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Re: sup

Postby Cassiel » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:58 pm

We've had this discussion before =p.

Stexe wrote:I've been doing a lot of GameJams and been trying to break into the game industry for a few years now.

The industry part is where it broke down for me. I've been saying this for years: Games, as an industry, are bloody awful. You and erwt talked in that thread like just having a job is this great thing, but I don't see it that way. If you're really talented, there's incredibly fulfilling work out there waiting to be done, and there are companies that actually value what you bring to the table and bend over backwards (compensation, career and personal development, work-life balance, general happiness and well-being) for you. You don't have to settle.

Games are great, but as a way to pay the bills? Nah. You'll get a lot more money and much better quality of life doing something else. Even the big dawg VPs at Blizzard would cry if they saw my paycheck.
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Re: sup

Postby Stexe » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:11 pm

Cassiel wrote:We've had this discussion before =p.

Stexe wrote:I've been doing a lot of GameJams and been trying to break into the game industry for a few years now.

The industry part is where it broke down for me. I've been saying this for years: Games, as an industry, are bloody awful. You and erwt talked in that thread like just having a job is this great thing, but I don't see it that way. If you're really talented, there's incredibly fulfilling work out there waiting to be done, and there are companies that actually value what you bring to the table and bend over backwards (compensation, career and personal development, work-life balance, general happiness and well-being) for you. You don't have to settle.

Games are great, but as a way to pay the bills? Nah. You'll get a lot more money and much better quality of life doing something else. Even the big dawg VPs at Blizzard would cry if they saw my paycheck.


It isn't only about money though. It is about a lot more. I think a lot of companies within the industry are very, very toxic. But there are others, especially now with the huge indie scene, that are a great boon and really amazing. I was working on a casual puzzle game for a while, but ran into some difficulties with my programmer and engine updates (we'd have to refactor everything to continue much more). Still, I enjoy making games first and foremost and getting paid and making a living off of it just makes it more interesting and exciting.

I can see where some people would get worn out really fast with the industry and just want to maintain it as a hobby.

... But have you even been doing it as a hobby? :-P
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Re: sup

Postby Zeuter » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:48 am

Cassiel wrote:
Zeuter wrote:I missed over half of the lectures, studied for 3 days for an exam covering 2 months of machine learning, and aced it. There just isn't much to it anymore.

Academic training in this area appears to be worthless in practice. I work with a machine learning Ph.D. from Stanford and have had to coach him on the most basic things. For example we have a pretty standard SGD SVM + random kitchen sinks classifier in one product, and I asked him to apply Platt scaling to calibrate the posterior probabilities. Rookie shit. After a few hours I check in and he's stuck because the test model he trained returns 100% confidence in the same class every time. A few seconds looking at the code shows he hasn't scaled the features ... and it's not that he forgot. Oh no, that would be forgivable. It's that he, a machine learning Ph.D. from Stanford, doesn't already know that you need to scale features for an SVM, and has no intuition about why such a thing might be prudent for an SVM as opposed to, say, decision trees. Oy.


Heh, I've just gotten to SVMs, currently I'm working on training a small variety of models on the mnist handwritten digit dataset. No idea what random kitchen sinks are, scaling is a given though so that's hilarious.

I do agree that academic training doesn't map particularly well to real-world work, as you don't have the processing power, nor is it about making any particular accurate model. There's too much to cover in too little time, so I'm forced to do a broad analysis of how well different very basic algorithms (multinomial logit models, svms, neural nets) work in practice, as well as learning how everything theoretically works under the hood.

Re: games, although the tech can be interesting and applicable in other fields, it really is a terrible choice. It's all about money and power, and there is no money in indie games. If you cannot force the hand of your employer you will be exploited, and you will be unhappier for it. I'm considering migrating, as EU compensation is generally terrible, and the work is for the most part metaprogramming-less CRUD codemonkeying. You know, the kind of work that is outsourced to India. Frankly I think it's absurd that that work even exists, because if the foundations of CRUD shops were better, then there would be no work to outsource. There's plenty of companies and bizarre recruiters here trying to get me to work for them (ever read a recruitment email that read like it was dystopian scifi?), but that kind of work is just ridiculous.

However, the bay area startup scene seems mostly like a collection of fraudulent investment vehicles. Entrepreneurship in the EU is an option, but the quality (and volume) of investors in Europe is much, much lower than it is in the US. Any suggestions?
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Re: sup

Postby Cassiel » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:52 pm

Stexe wrote:... But have you even been doing it as a hobby? :-P

Nope, that itch seems to have been sufficiently scratched for the time being.

Zeuter wrote:However, the bay area startup scene seems mostly like a collection of fraudulent investment vehicles. Entrepreneurship in the EU is an option, but the quality (and volume) of investors in Europe is much, much lower than it is in the US. Any suggestions?

