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About this blog

This journal is approved by the Get A Life Commitee. I swear.

Entries in this blog

 

Let's do something else...

It's been a while since I haven't updated my journal. So here it is.

First, I'm quite happy to have exceeded my desires for my French blog. I was targetting 200 to 300 visit per month after one year, and I am currently at 700 visit per month after 10 month. OK, the numbers are ridiculous. But I'm still happy [smile]. BTW, I updated it to put two other articles about Win32 programming (here and here; Babelfish has some issues when it translates it (custermore MDI? No, that's MDI client dude). It becomes even weirder when it tries to translate english to english. Of course, Google translation is not much better - in fact, the translation is so similar that I wonder if they don't use the same engine... But Google also destroy some formatting, so use Babelfish if you want to get something...)

Second, I'm working on a PHP game. I'm searching for someone who can help me to design some graphics (not much) and the site style (not that difficult). If you're interested, PM me. And I resumed the work with Winterdyne (that's good). And I have to contact the people I met at the fmx/07. And of course, I have tons of other things to do (including the SOMETHING project, which is far bigger than what I expected). Anyway, I'll do my best to be up to date with the news [smile].

Third, I'm going to marry. With myself. Because of you, I don't have the time to meet a woman.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Post #3773

Not much to say for this palindromic post.

I updated my French blog with an article about designing a message handling system for a Win32 based GUI - but that's more or less a better explaination of what I already did on this journal last year.

I just began to work on a new project (it will not be a companion for SOMETHING (see past posts for more information about SOMETHING). SOMETHING will have to wait a bit before I can work on it again (too many things to do for gdnet: loads of things to write, not to mention that I have to contact many people now).

Don't know why, but I'm pretty busy, and news are suffering a bit (don't have much time to search new news. I'll have more time next week). Sorry about that.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Back to the regular schedule...

The fmx/07 is finished (but you already know that, don't you?), it's not time to go back to my redular schedule: return to work, debug, code, debug, and so on. That's a bit less exciting than discussing with bright people from everywhere in the world.

These four days were a bit tough, but very enjoyable. I met guys (and girls) from all major companies, ranging from EA to Ubisoft, Microsoft to CCP Games, Side Effect Software to Polygonal Design, ILM to def2shoot, and so on. I got a full hand of business cards to play with, and hopefully we'll be able to build something more concrete on the top of that (I mean, GDNet [smile]).

The conference was a good surprise for every people who attended it. Most of the speakers didn't know the fmx before they came, and they were astonished by the overall quality of the talks. Organization was perfect, and the staff was really kind. Not to mention it was a big success (I will post a news about that in a few hours).

Of course, I should stop trying to remember this event.

It makes my day to day job even more... well, less sexy.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

fmx/07 - this insider, day four, part 2

I left you right before I attended the two last sessions of the day (in teh game development track, I mean). That was also right before the EA party (I'll try to explain you that later [smile]).

The first one, by Nanette Kaulig, dealt with the approach used by the animation team at Lionhead to create the animations of Black & White 2 and (maybe more interesting) Fable 2. She warned us that the talk was more or less the same she gave at the GDC earlier this year - so you might know a lot about the news. Still, it's quite amazing to see this dog comming to life. Because my opinion is that it's really unbelievable. That's pretty true that the uncanny valley can alter your emotional response to a virtual character but this is simply not applicable to this dog (which is really realistic, and just seems to be living in your PC). Part of this comes from their animation system - they use a huge amount of animations to create this feeling of life (I mean, a really huge number of animation, as they try to provide more than one animation for any kind of action - not to mention that they sometimes use procedural animations (or procedural modifications in non procedural animation) to bring the dog to life). That's pretty impressive.

Right after Frau Kaulig's talk, Matthew Jeffery of Electronic Arts gave us keys about the futut of games. To be honnest, I was not really able to understand what he wanted to say. But the fact is that loads of slides were really interresting - especially the demographic slides. Do you know that the average age of gamers in the US is... 39 yo? Yes, that's quite shoking [smile]. The gamers population is younger in Europe (average: 25 or 26 yo, I didn't remember). It's even younger in Asia.

