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Thread: Thoughts on an optimizing service?

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on an optimizing service?

    What if you could submit your code to a company, and for a small fee (say $20 per app, or some pricing by the amount of code) they would optimize your code for you? Would anyone have a use for that service?

    I know that optimization is a real pain in the ass for me, and if I could just write code, get it to function bug free, then hand it off to a pro to double my performance I would easily pay a small amount for that.

    Any opinions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member hatu's Avatar
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    No one competent will even look at your app for $20. Optimizing code takes a long time, you have to analyze the whole structure to make it more efficient.
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  3. #3
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    I really can't see how this would work in any way.

    If you're good enough to optimise other peoples code, then I think it's fair to assume that you'd rather eat pins than do it.
    Skipping that as a downside, how long would it take you ( As the optimiser ) to find your way around the game ? You're looking at everything from as3 to as1 with onEnterFrames on clips nested 20 deep.
    How far do you take it ? Is it using little tricks to squeeze out a ms here and there, or would you be replacing brute force collision routines with smarter ones ?
    There could be hours of work just looking at the game and figuring it out how it even works.

    Then... the majority of game performance issues are down to the amount of visual data flying around. Say you optimise all the code and send it back to the client, the code may run twice as quick, but due to them using big ass gradient filled vectors it still runs like a turd. Are they going to be pleased with your $20 service, or are they going to think they didn't get what they want ( A quicker game ).

    Sorry, but I can't see one good thing about this. I've had to fix / speed up other peoples code ( I even turned down the chance to work on an official Flash Sonic game, which is a dream job, as it would have meant completing someone elses code ) and there is no joy in it at all.

    Squize.

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    I didn't ask you if you wanted to optimize people's code. I asked if you would want someone else to do it.

    Please try answering the actual question that was asked. Judging by how much you seem to hate optimizing, it would seem to me that the answer would be yes. Let me worry about the in's and outs, I didn't ask you anything about the technical issues that go into this, just if you would use such a service.

  5. #5
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    "I asked if you would want someone else to do it... Please try answering the actual question that was asked."

    "Any opinions?"

    Yeah I posted my opinion, only to get your snotty response back.

    In that case, no, as it would be impractical, as can be inferred by my previous post ( Which I didn't realise was so wildy off topic ), and that I wouldn't trust my cats litter tray to someone who charged $20 for a service like that, never mind my / clients code / ip.

    Hope that answers your original question.

    Squize.

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    Your opinion is based on an assumption that you know why I am asking this question, not based on the actual question. The practicality of the service is irrelevant, as you are not the one performing the service. If someone offered to wash your entire car, rotate the tires, and check the oil pressure for one dollar, and could be trusted to do this competently, would you refuse because YOU would not do that much work for a dollar? Of course not.

    As far as the price point, a larger project would obviously not be $20, and I did say OR price per lines of code. So the impractical (to you but then again every project may not be as complex as what you are doing) price point aside, would you outsource your code to be optimized by someone quickly, professionally, and cheaply, with no worries about piracy or IP theft?

  7. #7
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    no- because I would have doubt that the optimize guy would have the time and understanding of the code.
    Besides that how would you measure your work - just by time would be odd. Or what happens if you actually just cant boost it - because the initial code was already pretty well optimized?
    Perhaps if you would compare times (getTimer()) in certain functions and routines you could proove actually improvement.

    The thing with other ones code is that that it takes for booth parties just xtra time to understand the code or changes of the other one- I think thats the most skeptical thing. And besides that there will be always some hardcore stuff thats pure garbage in code syntax that it would be a nightmare to fix or would really take weeks to fix it in which case it would be almost better to write it completely from scratch.


    What is common however are agencies or people you can hire to assist in your project (I had such a expierence lately) - those people then write frameworks for you or organize the workflow so that many people can work on the code without getting to much into trouble. But that would require a frequent dialogue so that booth parties know the workflow and direction the project is going into.

  8. #8
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
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    Hey Squize, remember the days when people could appreciate constructive criticism? It looks like the snotty brats of FK are trying to dethrone you as the flash daddy.

    By the way, I laughed like hell when I read:

    Quote Originally Posted by moony4money
    Judging by how much you seem to hate optimizing...
    Yeah, most of Squizes games are slow vector filled pieces of junk... Law of the West, LoTw pinball, Phantom Mansion and Prof. Savernoggin, just to name a few. These were all terrible games filled with shotty code, bugs, and it just looks like there was no love involved at all...
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  9. #9
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    Hey Moony, I wouldn't trust anyone with my code for optimization. $20 would certainly be a wonderful price for such a service, but you get what you pay for. I wouldn't expect more than 1/2 hour of time to be spent on my game (if that) for $20. I'm not certain that anyone could even figure out my game logic in that amount of time.

    By the way, Squize and I discuss optimization all the time, so I have to vouch for the fact that his games go through a heavy optimization process already, so that is probably why he would not use a service like this. I'm sure there are some new developers that could use the help though and $20.00 might be a good deal for them.
    Last edited by 8bitjeff; 03-24-2009 at 12:32 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprisonedPride View Post
    Hey Squize, remember the days when people could appreciate constructive criticism? It looks like the snotty brats of FK are trying to dethrone you as the flash daddy.

