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Old 09-16-2014, 10:34 PM   #41
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Oh. Well I just see inventor/R&D as one of the many various possible jobs, and where the invention rolls (concept, prototype and bughunt) are actually what the job is about.

I'm currently working as a (junior) programmer and the criteria of doing the job OK is whether (a) the new requested feature works as requested and (b) does so without bugs/gross resource-hogging/exploit holes/etc. Other programmers would occasionally read and comment on the code, but that's a matter of increasing my skills, not affecting efficiency assessment or anything like that.
I wouldnt give a TDM bonus to programing though. I would give tool bonus but its hectic with shifting requirements and deadlines.
Most coding would by a Simple invention and often with working protypes or examples. Really new stuff like a language tends to take a couple of years and would be complex.
But making a new game edition, tweaking an OS, new drivers or a new UI usually is not that hard according to GURPS resolution.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:03 PM   #42
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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Oh. Well I just see inventor/R&D as one of the many various possible jobs, and where the invention rolls (concept, prototype and bughunt) are actually what the job is about.
You could just as easily say, "I see warrior/soldier as one of the many various possible jobs, and where attack and defense rolls in combat are actually what the job is about."

The everyday job of an engineer isn't "inventing new things", it's running tests, making models, measuring things, or even manufacturing parts (and dealing with the money people or administrators who do it for you). GURPS doesn't require that you even roll for this stuff separately, it just gets subsumed into the Invention rolls and monthly job rolls.

Just like the everyday job of being a warrior is training, physical conditioning, maintenance, and dealing with administrators and other organizational types. You can't claim +4 to +5 to all rolls in mortal combat because "this is his job" because mortal combat isn't an everyday task with predictable repetition in a controlled environment.

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I'm currently working as a (junior) programmer and the criteria of doing the job OK is whether (a) the new requested feature works as requested and (b) does so without bugs/gross resource-hogging/exploit holes/etc. Other programmers would occasionally read and comment on the code, but that's a matter of increasing my skills, not affecting efficiency assessment or anything like that.
You probably aren't creating wholly novel software applications by yourself everyday and sending out perfect masters by 1700 every evening of the next killer app. Mostly you are probably, testing and debugging code, and probably working with the other engineers on different sections of it. That's the everyday part of the job that you'd get at +4 or +5 on; debugging a section of the same code you've been working on for weeks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:22 PM   #43
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

Yeah, have to admit the components I write are pretty low-Complexity. GURPS tends to avoid discussing negative Complexity, it seems.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:37 PM   #44
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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Yeah, have to admit the components I write are pretty low-Complexity.
I'm not sure that anything called a "component" is even an invention, rather than part of an invention. The whole project is maybe a new invention (but maybe isn't, see below) individual modules of the code aren't anymore than you'd make the Wright Brothers roll to invent each wing strut separately.
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GURPS tends to avoid discussing negative Complexity, it seems.
I'm not sure "negative Complexity" even makes sense. What would that mean, something that's easier to invent then it is to manufacture?

At any rate, I'm not sure that most coding is actually inventing. Remember that GURPS treats different pieces of technology as the same thing. If you are making a Complexity 1 Word Processor, or Video Game, or Anti-Virus or whatever, well these things already exist at TL8, so you really aren't inventing anything, but rather manufacturing something.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:45 PM   #45
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At any rate, I'm not sure that most coding is actually inventing.
Figuring out how to do stuff, when you have a problem that seems to have no solution, and then find a way to do it, is inventing. There's some of that in programming, but it's usually a fairly small proportion of the time spent.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:03 PM   #46
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Figuring out how to do stuff, when you have a problem that seems to have no solution, and then find a way to do it, is inventing.
In a plain English meaning of "inventing", sure. GURPS inventing means creating some wholly new thing that has it's own unique game stats. If you make a towel, you don't "invent" a towel, as towels are an already existing piece of gear. If your towel is made of purple and green pinstriped microfiber, and there isn't a towel like that on the market, it doesn't matter because all GURPS cares is that it is towel. So you you just pay some materials costs and roll Sewing.

