First of all, before I begin another rant, let me wish everyone a merry xmas. I’ve had a good one, hope you all have too. Now, onto the rant. One of my xmas presents this year was Call of Duty 2, which I was quite looking forward to playing. Unlike most of the rest of the world, I haven’t played any WW2 FPS’s in the last few years (including the original COD) so for me it was going to be something new.
Well, I may be a complete XSI v5 fanboy but I’m very impressed with what the Blender project has achieved this year. Blender 2.40 appears to sport some very serious improvements, especially in the animation arena, kudos to them for that. They’ve clearly benefitted from the Google Summer of Code which was a superb initiative (which no doubt curdled Microsofts milk) that I hope they repeat next year - we had a couple of candidates but the places were filled so fast it didn’t happen.
I’ve just been adding some additional point rendering options to OGRE, specifically to allow hardware point sprites as well as more control over point sizes and their attenuation. Firstly, there was the problem that D3D and GL differ on how exactly to specify point sizes, but some creative mapping has resolved that (I decided on pixel size when attenuation is disabled, and viewport-relative size when it’s enabled, which maps nicely to both 3D sprites and to normal points).
Well, this is interesting - the Isle of Man is giving game and interactive media companies tax breaks with effect from April next year. For those who don’t know, the island I live on has a lot in common with the IOM economically in that it’s heavily dependent on financial services industry (far, far too dependent in many people’s view, including mine). So far our politicians have been ‘forced’ to copy what the IOM is doing as regards tax reform to avoid being seen as ‘uncompetitive’ in the financial services arena, which involves charging no tax on companies with non-resident beneficial owners as from 2008.
Yes, pose animation has now been put on steroids. Multiple poses can now be referenced in a single pose track’s keyframe, and they will be blended together using an individual influence per pose, interpolated along the track, and scaled overall by the animation weight. The result is that you can define reference facial animation poses (expressions, mouth shapes) and script them being combined in various ways over the life of an animation, for example to create the sequence of of a character making a particular speech, with all the right mouth shapes matching up with the words and yet not taking very much in the way of storage.
This made me laugh. 😀A few nostalgia clips for any true Brit with a home computer in the early 80’s. If you owned the terribly yankee C64 you don’t count 😉 Hey Hey 16k I really miss the days of quirky British games. Who could forget the likes of Fat Worm Blows a Sparky, Skooldaze and Pyjamarama? These days the only place that seems to maintain it’s cultural uniqueness in it’s games is Japan (and to some extent, France, although there are less and less quirky French games these days too) - in Britain we seem to have lost all the things that made our games interesting and different in the pursuit of mainstream acceptance in the US, and it’s just thrown a damp towel over everything in my opinion.
A whole bunch of things to talk about today. Firstly, I’ve been feeling pretty awful over the last couple of days and think I’ve caught a bug which has been doing the rounds lately, taking out quite a lot of people at work. So far I haven’t taken any sick leave but I’ve been too tired in the evening to do much OGRE work. Nevertheless, I’m planning a small rework to the pose animation features I’ve already done, mainly to move the actual definition of poses out of animation tracks and just refer to them in the tracks themselves with an influence level, allowing you to script the pose blends in tracks, which is much more powerful but doesn’t require any more actual features than are already there.
I had to waste yet more time today tracking down what was causing the OGRE web server to slow to a crawl. This time it wasn’t a DDOS attack, but a single IP from Vietnam that was hammering the server with shedloads of requests every second. All the requests were individually valid, so if this wasn’t an intentional attack, it was a really crappy spidering tool written by some clueless muppet who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Following on from one of my many, many rants on this blog (hey, I’m just passionate about some things, ok?), I’m rather impressed that one MMORPG at least seems to be going the sort of way I’d like - namely Dungeons and Dragons Online : Stormreach. What makes this one different from other alternatives like WoW? Well, firstly, there’s only 10 levels to be had, and progression is likely to be relatively slow, at least for those normal people who don’t consider it their sacred duty to be the first player to hit the level cap on a server in the tragically sad hope that it will bring them some kind of real world respect.