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Posted by , 14 January 2008 - - - - - - · 308 views

Gah, why's it always so hard to kick things off again in the new year? :(
Think I'll have to dry out and stay off the beers for a while after the Christmas festivity over-indulgence (like a record number of people I know are doing this year already!)

So... five years of Carrier hacking experience has passed! What do I have to show for it? Quite a lot, but still seemingly little as well. Time to wrap this up I think, before it gets out of hand.

Got my work cut out for me soon too, with child # 2 arriving in a few weeks :) Hmmm better get some hacking in quick... :o


Posted by , 18 December 2007 - - - - - - · 342 views

A lot of people don't get on with Blender & give up quickly. Don't - it's good - honest guvnor! I gave up myself with the older version a few years ago, but the newer 2.4+ versions are much improved.
Selected links & tutorials that helped me immensely:
Blender for the faint-hearted @ Sci-Fi meshes
If you only look at one site, look at the Faint-hearted tutorials - they helped me the most!
2.43 Manual
Blender Hotkeys list
WikiBooks Noob to Pro series

Also there are quite a few video tutorials on YouTube that are quite useful. For example the array modifier.

Ye olde code tippes

Posted by , 07 December 2007 - - - - - - · 317 views

Just found out a useful little fact.
When using the performance timer on multicore PC's you can get strange results if the timer thread gets swapped between CPU's. There are patches to fix this, but not everyone has them applied, leading to strange game behaviour or games not working on multicore CPUs.
The (recommended) solution is to use the windows SetThreadAffinityMask function to try and keep the thread running on the same cpu.

Modifiably mayhem

Posted by , 06 December 2007 - - - - - - · 515 views

Messing with another feature provided by Newton: modifiable collision prims. I've currently got a system to attach bodies together via joints, but its quite complex and leads to some problems with collision processing (and is probably overkill for things like the deck lift.)
With modifiers I can just set the matrix of a bodies collision prim rather than using forces & friction etc. Can obviously lead to other problems if abused though... :o

Autopilot engaged

Posted by , 27 November 2007 - - - - - - · 352 views

Ooh could get used to the ease of posting on here :)
Anyway, still battling with the Manta autopilot - trying to get a good control basis *without* using PIDs first - see how easy/suitable it is, and then bring in the big guns if required.


Posted by , 14 November 2007 - - - - - - · 336 views

Perlin water:


Posted by , 13 November 2007 - - - - - - · 291 views

Without further ado, the magic of Subversion changelogs will reveal what I've been slacking err working hard at since my last (and distant) blog post.

/Usual disclaimer of being too busy goes here, but it's been 'crunch' time at work (2 games released in same month!) Yadder yadder.

  • Implemented a whole new system of debug variables to make runtime tweaking automatic and much easier. Should save me weeks in the long run.

  • Added a physics & game model material system and linked it in with Blender physics prim specification and export. The Collada spec is still rather grey about user-specified data so I've bunged the info in the object name string with the requisite switch id. Now if only Blender allowed names longer than 23(?!) chars... hmmm maybe time for a little edit to the Blender source..?

  • Added damage system for physics object collisions and tied it in with object subsystems (via a multitude of archaic model primitive mappings.) Newton gives some information about collisions but AFAICS there's more work to extract useful data from them.

  • Started work on vehicle autopilots (again!) as a precursor to orders/docking/launching etc. This had already been written for the old ‘non-physical’ movement system – now it’s a whole lot harder to tie in with the physics. Initial experiments using PID controllers looks promising. Nothing quite so demotivating as rewriting whole chunks of stuff again though :(

  • Added static damage decals via the particle system. Need more work but the basics are in there now. Also need to attach them to moving objects in the future - link them in with the dynamic damage point thingies.

  • Added scripting functionality to allow the user to easily set up the world island map and resource network.

  • Added a 'mod' mechanism to hopefully allow the user to setup most aspects of a game via Lua script. The first C2 Mod has been made already: it kicks you off in the archipelagos from the original game :)

  • Refactored, amongst other things, my World class (it was resembling a big bad 'God class') - needed some loving care before proceeding.

  • Implemented some more optimised and lower detail shaders so we can run on somewhat lesser gfx cards ;)

  • Experimented with some different normal maps for the sea - Perlin noise mainly, which looks ok, but still looking for that illusive 'crumpled tin foil' effect which can apparently be realised with 'Fractal F1 Worley noise'. Apparently.

Phew, rather longer list than I expected really.


Posted by , 13 November 2007 - - - - - - · 372 views

Well, I've taken so much from GameDev during the development of Carrier2 that I thought I'd give them something back. So now I'm a ++ member, I'll use the journal thingy as it's miles easier than my webpage...
Old Carrier2 dev blog here.

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