Lesta Studios / Buka released a playable demo of Pacific Storm today; I only got a very quick chance to try it but it looks pretty impressive. I’m not much of a strategy / tactical gamer myself but I know people who are, and will revel in this kind of game - in fact it was quite funny to be told in the street a few days ago by a friend I hadn’t seen for a while that they had been looking forward to this, and only found out afterwards that it was powered by OGRE.

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Here’s an interesting technique I’ve been getting working for the past couple of days (when I’ve had time) - attaching compositors to shadow textures, allowing in this case a soft-shadow effect through the application of a gaussian blur on the GPU. Since shadow textures render much like a regular window, the method for applying this compositor is exactly like setting up a compositor anywhere else, you just have to grab the shadow texture’s render target and apply it.

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April 29th. Today was an epic journey of adventure and discovery as, armed with a wide array of sharp implements both motorised and traditional, I endeavoured to beat back Mother Nature and find the source of the ‘bottom lawn’, rumoured to exist at the end of our garden. A trip to the local purveyor of adventuring supplies, resulted in my very badly treated, flagging workhorse (a 10-year old mower whose oil hadn’t been changed nearly as often as it should have been) being replaced with a brand new one, which was begging for some action.

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Nintendo Wii

You probably already know about this, but the new name for the Revolution is the Wii. Daft name, which will undoubtedly keep internet forums buzzing with puns for the next decade - I don’t think Nintendo have ever been so obviously Japanese and naive about western translation since Donkey Kong. An absurd decision that NOA are already having to defend. Poorly. 😀 Unless of course it’s all a ploy to get people talking about it more, in which case it’s succeeded.

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I was getting a little concerned because I hadn’t been able to contact two pretty important contributors to OGRE about the Eihort licensing, and could envisage us having to spend a fair amount of time rewriting these contributions only to hear back from them afterwards to say it would have been ok. Luckily the awesome connectivity power of the OGRE community came into it’s own once again, and even though a month and many, many email addresses later hadn’t got me in contact, two days with the help of the wider community and the issue was resolved.

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Ankh arrives

Thanks to Thorsten at Deck13, I now have a copy of the English version of Ankh. 😀I only had a short time to play it today but I’ve enjoyed it so far. The game is very solidly put together, it feels nicely polished. I chuckled at the reference to Guy Al Brush who went to sea and never returned, and I liked how you can question the mercenaries at the start about whether it’s actually possible to die in the game, therefore it being pointless that they threaten you.

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I’ve been exhausted after this weekend of DIY (because I’m such a pampered desk-jockey most of the time), so when I haven’t been fixing the odd bug in Ogre, I’ve been unwinding with Psychonauts. I’ve cleared a couple more ‘minds’, and although they all have their own unique style, the Milkman Conspiracy is definitely one of the more memorable. I won’t give anything significant away, but you enter the mind of ‘Boyd’, avid conspiracy theorist, oftentimes guard, and general fruit cake.

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Manual labour

This weekend we started renovating our lounge and dining room, which has proved to be rather messy (not surprisingly). I hate DIY and decorating personally, I’ve never quite understood the facination of changing the colour of walls / floors / ceilings, but it’s true that this did need doing, and my wife is keen to get it done - and given the amount of leeway she’s given me over all the time I spend on OGRE I figure I probably owe her (at least) one.

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Well, it’s been something of a week - a short one at work, since Monday was a bank holiday, but an extremely busy one nonetheless. I was pretty bummed out early-to-mid-week, in part due to the departure of nfz, and in part because work just seemed to be mounting up (at work and for OGRE). There were a couple of serious bug reports with RC2 (Code::Blocks + STLport has problems, combining skeletal animation and pose animation was blowing up), and I now really have to take on the official tech review of xavier’s book that nfz was doing (I was doing it informally) which means stricter review deadlines to adhere to.

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Bad news

I was very sad to hear today that Jeff (nfz) has decided to stand down from the OGRE team for personal reasons; whilst it’s completely understandable, it’s a real blow since I’d really gotten used to having him around, he’s a reliable chap. At the moment that leaves only myself and Genva as truly active members of the OGRE team, the other team members are mostly dormant now. We’ll have to review the situation once 1.

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