As many people are already aware, the Pandora Internet Radio service rocks. For those who are not familiar with it, it’s the friendly end of some quite serious research called the Music Genome Project, allowing them to quite uncannily figure out what kind of music you might like, based on an initial starting point and some iterative guidance from you on which tracks you do and don’t like. It’s executed with some flair too, with a really nice interface, a streaming system that I’ve yet to get any lag on, and a much better selection than some others I’ve tried like Last.
Ok, so now you finally get to see what I’ve been working on during the last few weeks and being so obtuse about. I’ve been working for Windward Mark Interactive to create a brand new, totally volumetric cloud system called Nimble. Here are some shots for you (click for full size versions): Clearly there have been cloud systems before, so what’s special about Nimble? Well, for a start it’s completely volumetric - it’s not a prerendered skybox or 2.
nfz brought to our attention in the OGRE forums a really interesting analysis of the OGRE codebase, much more detailed than the one on Koders that I mentioned earlier in the week. Looks like they’ve been gathering stats on the project since 2002, which is really cool to look back on. It’s interesting to see the timeline of developer involvement too. I’ve aparrently put 4.3 man years into the project so far 😀You know, I probably can’t argue with that - it might be a little high but if I average my hours over the 5-6 years, it’s probably close.
Had some worrying news yesterday, my cousin who lives on the mainland right now has been taken very suddenly to hospital in what sounds like quite serious circumstances. The doctors don’t know what it is yet, he’s just been unconscious and on a ventilator for over 24 hours, Meningitus is a possibility which obviously isn’t good. It’s weird because I only ‘spoke’ to him (on IM) on Friday afternoon and he didn’t seem any different to usual - I feel kind of guilty now for not talking to him for very long since I was flat out trying to hit my deadline.
Woohoo! Despite all my apprehensions about the doability of this one at the start of the month and a pretty hectic schedule, particularly in the last 2 weeks, the contract work I’ve been involved in has reached a successful conclusion, just in time (deadline was today). I can’t say much more today, but what I can say is that I’ll be allowed to post some more news on Monday, and yes - screenshots of what I’ve been working on.
Wow, I’m feeling really mentally tired this evening. I’ve been troubleshooting a number of spatial transforms and lighting calculations the last few days and my head is still buzzing. I’m pretty spatially aware, but for some reason when I try to visualise some (particularly non-affine) combination transforms which include things like handedness switches and axis inversions I start to overheat. I spent almost 3 hours this morning trying to diagnose why a worldspace to volume image space to realigned volume image space transform blows up with certain combinations of settings, and although I eliminated quite a few things and clarified the precise situation in which it occurred, I don’t feel much closer to explaining it yet.
I just thought I’d link this article in case you hadn’t already seen it. Quite interesting - I expected most people in the games industry to say ‘both’, and although some did there was a massive bias towards the Wii, more than I would have expected even though I have such a bias too. Of course, we don’t have either in Europe yet, and although it’s not that long until the Wii launches here (December 8th, I have one on pre-order), PS3 has been delayed enough times as to be mostly irrelevent for a while.
I happened to be looking at Koders.com today and stumbled across the project summary page for OGRE, which has some really interesting stats. Particularly eyebrow-raising was the estimated development cost based on KLOC metrics - not a super-accurate estimating tool by any means but it’s the kind of metric many people use to estimate cost in the absence of anything else. Based on that, everything that’s in the OGRE CVS repository would have taken 683 man-months and cost 3.
Well, I’m feeling quite a bit better about the progress I’m making this week on work projects. I had a breakthrough on Monday morning which helped to start the week off well, and since then I’ve been happy at having visible progress each day. I can’t show you what I’m working on unfortunately because it’s for another company - perhaps after they’ve gone public I’ll be allowed to link some screens.
I’ll try to resist saying I told you so, but despite the debate in my previous post, Ballmer (Microsoft) and Levy (Novell) have pretty much confirmed that much of the recent agreement between them was to a significant degree about technology patents, of which I bet a significant amount is .Net. Ballmer is basically saying that Novell and its customers were using Microsoft technology and Microsoft shareholders deserved to be compensated for it.