions meet.  Philosophy and videogames. I wanna try to demarcate an RPG and a non-RPG.  Now we could start here with a history of videogames and the RPG genre, but instead let’s start at the present.  Games as they are now.  What makes a game a roleplaying game?

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April 23, 2007 Posted by | Ethics, Fallout, Games, Logic, Philosophy, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Videogames | 5 Comments

And We’re Back

I just realised that the last post I made before taking my little hiatus was about online gaming which must have made me seem like much more of an uber-nerd than I actually am.  I feel the need to state now for the record that my lack in posting new and wonderful news about the universe of Taylor was not due to the fact that I was playing a game with friends while chatting on teamspeak (though that did happen once or twice).  The truth is, I lost my job and therefore lost the time that I normally post.  Fortunately I have a new job now at which I have access to el interneto and so I’m back posting.  So, time for a summary of what I feel is important.

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April 20, 2007 Posted by | Computer Programming, Fallout, Games, Generalities, Kelgray Arena, Logic, programming, Videogames | 1 Comment

Back In The Den Of Evil

I finally done it.  After years of abstaining I’ve finally gone back to playing a MMORPG.  I’m back on Star Wars Galaxies and I’m impressed.  They’ve done so much with it, the only thing they’re missing now is people.  The marketing wizards at WoW took so many people from SWG that they left the planets barren and abandoned.  It’s a problem that could be easily solved if it weren’t such a good game.  One of the coolest parts of SWG is how player-driven it is.  The best weapons and items and buffs and drugs and food are all player made.  So the economy is completely player driven.  They bring in quests that let people make more money and the prices of things will drive itself up as players realize that there’s more money to be passed around.  As part of the player-driven game-play there are player made cities.  That’s where the problem comes in.

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April 3, 2007 Posted by | Computer Programming, Games, programming, Star Wars, Star Wars Galaxies, Technology, Videogames | Leave a comment

Scratch That – Reverse It

Remember Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  Not the new-fangled Johnny Depp one which got pretty much everything right but the script, but the old one with Gene Wilder.  It’s a wonderful movie.  Gene Wilder’s comedy being a much more subtle brand made Wonka seem like a nice bloke at first, and when the creepiness came out it was almost surprising, yet it felt completely natural for his character.  My favorite bits are when the parents ask questions and Willy gives em flippant answers like “Are the oompa loompas going to rape my precious daughter?”  “I’m sorry ma’am but those questions will be feilded after the tour during a Q&A period.”  I’ll always remember how his eyes grow large as he says “The excitement is terrible!” When Augustus Gloop is being shot up the chocolate tube.

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March 27, 2007 Posted by | Computer Programming, Games, Kelgray Arena, Language, Movies, Popular People, programming, Technology, Videogames | Leave a comment

ARRRRRR

I went to a pirate party last night. And that’s not to say that it was as cool as pirates are, it was a genuine party of pirates. Almost everyone came in at least some form of costume (and some spent a lot of time on theirs) and we all gathered at a small house about 30 blocks away from mine to be rowdy and rude and drink rum and yell “Arrr!” as often as possible. They had decorations and old shwashbuckler movies goin on in the background and a whole lot of people (by which, of course, I mean more than some by a bunch). I stayed pretty sober the whole night but it was wonderful fun nonetheless. Who’da thunk that the party would have a potential impact on my life goals and an almost definate impact on my game.

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March 25, 2007 Posted by | Beer, Calgary, Computer Programming, Games, Kelgray Arena, Language, programming, Stampede Wrestling, Technology, Videogames, Wrestling | 3 Comments

The Gaming Industry

This was originally written in response to Matt Jenkins’ blog post: Mastering digital media where he talks about how video games are redefining the way that we communicate, but it got pretty long and involved several tangents so I figured I may as well post it here instead.

 [To Matt]  You sound pretty optimistic about the gaming world.  There’s a downside with the way things are going though.  Both with games and with the internet.  Just as we “interact in a manner that approximates our offline experience”, the internet, and especially the gaming community, is beginning to manifest itself in a close approximation to the corporate world.  Just like Walmart puts smaller stores out of business because they can’t compete with its low prices, the large gaming companies have overtaken the smaller ones as the small companies don’t have the funds or the manpower to produce the same caliber of game that the large companies do.

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March 24, 2007 Posted by | Computer Programming, Games, Generalities, programming, Technology, Videogames, Writings | 2 Comments

Calling All Programmers

I got a few questions to ask.  The first question is about the game.  I’m wondering if anyone can point me to a good tutorial on using 2D graphics in C/C++.  I’ve seen all sorts of tutorials out there on how to use directx to manipulate polygons and all that fun 3D stuff, but unless I’m involved in a big pretty game project, I’m not interested in that side of the coin.  What I need to know is how to draw tiled maps from pixels which can be navigated in 8 directions, add some houses and trees on top of that and an animated sprite or two and I’m happy.  I have seen a tutorial or two on how to do this, but they’re all missing the basics, that being what libraries to include and what functions to call to get the bitmap data in the first place.  If anyone knows where I can find a beginner/intermediate guide to this I would be most grateful.

The second question I have is about careers.  I’m wondering how hard it is to get a job in programming without having to get a degree (note that’s degree, I got no problem getting a certificate or even a diploma).  After taking the prerequisite course and looking into the curriculum of the certificate program that I may be about to start, I’ve discovered that most of the stuff they’re teaching is stuff that I already know, and the stuff that I don’t know is stuff that I’ll be able to learn just as easily (and probably faster) studying independantly.  The problem with degrees is that they cost a lot of time and money, and while I’m willing to put in the time to learn the work, I can’t afford to both pay tuition and not work full time while I’m doin it.  Is there some type of company that I can get an entry level programming job in without having the pieces of paper to prove that I know how to write the code that’s in my portfolio?

Lastly I want to know if there’s anyone out there who wants to work with me on my simple game project.  I’m lookin for someone who’s either also somewhere between beginner and intermediate with C/C++ or someone who’s willing to teach me a lesson or two about programming.  Leave a comment and let me know if you’re interested.

March 23, 2007 Posted by | Computer Programming, Games, Generalities, programming, Technology, Videogames | 5 Comments

A Dancing Dream

Last night I dreamt that I was putting on a show.  But that’s too far ahead.  Let’s start from the beginning.  It started where I was driving people around to different locations so that they could hang out with my friends.  People who I’d recently met (none of whom I recognise from real life) who said that they wanted to hang out with me.  I drove them to where my friends and I were partying but as soon as we got there I had to go grab someone else.  This happened over the course of several events and when I eventually asked one girl if she would hang out with me instead of going off to hang out with one of my friends she got offended and basically told me that I was out of line. 

Cut to the dancing scene.  Continue reading

March 22, 2007 Posted by | Dance, Dreams, Musical Notes | 2 Comments