Bag o' mixed news

A whole bunch of things to talk about today. Firstly, I’ve been feeling pretty awful over the last couple of days and think I’ve caught a bug which has been doing the rounds lately, taking out quite a lot of people at work. So far I haven’t taken any sick leave but I’ve been too tired in the evening to do much OGRE work. Nevertheless, I’m planning a small rework to the pose animation features I’ve already done, mainly to move the actual definition of poses out of animation tracks and just refer to them in the tracks themselves with an influence level, allowing you to script the pose blends in tracks, which is much more powerful but doesn’t require any more actual features than are already there.

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I had to waste yet more time today tracking down what was causing the OGRE web server to slow to a crawl. This time it wasn’t a DDOS attack, but a single IP from Vietnam that was hammering the server with shedloads of requests every second. All the requests were individually valid, so if this wasn’t an intentional attack, it was a really crappy spidering tool written by some clueless muppet who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

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Following on from one of my many, many rants on this blog (hey, I’m just passionate about some things, ok?), I’m rather impressed that one MMORPG at least seems to be going the sort of way I’d like - namely Dungeons and Dragons Online : Stormreach. What makes this one different from other alternatives like WoW? Well, firstly, there’s only 10 levels to be had, and progression is likely to be relatively slow, at least for those normal people who don’t consider it their sacred duty to be the first player to hit the level cap on a server in the tragically sad hope that it will bring them some kind of real world respect.

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Whoah

Here’s what happens when you add some custom shader effects to additive texture shadows and make a mistake (the image on the right is what it should have looked like):   Groovy, man.

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DDOS attacks

Well, today at 13:00 GMT the OGRE site was deluged by hack attempts from hundreds of separate IPs in an obvious case of botnet attack. It was trying to run a script through an old phpBB hole (which we’ve patched - good to know the hours I spend doing security patches weren’t in vain) , which was located on a Turkish company site which had clearly been compromised - I’ve notified the admins so hopefully they’ll remove it and tighten their security.

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Shadow technique #4

I just added a new shadow technique to OGRE, namely additive texture shadows, bringing the total number of techniques available to 4 (modulative stencil, additive stencil, modulative texture and additive texture). This technique allows you to gain the benefit of the additional lighting accuracy you get by using masked-out additive lighting, whilst using texture-based shadows which are more GPU-friendly than stencils. As before you can of course use custom caster & receiver shaders, and custom shadow texture formats, in order to implement more complex shadow setups such as depth shadow mapping.

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For Gods sake, why are those regulating the US patent system incapable of determining the difference between a genuine inventive step, and a bean-counter just trying to cash in by using flamboyant wording about something utterly, pathetically trivial? Case in point is Creative this week rattling their sabre (or should I say toy rattle, because that would suit their mentality better) about a patent they have over “selection by the user of a least one track in a portable media player as a user navigates through a hierarchy using three or more successive screens”.

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Freaky

Isn’t it weird how when one side of your face is anaesthetised, half your toungue thinks a cold drink is actually hot? I spent a good few minutes chugging a cold blue Powerade and marvelling at this bizarre effect. The fact that I can drink said beverage again without having to be peeled off the ceiling proves that yes, Mr Lower Left Molar has received his re-injection of metallic amalgam and is feeling like a new tooth.

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You might have seen the recent Slashdot post about Multiverse, a new MMOG platform getting a bit of press at the moment. Well, it turns out that their client uses Axiom (now merged with Realmforge since leedgitar left), which is a C# port of OGRE. It’s a shame they didn’t use OGRE directly, since Axiom always trailed behind OGRE a while, and I can only assume Realmforge hasn’t made that lag up completely yet (I may be wrong though).

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Well, this was a welcome surprise - one of our French users pointed out that the French gaming portal, JeuxVideo, today had 2 OGRE-powered games featured on their front PC page at once, Ankh and Pacific Storm 😀Because this obviously won’t last as more articles come up, I’ve saved it for posterity (click for full page): For those of you who can read french, here’s the full previews: Ankh | Pacific Storm.

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