Painkeep v2 - Smash your opponents with all the Pain you can dish out. Deathmatch mod - make other players "die." Disclaimer - this is a free product with no warranty - see disclaimer.txt for details. Codename - Cataboligne - programmer and proud shovel owner.

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0 comments by numbersix on Jul 15th, 2013

We are all programmers and creators. Even if you never touch a computer (quite a feat in much of todays world!)


fig 1 - inspired to develop a new weapon

The basis of this article is a piece of advice I posted to another moddb member a couple years back. I recently read it and decided to spread this message - to encourage more members to expand their skills! This does not apply to one specific game or task, but to all.

The moddb community exists for many reasons, but I feel one event of the past in particular is responsible (more so than others) for its genesis.

Some developers working at a (now) well known company released a (now) very popular game 20 years back. And it was an awesome game. So awesome many were not satisfied - they had to have more.
These enterprising individuals, this fledgling fan base - they started hacking, creating tools, adding art, making levels, and whole new game worlds.

The developers had a decision to make - squash the nascent hacker community...or give it the official stamp of approval. Fortunate for us - the devs were all hackers and gamers themselves. They gave approval and released an official dev kit. Likewise for evey game they have ever released since.

For this one attitude - "the games we create, you can modify..." - we should always be thankful. (More so even than for the games themselves.)

fig 2 - examining bounding boxes in darkplaces

Any game that is worth releasing - is worth modding. And thus we are.

This piece is specific to Quake (one) and Quake-c programming. However, it could just as easily be applied to any code or development task. Modeling is my personal nemesis.


You should definitely keep at it with quake-c. It is an easy language to get into - with a bit of research you can do an easy mod in an afternoon. Just starting out, it is probably best to try and keep things simple.

This "ease of entry" is also one of the drawbacks - quake-c is just as complex (if not more so having the engine back end running it) as other high level languages and debugging any code can be a very complex and time consuming task. Stay on the positive and keep going - difficult challenge will be the case with any complex programming or technology. When you have surmounted the challenges you will be smarter and stronger!

To learn the code you have to work with it, and learn its operation and logic. Many of the early mods duplicated parts of the existing code and did something new with it.

>fear ... programming being that I suck at mental arithmetic

Nothing to fear...programming is always in the details. Many times you have to look at the logic of a piece of code step by step to make sure it is doing the right thing. Maybe work out the math on paper, or in a spread sheet. The best programming tool is always your mind.

When I'm developing I use a lot of bprint() calls to show me what the code is doing by showing function entry/exit, logic decisions and critical variables. And I try not to throw developer code in willy-nilly. I like to wrap it in control variables to turn it on and off, preferably from the console.

For me, one of the best ways to succeed with a programming task is to have a clear goal. Know exactly what you want the code to do and figure out how to do that. Moving targets are also a good project fault to avoid. Finish the goals of the task at hand before modding your own work, adding new features or changing game engines. Moving target is my biggest weakness in coding.

>age of ...

Wow. I've been programming for longer than that. Like Yoda said, age doenst matter - keep your mind sharp, exercise it. I dont ever use a calculator for basic math. I have some other advice but it takes on a more personal narrative - I have never used recreational drugs (ever!) and I dont consume alcohol. Take care of the body, take care of the mind... Programming wise, my mind feels as quick as ever. Learn how to solve problems - *any* problem. Stay frosty.

The best general advice I probably have though is to make it fun. Modding for me is at least as much fun as playing the games. And take the occasional coding break to actually play games.

fig 3 - editing a complex map in GTK Radiant

And never, ever give up...dreams come true!


fig 4 - a rare sight - a Quake (one!!) mod in the top 10!

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Post comment Comments  (20 - 30 of 39)
Mv.c9
Mv.c9 Jun 23 2010, 2:47pm says:

I love that Gravity Effect, the one that pulls everyone to itself and cuts them to bits.

I think im gonna dream abt it tonight :) . . . :0

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Jun 13 2010, 3:53pm says:

Things go slowly now with 1 hand.
On the plus side there isnt a whole lot I can do so I can do lots of coding.

Figured out a long standing Qe-radiant bug where it couldnt load q2 map texs - they were indexed tga (made that way by wally from .wal files - which radiant doesnt see) and they need to be RGB tga. Fixed that with a tricky little convert script that piped them through 100 quality jpg and back to tga using colorspace RGB. Woo-Hoo.

This goes along way towards supporting the chaos mod which is supposed to run all quake maps up to q3 and converted doom / wolf maps.

Check the .plan for daily(s) - Moddb.com
And starts some threads in the discuss and bug tracker forums - Moddb.com

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Jun 4 2010, 1:23am says:

in a bizarre twist of fate my wrist is now broken.
things might slow down a bit.
not if can freaking help it.
I got myself to the hospital with a broken wrist.
I am now re-evaluating what is and is not possible.

+1 vote   reply to comment
VampireVic
VampireVic Jun 3 2010, 10:49am says:

nice

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kommunist
Kommunist Jun 21 2010, 4:44pm replied:

+1
it's to epic !

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mv.c9
Mv.c9 Jun 3 2010, 1:19am says:

KOOOL

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix May 31 2010, 9:03pm says:

I have added a set of forums for: .plan file (no public posting, just the .plan and replies), discussion and update notices, and bug reports.

If you really want to see the somewhat daily nuts and bolts work, check the .plan file - Moddb.com .

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix May 26 2010, 5:43am says:

Thanks everyone who's responded.
Put up some more video - I enhanced auto-sentry code a bit. More sv_* variables to control the changes. Might include some *.cfg files for different server options.
Maybe even add an admin menu option & some alias to load different configs.

I'll re-load the update download once I've tested the latest build's stability.

+1 vote   reply to comment
ian502
ian502 May 24 2010, 7:15pm says:

Very nice work, keep it up with the mod

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Jul 21 2010, 12:37pm replied:

I think iD would mind if you tried to make a stand alone game (especially a commercial effort) with any of their proprietary materials.

From Wolfenstein 3D all the way to D4, Q4 and rage all of the graphics, sounds and models are proprietary. Some of the map designs are proprietary as well. They have released the engine sources (up to q3 far as I know) under the GPL and even the q1 map designs.

Every one of these games has an "artistic" license for user generated content as long as you avoid a commercial release with their content. So you can make doom (1-4) and quake (1-4) (not sure about wolf) maps, mods, TC's and new games that use iD graphics, sound and models - so long as the license is obeyed.

Heck my amateur licensing forbids others from commercial efforts with my work. There is no way I would allow someone to build on my effort and profit without compensating me. I work hard on this stuff even if its still a hobby. iD (and other developers) have a gaming empire at stake - for them its even more so.

I'm concerned about the darkplaces generations mod and using it as a basis for the "Rex - Felix" adventure game server (which I intend to be a commercial release) because it "borrows" heavily from wolf to q3. Already making a list of materials that can't be included because they were based on proprietary stuff - even if I made them myself.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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