A TL8 Complexity 1 Word Processor is a generic piece of gear. Even if you are making a "new" one, it's still the same generic piece of gear in GURPS, and therefore you don't need to invent one, you just manufacture one.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #47
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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In a plain English meaning of "inventing", sure. GURPS inventing means creating some wholly new thing that has it's own unique game stats. If you make a towel, you don't "invent" a towel, as towels are an already existing piece of gear. If your towel is made of purple and green pinstriped microfiber, and there isn't a towel like that on the market, it doesn't matter because all GURPS cares is that it is towel. So you you just pay some materials costs and roll Sewing.
If all you're doing is sewing, you probably had a towel before you started your 'manufacturing'.
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A TL8 Complexity 1 Word Processor is a generic piece of gear. Even if you are making a "new" one, it's still the same generic piece of gear in GURPS, and therefore you don't need to invent one, you just manufacture one.
Any particular invention may have quirks and certainly will have low-level particular characteristics that the GM might choose to pay attention to. If you want to make a version with different fine properties, what are you going to do but invent it again? There's a bonus listed for inventing a variant on an existing device, and another for copying something you already have a working model of. Re-inventing the wheel is clearly allowable...and might even be useful.

Meanwhile, 'manufacturing a new one' doesn't really make any sense for software. The cost of manufacturing a copy of a program you have is effectively zero. The process for creating a new word processor is basically similar to the process of creating the first word processor, but completely unlike the process of making the N-millionth copy of the first word processor.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #48
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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A TL8 Complexity 1 Word Processor is a generic piece of gear. Even if you are making a "new" one, it's still the same generic piece of gear in GURPS, and therefore you don't need to invent one, you just manufacture one.
That depends: if a PC wants to create a better Word Processor, in the sense that he can make money selling it, using the invention rules seems legitimate.

My own experience of inventing software started when there was a need to solve a problem of testing other software, and there wasn't any software available to do the job. Finding a way to do it, which seemed quite impractical at first, took a few weeks. Proving the concept also took a few weeks and actually implementing it about nine months. There are US and European patents on it.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #49
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

In a world of okay classic key locks, invention is for creating the first combination lock.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:41 AM   #50
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Default Re: Realistic Invention Rule

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I'm not sure that anything called a "component" is even an invention, rather than part of an invention.
A piece of code (e.g. several connected classes; in Unity 3D, actually a single class) that is meant to be a part of greater whole.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
The whole project is maybe a new invention (but maybe isn't, see below) individual modules of the code aren't anymore than you'd make the Wright Brothers roll to invent each wing strut separately.
If one needs to invent bricks before inventing a house, do they count as an invention? Maybe not - maybe they're considered too simple. Don't know for sure.

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I'm not sure "negative Complexity" even makes sense. What would that mean, something that's easier to invent then it is to manufacture?
A Complexity of -1 is something that is ten times simpler if terms of required processing power, RAM etc. and overall difficulty something of Complexity 0. Repeat for each step.
Also, since Complexity◊-2 is the TDM for writing new software, a negative Complexity would result in rolling Programming at a bonus.
Apparently Complexity 0 is a program taking up something like 1MB of disk space, when compiled. The relation between compiled size, source size, and the actual amount of difficulty that goes into writing the code for a given program are of course highly tricky, but surely a plug-in that takes up a half-dozen classes, each no more than 20kb worth of source code (they're stored non-compiled for architectural reasons), surely is less than Complexity 0.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
At any rate, I'm not sure that most coding is actually inventing. Remember that GURPS treats different pieces of technology as the same thing. If you are making a Complexity 1 Word Processor, or Video Game, or Anti-Virus or whatever, well these things already exist at TL8, so you really aren't inventing anything, but rather manufacturing something.
At first I was somewhat suspicious about GURPS using the invention mechanic for writing software. I'm kinda on the fence now, but I'm not sure a pure crafting mechanic would be better.
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