I'm anti-startup, as a general rule. But if a company's mission is really interesting, and if they'll IPO within a reasonable timeframe or they have a long exercise window, it might be worth exploring. Otherwise there are a zillion public companies here -- no need to rely on startups. Plus if you came to Silicon Valley we'd totally hang out.
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Re: sup

Postby Deacon (AYC) » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:15 pm

Cassiel wrote:We've had this discussion before =p.

Stexe wrote:I've been doing a lot of GameJams and been trying to break into the game industry for a few years now.

The industry part is where it broke down for me. I've been saying this for years: Games, as an industry, are bloody awful. You and erwt talked in that thread like just having a job is this great thing, but I don't see it that way. If you're really talented, there's incredibly fulfilling work out there waiting to be done, and there are companies that actually value what you bring to the table and bend over backwards (compensation, career and personal development, work-life balance, general happiness and well-being) for you. You don't have to settle.

Games are great, but as a way to pay the bills? Nah. You'll get a lot more money and much better quality of life doing something else. Even the big dawg VPs at Blizzard would cry if they saw my paycheck.


Didn't Riot hit you up years ago before they decided to actively kill their game every patch? Dodged a bullet there, their office culture is awful from what I've read.
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Re: sup

Postby Cassiel » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:44 pm

I just emailed with Cadwell a bit. Our ideas about game design did not mesh. I also tried to start a conversation with Blizzard about HotS through o. Was curious to get in a room with that team and see their thought processes in action, but they never engaged.
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Re: sup

Postby Stexe » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:38 pm

Deacon (AYC) wrote:Didn't Riot hit you up years ago before they decided to actively kill their game every patch? Dodged a bullet there, their office culture is awful from what I've read.


It has changed a lot over the years. It used to be like a frat place and a "bro" house. But it has become much more standard from what I've heard. Both mixed blessings. I pursued a job there for a while but they grew too fast and I lost my chance when they really started hiring only the best of the best and stopped looking for people to grow with them (about half their staff said they wouldn't get hired now if they re-applied).

Cassiel wrote:I just emailed with Cadwell a bit. Our ideas about game design did not mesh. I also tried to start a conversation with Blizzard about HotS through o. Was curious to get in a room with that team and see their thought processes in action, but they never engaged.


I've had some different view than Cadwell also. But Riot has a lot of designers so I've talked to quite a few over the years. Meddler and I share a lot of design philosophies, especially since we're both huge "Race for the Galaxy" and board game fans.
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Re: sup

Postby Cassiel » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:56 pm

Cadwell was boring. Mechanically, narratively, just all-around boring.

Race is good clean fun.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:21 am

Mmmh. dirty talk on life, tech, design, art makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.


W00t. This year's Best of Web got out.



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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:26 pm

I have an odd relation to concepts such as work-life balance, quality of life. I understand it, I recommend it, but I don't actually believe in it. Or should I say I know I can't have it.

You cannot recommend doing start-up to someone. You just can't. It's like recommending S&M. Either the person is into it or not, but it needs no recommendation, and it cannot be recommended.

The reason you're doing it is not a hope for better life, but because of an irrational drive, a passionate conviction, to see a vision come to life. And you'll do anything to see it through. You know you'll find no peace even in paradise, for as long as you haven't seen this through. This thing, your thing. Yet you are not your own. You are possessed. by the thing. The founder is the startup's soul, it lives or dies with that person. No one works harder, no one can, take all the risks and responsibility. Why would anyone? It is madness. it must be from any other person's perspective. Because it is not theirs. Not their kid. No one can be this willing, to do what must be done. And make no mistake, it must be done. more than anyone else can do, this necessary self-abuse, to see it all through. Someone has to be that cursed fool. To make the impossible possible. And no amount of smart can save you from the suffering. But you don't see it that way. in your diluted craze. Sure you complain. But you wouldn't have it any other way. not you. You damn fool. You poor idiot. Look at you, rejoicing at every tiny win along the way, as if it were everything, as if the greater costs were suddenly nothing. You tragic hero. The world is indepted to you.
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Re: sup

Postby Zeuter » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:20 pm

Cassiel wrote:I'm anti-startup, as a general rule. But if a company's mission is really interesting, and if they'll IPO within a reasonable timeframe or they have a long exercise window, it might be worth exploring. Otherwise there are a zillion public companies here -- no need to rely on startups. Plus if you came to Silicon Valley we'd totally hang out.


