Game of Thrones Spoiler Generator

Every season of Game of Thrones seems to spark two debates. The prevalence and motivation behind piracy, and spoilers. How soon after a show airs is it appropriate to post publicly about what happens? What about when episodes leak? What about when a man releases a series of novels full of spoilers?

I had the idea that if we flooded the internet with fake spoilers, people would have no idea. Coming up with spoilers sounds like a lot of work, especially when most of them are just “X kills Y”. Surely, this process could be automated! This lead me to create the Game of Thrones Spoiler Generator.

If you’re not into computer programming, this is where I leave you because this post is going full nerd from here on.

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Roles in the Industry: The Graphics Programmer

Not every programmer works on gameplay. There’s a whole lot of them who don’t ever even get close to the rules of the game, or how it feels to the player. Some of them spend their time bringing the hardware to heel and harnessing its power. Others solve networking problems, allowing players to play together across thousands of miles. And then there are graphics programmers, the ones who are absolutely dedicated to one task - making things look and perform better. So today, I’ll go into a bit more depth on just what it is these people do.

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How are video games made?
By looking at this code for a day trying to figure out where a rounding error is coming from, and I love it.

Everyone should have a thing;
I don’t know how artists manage to paint or how writers write books or how musicians do their thing. Code is my thing,
it’s fundamentally collaborative and requires a weird kind of logical creativity, and I get to make video games with it.
The downside is it’s hard to explain this to people.

anonymous asked:

Are there any books you would recommend to a game designer? (doesn't necessarily have to be on the topic of games!)

Sure. Here are a few books I like across various topics:

Game Design specifically:

Programming specifically:

Not about design or programming specifically, but still very useful:

Note that these books aren’t necessarily authoritative, nor are they always applicable but they are useful to read through just to get a different perspective on things and to work into your repertoire. If you do read them, try to understand what circumstances they’d be useful and how to apply the principles conveyed therein in a general way. 


So, my studios first big game is gonna be hitting Steam for sale on Friday. This is such a big deal for all of us at the studio and I am so excited to see the response. If you want to check it out, this is the link to our steam page: The Sun At Night

April book haul:

  • Ghost Boy- Martin Pistorius
  • The Program- Suzanne Young
  • The Maze Runner- James Dashner
  • Hollow City- Ransom Riggs
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs
  • Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi
  • Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
  • Dracula- Bram Stoker
  • A Song of Fire and Ice series (A Game of Thrones)- George R.R. Martin

So these are all the books I bought in April…my book hauls are slowly becoming bigger and bigger each month. Plus I bought a bookcase this month (which is filled), it’s not that easy buying lots of books and not drowning in debt as a student, but this helps me make some free $$$, yall should check it out (i swear it’s 100% legit)

berenkusmenoglu asked:

hi!,I know that you've been asked this a lot but I want to make sure I get this right. From what I gathered CV is crucial and I loved your replies to other people and changed my accodingly. I went to many seminars given by people who work in Game Development Companies and saw that one of the best ways to show your work as a programmer is to have a blog of some sorts. My question is mainly about how a programmers' blog should look like from a gamedevs perspective. Thank you.

Remember the trifecta of things that I, the hiring manager, am looking for:

  1. An objective showing that you want to do the thing
  2. Experience showing you have done the thing
  3. Training showing you know how to do the thing

A blog can show me all of these elements if you structure and populate it with the right content. For a programming blog, what I primarily want to see are things that help reinforce all three of these qualities. As such, I would like to see:

  • Programming problems you have solved, and how you solved them
  • Project progress reports - what you are currently working on, how it is going, etc.
  • Post-mortem style retrospective breakdowns of solutions you have actually done, along with a critical view of what went right, what went wrong, and how you wish you could have done it in hindsight
  • Interesting programming principles you have learned about, why they are interesting, and how you would use them
  • News/events in the world of software engineering and what you think about it

It’s exam period, so I don’t have any Pitfall Planet updates this week! However, I can still enjoy posting up GIFs from unreleased projects like Rocket Deer.

One day some friends and I were brainstorming a bullet hell game. One of us was like, “how about a deer strapped to a rocket?” and that was it.

We had fun making it look pretty (like the unnecessary day-night cycle), but we never got around to refining the gameplay. Most of the pixel art is courtesy of wawaboopboop!

anonymous asked:

So, I know that all games/animations are rendered in polygons (triangles), but what do you do when you want to render a sphere? I've seen programs/games with 3D spheres, that seem perfect to the naked eye. Now, a perfect sphere would require infinite polygons, which would take infinite computing power to render. Are these spheres just regular old models that only look like they are perfect because the polygons are so small on the model, or is there some sort of programming trickery involved?

