I finally got around to ordering some upgrades for my machine here, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages but just never seem to find the time. I haven’t upgraded the core of my main machine for over 2 years now, mainly because these days I spend far, far more time coding than playing games and thus not only do I not have time to tinker with the hardware much anymore, but having a graphics card that’s not the latest and greatest is actually a bonus - I’m always scared I’ll get sloppy if I’m working with the best all the time.
I’m quite pleased with the amount of work I’ve got done on OGRE over the past couple of weeks. As well as the things I’ve already mentioned in this blog, I’ve added a new ParticleSystem optimisation feature that lets you tell particle systems to stop updating if they’ve been out of camera shot for a defined period of time. Since particle systems can be CPU heavy, and you might want to distribute them around a bit, this should save some cycles and allow more particle systems to be used practically.
God, MS really need to get SP1 for VS 2005 out, now. I’ve been mildy irritated by the appearance of a little bar at the bottom of the VS window labelled ‘Updating Intellisense…’ which kicks in and generally screws up my performance measurement after I do a large build. I have to sit there waiting for it to finish before I take any performance stats because it hogs the CPU badly.
Well, Borland have finally accepted defeat and are looking to sell off their IDE business, including Delphi, JBuilder and C++ Builder. It’s a long way from the heady early 90’s when Turbo C and Turbo Assembler were my two favorite development tools and the Borland name was synonymous with software development. Despite it being a little sad, I’m not surprised in the least. The fact is that since those heady days, Borland have consistently gotten it wrong.
So, the Red Cross have got a bit upset (not for the first time I think - I believe they’ve made this protest before in years gone by) that they don’t like their symbol being associated with violent games, one can assume foremost on their minds here are those games where you run about shooting other people in the face, before patching yourself up with medical equipment bearing the Red Cross ‘brand’.
I have to say that I admire companies like iD for staying private despite enormous success. IPO fever in tech companies is almost constant, undoubtedly because VCs love it as an exit strategy, but it’s a sure-fire way to turn a great company with solid direction, principles and a long-term strategy into a nervous, twitchy being with one eye firmly on a quarterly earnings report and ever-eager to scrabble frantically at any short-term technique to shore up a stock price.
VG Cats is a pretty amusing comic (although it can be quite variable and is updated infrequently), and one of my favorites is this one. On spotting it in the archives it made me think about what shortlist of people I’d most like to meet. I haven’t met a lot of high profile people in my lifetime; up until recently claim to fame was meeting Jimmy Saville when I was about 6.
Well, the comment spammers appear to have finally worked out that I’ve changed blogging software. It took them a while, I think they should review their procedures because really, 2 months to figure this out wasn’t very impressive. The frequency of comment spam being posted has now returned to previous levels (13 today), happily ensuring that I always know where to get my cheap Viagra, fake Rolex watches, and 2-day diplomas.
Including some form of online play is turning into something of a must-have for many games these days. Once, it was the domain of a few PC first-person shooters, now it’s literally everywhere. I used to enjoy a good bout of networked Quake / Unreal Tournament a number of years ago, but my interest in testing my metal against online opponents has waned over the years. It’s mostly because, whilst I still enjoy playing games, I do it now just for the enjoyment of the experience, not because I have a need to utterly master every game I come across.
This article made me initially have a double-take. Nintendo in a Saga magazine? The whole idea sounded bonkers, half their readership would probably have no idea what the DS was, never mind what you did with it (“it sort of looks like a spectacle case, dear”). Then I thought about it a little more. I had an eye-opening experience last year - my parents have now retired to a sleepy village in Cornwall, and I gave them my old Sega Dreamcast to play with since my Dad showed an interest in games but wasn’t sure if he’d really get into them so didn’t want to spend any major cash without knowing.