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  • How was your experience working as a game tester?

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm currently an independent game developer. I'm open to the idea of working on a team in the game industry. I'm under the impression that being a "game tester" is a relatively easy way to get a job... however that job may be somewhat undesirable. So how was your experience working as a tester in the game industry? Some interesting experiences could include: Did the game tester position lead to other more desirable positions? How were the relationships between testers and developers? Did you write any code? (test "frameworks", unit tests etc) If bugs made it into production was any (potentially unfair) blame put on the testers?

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  • Marketing iOS games (and other mobile platforms)

    - by MrDatabase
    I'd like to market my existing and/or upcoming mobile games. Specifically I want to have a "revenue sharing" agreement w/ the "marketing company"... i.e. I don't want to pay anything up front... and I'm will to give the marketing company a sizable chunk of the revenue (say up to 50%). Is a publisher the only entity that does this? Or do marketing companies exist that would be interested in this type of arrangement?

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  • Smooth animation in Cocos2d for iOS

    - by MrDatabase
    I move a simple CCSprite around the screen of an iOS device using this code: [self schedule:@selector(update:) interval:0.0167]; - (void) update:(ccTime) delta { CGPoint currPos = self.position; currPos.x += xVelocity; currPos.y += yVelocity; self.position = currPos; } This works however the animation is not smooth. How can I improve the smoothness of my animation? My scene is exceedingly simple (just has one full-screen CCSprite with a background image and a relatively small CCSprite that moves slowly). I've logged the ccTime delta and it's not consistent (it's almost always greater than my specified interval of 0.0167... sometimes up to a factor of 4x). I've considered tailoring the motion in the update method to the delta time (larger delta = larger movement etc). However given the simplicity of my scene it's seems there's a better way (and something basic that I'm probably missing).

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  • "Optimal" game loop for 2D side-scroller

    - by MrDatabase
    Is it possible to describe an "optimal" (in terms of performance) layout for a 2D side-scroller's game loop? In this context the "game loop" takes user input, updates the states of game objects and draws the game objects. For example having a GameObject base class with a deep inheritance hierarchy could be good for maintenance... you can do something like the following: foreach(GameObject g in gameObjects) g.update(); However I think this approach can create performance issues. On the other hand all game objects' data and functions could be global. Which would be a maintenance headache but might be closer to an optimally performing game loop. Any thoughts? I'm interested in practical applications of near optimal game loop structure... even if I get a maintenance headache in exchange for great performance.

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  • OpenGL-ES: clearing the alpha of the FrameBufferObject

    - by MrDatabase
    This question is a follow-up to Texture artifacts on iPad How does one "clear the alpha of the render texture frameBufferObject"? I've searched around here, StackOverflow and various search engines but no luck. I've tried a few things... for example calling GlClear(GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT) at the beginning of my render loop... but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Any help is appreciated since I'm still new to OpenGL. Cheers! p.s. I read on SO and in Apple's documentation that GlClear should always be called at the beginning of the renderLoop. Agree? Disagree? Here's where I read this: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2538662/how-does-glclear-improve-performance

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  • Trouble with touch events on iPhone

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm making a simple 2D game for iPhone. Think of the game as a ball on the screen that goes up while the user is touching the screen and falls down when the user stops touching the screen. The ball starts moving up in touchesBegan:withEvent and starts moving down in touchesEnded:withEvent. This works fine almost all the time. However on occasion the ball will keep moving up after the user stops touching... or the ball will keep moving down while the user is touching. Why is this happening? Just fyi the ball is drawn on a UIWindow. The taps are handled by a UIImageview subclass that's clearColor and takes up the entire screen. This "touchLayer" is also moved to the front of the window in the game loop. Any idea why this control scheme occasionally fails? Perhaps the touch events just aren't firing? Or they're fired out of order? Cheers!

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  • Card deck and sparse matrix interview questions

    - by MrDatabase
    I just had a technical phone screen w/ a start-up. Here's the technical questions I was asked ... and my answers. What do think of these answers? Feel free to post better answers :-) Question 1: how would you represent a standard 52 card deck in (basically any language)? How would you shuffle the deck? Answer: use an array containing a "Card" struct or class. Each instance of card has some unique identifier... either it's position in the array or a unique integer member variable in the range [0, 51]. Shuffle the cards by traversing the array once from index zero to index 51. Randomly swap ith card with "another card" (I didn't remember how this shuffle algorithm works exactly). Watch out for using the same probability for each card... that's a gotcha in this algorithm. I mentioned the algorithm is from Programming Pearls. Question 2: how to represent a large sparse matrix? the matrix can be very large... like 1000x1000... but only a relatively small number (~20) of the entries are non-zero. Answer: condense the array into a list of the non-zero entries. for a given entry (i,j) in the array... "map" (i,j) to a single integer k... then use k as a key into a dictionary or hashtable. For the 1000x1000 sparse array map (i,j) to k using something like f(i, j) = i + j * 1001. 1001 is just one plus the maximum of all i and j. I didn't recall exactly how this mapping worked... but the interviewer got the idea (I think). Are these good answers? I'm wondering because after I finished the second question the interviewer said the dreaded "well that's all the questions I have for now." Cheers!

