I haven’t had too much time for blogging the last few days, been super-busy. Apart from catching up after travelling and being sick, I have some sizeable client work on, I’m doing a presentation tomorrow at our local BCS-affiliated developers group about cross-platform development issues, I’ve been getting ready for an OGRE stable maintenance release (v1.4.5) at the weekend, and of course I’m off to Silicon Valley next week for the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit - and I’ve been invited to spend some time with NVIDIA and Intel while I’m there too, which is excellent.
I’m still feeling a little rough but infinitely better than yesterday, if that’s at all possible - I imagine you couldn’t honestly say you feel infinitely better unless you simultaneously won 10 million on the lottery and discovered you were actually Spiderman. At least. But let’s put boyish dreams aside for now. Unfortunately my wife has the bug now too - who said sharing everything was a good thing? A rather nice new project came up in the OGRE forums yesterday called MotorM4X, courtesy of The Easy Company in Prague.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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).