And that was the very last talk of the fmx/07. Meaning that the EA party could begin - and it does. Slowly. The thing is that the speakers were eating in anotehr room while we were waiting for some good music to danse. So after 2h waiting for something to happen (meet people, get business cards, discuss, repeat since step 1 and rinse), we just decided to danse a bit. Then the speakers arrived "en masse". I took some time to meet some of them (and get even more business cards in the process), then I decided that the work was over, and I started to drink again (not that I'm alcoholic). That's the last thing I remember, mister Officer.

No, I'm kidding.

That was a pretty good party in the end. Loads of clever people to meet. Beautiful girls to danse with (crap... she was married). Good bier and good white wine to drink. Not too mush to eat, but that was ok.

So, that was a good party, and it marked the end of a good conference. I envoyed it a lot - and I'm already planning to cover next year's edition [smile].



BTW, the real coverage will begin shortly. I have tons of things to write down (I also have loads of stuff that I mustn't write down), so it's not going to go very fast. You can expect to get 4 more articles with that red fmx logo.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

fmx/07 - the insider, day four, part 1

Hello pals! (and others)

This is the fourth and last day of the fmx - not a bad thing considering that I'm more tired than if I had to run 30km per hour during 12h. But that mean that I will see less frenchies (because there are a lot of French people out there), and less beautiful girls (because there are a lot of beautiful girls out there).

After the speaker's dinner of yesterday (to which I don't attend, for obvious reason), they organized the Realtime Party in the Colibri Nighclub. That was a pretty fun party, although I still don't see any obvious link between realtime and the party itself. Even beers effects are delayed a while.

Not wanting to get drunk twice in the week, I was quite sober during the party, hoping to go to bed early in order to wake up, ready to face the last day. I went to bed at 3 am. I got a phone call from my boss at 7 am. I was working at 7.30 am. I stopped working at 2.30 pm. I was at the fmx at 3 pm.

I LOST HALF A F DAY debugging software, while I should have attended the talk of Henry Labounta about believable characters. I'm quite upset by the situation, especially because this last day is quite slow (from a game development perspective), as there are not a large number of talks. So I used my time to wander in the expo, speaking to people I met, presenting GameDev.Net to people that did not know about it, and so on. That was pretty... slow. I also tried to get more info about XNA Game Studio Pro, which is supposed to air this fall (but noone really knows about that).

Fortunately, there are two good talks in a row right now, then the EA closing party. Although I worked this morning, I feel like my day is beginning now. Better late than never [smile]

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

fmx/07 - the insider, day three

I left you this afternoon with little idea of what lecture I was going to attend after that. Let's be simple: I splitted my time between lectures and the expo.

The expo is not that big here, but there is a lot of emerging companies that just do an incredible work - not to mention big companies that continue to push the technology. Let's take Photoshop CS3 Extended (the high end version of photoshop, which has been released a few ays ago). This is the first version that is really able to display a 3D object. Granted, you don't create them in the software, but you can load a COLLADA file, and it will create a layer with your 3D object inside. You can change the lightning, you can move the object, play with it, add special effects on that layer, and so on. That's pretty cool. Even cooler: the textures of the object appears as separate sub layers in your 3D layer.

Of course, for game developers, this is a bit awkward (except that you can now edit your texture and see the result in real time, instead of having to load it in your modeler, tune it, save it, load it again and so on).

More interesting - I mean, that's really interesting - is the Unfold3D product (version 2.0 has just been released). Unfold3D takes your mesh and flatten it to create your UV map. But contrary to any other technique you might find in any other software, it actually works, and creates a nearly optimal UV map. I requested a demo with different models, and the result is amazing (even with high poly model: the texel distortion is minimal). But more important (if you ever tried to UV map a complex model): it does that in a snapshot. Your only work is to define cut lines ie lines where you want the map to be cut. That's actually easier than I thought, as they did that very well. And then, click the unfold button and (depending on your model) in 1 to 20s you get an uterly good UV map.

That's what I call a production pipeline optimization.

Speaking of production pipeline, I attended the talk of Torfi Frans Olafson, entitle "EVE Online: space ship to avatars". I can't discuss much about that because most of what he said is quite business sensitive. I will only say that they lead a very good reflexion about their production pipeline and about who was able to achieve the right job. That's how you finaly hire people that were not originally in the game industry, while still maintaining a very optimized production pipeline. Players of EVE Online will probably have their heart explode when they'll get their hand on the next expansion pack.

