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A computer game with a pro-freedom story?

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This would probably fit better in "The Arts," but there's no sub-forum that covers computer games. So...

Mirror's Edge is an upcoming game from Electronic Arts. It takes place in a distopian future where the government monitors and controls communication, so private communication takes place via "runners," couriers who use the city's rooftops to pass confidential information physically. You play Faith, one such runner whose parents were killed for protesting the government and whose sister is imprisoned by the same.

I have hopes for this game. It looks like it could be a real hit, and from the above it sounds like it will have a strong pro-freedom plot. It might be worth keeping an eye on.

I learned about it here, and did a short follow-up here. Some amazing gameplay footage - yes, gameplay, not cutscene - can be seen here.

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Thank you for the information.

Lately while playing some new games for my PS3 I have noticed 2 negative factors compared to 10 years ago. The first is that a lot of the games do not seem to have a real hero or cause that one is supposed to be fighting for. A lot of times the character that one plays in these games is the best of the worst and this does take away from the overall enjoyment. The next thing I have noticed is that the PS3 games are much shorter than games I played ten years ago. I do not know the exact cause for this, whether it is some type of limit on the disc because of the graphics being so much more advanced than years ago. Or, if they are just not giving as much story to the characters and the problems that have to be overcome. An example, is the original Tomb Raider took me a couple weeks of a good amount of daily playing to beat it. Now when I rent a game (if you buy it, it also cost more than it's predecessor) I can stay up with my boys pretty late on Saturday, which is usualy the day I rent the game, and be able to return it by Sunday evening.

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Games have became much shorter, it is mainly due to cost. As each game improves in the quality of its graphics, it takes much more time for Artists to create that level of detail. The tools have unfortunately not kept up with the amount of labour that is required.

One thing that does surprise me is the fact that common objects such as chairs, tables and so on are not developed independently and then sold to game studios, so they can be reused between games.

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Games have became much shorter, it is mainly due to cost. As each game improves in the quality of its graphics, it takes much more time for Artists to create that level of detail. The tools have unfortunately not kept up with the amount of labour that is required.

One thing that does surprise me is the fact that common objects such as chairs, tables and so on are not developed independently and then sold to game studios, so they can be reused between games.

When object-oriented programming became a major technique, many of us in the business expected that there would be a very large market for software objects.* As far as I know, that never happened. That sort of thing would be exactly what you're talking about.

_____

*For those unfamiliar with programming, a software object is a collection of program code consisting of encapsulated data and functions which give the object specific properties and behaviors analogous to the way physical entities have characteristics and actions according to their nature. Objects are created in a program and interact with other objects according to their stated properties and behaviors, again in an analogous way to the interaction of physical entities. One could create a "table" object, for example, and it would be able to interact with a "ball" object, such that the software ball could (within the program and potentially though not necessarily displayed on screen) bounce off the software table's surface.

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I can't speak for the wider programming industry, but my observations say that it has started to happen now in the web development industry.

If I quote a price for custom coding some functionality, the clients who know the industry instead outsource it to India, and the ones who don't, decline by saying their marketing budget is not big enough to allow that. If I were to drop my prices to match their expectations, well lets just say there will be another poor starving beggar on the streets. B)

In the past 2 years, I have made more money by looking for solutions already available on the internet, and setting those up, with adding perhaps a couple small features, than I have ever made in my life so far doing normal development.

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_____

*For those unfamiliar with programming, a software object is a collection of program code consisting of encapsulated data and functions which give the object specific properties and behaviors analogous to the way physical entities have characteristics and actions according to their nature. Objects are created in a program and interact with other objects according to their stated properties and behaviors, again in an analogous way to the interaction of physical entities. One could create a "table" object, for example, and it would be able to interact with a "ball" object, such that the software ball could (within the program and potentially though not necessarily displayed on screen) bounce off the software table's surface.

I took a course in Java in college and found that aspect very appealing. Objects make the code much easier to look at in my opinion, and they allow you to transplant certain functions to other programs easily.

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You know, you're right, I'm surprised that the true promise of object-oriented programming hasn't been exploited. I guess each company wants to waste money building all its own chairs and tables, and thereby waste someone like Ray's money. The market should be catching on, there should be people latching on to this ability to make profit by selling a longer-lasting game, but it's not happening as of yet.

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One thing that does surprise me is the fact that common objects such as chairs, tables and so on are not developed independently and then sold to game studios, so they can be reused between games.

Perhaps you're not looking in the right place - Gamasutra.com is the major site related to commercial game developer resources. See, e.g., http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/products.php3?cat=153181 (Stock 3D Models and Data)

(Yes, Gamasutra is a silly pun on Kamasutra created long ago by some juvenile wit.)

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When object-oriented programming became a major technique, many of us in the business expected that there would be a very large market for software objects.* As far as I know, that never happened. That sort of thing would be exactly what you're talking about.

