I saw this question in the review queue for closing:

The distance to a line from a point, find the constant values?

It's phrased as a pure math question, but the applications for gamedev are obvious. The question can easily be rephrased as something like, "How do I detect how close a game entity is to the line between two waypoints?" Suddenly, on-topic! Assuming there are no questions already about this (there don't seem to be in this case).


More explicitly asked: Should we actually edit questions such as these so that they reflect the purpose of the site better, or is it better to let these get closed and wait for somebody to post the question in game terms?


I agree with this statement "@Marton, i don't want an answer on "paper" (yes it's easy), i want the answer on "code" and it's not the same. (equation on paper or code)". However, it still would fit SO better.

I don't agree about 'reframing' it. Adding an artificial game context, just for the question to suit the site is without sense, because the context would normally be used to eventually suggest another, easier solution, e.g. using a physics framework instead of making collision detection from scratch.


The way it is asked is somewhat odd here: there's "java" and "actionscript-3" in tag list, however nothing in the post itself refers to either of those. Also, there is a much more straightforward (in terms of programming effort) way to calcuate the solution to the problem (distance to straight line*) which was cut off the answer list because he said "I must use this equation:..".

To sum up what I said previously: no, it's not "suddenly" on-topic (it takes effort to be consistent and clear) and yes, I think these questions should be reframed in game terms.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've removed the Java and ActionScript 3 tags; they are after all irrelevant to the question and the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 12 '12 at 12:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ The point you bring up about how there is a straightforward way to do it - but they won't use it because they must involve a particular equation for some reason - makes me uneasy. It's either an asker unnecessarily complicating the issue, or homework help. It makes it localised - nobody else cares about using that equation! \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 12 '12 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs and snake5: I'd like select an answer on here, but before I do a prudent followup question would be: should we actually edit these questions (hopefully with collaboration from the OP) to be framed in game terms? Question updated to reflect this point. \$\endgroup\$ – michael.bartnett Oct 16 '12 at 5:55

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