Well, it’s been something of a week - a short one at work, since Monday was a bank holiday, but an extremely busy one nonetheless. I was pretty bummed out early-to-mid-week, in part due to the departure of nfz, and in part because work just seemed to be mounting up (at work and for OGRE). There were a couple of serious bug reports with RC2 (Code::Blocks + STLport has problems, combining skeletal animation and pose animation was blowing up), and I now really have to take on the official tech review of xavier’s book that nfz was doing (I was doing it informally) which means stricter review deadlines to adhere to. I was feeling a little swamped, tired and disillusioned. But as usual such black thoughts were just temporary, and I’m feeling much better about things now - Genva found the STLport problem and I sorted the skeletal/pose animation, there are a few other minor things but stability is looking good now.
Perhaps more importantly, we have recruited a new team member. I’m not going to say who it is until the team page is officially updated, but if you’re a regular on OGRE you’ll almost certainly know him pretty well already, or at least know his work. I had a shortlist of a few people we could have invited (you probably know who you are) but given where we’re going with Eihort one name was on the top of my list. We’ll see as we go forward whether we need anyone else, but I personally have always been pretty comfortable with an active team number of around 3-4, I think it suits the size of the project.
Lastly, it suddenly looks like we’ll be getting a free copy of 3D Studio Max 8 for OGRE. 😀Out of the blue today I was contacted by a senior member of the Autodesk games industry department; one of their engineers has apparantly been following OGRE for a while and was aware of our problems supporting Max due to lack of permanent maintainers and lack of money to buy licenses ourselves, so they brought it to their managers attention, who has offered us some help. Whoever you are, anonymous Autodesk engineer, thanks mate - I officially owe you a fermented beverage. 😀This was a really nice surprise - I had tried to negotiate a licensing deal with Discreet (as they were then) close to a couple of years ago for this very purpose and was basically stonewalled by their sales department - clearly getting to talk to the right people is everything. Once Max arrives I will review the current state of the core exporters and decide where to start; I realise many people will be using the super-sexy oFusion with Max now (and I’d still like to create something similar for XSI - time, time..), so your problems have lessened, but I think it would still be good to have an officially supported open-source core character exporter as a base. My gut says that xaviers binary exporter would be the best to start with, rather than the original MaxScript exporter, but we’ll see. It will take a little while since I have work queued up (as usual), and this wasn’t expected, but It will certainly be good for me to be able to support Max 8 users officially as well as XSI 5. Bisco has Maya well covered at the moment (although I wouldn’t say no to a free license of that either, it’s less of an issue since Bisco has been very reliable), Blender is used by quite a lot of people and I have the Milkshape exporter still, although it’s not so widely used anymore. There’s also a sprinkling of other tools for Lightwave, AC3D, Wings and others around and about of course.