News Mash-Up

I’m busy, again. A ton of things just bunched up towards the end of the month, and I’m on-site with a customer in Cambridge some of next week, so I’m keeping my head down a little right now. Here’s a news-blast though. I love Ubuntu server I’ve been setting up my new server. I’ve probably said this before, but for servers, Linux rocks. I’m ambivalent about Linux on the desktop, where I believe consistency and usability are more important (the Mac floats my boat the most there, and Windows if only because of MSVC++), but for a server Linux really brings great things to the table.

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svnmerge and svn 1.6 don't play nice?

1.6 subversion svn svnmerge

Bah. I’ve used svnmerge for ages to meet my Subversion merging needs, but a change around property management in Subversion 1.6 makes it no longer work anymore. Yes, I know Subversion has had its own merging features since 1.5, but I still use svnmerge because it works well, it generates me detailed merge commit messages, and it doesn’t require me to upgrade all my repositories to use it. Sourceforge was on Subversion 1.

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Circular dependencies

I can’t remember who made the assertion / joke that if you looked through an infinitely powerful telescope you’d end up seeing the back of of your own head, but I was reminded of that by a certain event today. In the last couple of years I’ve often Googled for a particular subject and ended up with the top hits pointing me back at one of my own posts in the OGRE Forum or on my blog, in a weird self-citing manner.

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CrazyBump or ShaderMap Pro

I posted about this in the artist’s section of the Ogre forums already, but I figured I’d post it in my blog too. I’m looking for a content pipeline to generate normal, displacement and specular maps from reference photos, and I’ve been playing with the demos of both CrazyBump ($299) and ShaderMap Pro ($19.99). In my tests, CrazyBump seems to give me the superior results very quickly, and I’ve been impressed by both the default setup and the amount of tweakables it has.

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Tempting fate - a (possibly final) back update

I’ve been pretty busy lately, so there hasn’t been much time for blogging - I’ve tagged a few subjects for future expansion in my drafts, being very much a reentrant blogger, but so far meat has only been added very sporadically to those particular bones. By the time I get around to filling in the detail, the subject matter will no doubt be considered ‘stale’, but maybe my particular brand of commentary might lend a modicum of life to them anyway.

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Back from FMX/09

conference fmx ogre

Yes, I got back from FMX/09 last night, after the usual pain-in-the-ass shuttling between London airports to make my connections and the inherent waiting around that entails. I’m constantly disgusted by the amount airports charge for internet access so I left writing this post until today. I really enjoyed FMX - it was the first graphics conference in which I’d been officially on the speaker bill, so I’m not sure how well other conferences treat their speakers, but at FMX I thought they did a fantastic job; everything was really well organised and went very smoothly.

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Runic Games using Ogre for new game 'Torchlight'

I’d been tipped off about this possibility a while ago, but couldn’t say anything until now - Runic Games are now OGRE users and have been beavering away on their new game ‘Torchlight’, announced this week: In case you didn’t know already, Runic formed from the ashes of Flagship Studios, and includes members of the team that worked on Diablo and Diablo 2; games which I personally enjoyed but which my brother in law almost worshipped - he still plays the second one now.

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Deck13's Venetica - looking pretty sweet

deck13 Games ogre venetica

Deck13 are one of the longest-running commercial users of Ogre in the game industry, having completed 3 full retail games using it now. They have 2 more in the works, and one is Venetica, an action-RPG; and it’s looking really nice. I uploaded a bunch of screenshots to our gallery recently which were passed on to me direct, but they have more on their website too, like the one shown here.

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OGRE on the BBC web site

2012 bbc london ogre

This is cool - last weekend OGRE was one of the technologies behind an interactive public event called Animation Decathlon, inspired by London 2012, which involved kids in London playing a kind of version of Track and Field via Arduino-controlled custom ‘thumping pads’ 😀The images were projected onto the side of Kensington and Chelsea town hall, and the BBC has a page about it. If you think the characters look like they were drawn by children, that’s because they were 😀The characters in the game were drawn by kids from the borough and animated by the creators, Quadratura.

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Google Summer of Code 2009

As I just announced on the OGRE site, I was really pleased to find out today that we’ll be participating in Google Summer of Code 2009. This will be the 4th year running for us, and it wasn’t at all a given that we’d be accepted again this year - even though I think we’ve been a good mentoring organisation for the past 3 years, there are always new organisations wanting to get onboard and there are a finite number of places, so I wouldn’t have gotten my panties in a bunch if we’d been passed over in favour of letting someone else have a go this year.

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