But that was not the only talk I attended: I also wanted to hear Gilles Monteil of Ubisoft ("We all want emotions in games"). Gilles presented a way that have to be explored and that should bring a whole new level of emotion in games. You can actually see some early results of his work in a previous Rainbox Six games (I don't remember which one; you know, I'm bad at remembering things (and that's not a problem, since my computer is very good at doing just that [smile])), if you stop killing everyone and if you start looking at your teammates. Basically, he want to import a movement grammar that, by itself, express emotions. We tend to think that emotion is coming from facial animation. The fact is that it's not true: if you got some drama course, you probably have been told that the body and movements express emotions, feelings. If you want a better idea of what I mean, look at the Thinker of Rodin, and mentally remove his face: do he stop to convey the same feeling?

Of course (and I guess I don't spoil much here), I'll make my best to make a better report of each talk I attended - I take loads of notes, and I should be able to write down something that goes deeper in each subject.

For now, I have to find something to eat, because I just can't go home right now - I'm so unlucky that I have to attend the Realtime Party which is later this evening. I promise I won't get drunk [smile]

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

fmx/07 - the insider, day two and three

Hello there - this is the beginning of the 3rd day at the fmx/07, and this one is going to be quite interesting as well, although it's a bit less hot than yesterday (BTW, sorry for yesterday: I wasn't able to connect to teh intarweb - the wifi hotspot seems to be less convenient that what I thought in the first place).

Speaking of yesterday, I must confess that I was unable to see everything I wanted to see. Part of the problem was the NVidia party on tuesday evening: there is nothing as difficult to manage as free wine and free beer. Not that I'm alcoholic (I'm not: if I drink, that's only because I would be shaking all day long otherwise). But this has a terrible effect on me - woke up with some kind of Boeing 747 in my head, difficulties to understand my own words, and so on. The net result is that I missed the Crytek presentations (why the hell did they put them on the morning? [sad]). I returned to the fmx at the beginning of the afternoon - and I was finally able to attend the talk of the day (I mean, from a game developer perspective): "The Illusion of Life - Revisited", by Ken Perlin himself. The rest of the day went good - with Sebastien Deguy of Allegorithmics, who talked about procedural textures (you have to check their video/demo - their technology is really amazing), Sebastien Racine of Ubisoft (Montreal) who presented us a part of their next-gen pipeline and discussed how realtime suddenly meets pre-render (for instance, the cinematics of Assassin's Creed are using the same assets than the game engine: same character models, same buildings, and so on). That's were I nearly loose conscience because of some kind of hypoglycemia, so I had to find something to eat (and of course, I missed the talk of Pr. Natkin about the future of game). I hope you'll forgive me [smile].

On the overall, the day was nice - I took the time to talk with many bright people from the media industry (movies, special effects, animation and so on). The previous day, despite being less game development oriented, was nice as well. As I told you, there were some reviews that I wanted to attend: Web 2.0, World of Warcraft or Second Life entertained me during the afternoon (well, entertainment was not really the goal: my hands still hurt, as I had to write down what the speakers were saying). The WoW talk was probably the most interesting in that respect: Teut Weidemann, CEO of CDV AG explained us why WoW is just "more than a game". Not only it's a community (and a strong one: 8 to 9 millions players), but it's also a market (I mean, outside the money Blizzard is making: the WoW market is estimated to 1 to 3 billion $. This is a bigger economy than some third world countries), a place where you can lose very important things (3% of the players lost their job/wife/girlfriend because of WoW) or find them (3% of the players met their girlfriend/wife/ found a job by playing WoW). It's just like real life in a virtual world. I will talk about that in a later article.

Of course, today is also quite entertaining. This morning, Microsoft talked about XNA and DirectX 10. I must confess that I'm not really that aware about DX10 - there is so many things I ignore about it, mostly because I am still working on XP with no plan to change in the next month. But I will catch up [smile]). To be honest, I expected MS talk to be quite like "OMG you should use DX10 it's sooo cooool". The good thing is that they didn't have to tell me that: DX10 is utterly cool. From a software architecture point of view, it's much more logical. States are now handled using state objects, shader constants are stored in constant buffers (loads of constants constants, each made of 4 floats, and the possibility to bind up to 14 CB to a shader, together with the unified shader model, virtualised resource memory = theorically, you can draw a complete scene with tons of different objects with only one draw call). The Geometry Shaders are also quite cool, as it's now possible to (for example) create a shadow volume from a model directly on the GPU - that's a good way to reduce fill rate.

After the two MS workshop, the audience (I mean, some game developers + me) were introduced to COLLADA. You all know COLLADA - if you don't, you should [smile]. Remi Arnauld of SCEA did a brilliant presentation about this extremely versatile file format, how it's used, how it can improve asset management, team cooperation, synergies between softwares and (last but not least) the production content pipeline.

Now, the afternoon is to begin. I unfortunately missed the first talk of the afternoon, but this time I have a valid excuse: I was hungry, and I was discussing with Ken "Procedural" Perlin at the restaurant. And frankly, I had a very good lunch, speaking of his work, his interests, philosophy and jokes. That was fun and informative, and I wouldn't have missed that [smile].

I have 15 minutes before the next talks begin, so let's say I'm going to post that, make an announce on the front page, and hope you'll forgive me for having missed the Crytek lectures. See you later !

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

fmx/07 - the insider, day one

Yeah, I'm in the press lounge (let's call it that way) of the fmx/07, writing my first message from inside the show.

I received a few press release to publish, but most of them aren't really related to game development. I will see if I can feature the other on the front page today. I also received the first gifts (from the fmx organization): a nice red bag, two DVDs (selected Stuttgart Media University student work + selected work from the Filmakademie Baden Wuertemberg) - and the conference schedule, a thick book of 280 pages with full details about the talks and the other conference events.

The real thing for me will begin this afternoon - as I told you yesterday (but I'm sure you weren't listening, were you?), I'm attending two reviews. The first one, entitled "Wb nOObs, u roxxor!" discuss World of Warcraft and will try to extrapolate its impact in terms of gaming and internet use. The second one, entitled "Second Life Rocks / Second Life Sucks", discuss the good and bads of Second Life - from the gameplay point of view.

I may also attend another review entitled "Web 2.0 - where the mass meets" which discuss the Web 2.0 phenomenon, what could be its future and its impacts on internet gaming.

After that, it's all pleasure: the SIGGRAPH projection takes place, then the opening gala (which is at the same time the closing gala of the ITFS; that's why it takes place after the end of the first conference day), and the opening party organized by NVidia.

And then, tomorrow will come [smile].

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

The fmx/07 begins tomorrow morning...

... and I think I'll be pretty busy. Well, not tomorrow morning, as there is not much game development related tracks - but I will try to contact a few people, and maybe I'll take a few photos. And I'll visit a few booth. And I'll try to seduce a few girlsAnd I'll try to get loads of free stuff (they gave me a bag yesterday when I went to the press point to get my final accreditation; I suppose I should be able to use that bag to carry all the free stuff I'll find).

The most important talks (as I see it) occurs from Wednesday to Friday. Tuesday is just Not That Bog, although you might get some news posts (I will prefix them using "fmx/07:"). Of course, given that I will spend my time at the fmx, I will have hard time to catch up with the other news, so please be kind - I'll do my best, but I remember that I have only one brain and only two arms. Which is enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday still have some interesting stuff - in particular, there are two review talks about WoW and Second Life. Both should talk about content AND gameplay, so that sounds interesting. And then, there is the opening party (sponsored by NVidia). I guess that a lot of people will be there. And the bad thing is that I won't get drunk - because there is just too much too see on Wednesday.

I will try to blog every day or so about what I see, posting some phone numberspictures and other tidbits from the conference. Hope you'll be there to read that [smile].


Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Where is my time?

Really, I don't know.

It seems that my day is split in two parts: the sleeping part, and the "running everywhere" time. And that's a bit annoying.

On the good side, I'm doing a lot of stuff. I'm still working (you remember?) at Alpine in Stuttgart, I'm searching new news for you (I believe I'm the official GameDev.Net spammer), I'm blogging (well, I try; I was supposed to update my blog every week, and I haven't found the time to update it last week), I'm preparing the coverage of the fmx/07 (people to meet1, talks to attend, questions to ask, and so on), I'm trying to answer questions in the forum, I continue to work on SOMETHING, I'm taking care of my xperteleven.com team in the GameDev.Net league (today, I won!), and I'm running after womentrying to get a correct social life (seducdiscussing all sort of stuff with very beautifinteresting gir people).

