Bleh

I was looking forward to putting some quality time into Bioshock last night, having neglected it for over a week now due to travelling, multiplayer GH2 sessions and such. Unfortunately however my stomach and related organs chose this time to encounter what can be most tactfully described as a ‘significant containment breach’ and thus my evening was completely ruined. It felt very much like food poisoning but since my wife ate the exact same meal and has been fine it can’t be that.

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Here’s a quick tip for you - XCode helpfully makes using precompiled headers in your project a cinch, even easier than trusty old MSVC in fact, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, it also places the result of said precompilation step in a shared location by default, namely /Library/Caches/com.apple.Xcode.$(UID)/SharedPrecompiledHeaders. It actually creates folders in this location corresponding to each combination of target name and a hash of the compiler settings used.

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Yeah, I’m back. Luckily the server didn’t have any blips like last time I went away, which is filed snugly in the ‘good thing’ drawer. I’m pretty tired, which sounds daft since I just got back from a break, but it’s a surprisingly long journey down to deepest Cornwall despite the distance on the map not looking very big (the nearest you can fly to is Exeter and we got the train down).

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Off for a few days

I’m off for a few days to visit my parents in Cornwall, so don’t be offended if I take longer than normal to respond to emails or miss a few things in the forum. Normal service will be resumed mid next week.

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I’ve had ‘improve tangent space tools’ on my TODO for Shoggoth for some time, but I finally managed to find time to do it late last week and today. We’ve supported normal & parallax mapping for ages obviously , but there were a few things we could have done better in the tangents generation process which I’ve now addressed. That’s things like: Separated tangents generation into its own class (TangentSpaceCalc).

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Zero Punctuation

A friend pointed me at these this weekend and they are absolutely bloody hilarious. The Escapist hosts a rather off-the-wall video commentary on games called Zero Punctuation, written by a British ex-pat now living in Australia. It’s traditional fast-talking dead-pan British wit, so if you like that kind of thing I can’t recommend these enough. His Bioshock critique is really funny - as much as I love this game he’s right to point out that it basically is System Shock 2 with the difficulty turned down, a ripped off Fallout retro style atmosphere and the plot changed.

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Yay, it arrived today. I’ve only tried it out briefly to make sure it worked ahead of a proper breaking in this evening, but it works really well. The feel is a little different so will need some getting used to, for example the fret buttons are glossy and depress flush with the neck, rather than being a little matte and always being a bit raised even when pressed like the wired controller.

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Gamasutra has a write-up of Raph’s presentation at the Austin Game Developers Conference, and he’s posted the slides on his site. Very interesting stuff, well worth reading and pondering, especially for those looking to capitalise on the large swathes of the market that most of the traditional game industry regularly ignores. I’m particularly interested in his thoughts on asynchronous online gaming (that is, being able to have a meaningful interaction with others even if you’re not online at exactly the same time).

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Microsoft might have called up all their friends to vote but OOXML isn’t an ISO standard yet. Hopefully now the proponents and detractors of OOXML can actually debate the substantive issues properly, such as the claims that there are elements over which MS can exhert unilateral control, in a way that actually justifies being called a standardisation process. Those wanting to simplify my position on this will chalk this up to more Microsoft-bashing, but ISO standardisation is a very serious business, and it deserves to be taken so - and that’s where my problem is here.

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We’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit again this year, and I’m really glad that I can actually attend this time. 😀 In 2006 we only got around 2-3 weeks notice that it was happening (it was obviously pulled together quite late) and I was already travelling around the same time so despite trying to figure out a way to make it work I reluctantly had to decline - Greg (xavier) and Michael (reimpell) attended on OGRE’s behalf instead but I was gutted at having to miss out.

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