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What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev 181

An anonymous reader writes "Alex Norton is the man behind Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, an upcoming indie action-RPG. What makes Malevolence interesting is that it's infinite. It uses procedural generation to create a world that's actually endless. Norton jumped into this project without having worked at any big gaming studios, and in this article he shares what he's learned as an independent game developer. Quoting: "A large, loud portion of the public will openly hate you regardless of what you do. Learn to live with it. No-one will ever take your project as seriously as you, or fully realize what you're going through. ... The odds of you making money out of it are slim. If you want to succeed, you'll likely have to sell out. Just how MUCH you sell out is up to you.' He also suggests new game devs avoid RPGs for their first titles, making a thorough plan before you begin (i.e. game concepts explained well enough that a non-gamer could understand), and considering carefully whether the game will benefit from a public development process."
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What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev

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  • Re:Um,,, (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:43PM (#42083199) Homepage Journal

    Forgive me for breaking in here, but TFA mentions both Minecraft and Elite.

    But then again, this is slashdot, so...

  • Re:Infinite (Score:5, Informative)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @05:27PM (#42083433)

    However, from a mortal human's perspective, 64-bit is infinite.

    You're presuming that you'll be limited to walking or other slow means of transportation. And that there are no bots involved.

    Actually, no, he isn't.

    Let's just say that you have millimeter precision in a 64-bit integer, which would make the world 18,446,744,073,709,551 meters across. Even at the speed of light, it would take 61,531,714 seconds to traverse that distance, or nearly two years. Got that...we're talking about a world that is two light years across.

    So, as long as you limit travel to some reasonable speed (e.g., 300km/sec, or nearly 10 times faster than anything man-made has ever travelled), the world is infinite for all practical purposes, even with a "faster time passage" UI. Likewise, teleportation could have a limited distance (even thousands of miles) and not be a problem unless it took literally zero time to complete.

    And, this is assuming that the 64-bit number is used to directly map each millimeter. If, instead, it is a more granular area and the sub-areas are procedurally generated (which is what TFA says), then perhaps the resolution is a somewhere between 1 and 100 meters. This increases the world size to anywhere from 2,000 to 200,000 light years.

    I bet even with a world as big as the Milky Way galaxy, there will be people who complain that the game is overpriced.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal