Most games are written in Excel



  • So my wife tells me last night that the teacher of some computer course at the college she teaches at said that most computer games are written in Excel.  I give her a look like O_o, before telling her that's simply not true.  She refuses to believe me because it's a teacher that said that.

    Am I missing something that would make some close derivative of that statement true, am I TRWTF for not knowing that obviously "most computer games are made in Excel", or is this person an idiot?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    So my wife tells me last night that the teacher of some computer course at the college she teaches at said that most computer games are written in Excel.  I give her a look like O_o, before telling her that's simply not true.  She refuses to believe me because it's a teacher that said that.

    Am I missing something that would make some close derivative of that statement true, am I TRWTF for not knowing that obviously "most computer games are made in Excel", or is this person an idiot?

    Next you're going to tell us that you didn't know Linux needs Windows to run.



  • I suppose there are probably a lot of office workers out there that may do strange things with VBA while wasting away in their cubes, but even if true those wouldn't be what people think of when they think "computer game".



  • @Sutherlands said:

    So my wife tells me last night that the teacher of some computer course at the college she teaches at said that most computer games are written in Excel.  I give her a look like O_o, before telling her that's simply not true.  She refuses to believe me because it's a teacher that said that.

    Am I missing something that would make some close derivative of that statement true, am I TRWTF for not knowing that obviously "most computer games are made in Excel", or is this person an idiot?

    No, he probably means something like this



  • @locallunatic said:

    I suppose there are probably a lot of office workers out there that may do strange things with VBA while wasting away in their cubes, but even if true those wouldn't be what people think of when they think "computer game".

    Except for the mystical "Hall of tortured souls" that came with Excel 95.

    Edit: Serguey beat me to it.



  • Perfect example of 'Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?'



  • Excel is made by Microsoft, which makes Windows which is on most PCs which are what runs most games, ergo "most computer games are made in Excel"? (I'm applying the same logic of "go in the Internet" = "click the big 'E' on my computer".

    Aside from that contorted logic, there could be some convoluted pairing of mis-speaking by the instructor and misunderstanding by the listener involving terms like "VB" ".NET", etc, but I can't conceive of the exact path.

     





  • @Renan said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    So my wife tells me last night that the teacher of some computer course at the college she teaches at said that most computer games are written in Excel.  I give her a look like O_o, before telling her that's simply not true.  She refuses to believe me because it's a teacher that said that.

    Am I missing something that would make some close derivative of that statement true, am I TRWTF for not knowing that obviously "most computer games are made in Excel", or is this person an idiot?

    Next you're going to tell us that you didn't know Linux needs Windows to run.

    Hahahaaaa what an excellent troll!  See http://rixstep.com/1/1/20070724,00.shtml for more.

    Linux looks very interesting, even if some of the screen colours and menu options appear to be a little out of the ordinary.

    falls off chair laughing 




  • I get the impression that this is a misinterpretation. Many games have their schedules planned in Excel, for example. Many games plan their scoring mechanisms in Excel. Or perhaps many computer games could be represented as datasets in Excel.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    You probably made your wife feel stupid for believing her colleague. That makes you TRWTF. Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    You probably made your wife feel stupid for believing her colleague. That makes you TRWTF. Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.

    You know, this would get really funny if she had actually told him to teach her how to make a game in Excel.



  • @Soviut said:

    I get the impression that this is a misinterpretation. Many games have their schedules planned in Excel, for example. Many games plan their scoring mechanisms in Excel. Or perhaps many computer games could be represented as datasets in Excel.

    When I briefly tested Xbox 360 games, I was mildly surprised to learn that many of them ship with SQL Server Embedded to store object values and such. (One specific example I remember is a racing game that used SQL Server to store all the performance/physics information for the cars.) But that's still not Excel. Imagine how fun it must be to get a SQL database running efficiently from a read-only DVD...

    I could see a RPG, or other number-based game, using Excel to mock-up their stats/leveling system. But that's a far cry from the game being "made with Excel".



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.
    Only sometimes?  Your wife must be a really good catch



  • @serguey123 said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.
    Only sometimes?  Your wife must be a really good catch

    I was going to say the same.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @serguey123 said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.
    Only sometimes?  Your wife must be a really good catch

    Actually, it was always. I just assumed that some people might have it better than I did.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Sutherlands said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Welcome to married life, where sometimes you're wrong even when you're right.
    Only sometimes?  Your wife must be a really good catch

    I was going to say the same.
    Oh, and thanks guys, for destroying my illusion that I simply made a bad choice and could do better next time.



  • Relevant link: Microsoft Excel: Revolutionary 3D Game Engine?

    Notice how it supports double buffering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeXISSrIaJA

    Not very interactive though.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Xbox 360

    @blakeyrat said:
    Imagine how fun it must be to get a SQL database running efficiently from a read-only DVD...


    Now I'm no Xbox 360 developer, (or user for that matter,) but I'd imagine they'd put something like that on the hard drive, since the 360 has one.  I know a lot of games on my PS3 make liberal use of the HD...



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    Now I'm no Xbox 360 developer, (or user for that matter,)

    Obviously.

    @Mason Wheeler said:

    I'd imagine they'd put something like that on the hard drive, since the 360 has one.

    It's optional on the 360. The original Xbox required one. And personally I think making it optional on the 360 was a step backwards. But... that's what they did.

    @Mason Wheeler said:

    I know a lot of games on my PS3 make liberal use of the HD...

    Xbox 360 games also make liberal use of the HD, if it exists. But they can't assume it does.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    When I briefly tested Xbox 360 games, I was mildly surprised to learn that many of them ship with SQL Server Embedded to store object values and such. (One specific example I remember is a racing game that used SQL Server to store all the performance/physics information for the cars.) But that's still not Excel. Imagine how fun it must be to get a SQL database running efficiently from a read-only DVD...
    I'd expect they use the embedded SQL Server thing, which is a stripped down subset and is quite happy running from any medium whatsoever.

     

    That said, my long-term game project uses full blown SQL Server 2008 R2 Express - but this makes sense because it's backended by relational datasets in the "several gigs" territory. Network play is as changing the connection string (well, not quite, there's an additional network connection open for metadata)



  • @Weng said:

    I'd expect they use the embedded SQL Server thing, which is a stripped down subset and is quite happy running from any medium whatsoever.

    Yeah, I guess I should have typed "SQL Server Embedded". Oh wait I did.



  • Well, some games do LOOK like Excel...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     I parsed it as "SQL Server" embedded - as in an embedded instance of SQL Server, instead of "SQL Server Embedded" as in the product (Which I think is called something else entirely, probably with the word "Compact" in the name). Regardless, I am TRWTF.



  • @ekolis said:

    Well, some games do LOOK like Excel...

    OMG Stars!

    The AI in that game was Satan. SATAN! It was only fun against friends. Even then I don't think we ever fully finished a round...



  • @Weng said:

    I parsed it as "SQL Server" embedded - as in an embedded instance of SQL Server, instead of "SQL Server Embedded" as in the product (Which I think is called something else entirely, probably with the word "Compact" in the name). Regardless, I am TRWTF.

    Did you also help your uncle jack off a horse?



  • Not the first time I've encountered this. Back in 2008 I saw a post where someone asked how to save games from a website into Excel. Maybe the teacher simply saw that someone had embedded some flash games or something else in a spreadsheet, and put two and two together to get 2.000002.

    @Sutherlands said:

    because it's a teacher that said that

    Sometimes, teachers just need to sound authoritative, even if it means making up answers (source: my wife, who used to teach high school science). Before we start a debate on the ethical and pedagological aspects of sounding confident about made up answers (or, more likely, simply pointing fingers at teachers as being unprofessional), I'd point out that this sort of behaviour is quite normal in most businesses including technology groups. Who among us hasn't sounded more confident about a technology question outside our area of expertise because, in the circumstances, the alternative would have caused a worse WTF?



  • I just remembered the episode of some crappy crime show where there was a "secret" spreadsheet hidden in a copy of Prince of Persia on Xbox, somehow... possible source of this ridiculous claim?



  • In ancient times (pre-Excel) I remember seeing ASCII-porn done in Lotus 123 spreadsheets.  And it makes sense that you would use Excel for games -- how else whould you do all those calculations?

     



  •  @Paddles said:

    Not the first time I've encountered this. Back in 2008 I saw a post where someone asked how to save games from a website into Excel. Maybe the teacher simply saw that someone had embedded some flash games or something else in a spreadsheet, and put two and two together to get 2.000002.

    This is most certainly the reason. It's normally to get around the internet blacklists in place at schools that block sites like newgrounds (which hosts a lot of flash games etc).

    In my last year at secondary school, we had a teacher who told us along the lines of "look at all the games I have" waving at his laptop screen - which was showing Outlook of all things. The games were flash files embedded in spreadsheets he received by email. From then on a lot of time in that class was spent playing Kitten Cannon and The Impossible Quiz via his laptop - sometimes with a projector to show it on the whiteboard.

    At the same school, the "Systems Administrator" tried to get a friend of mine disciplined, after finding a dos batch file on his network share. Said .bat file contained one line: "ping google.com". Batch files were, according to the sysadmin, an advanced technique used for malicious purposes... In hindsight, there were a huge number of WTFs with school IT...

     



  • Does your wife teach at ITT tech?



  • I suspect the hard drive on a 360 is like the memory stick on a PSP- required in all but name. The only reason the console ships without one is so that Sony can double-charge you when you buy a memory stick.

    At least the 360 gives you an (obscure it seems) option to use a third-party USB hard drive.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    I suspect the hard drive on a 360 is like the memory stick on a PSP- required in all but name.

    A Xbox 360 game that requires the HD to run will not pass its certification program. I don't know anything about the PSP, but on Xbox, games are required to run without a HD.



  •  Way back in the early '80s, I wrote (in Applesoft Basic) a Pac-Man-style game implemented in text mode on a spreadsheet-style screen designed to resemble the then-popular VisiCalc... it was called Calc-Man, and published on an issue of the diskmagazine Softdisk.



  • @Power Troll said:

    Does your wife teach at ITT tech?
    I got asked not to come back as an adjunct evening teacher at ITT because I was spending too much time teaching them the material and not enough time making them memorize the incorrect answers that would be on the final exam (I couldn't fix the final because it was "approved").  They also wanted me to personally call any student not present within the first 30 minutes of class... in Buffalo... in the winter.  I had to log the call and who I talked to in a tracking system and it had to be timestamped properly.  Needless to say, the class always started 30 minutes late.



  • My computer graphics course at school had us (initially) using Excel to perform matrix math and display the results immediately using the graph function. It was a good introduction to transforms.

    He'd demo a psuedo-3D box, rotate it by chaning a value, and then exclaim "a few more lines and you'd have Lord of the Rings!"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    [quote user="MiffTheFox"]I suspect the hard drive on a 360 is like the memory stick on a PSP- required in all but name.

    A Xbox 360 game that requires the HD to run will not pass its certification program. I don't know anything about the PSP, but on Xbox, games are required to run without a HD.[/quote]

    You can run PSP games without a MSPD- it's just that, like the 360, you'll be completely unable to save your game due to the lack of writable memory, rendering most games nearly unplayable.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    it's just that, like the 360, you'll be completely unable to save your game due to the lack of writable memory,

    You could use a memory card. Which every Xbox 360 that didn't ship with a HD did ship with. You could also spent 15 nanoseconds researching posts like this before making them.

    Now, you're right that if you have no Xbox HD, and you also have no memory card, then yes most games more advanced than Hexic HD become kind of pointless.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    [quote user="MiffTheFox"]it's just that, like the 360, you'll be completely unable to save your game due to the lack of writable memory,

    You could use a memory card. Which every Xbox 360 that didn't ship with a HD did ship with. You could also spent 15 nanoseconds researching posts like this before making them.

    Now, you're right that if you have no Xbox HD, and you also have no memory card, then yes most games more advanced than Hexic HD become kind of pointless.[/quote]

    Hence my use of "I suspect". I've never bought a brand-new 360 so I have no idea. I have received a new PSP-1000 as a gift*, and had to buy a separate Memory Stick to do shit with it. I guess Microsoft's not as evil as Sony, but then again considering MS lets you use storage devices that don't require licensing from MS to make (plain old USB drives) I had already suspected that.

    * I most likely wouldn't pay for a PSP.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    When I briefly tested Xbox 360 games, I was mildly surprised to learn that many of them ship with SQL Server Embedded to store object values and such. (One specific example I remember is a racing game that used SQL Server to store all the performance/physics information for the cars.)

    Any good reason not to use SQLite, assuming SQL is needed at all?



  • @Seahen said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    When I briefly tested Xbox 360 games, I was mildly surprised to learn that many of them ship with SQL Server Embedded to store object values and such. (One specific example I remember is a racing game that used SQL Server to store all the performance/physics information for the cars.)

    Any good reason not to use SQLite, assuming SQL is needed at all?

     Any reason to use a thrid party tool when the primary vendors tool will do the job just fine?



  • @Seahen said:

    Any good reason not to use SQLite, assuming SQL is needed at all?

    Assuming it compiles on Xbox? Probably not.

    ... what's your point?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    When I briefly tested Xbox 360 games, I was mildly surprised to learn that many of them ship with SQL Server Embedded to store object values and such. (One specific example I remember is a racing game that used SQL Server to store all the performance/physics information for the cars.) But that's still not Excel. Imagine how fun it must be to get a SQL database running efficiently from a read-only DVD...

    I doubt its that big a deal. Its pretty easy to set up a client side database on a WEB PAGE these days, using SQLite. Microsoft has a similar lightwieght SQL built into visual studio for embedding in projects. Databases aren't big iron any more (or, more truthfully, even cheap computers now have more power than old school mainframes).



  • It's not the computational power that's the problem, it's the linear seeking of the optical media that would presumably kill an on-disk database.

    I wonder what the physical layout of such a database would be.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    it's just that, like the 360, you'll be completely unable to save your game due to the lack of writable memory,
    You could use a memory card. Which every Xbox 360 that didn't ship with a HD did ship with. You could also spent 15 nanoseconds researching posts like this before making them.

    Now, you're right that if you have no Xbox HD, and you also have no memory card, then yes most games more advanced than Hexic HD become kind of pointless.

    Hmmm, it has a memory incorporated inside big enough for savegames



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    I guess Microsoft's not as evil as Sony, but then again considering MS lets you use storage devices that don't require licensing from MS to make (plain old USB drives) I had already suspected that.
    AFAIK, you're pretty limited with the size of USB drives you can use, and if you want to replace the hard drive in Xbox360 (or if you want to add one to a model that shipped without it), you're limited to Microsoft's hard drives only (which are roughly double the price of standard 2.5" drives; interestingly, Sony doesn't care what hard drive you put in PS3).



  • @ender said:

    you're limited to Microsoft's hard drives only (which are roughly double the price of standard 2.5" drives;
     

    Any justification for that price diff?



  • @dhromed said:

    @ender said:

    you're limited to Microsoft's hard drives only (which are roughly double the price of standard 2.5" drives;
     

    Any justification for that price diff?


    Fancy custom enclosure and connector, plus maybe fancy custom firmware, I think. But I've never actually been in the same room as a x360.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    @dhromed said:
    @ender said:
    you're limited to Microsoft's hard drives only (which are roughly double the price of standard 2.5" drives;
    Any justification for that price diff?
    Fancy custom enclosure and connector, plus maybe fancy custom firmware, I think. But I've never actually been in the same room as a x360.
    Fancy custom enclosure and connector (It's all the bad things of SATA with none of the good ones!), and one extra firmware option to verify that yes, it is a Microsoft-sourced drive.



  • @serguey123 said:

    Hmmm, it has a memory incorporated inside big enough for savegames

    The XBox? No. It has only memory for its own OS. (And now, its OS is actually bigger than that memory allows, which is why things like Netflix streaming is an application that needs installation instead of part of the core.)

    If you take an Xbox 360, unplug the HD, unplug any memory cards, it has NO storage for save games. And every game released for the platform has to work in this configuration, although what "work" means is a bit subjective-- but it can't just say "sorry bud, no way", it has to let the player enter a game. Of course some games don't save anything anyway-- like Hexic, or Geometry Wars, etc.

    That said, I think this was a dumb move on Microsoft part, since the original Xbox had built-in storage, the PS3 has built-in storage. In fact, the entire reason the original Xbox was shitting all over its competitors is because of its ability to use virtual memory to make it look 3 times more powerful than an equivalent console without a HD would. But eh.


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