    By the way, I laughed like hell when I read:



    Yeah, most of Squizes games are slow vector filled pieces of junk... Law of the West, LoTw pinball, Phantom Mansion and Prof. Savernoggin, just to name a few. These were all terrible games filled with shotty code, bugs, and it just looks like there was no love involved at all...

    This is obviously sarcastic, and you obviously have difficulty comprehending the things you read. I never said Squize DIDN'T optimize his code, I said he seems to hate doing it. Which if you read what he wrote, he basically stated that.

    And get off the $20. You are missing the forest for the trees. $20 would be some first time flash programmer making a one frame game that has no clue how to optimize. Forget the price point, just focus on the pros and cons of outsourcing optimization. Don't worry about how difficult it is to pick apart someone else code. Don't abscond the virtues of the service with your perceived difficulty of it. I'm not asking you how hard it is to optimize code, or how long it takes, or if YOU would or could do it. I'm asking you if you would want someone else to do it for you.

    If the answer is no, then fine. But if your reason is because you think it would be too difficult, then that is a dumb answer. If I asked you if you had a heart problem would you be willing to let someone kill you, cut your heart out of your chest, put someone elses heart in, and bring you back to life, would you say no because that seems SO HARD to do? No, because that's not a reason for refusing anything. And there are people out there that can and do do that, even if YOU can't.

    Geeze.

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  12. #12
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    "But if your reason is because you think it would be too difficult, then that is a dumb answer"

    You're missing the point slightly.

    If I said you could be King of the world, don't ask me how, I can arrange it. Now it's going to cost, obviously, but imagine how much time it's going to save you, no having to cut deals with other world leaders, no democracies to overthrow.

    K, yes or no ? Simple as that, no questions, do you want to be King of the whole world, yes or no ? Oh, and if you say no, then there's obviously something wrong with you.

    I'm being a sarcastic arsehole, I know ( Looks like sarcasm is my response to snotty replies ) but it's a similar theory, just blown up to prove my point.

    You can't get defensive when people look at different angles of what you're talking about rather than just all nodding their heads in agreement.

    Squize.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squize View Post
    "But if your reason is because you think it would be too difficult, then that is a dumb answer"

    You're missing the point slightly.

    If I said you could be King of the world, don't ask me how, I can arrange it. Now it's going to cost, obviously, but imagine how much time it's going to save you, no having to cut deals with other world leaders, no democracies to overthrow.

    K, yes or no ? Simple as that, no questions, do you want to be King of the whole world, yes or no ? Oh, and if you say no, then there's obviously something wrong with you.

    I'm being a sarcastic arsehole, I know ( Looks like sarcasm is my response to snotty replies ) but it's a similar theory, just blown up to prove my point.

    You can't get defensive when people look at different angles of what you're talking about rather than just all nodding their heads in agreement.

    Squize.
    No, that's a good point. I am not asking how realistic the scenario is, either, just whether or not it is desired. It is a theoretical question, not meant to be picked apart on a technical level. To answer your question, no I would not like to be king of the world. Bit not because I don't think that you could deliver, that is irrelevant to the question. I would not like to be king of the world because I value my freedom and my free time. I would be giving both of these up in exchange for power, something I have little desire of.

    I am not just looking for a yes answer. If someone were to say, for instance, no I would not, because I find optimizing my code a very valuable learning experience that helps me write future code. Then that would be the type of response I am looking for. Yes or no answer that are not focused on whether or not someone would be willing or able to optimize code quickly, cheaply, and efficiently. these types of answers to a theoretical question are irrelevant as they are focusing on the wrong subject. Thank You for your example, though you might have meant it for another purpose, it shows exactly what I AM looking for.

  14. #14
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
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    It's a scam to steal source codes of decent games from deserving coders.
    The 'Boose':
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    New addition: OCZ Vertex 240GB SATA III SSD
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprisonedPride View Post
    It's a scam to steal source codes of decent games from deserving coders.
    Lol, you caught me, I just want your codes! I am also a Nigerian Prince.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Most people go through lots of trouble to hide their code, I cant imagine they would be interested to give it out to strangers and even pay for it.

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    Most people go through lots of trouble to hide their code, I cant imagine they would be interested to give it out to strangers and even pay for it.
    only at places like here,- its ridiculous actually and a reason why this place is drying out.

    I assume moony4money was more after code in a general way - not the game -dont steal it type of code.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by renderhjs View Post
    only at places like here,- its ridiculous actually and a reason why this place is drying out.

    I assume moony4money was more after code in a general way - not the game -dont steal it type of code.
    Lol, I am not after code at all. Between GDC now and E3 this summer, I have a lot of meeting and talking points to go over, and want to get as much feedback on the directions the industry is and will be taking.

  19. #19
    Senior Member fil_razorback's Avatar
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    I'd not be interested in such a service, because I hate it when someone tweaks my code for me.
    I like understanding why each line is there, and the simple thought of someone having put it there instead of me makes me totally unsure about its quality. Better performance doesnt mean code I like more

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the input guys.

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