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  • Automating repetitive game development tasks

    - by MrDatabase
    Disclaimer: this is an open-ended and kinda "far out" question Over the last few years I've made a few iPhone games. I use very common programs like Xcode and Illustrator to make the games. Lately I've become tired of repeating certain tasks over and over again. Here are some examples: in Xcode: "clean target, build, run" over and over again in Xcode: delete image resources and then import updated image resources (identical names) I'd like to automate these tasks in Xcode. Any ideas? I've done some automation in Photoshop using the "button mode" thing where you record a macro... that's been very useful. Here's the kinda wacky or "far out" part of the question: how can this automation be done via voice commands? (perhaps using a Nuance product or something) Here's an example of what I'd love to do via a few voice commands: Save artwork from illustrator at a user-specified size (@2x versions as well) Delete "someArt.png" and "[email protected]" from Xcode Add the updated versions of someArt.png to Xcode In Xcode: clean target, build, and run I know this question probably seems bizarre... but something like this could make certain things substantially easier for game developers. Edit: wonder if a combination of AppleScript and Nuance might work?

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  • Beginner question about vertex arrays in OpenGL

    - by MrDatabase
    Is there a special order in which vertices are entered into a vertex array? Currently I'm drawing single textures like this: glBindTexture(GL_TEXTURE_2D, texName); glVertexPointer(2, GL_FLOAT, 0, vertices); glTexCoordPointer(2, GL_FLOAT, 0, coordinates); glDrawArrays(GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, 0, 4); where vertices has four "xy pairs". This is working fine. As a test I doubled the sizes of the vertices and coordinates arrays and changed the last line above to: glDrawArrays(GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, 0, 8); since vertices now contains eight "xy pairs". I do see two textures (the second is intentionally offset from the first). However the textures are now distorted. I've tried passing GL_TRIANGLES to glDrawArrays instead of GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP but this doesn't work either. I'm so new to OpenGL that I thought it's best to just ask here :-) Cheers!

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  • Basic game architechture best practices in Cocos2D on iOS

    - by MrDatabase
    Consider the following simple game: 20 squares floating around an iPhone's screen. Tapping a square causes that square to disappear. What's the "best practices" way to set this up in Cocos2D? Here's my plan so far: One Objective-c GameState singleton class (maintains list of active squares) One CCScene (since there's no menus etc) One CCLayer (child node of the scene) Many CCSprite nodes (one for each square, all child nodes of the layer) Each sprite listens for a tap on itself. Receive tap = remove from GameState Since I'm relatively new to Cocos2D I'd like some feedback on this design. For example I'm unsure of the GameState singleton. Perhaps it's unnecessary.

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  • Texture artifacts on iPad

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm porting an iPhone game to the iPad. When I move textures "quickly" (5.0 pixels every update at a rate of 60 Hz) I start to see little "artifacts" or remnants of where the texture used to be. I'm not sure if I know the correct terminology for this... imagine a texture at some location on the screen... then next to it is the same texture but faded a bit... then the same texture again just faded a bit more. I'm using CADisplayLink to drive my update loop if that helps. Also I didn't see this issue on the 3G or the iPhone 4. Any ideas? Cheers!

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  • How can I improve the "smoothness" of a 2D side-scrolling iPhone game?

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm working on a relatively simple 2D side-scrolling iPhone game. The controls are tilt-based. I use OpenGL ES 1.1 for the graphics. The game state is updated at a rate of 30 Hz... And the drawing is updated at a rate of 30 fps (via NSTimer). The smoothness of the drawing is ok... But not quite as smooth as a game like iFighter. What can I do to improve the smoothness of the game? Here are the potential issues I've briefly considered: I'm varying the opacity of up to 15 "small" (20x20 pixels) textures at a time... Apparently varying the opacity in this manner can degrade drawing performance I'm rendering at only 30 fps (via NSTimer)... Perhaps 2D games like iFighter are rendered at a higher frame rate? Perhaps the game state could be updated at a faster rate? Note the acceleration vales are updated at 100 Hz... So I could potentially update part of the game state at 100 hz All of my textures are PNG24... Perhaps PNG8 would help (due to smaller size etc)

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  • Indie devs working with publishers

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm an independent game developer considering working with a publisher. This question is very informative however I have more questions. Please give feedback on the following issues... I think this can be helpful to many indie devs in the same situation. Source code: is it common for developers to give the publisher the source code? Code quality: does this matter when working with a publisher any more so than when just working on your own (or in a small team)? Just wondering if developers working for the publisher might scoff at the code quality and perhaps influence the relationship between developer and publisher. Unique game concepts: are publishers generally biased towards new/novel game concepts? Intellectual property: if I send a playable demo to a publisher what's to stop them from just reproducing the new/novel game mechanic? I think the answer is basically nothing... but I'm wondering if this is a realistic concern. Revenue sharing: how does it work? what's a common ratio? 70/30? 30/70? Flaky publishers: how common is it for a publisher to "string along" developers for a while then just drop them? Can this be reconciled with a contract of some kind? And any other issues you've encountered or heard of.

