"Aquaria-Like" Mouse Leading Possible?

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  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Don't really need behaviors at all for them then if they're so simple.

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

    Psmith

  • 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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  • Hilarious.

    Psmith will never end his crusade. Everyone must lower their intelligence and skills to suit his needs.

  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    There is no magic going on at all.

    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.

  • [quote:11qphdu9]There was no magic going on when da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, just brush strokes on a canvas.

    That's right - and a brilliant and practiced mind. Not much math, I'll wager.

    You folks equate yourselves with the great da Vinci, do you?

    What some of you NEED to use math to create, others do by instinct and experimentation and vision.

    Psmith

  • What some of you NEED to use math to create, others do by instinct and experimentation and vision.

    Why don't you go do that, then. It has done you good in the past, hasn't it?

    oh?

    Now stop derailing threads. You already made your point before and got your answer, which was the same in several other forums. Stop it now.

    Others: please don't feed this troll.

  • [quote:34aortxr]There was no magic going on when da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, just brush strokes on a canvas.

    That's right - and a brilliant and practiced mind. Not much math, I'll wager.

    You folks equate yourselves with the great da Vinci, do you?

    What some of you NEED to use math to create, others do by instinct and experimentation and vision.

    Psmith

    Actually quite a lot of math went on while creating the Mona Lisa. The guy couldn't go down to his local art supplies store and buy the paint he needed, he had to create it by hand, had to find what worked and what didn't, how much of this and how much of that. Then the actual painting, the distances between the eye the nose, the size of the forehead. Guesswork or not, it still involved math to some degree or another, just because he didn't sit down and do a multiplication table before each brush stroke doesn't mean it was all down to pure luck and talent. The greatest artists and creative people who ever lived, used Math in some way. The Golden Ratio comes to mind too, and that is pure math. Course I'm not saying any maths genius can go out and paint the next greatest piece of art, it takes imagination and creativity and natural born talent. But even me, with my hatred of math, happily admit it is a part of everything.

    Math - Key to the universe remember

    But I'm gonna take Madsters advice and "not feed" you. Because it's clear that you truly believe in what you're saying, which is commendable, but I think fundamentally flawed. Yes in a perfect world you could get your wish, and perhaps many years from now, software will behave like that. But for the time being, like it or not, scripting and events is your best bet if you want to avoid something basic.

    Though feel free to prove us all wrong. Here, use this

    http://t3dgm.thegamecreators.com/

    or this http://seuck.glbasic.com/

    or this http://hol.abime.net/2353 (there's a bit of scripting involved in this one tho, sorry!)

    these are exactly what you're looking for, hope to see something unique from you soon. Good luck!

  • You folks equate yourselves with the great da Vinci, do you?

    What some of you NEED to use math to create, others do by instinct and experimentation and vision.

    Equate ourselves with him? No. It was just the first good painter I thought of.

    instict and experimentation and vision, are all things that involve math. You don't seem to understand, but math is a necessity for the level of control provided by Construct. You seem to think that us or you folks are some breed of elite programming geniuses or mathematicians. We're just not afraid/to lazy to learn a bit of simple math, which you appear to be. It shows that you don't care for math, because you think just about anything is possible without it. Get over your fear or laziness, try making some simple behaviors with events and expressions, and learn who or what Lerp is.

  • I was going to avoid commenting on this "math bad, easy button good" argument, but the thing is what he wants is doable. Given the fact that this is open source, and plugins can be made as simple, or detailed as you want. Unfortunately Psmith, you may never see what you want done, because, well...somebody who is willing to take the time to make a plugin like that will have to learn the math as well.

  • WHY LEONARDO PREFERRED DRAWING MATHS

    Pure maths excludes the inexplicable qualities of reality that are better replicated with a drawing. Maths is only a tool to produce an outcome and thus Leonardo preferred drawing as his primary tool to execute his studies of proportionality and spatial awareness, which are used in his engineering designs.

    The drawing of mathematics is possibly how some ancient civilisations calculated mathematical precisions in their construction, as exhibited in the pyramids of Egypt for example.