It’s trickery, and it’s actually a pretty interesting trick. What you’re seeing is the combined effects of shading and normal mapping

Shading is when the renderer uses positional data to calculate the color of a particular pixel on screen. There are a number of different techniques for this with differing results. Here is the first one, using a technique called “Flat Shading”. Flat shading is when the renderer adjusts the color of a polygon surface based on what it determines the color of the center of the polygon is.

You can pick out the individual polygons pretty easily here, right?

Now we’ll switch to a different shading technique. This one is called Phong shading. Instead of using the center of the polygon to determine what color the polygon is, the renderer will take the color value from the corners of each polygon and interpolate between them and the color value from the center of the polygon. This results in shading that is much more gradual and smooth, as you can see here:

If you look closely, you can see that the number of polygons here actually hasn’t changed. You should still be able to pick out the vertices along the outline of the “sphere” here. But it certainly looks a lot rounder, doesn’t it?

But this still has issues, because we might have something that’s very polygon-intensive, like a cobblestone street. This poses a problem - we want streets to be flat in terms of polygons, because it’s a street and you walk on it, but it should still visually look like cobblestones. You don’t want to spend extra GPU cycles rendering extra polygons for the street when you could spend them on hair or fingers or facial expressions or something, but you don’t want it to look flat either. So how do you fix this?

Have you ever seen the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? There was a scene in the movie where Indy has to take a step out into what looks like a bottomless gorge:

But he’s not really stepping onto a bottomless gorge, is he? If you look closely, you can see it. When you change the angle of the camera, you can easily see what’s actually going on:

The step of faith here is actually a cleverly painted (and flat) bridge to make it look like there’s a huge drop. From the viewer’s perspective, it looks 3D even if it actually isn’t. And since we have a computer fast enough to do all the calculations for us every frame, we can make it calculate what the 3D surface would look like from different angles and repaint it on the fly, even if the polygon we’re displaying is actually still flat.

This is called bump mapping (or often normal mapping, which is a specific kind of bump mapping). The way it works is that you apply a texture like this to the polygon, but instead of being directly displayed on the polygon, it’s used by the renderer to determine the way the pixel at that point should look in terms of height, even if the polygon is flat at that point. It simulates a bunch of different heights or depths, even though the polygon is still actually flat. The result is what you see to the top right - lighting as if it were bumpy or pock marked, but without actually needing additional polygons to get the visual effect.

The results of this can be pretty interesting. Take a look at these. This is a model with a lot of polygons in it to create a bunch of different shapes:

And here is a completely flat polygon with a normal map based off of the above shape applied to it:

You can see that the stuff that really sticks out far like the cone doesn’t look right, but the stuff that only pokes out a little bit like the donut and the hemisphere actually look pretty good for taking up no additional polygons at all. If you looked at both of them from directly above, without the side angle view, it’d actually be pretty tough to tell them apart without touching them. And that’s the point - it’s a way to fake heights and depths without adding extra polygons. This is why it works best on flat surfaces like walls and the ground that you view from (nearly) straight on:

These are both flat polygon roads, but the right side looks a lot more like it’s made of real stones than the left. There are other effects also at play, like specular maps (which are used to calculate how shiny/reflective or dull an object is) and more, but they also operate on the same sort of mathematical principles.

It takes a good artist to create the proper map textures for 3D models, and it takes a graphics programmer with a solid understanding of math to create the renderer that can do all of the proper calculations to take those maps and figure out exactly what color each pixel actually is. I will say that it can be pretty fascinating stuff.


UPDATE: We won Best Game Overall at the Level Up Showcase! (We also won second place in the Artistic Achievement category.) We’ve been prepping for the showcase all semester, and it was an incredible experience! Watching people play (and love!) the game we slaved so long over was wonderful. Our team did such an amazing job, and I feel so lucky to have worked with such talented people. It’s hard to believe that we just started this project two months ago!

We are working out our future plans for Pitfall Planet, but at least now I can finally get some sleep…

Math Effect: Shooting a Bullseye

Yesterday, I asked whether there was some interest in the actual math involved with a problem that gameplay programmers are (or at least, should be) familiar with. I got enough positive responses for the nitty gritty that I’ve decided to write it. So… if you’re interested, read on. You have been warned.

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Flop TCG isn’t your ordinary trading card game. It is a cute & cool turn-based strategy game, in which you can battle against 1 to 6 (!) other people for control over the field.

Each card has two halves. With 30 kinds of cards, there are 435 combinations in all! The possibilities for strategy are endless!

As you play games, you’ll accumulate Nickels, which you can spend to amass your collection of cards. Develop your playing style and build a formidable deck!

Click here to get started!

This game was designed, programmed, and primarily drawn by Nigel Nelson, AKA Shamble Sides. Additional guest character art provided by Tumblr user Skuboglesby. Full credits are listed in-game!

Have any comments about the game? Need someone to play against? Let me know. :)