Objects are specific instances of classes, instantiated into memory by the actual *code* comprising the classes. Coding libraries are common, both free and for sale. See e.g. http://www.componentsource.com/index.html which has been around for a long time, as well as countless Java .jars all over the internet, which are compiled Java class libraries.

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Objects are specific instances of classes, instantiated into memory by the actual *code* comprising the classes.

Well, yes, but I didn't want to get into too much technical detail and confuse the non-programmers reading all this.

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But in 3D design, a table isn't a particularly difficult thing to achieve (takes minutes) - and you wouldn't want lots of identical tables in games.

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Games have became much shorter, it is mainly due to cost. As each game improves in the quality of its graphics, it takes much more time for Artists to create that level of detail. The tools have unfortunately not kept up with the amount of labour that is required.

One thing that does surprise me is the fact that common objects such as chairs, tables and so on are not developed independently and then sold to game studios, so they can be reused between games.

When object-oriented programming became a major technique, many of us in the business expected that there would be a very large market for software objects.* As far as I know, that never happened. That sort of thing would be exactly what you're talking about.

In talking recently with some software engineers, I asked how VB and Java (which I've used) compares to C#. It looks like Microsoft's C# language has achieved the goal of packaged reuse of code modules with clearly defined interfaces (inputs and outputs), which is an advance over other OO languages.

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In talking recently with some software engineers, I asked how VB and Java (which I've used) compares to C#. It looks like Microsoft's C# language has achieved the goal of packaged reuse of code modules with clearly defined interfaces (inputs and outputs), which is an advance over other OO languages.

I've never used C#, but packaged code with clearly defined interfaces is possible in Objective-C, an OO language I used when programming NeXT computers back in the early 90s. For example, I wrote an entire "database driver" library that isolated our company's main code from any particular database product our clients used, and I designed it specifically to have just such a nice, clean interface. There's not much to it, really: an object library is just a linkable library like any other, so as long as the compiler can create linkable libraries, whether the interfaces are clean then just depends on how well the code is designed. (And I've seen and, at least in their early stages, created some really badly designed libraries in my time. Fortunately none of mine remained that bad. :)). Any serious OO language should be capable of libraries like that.

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It looks like Microsoft's C# language has achieved the goal of packaged reuse of code modules with clearly defined interfaces (inputs and outputs), which is an advance over other OO languages.

Those are .NET assemblies which are (for the most part) DLL's of Microsoft's virtual machine code (CIL), with some additional information. DLL's and Java .jars themselves have been around for years, and are routinely used as compiled libraries of code classes, so that really isn't unique, rare, or new.

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This would probably fit better in "The Arts," but there's no sub-forum that covers computer games. So...

Mirror's Edge is an upcoming game from Electronic Arts. It takes place in a distopian future where the government monitors and controls communication, so private communication takes place via "runners," couriers who use the city's rooftops to pass confidential information physically. You play Faith, one such runner whose parents were killed for protesting the government and whose sister is imprisoned by the same.

I have hopes for this game. It looks like it could be a real hit, and from the above it sounds like it will have a strong pro-freedom plot. It might be worth keeping an eye on.

I learned about it here, and did a short follow-up here. Some amazing gameplay footage - yes, gameplay, not cutscene - can be seen here.

I like the whole look and idea of this game. It’s exiting, interesting, and new. I particularly like that the game developers didn’t go with the classic totalitarian government; instead, it’s just a nanny state (which naturally leads to more power and corruption.)

I was skeptical of a first-person Parkour (free-running) game, but after seeing this footage you can count me exited.

Also, and this might not matter to some; but I like the color pallet of this game. Most games have this metal grey or coffee/rust color. The brilliant whitewashed buildings and vibrant colors make this game unique and pretty to look at.

- Ryan

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I like the whole look and idea of this game. It’s exiting, interesting, and new. I particularly like that the game developers didn’t go with the classic totalitarian government; instead, it’s just a nanny state (which naturally leads to more power and corruption.)

I was skeptical of a first-person Parkour (free-running) game, but after seeing this footage you can count me exited.

Also, and this might not matter to some; but I like the color pallet of this game. Most games have this metal grey or coffee/rust color. The brilliant whitewashed buildings and vibrant colors make this game unique and pretty to look at.

- Ryan

The artwork for this game is incredible; I found this on the website, it's now my wallpaper:

mirrorsedgetw2.jpg

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I wonder how she is going to get across that gap to the other buildings?

Apparently, the game incorporates something called "Runner Vision"; the main character sees certain objects and areas in a certain color, and that tells her how to navigate the world.

Red means something, and yellow means something else. It’s a good idea, to compensate for the two-dimensional screen.

-Ryan

P.S. – Another design choice I noticed that was a great idea is that you don’t see many curving lines in the environments; everything travels strait, this can help with the sense of perspective in a world.

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