    In the diagrammatic form of mathematics, a greater sense of spatial awareness is needed than formal mathematics, such as displayed by the Rhombicuboctahedron.

    http://www.leonardo-da-vinci-biography.com/leonardo-da-vinci-mathematician.html

    LEONARDO NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY ACADEMICS

    Academics of Leonardo's time did not give much weight to Leonardo's work in any field other than painting, as he did not have a formal education (whereas he had received a vocational apprenticeship in art). Leonardo had developed the following important attitude at a young age due to not having had a formal academic education where he wrote;

    'I cannot quote from eminent authors as they can, these trumpeters and reciters of the works of others. I know that all knowledge is vain and full of error when it is not born of experience, and so experience will be my mistress.'

  • WHY LEONARDO PREFERRED DRAWING MATHS

    Pure maths excludes the inexplicable qualities of reali....

    Ok, forget I ever said Leonardo, It was a mistake, I actually meant Don Hertzfeldt.

  • Do not feed the troll..... this is quickly going nowhere.

    Was the original Mouse Leading question answered?

  • Do not feed the troll..... this is quickly going nowhere.

    Was the original Mouse Leading question answered?

    Yes, it was. It's probably well past time this thread closed. People are starting to get a little to personal with their rebuttals, and the debate has swung widely away from "can it be done" to "can it be done without math" to "can Leonardo da Vinci paint without math..."

    Anyway, I'll leave it open for now as long as people can wrangle things back into civility before it gets out of hand.

    One thing I would like to know from PSmith though... in all of your efforts to find a program that does things the way you want it to do, have you ever come across anything? It seems to me that you haven't. You've been circling the net looking for a game creator that eschews math and coding, and have come full circle back to us again for another go.

    You also cite Poser as a brilliant piece of work, and as far as it's capabilities allow, I will grant you that it is. It performs as advertised. I have used Poser, and I know what it's capable of (which is a lot more than Lost my Keys gives it credit for). BUT... and this is a big but... it's not very capable of creating unique content. Yes, you have a lot of customization available to you through the interface... you can alter facial features, you can alter hair length/color/dynamics, you can create unique animations rather easily, you can manipulate models in an almost infinite number of ways.

    But manipulation is where it ends. You cannot use Poser to create something unique, you can only use it to tweak pre-defined settings. Yes, you can load any number of models into Poser and use those as well, from characters to props to landscapes and environments... but you cannot use Poser to create those characters and props and landscapes and environments. You need much more sophisticated software and special training to do that. Something like Maya or Max or Blender. Without someone, somewhere spending time and effort to create content for Poser, you would have no content for Poser.

    So, you have three options here:

    1. Use pre-defined Poser content to create your vision. The limitations of this should be obvious. This is analogous to settling for so-called "cookie cutter code" that you are looking for in Construct. The end result will be obviously lacking in effort and easily dismissed as non-serious work.

    2. Spend resources on someone willing to create Poser content for you that will suit your needs. This is analogous to paying for a coder who will take your game vision, your art, and your assets and bring them to life. You may even find someone who believes in your idea as deeply as you do and is therefore willing to work for free, or on spec. Results may vary, depending on the skill and dedication of your partner.

    3. Learn Max, Maya, Blender, or some other such tool that will allow you to create new Poser content on your own. This is analogous to buckling down and learning the math, logic, event structure and syntax necessary to create a game that exceeds the bounds of what is possible with the simple default movements and behaviors available. The results will be as good as the effort you put into it. You are responsible for how good it is. You are in control.

    Construct is #3. It is Poser and Maya together in one package, not just Poser alone. The way it's set up is that yes, you can make simple Poser renders with the default models if you like, but you also have the capability of digging deeper and making something truly unique and wonderful if you spend the time and energy to do so.

    That time and energy is essential to all great works. There are no work-arounds. There are no shortcuts. Not with Construct, not with any game creator. You need to learn and practice and it's a long, hard road.