Sure, I'll shoot you a message when I move in +-2 years. Any category of companies (no CRUD ever again) or local geographical areas that stand out? I'd dislike blindly picking a place to live/work. So far I've only been to SF, which was excellent though it's startup central.
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Re: sup

Postby Zeuter » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:33 pm

Also RAV why aren't you just getting a CS degree. Evidently you find programming easy enough. I know you have your hangups but no customer can see that when you're working as a remote freelancer.
The idea that anyone is not a misfit is ridiculous. Nobody fits, anything only fits for anyone if you permanently accept discomfort, are complacent and let yourself be covered by layers of ossified crud.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:46 pm

Who knows. Maybe one day. Right after the twelve step program.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:29 am

was a challenging year. everything hard fought. some good progress. still far away from the goal.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:21 pm

omg, I just started up the very first version from a year ago, and holy fucking shit does it suck, ahaha... man that must have been a disappointment back then... Right off the bat, all the screen tearing on a modern machine. And then it manages to run a lot worse on its pitiful 100k cubes than it does now on 3 million. Hard to imagine I ever took pride in that, but I did at the time. It was already plenty tough just getting there. Oh man...

Not to mention the shit ton difference in functionality. oh wow. it really has come a long way. The best progress after release was towards the end of the year though. I bought a Radeon 480 a couple months ago, much sooner than anticipated. Was a hard buy for me, but I had to, for continuing. I had no other way of doing tests, and no feedback on how things ran on what machine, so had to figure it out myself, bought AMD because it had the biggest chance of problems I had to see for myself. It did indeed have problems. but I was able to fix it. It was for when I made the patch after the 3 month summer pause, version u. I'm very happy with the card, best I ever had. Recent drivers pretty good now. It doesn't really matter anymore which gfx card vendor or OS version you run. it was very tough pulling myself all on my own through the year. But I'm confident with where things are at. And if it all goes to plan, in yet another year the progress will be as big or more as to what it's been. Man, just to imagine, that one day the current version would look any as pitiful compared as to the first from now.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:14 am

I can't say there's a lot I like about LoL. From game design to character concepts.

But somehow I really dig this Camille theme intro.

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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:23 am

OMFG, the new Vega gfx chips from AMD are gonna be so good I almost feel buyer's remorse, haha. Their new optimization features will benefit Blackbox very well.
And their new Ryzen cpu. Holy cow AMD is back with a vengeance. Finally competitive again. At last the market can recover a bit from Intel/Nvidea price gauging.
I'm also super excited about their new all-in-one chips based on that, might be the first generation of those that's seriously viable low cost solution to decent gaming.
Sheesh, I'd be so in the mood to buy all that shit right away! But is alright, the current hardware will keep carry my development the next couple years plenty fine.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:53 am

But man, I feel slightly cheated on. They always made it sound like the Polaris generation is their low to mid range and Vega will be high end. Now it seems Vega will be a complete line up from low to high, and Polaris was just an half-arsed inbetween. This might be one of the shortest lived generations. Well, anyway. Nothing really to complain about. The current cube count is flying over frames just fine.

What's more concerning is something else. I still couldn't test how it runs nowadays on Intel gfx. Just had no good opportunity. I know Blackbox runs on even 10 year old gfx cards from ATI/Nvidea. But right now I just don't know about Intel at all. I'm somewhat doubtful it would even start on Intel this old. But I'd like to know if it at least works on Intel gfx of the last 5 years or so. Gotta figure a way to test this somewhere.

If nothing else, I might do it the hard way again. Buy shit. Maybe something used, or these new PC-on-USB-Stick. Seriously that shit exists now. Intel Compute Sticks. Fully proper x86 pc with 2 or 4 gb ram and 32 or 64 gb ssd, 4 core Intel Atom cpu, Intel HD gfx, and Win10 installed. Saw this shit for as low as 70$. I mean it's a regular pc on a fucking usb stick! Just plug it in a TV or whatever! Fuck me, crazy times we live in.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:53 am

Hrrm, but actually, not even that is high on priority. Finding proper art support would be the most interesting. That might turn out the bigger challenge of the year.
Even though I fully believe that right now, the possibilities are awesome and worth the trouble, I doubt I'm at a stage yet that is largely attractive enough, if ever.
If only I had put the time of arguing with people rather into practicing art while coding Blackbox, I'd be good to go now. Learning self-sufficiency is a true king maker.
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Re: sup

Postby Zeuter » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:48 pm

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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:57 pm

hahaha, those were the days, man, those were the days.
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:46 am

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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:02 pm

Stumbled upon this channel playing all kinds of War3 custom maps. It's not really reviews but just some casual hands-on test play. The guy so happened to give ToB a try too! That's cool, since I don't know of any other video showcasing a match in version O. Video is from about 8 months ago. got 12k views. I think this explains the spikes in traffic that were plaguing us. Yup. ToB still able to pull some crowds!



He isn't exactly pro level... his observation and use of the Inquisitor awkward. Not showing a lot of other cool things. But it feels great seeing ToB in action after all this time.
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Re: sup

Postby Fledermaus » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:06 pm

Jesus that was painful to watch...
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Re: sup

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:28 pm

I laughed out loud at the mule scene. "What the hell is this guy doing over here? oh no!" mwahaha.

Also, while searching for old ToB stuff, stumbled on this article part 1 and part 2. Though it reviews an old version of ToB, it's a pretty good read.
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