Ok, soapbox time. I’m going to alienate a lot of people and say that ubiquitous voice acting in many games, particularly roleplaying games, is a bad thing. The reason is that it’s constraining the ability of script writers, particularly in conversations. It’s obvious really - recording voice is more expensive than text, both in terms of the time required to produce it, and the space it consumes on the final media.
Today has been totally bonkers, but I finally got at least a large part of the Ogre 1.6.0 RC1 release done. I finished all the straggling documentation updates, the source releases are up and the prebuilt SDK for VC8 is there too. I have to do the VC7.1 SDK, the Mac OS X SDK and perhaps the VC9 SDK too (since I have a build of that locally now) yet. Florian was having a few odd linker problems with MinGW which didn’t occur on Linux or OS X so that one might take a while longer to resolve, perhaps until RC2.
Bruce Byfield wrote an interesting article (discovered via Matt ‘Alfresco’ Asay’s blog, which should be required reading for anyone in this field) about the sometimes unsteady alliance between open source and business that, on the whole, I agreed with - within a given context. I do think, however, that his context was weighted towards the larger players in market that are fusing open source with business opportunities though, and wanted to share some of my experiences and conclusions from the perspective of a more individual player in the business.
Apologies for the length of this article, I had a lot to say 😀
Oo, EW.com has just revealed (picked up via RockBandContent.com) that there are more full albums on the way for Rock Band after the release of Rock Band 2: **Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape) Red Hot Chili Peppers (Blood Sugar Sex Magik) ** Jane’s Addiction (Nothing’s Shocking) Megadeth (Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying) Stevie Ray Vaughn (Texas Flood) No Doubt (‘Best Of’ Collection) I don’t know about anyone else, but the top 2 are instant purchases for me, since both are regulars on my iTunes playlists.
I’ve copied this message from ogre3d.org just in case there are those that track my blog more often than the main site: 2008 OGRE User Survey One of the questions I always get asked when talking to other people in the industry is ‘How many people are using OGRE then?’. Compared to regular closed-source software where people can’t use it unless they pay, it’s hard for us to answer this question accurately, apart from pointing at download statistics (approximate 40,000 per month, if you were wondering).
With only a couple of days to go before the feature lock-down of Ogre 1.6, in time for a release candidate next week, I decided to squeeze in one more feature of my own - Alpha to Coverage support. This allows the use of Multi-sample Anti-aliasing (MSAA) on transparent texture edges as well as the more usual polygon edges. It headlines as a Dx10 feature, but in fact both ATI and NVIDIA have exposed it on GL and on Dx9, the latter via some nasty ‘magic’ state hacks since Dx9’s API doesn’t include it.
More patent silliness from those idiots in the US Patent Office, as they get exploited by soulless corporate types again: US Patent 7415666: Method and system for navigating paginated content in page-based increments I really can’t imagine how messrs. Sellers, Grantham and Dersch can sleep at night, having officially claimed that calculating how far to advance down a document when you hit the PageDn is a significant innovation that warrants the protection of 20-year exclusivity that a patent brings.
At the Leipzig Games Convention Sony announced several updates to its venerable SingStar franchise, and whilst the inclusion of Barry Manilow is wince-inducing, the inclusion of several Queen tracks on their compilation issues, and the announcement of a dedicated Queen disc for SingStar can only be a good thing. Not because I particularly like SingStar - we had it on the PS2 and to be honest the novelty wore off pretty fast - somehow picking up the microphone and crooning on your own or in a duet just feels like you should be in a seedy bar, full of beer with your arm around your best mate, desperately hoping the next morning that nobody had a video recording mode on their mobile.
Ugh. I’ve liked the Prince Of Persia series (although I only mostly only experienced the latest lot as a spectator, my wife played them more), but I have some misgivings about the gameplay trailer for the latest one. My gripes: Firstly, all that jumping & grabbing. It really doesn’t seem very fluid, more of a vertical shuffling game than the graceful acrobatic series of moves I’ve come to expect of PoP.
We’re on the final home straight for Ogre 1.6 (aka Shoggoth), which should hit RC1 next week. One of the final features I wanted to squeeze in was support for Parallel-split Shadow Maps (PSSM), which uses multiple shadow maps per light in a hierarchical fashion to improve the quality while keeping the size down, particularly in outdoor scenes using global directional light. If you’ve played Assassin’s Creed, you will have seen this technique in action already.