    Nobody said making games was easy. Construct is just meant to make things a little easier. You think learning what lerp() means is too much? Try C++ and see how far that gets you. Construct events and expressions are light years easier than mastering a real programming language. Considering it's capabilities, it's likely going to be the easiest game creator you could learn to use, period. For now, at least.

    So, you can continue your search for shortcuts, or you can bite the bullet and start learning. One of those options will get you started on making games, and one will not. Guess which?

  • This thread should probably be locked and continued in another thread because its going off topic. But for now I'm going to leave it open.

    Firstly, when it comes to 'cookie cutter code' -that is what behaviours are meant for. For example, if you want to make a platform game, you dont need to worry about all the maths that makes the player move left and right, push out of obstacles, run up slopes etc...all you do is add the platform movement and you've already got something. You can then expand on the behavior by adding more events to if...if you feel that the player should be able to jump off a wall you can do stuff like:

    If player has wall to the left

    + player pressed jump button

    - Jump.

    Behaviours, if they are designed right, are very good at providing a simple way of looking at maths.

    btw did you have a look at my example before? I used the custom movement behavior and I think thats a lot easier to work with if you're not into maths.

    Okay so lets take this original 'mouse leading' problem, and try to word it in english:

    "Make the character swim towards the mouse"

    Okay...too ambiguous...lets refine it a bit more

    "When I hold down the left mouse button, accelerate towards the mouse"

    But how can the program possibly know how fast you want to accelerate? You need to start using a number... like 200 pixels per second per second... ultimately you can just start guessing at numbers

    Now this was something I didn't use in the example...but lets say you wanted to tweak the acceleration so the further away the mouse is, the stronger the acceleration....

    Firstly, your right, there should be some kind of 'spring' action in custom movement, but i missed it out...but you can still achieve it with maths:

    distance(.x, .y, mousex, mousey) will give you the pixel distance from the object to the mouse

    So you test acceleration with that...maybe its too small...to make it stronger you multiply it by perhaps 5....you tweak with the numbers until you get something you like.

    Then you run into another problem. If you hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse away you can move really really fast! Perhaps you decide you want to limit acceleration so it cant go below 0, and it cant go above 400...

    you end up with

    clamp( distance(.x, .y, mousex, mousey), 0, 400)

    For most people who are cool with maths, thats perfectly fine... without constructs 'clamp' and 'distance' function the maths would be a lot messier, eg:

    sqrt ( (.x - mousex) ^ 2 + (.y - mousey) ^ 2 ) just to get the distance!

    But over the last few hours I have been pondering over a better 'visual' style of maths...something thats a bit like those visual programming language flow chart thingys but made only for evaluating expressions...because really i feel expressions are the only area in construct that aren't very innovative.... heres ones brain storm:

    <img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/939828/idea29.PNG">

    Basically that could be displayed a lot nicer but to explain the concept...

    Functions with parameters (eg: Distance between) are represented as blocks with things to connect to them

    Constant numbers like 100 and 0 you can link up to stuff. However, note they are marked as 'acceleration'.

    Rather than having distance(mousex, mousey, .x, .y) that is easier to think of as 'distance between two points'. In C++ doing maths is a lot easier when you make classes like 'point2d' because then you can just easily add 2 points together etc.

    Stuff like 'multiply by 3' is a thing you can drag along the line...so you can multiply by 3 then add 2 etc.

    Now here is the innovative idea:

    Numbers can be positions, speeds, acceleration, colour, size...

    For expressions like 'distance between mouse and myposition' we can have a 'visual display' thing that will show you how quickly an object will accelerate....like an animation of a car driving against a scrolling background...so you could click the 'distance between' and see what the acceleration is like...then click the x3 and see what its like when its 3 times the amount...or click the '100' and just see what an acceleration of 100 is like... or click the entire expression to see what an acceleration of the evalulated amount is like.

    Anyway its just a brainstorm, very unlikely anything like that in the near future but maths is something that scares a lot of people away and crunching numbers isn't really something 'arty' people like to do...

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