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  • Where can I find "magic numbers" for classic game play mechanics?

    - by MrDatabase
    I'd like to find some "magic numbers" for the classic helicopter game. For example the numbers that determine how fast the helicopter accelerates up and down. Also perhaps the "randomness" of the obstacles (uniformly distributed? Gaussian?). Where can I find these numbers? p.s. I don't care about the particular platform... Flash on the desktop browser is just as good as some implementation on a mobile device.

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  • How can I program the function keys on my MacBook?

    - by mrdatabase
    I'd like to assign basic tasks to the function keys (or other keys if it's easier) on my MacBook. For example I'd like the following to happen when F1 (or whatever key) is pressed: Launch Safari Open a new window Navigate to some specified site Another example could be: Launch Xcode Open some specific project I've experimented with the Automator for things like re-naming dozens of files in a particular directory but I don't know where to start for the above examples.

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  • Decoding ima4 audio format

    - by MrDatabase
    To reduce the download size of an iPhone application I'm compressing some audio files. Specifically I'm using afconvert on the command line to change .wav format to .caf format w/ ima4 compression. I've read this (wooji-juice.com) awesome post about this exact topic. I'm having trouble w/ the "decoding ima4 packets" step. I've looked at their sample code and I'm stuck. Please help w/ some pseudo code or sample code that can guide me in the right direction. Thanks! Additional info: Here is what I've completed and where I'm having trouble... I can play .wav files in both the simulator and on the phone. I can compress .wav files to .caf w/ ima4 compression using afconvert on the command line. I'm using the SoundEngine that came w/ CrashLanding (I fixed one memory leak). I modified the SoundEngine code to look for the mFormatID 'ima4'. I don't understand the blog post linked above starting w/ "Calculating the size of the unpacked data". Why do I need to do this? Also, what does the term "packet" refer to? I'm very new to any sort of audio programming.

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  • Why does calling glMatrixMode(GL_PROJECTION) give me EXC_BAD_ACCESS in an iPhone app?

    - by MrDatabase
    I have an iphone app where I call these three functions in appDidFinishLaunching: glMatrixMode(GL_PROJECTION); glOrthof(0, rect.size.width, 0, rect.size.height, -1, 1); glMatrixMode(GL_MODELVIEW); When stepping through with the debugger I get EXC BAD ACCESS when I execute the first line. Any ideas why this is happening? Btw I have another application where I do the same thing and it works fine. So I've tried to duplicate everything in that app (#imports, adding OpenGLES framework, etc) but now I'm just stuck.

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  • Data structure in c for fast look-up/insertion/removal of integers (from a known finite domain)

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm writing a mobile phone based game in c. I'm interested in a data structure that supports fast (amortized O(1) if possible) insertion, look-up, and removal. The data structure will store integers from the domain [0, n] where n is known ahead of time (it's a constant) and n is relatively small (on the order of 100000). So far I've considered an array of integers where the "ith" bit is set iff the "ith" integer is contained in the set (so a[0] is integers 0 through 31, a[1] is integers 32 through 63 etc). Is there an easier way to do this in c?

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  • How can I change the animation style of a modal UIViewController?

    - by MrDatabase
    I'm currently displaying a UIViewController like this: [[self navigationController] presentModalViewController:modalViewController animated:YES]; and hiding it like this: [self.navigationController dismissModalViewControllerAnimated:YES]; The animation is "slide up from the bottom"... then slide back down. How can I change the animation style? Can I made it fade in/out? Cheers!

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  • Patents and intellectual property

    - by MrDatabase
    A colleague of mine made an assertion that "your employer owns all patents that you file while an employee". Is this accurate? For example: Suppose I'm an employee of company xyz where I make widgets of type "w". In my spare time I make widgets of type "t" as a hobby. I do not use any resources from company xyz at all for my hobby. Also the widget types are completely different. For example w could be lawn mower wheels and t could be sliding door frames (so I'm not using any skills learned from my employment at company xyz when making widgets of type t). If I were to file and receive a patent for widgets of type t would company xyz have any rights/ownership to this at all?

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  • OpenGL ES 2.0 and glPushMatrix, glPopMatrix

    - by MrDatabase
    Does OpenGL ES 2.0 still support glPushMatrix and glPopMatrix? I'm currently using these in the following way: glPushMatrix(); glTranslatef(xLoc, yLoc, 0); [myTexturePointer drawAtPoint:CGPointZero]; glPopMatrix(); I'm asking because I've read a few things about 2.0 "removing the matrix stack from the spec". Since I'm relatively new to OpenGL I'm not sure where to find a definitive answer.

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  • iPhone game w/ iTunes background music

    - by MrDatabase
    I've noticed some games in the app store that allow the user to play background music through iTunes. As a developer how can I add this functionality to my game? (I've searched for "open itunes from iphone game", "integrate itunes into iphone game" etc and no luck).

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