Maluvin's forum posts

#1 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

I think one of the biggest mistakes learning to program is getting over the hump of actually trying to make something. It's the difference between saying "I want to be a painter" and actually painting. It's important to learn concepts and tech but eventually you just have to start because that's going to show you what you actually know and what you'll need to invest more time into. Learn a bit, code a bit, learn a bit more, code a bit more. My programming experience leans more towards databases and automation so my skills and needs are different than what might be required in games.

Tutorials can be a fun introduction to a concept but until you try to apply it to a problem you're not necessarily learning the algorithmic programming mindset you're going to need to develop over time. I like Codecademy but that approach has its limits. A good way to use it is to do a tutorial then try to use that particular knowledge to make a related but (from your perspective) novel problem. Ex. you might have a tutorial that shows you how to do a loop to count something up to a specific value. Do that tutorial then use a loop to do something different like add a value to a particular variable while reducing a different variable.

Books and forums are good options too. Personally I find that sites and books that give you actual problems to try and solve without fully coded solutions are the most useful resources because they force you to actually work and struggle with problems. I fully endorse the view that programming is fun but it's like exercise in that a certain amount of struggle is required to get results and improvement.

Also don't get hung up on finding the 'perfect' language (that's like chasing the grail). Languages come and go and evolve but concepts endure.

#2 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

@drsocial said:

Not sure why people are mad at Brad when Alex did basically the same thing to get Jazzpunk on the list. People kept coming up with reasons it shouldn't be on the list, but he ignored them because it was his passion game. Brad does the same and he's hated. GOTY time is weird I guess.

I agree.

I don't necessarily want to excuse Brad but Alex was pretty dismissive in his initial objection to Destiny being a contender. It felt a little like he thought the very notion of Destiny being up there was offensive and his initial voicing to that effect wasn't really nuanced or articulate compared to some of his later arguments.

#3 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

I want to chime in and recommend that Simon Schama book as well to anyone who wants to know more about the French Revolution. It's definitely a time commitment but it's such a great window into that period of history. Even if you can't make it through the whole thing it's still worth diving into a few chapters IMHO. Not a perfect book and there's been 20+ years of scholarship done since then but still worth reading especially if your education on the subject doesn't extend beyond the intro paragraph of a wiki article.

#4 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

I've said this before elsewhere but it's really hard to think about these movies in isolation (haha) at this point especially in relation to the character of Ripley so picking a favorite can be a bit odd.

Ripley is a sci-fi icon as well a feminist icon at this point but in the first film she's actually a fairly simple character who just happens to be the one who survives through to the end. True, she survives because she's able to keep it together better than a lot of the rest of the crew but there's also a significant amount of luck involved when you think about it. None of the mothering aspects are there, she hasn't transitioned to overcoming her fear like she does in Aliens, she's not standing up against a mega-corporation, or rising above the chaos as a leader. None of that is to say she's any sort of pushover but I do think there's a tendency these days to attribute more to the the original film than is actually there.

Alien is also dated in a charming way IMO. I personally love the lo-fi/worked-in aesthetic around the whole thing but especially in relation to computer monitors the film can sometimes show its age.

With that said Alien is definitely my favorite. It's very complete unto itself and works at a deeper level than any of the later films in terms of knowing when to go for subtlety and when to be in your face. The Alien is more of a biological demon in the first film whereas the aliens in the following films are more like icky bugs. Different sort of horror (but both are cool).

#5 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

Think Brad is doing a superb job as host. He provides a good "straight-man" anchor to the Bombast which allows everyone else to shine in terms of flow and tone. He's reigns in things enough to keep it from going off the rails, throws in topics when they're needed, calls out weirdness for further exploration that others might just overlook. It's improving which each podcast IMO. Most importantly it sounds like all of them are having fun and that makes for great entertainment.

Good job, Brad!

#6 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

@maluvin: Yarp, look at the first few posts, all from 3 days ago.

Ah I see it now. Front page made it look otherwise for me at first. Thanks.

#7 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

@maluvin: He wrote this before the weekend

Did he? It's showing a July 14th publish date for me (specifically talking about Worth Reading, rather than the individual stories cited). Either way if I wasn't clear I had in mind reflective time for the reader. I know that people like stories published as soon as possible after events but think revisiting stories with a couple more days worth of reflective time has some value as well.

#8 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

I think having Worth Reading published on a Monday is a good way to go. I was a little wary of the change at first but it's nice seeing a reflective piece that's had the benefit of a weekend's rest and consideration.

#9 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

The Far Cry 4 cover controversy has been odd for me. I just never got the impression that the image was showing the character in a positive light or that the image necessarily glossed over potential implications, at least no more so than most game covers that go without comment. Some might argue that an American soldier on the cover of a Call of Duty game is a much more terrifying image in some parts of the world. That's not to necessarily excuse or dismiss that Far Cry image but I guess my point is I'm unclear why that particular image stood out compared to what we see pretty much all the time.

I think about some of controversy surrounding the Luftrauser's art and Rami's commentary about taking interpretations seriously even when the original intention or thought was completely in a different place. I can understand the interpretations even if I don't agree with them.

I will say that there's also something interesting about how a number of people thought the guy was white. I think it might say something about how race and power is tied up in our cultural interpretation of images and scenes. For what it's worth I'm partially of Asian ancestry and I initially thought the guy was white too until I took a closer look. =/

#10 Posted by Maluvin (272 posts) -

I've put in about 5 hours so far and I'm having a great time. As a veteran of the old Thief games there's definitely a difference but overall I like what I'm seeing so far. I think others who have enjoyed the game have said most of the points I'd bring up about what I like about it. I think it could have used more technical polish and there are some mobility constraints that could use refining but I think this game does the right things as far as presenting a thieving experience (as opposed to an assassin experience).

On a personal note I've been pretty bummed by the Giant Bomb staff reaction to this particular game. I get not liking this game or stealth games in general because it's definitely not for everyone (much like games like Dark Souls certainly aren't for everyone) but I just feel the tenor of the criticism has been particularly dismissive and that a certain negative attitude kind of set in early on for this title. It's no secret that this title had a troubled development history and there's a part of me that wonders if that's colored things a bit too much. There are certainly some technical things that could be smoother and if the story has weaknesses I absolutely feel comfortable with people voicing their opinion but, man, some of the criticisms of the mechanics (particularly criticism of them being outdated) just seemed to be presented like there was some universally acknowledged truth without nearly enough questioning of whether that was actually the case. I find it a bizarre criticism at a time when lots of older ideas in games are being given a new appreciation.

I don't know - maybe there's been a more involved behind the scenes discussion that didn't make it into the presented Giant Bomb content. There's a part of me that wonders if Vinny or Patrick might not like it better compared to some of the other guys but I have a sense that it won't be given a fair shake under the pressures of time for other titles and that's a shame IMO especially with so many gamers (at their admittedly own expense) taking the staff's opinions as facts.

If the overall experience holds up for me my hope is that the performance issues will see some improvement with patching and that it will do enough with Steam sales to warrant a more refined and accepted sequel.