Ideas, how do you get them? xD

This is a discussion on Ideas, how do you get them? xD within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Well, I can't get any ideas xP Like, all the things that pop up in my head are way too ...

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    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    Ideas, how do you get them? xD

    Well, I can't get any ideas xP Like, all the things that pop up in my head are way too advanced for me... How do you people get ideas? Like, how do you plan them? I always end up with stuff that's way advanced for me when I try >.< I know how to use strings, variables, vectors, containers, structs, arrays, and some other stuff... Anyone got some ideas of stuff I can make with this knowledge?
    And I've seen that some people plan on paper and stuff before they code, how is this even possible o.o? I know of pseudo(?) code, but I've never been able to write it xD
    Anyways, I'm all empty on ideas and need help :P
    Thanks in advance
    Currently research OpenGL

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    Jack of many languages Dino's Avatar
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    Write something that will generate passive income thru unattended web site sales. That's all I try to write.
    Mac and Windows cross platform programmer. Ruby lover.

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    12/20: Mario F.:I never was, am not, and never will be, one to shut up in the face of something I think is fundamentally wrong.

    Amen brother!

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    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    Aha! If only I understood what that meant :P and I have no idea how to get info/numbers/variables from a website o.o but what I didn't understand was, "passive income" o.O and "unattended" :P
    Currently research OpenGL

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    My ideas are mostly for and from video games. To get ideas I just have to play the ones I have and find out what I like, dislike, and would like to see. Now that my space game is actually starting to take shape after years of under the hood development many ideas are being revised based on how the game currently plays. If I'm missing something that feels natural or like it should be there in the game then I usually put it in. I have a design document that explains everything that will be in the game down to assets and properties of those assets. Interaction and placement of objects has also been written down. Documentation is very important in design and when a new idea pops into your head.

    For instance I just created the targeting system and played around a bit with the game. I found that actually hitting another ship with your lasers was very hard. This led me down a couple of paths but ended in placing a lead reticle on each target. The theory is that if you aim at the lead reticle you will hit the target. It's not 100% and I don't want it to be since that would be too easy but it is a predictor sight of sorts. So out of the original HUD design evolved a firing reticle. There are many more ideas I have but I must weigh them against the goals of the game and the scope of the game. Since time is not something I must budget or pay for at home I rarely reject or accept a new idea based on development time.

    At work most of the 'ideas' are thought up by others so I have nothing to do with new idea process. I usually do design and/or implement the new ideas under the direction of the person who came up with the idea. Thankfully my company encourages creativity in their devs so I get some free reign on the various pieces I work on so long as they don't conflict with existing functionality and of course as long as what I come up with works well.

  5. #5
    and the hat of sweating
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    Learn how to use UML. It's great for planning out the structure and flow of your program.
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

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    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    I think you should start with specific themes.

    I am a C newbie, and I've decided for the next month or 2, I will only play with file handling. So I'll write programs to open, search and edit files. I actually have a need to manipulate thousands of files, so that has helped me in deciding where to start.

    Once I get a handle on that, I would like to move onto network programming, or communicating with hardware.

    I like to try to write a program on paper in pencil before I type it into the computer. I find it easier to focus my mind on the task. For some reason, my mind becomes less focussed(blank) when I look at a monitor. It could be because I am distracted by other things on the computer at the same time ie. surfing the net, watching DVD etc.
    OS: Linux Mint 13(Maya) LTS 64 bit.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    I like to try to write a program on paper in pencil before I type it into the computer. I find it easier to focus my mind on the task. For some reason, my mind becomes less focussed(blank) when I look at a monitor. It could be because I am distracted by other things on the computer at the same time ie. surfing the net, watching DVD etc.
    I actually used to do that too, and I would still recommend it for stuff that's small enough to actually write down. You can program with nothing but a sheet of paper or a chalk board, but it's hard to write a large volume of code that way.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    UML is fine so long as you don't get bogged down in it so much that you never actually code. It is a great tool but can also distract you from functionality as you attempt to get the best design ever and then never actually implement it. Get something basic down in either UML or some type of diagram and then attempt to code it. Along the way your design will evolve as you encounter issues. As solutions come to mind put them into your design first and try to think of all the possible pitfalls. Then after you have thought your new ideas out then you can begin to implement them. Personal projects for me are always a balance between good design but also good progress. As long as your project maintains positive momentum you are probably less likely to get burned out by the details. You will probably still want to take some breaks away from it to relax and possibly gather your thoughts. Sometimes I find the solutions to some of the most difficult problems don't come to me sitting at the computer. I might be watching TV, playing a game, or something else while thinking about the problem and then out of the blue the solution presents itself. I cannot stress how important it is to always have a working code base as well as always maintaining forward momentum. If you continue to spin your wheels in one area and don't move on or step away and rethink you will burn out.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 01-21-2009 at 08:56 PM.

  9. #9
    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    UML? And I wanna make games, just don't have the knowledge yet >.< and the flaw of writing down on paper is my handwriting and you can't just mark the text and press delete, or worse, there's no ctrl + Z D:
    Currently research OpenGL

  10. #10
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Weed and LSD helps... so does having a 172 IQ, but mostly its the LSD

    When you have an idea thats too advanced for you, that's a perfect time to learn new skills to accomplish that 'too advanced' idea.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  11. #11
    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    That too advanced idea means reading, I havn't even got through the book "Accelerated C++" D: I also wanna learn about classes before I get into those ideas, 'cause they're mostly game ideas, and I think it's wisest to use classes for the objects?
    Currently research OpenGL

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