No wonder why I'm a bit tired...

Anyway, I'm pretty sure you don't care much (well, maybe the stuff about gdnet), so let's talk about something more interesting.

There are lots of news that we don't feature anymore. In fact, we don't feature alpha/beta/unfinished product anymore. The reason is that we want to focus more on real products: finished engines/middlewares, with their documentation, samples, and a full feature list.

We also don't feature jobs anymore (but then, we haven't got any job news for the past century). The gdnet Job feature is a better way to advertise jobs anyway.

We also try to avoid publishing news about new websites that doesn't have much interest. In the past, we used to advertise these websites on our frontpage, and that's not really relevant - especially if these sites are q mere collection of links. Of course, if a particular web site draws our attention, we're likely to feature it on the front page).

Last but not least: we don't feature games. We are not a gaming web site. So forget about the release of your "fantastic rpg v0.42" - it's not going to be featured here.

The good thing is that even if your news is not features, you still have the possibility to post an announcement in the dedicated forum (which is called, guess what, Your Announcement). Our standard reply is usually something along the line of "we won't feature **** because ****, but you can still post to the YA forum".

More rarely (but it happens), our answer can be "your post = spam. My action = ban. I win. Ah ah ah."

I say this because, whatever you might think about gamedev.net, we don't sell rolex replicas. We also don't support phising, so don't send us news about how cool it would be to automatically become a RuneScape mod by logging here.

Of course, all this is subject to change. We have Secret Plans for some changes, and I believe you'll be surprised by the result (or not). PM me if you want to learn more about that (don't forget that if I tell you anything, I will have to kill you. How curious are you?).

Ok pals, see you later!


1: speaking of that, I have a surprise for you (no, I won't tell it right now. you'll have to wait for another week) a question: I have the possibility to interview a major film director (hint: his name begins with "Rolan", it ends with "mmerich", somewhere in the middle you'll find a "d" and a "E", and back in time he did a small budget movie about some kind of door that would lead a bunch of military and a scientist to another planet with an egyptian-like setting). So the question is: do you have any interesting question to ask? To be honnest, I don't.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Preparation of the fmx/07

As you may have noticed, since I posted many times on the subject, I will attend the fmx/07 in Stuttgart in a few days.

So I'm preparing it, and I must admit that it's not that easy. Even if I consider that I will be able to organize my time as I want (but that mean that I won't have much time to discuss with the cool people out there), I have still some problems to choose what would be the best talks to attend. Let's take an exemple: on friday, at 12:00AM, there are 3 game development related talks in competition:

* Intelligent believable characters, by Henry LaBounta of EA
* Professions in games, by Matthew Jeffreys of EA
* Flash on alternate devices (I'm pretty sure that John Hattan would want me to attend this one), by Peter Elst. This one is particular since it deals with consoles as well, and most notably the Wii (yeah, John, have you ever though about pushing your games on the Wii?)

In addition to these talks, there is also an NVidia workshop.

So you see, choosing between all will NOT be easy - and that's why I need your help. Here is your mission:


I'm not sure I will be able to do it, but if you are really interested in something in particular, I'll do my best to cover it.

BTW, there is no way for me to miss the NVidia opening reception or the EA closing party. Really.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

New news and other news

Hello you all!
I just published the second XNA blog entry of my Intro to XNA series (in case you wonder, yes, it's written in French). It presents the basic architecture of an XNA program, and explain some bits about game architecture to my audience (which is, in most part, not game development oriented). If you're really curious, the first one (also in French, of course) is still there. Of course, both are going to be translated later (let's say, in one or two months). I'm back from L.A., but I'm still jet-lagged. Last night I slept 11h, the previous one I slept 3h, and the previous 13h. I'm totally lost. One thing I'll remember: I really enjoyed the Mustang, but God, it drinks a lot! I'm going to be more involved in GameDev.Net. I'll keep you informed on that later. I'm thinking about, hey, how would it be to become a game publisher? I think I'd like it. I may publish/edit games from either hobbyists or independant game developpers with a limited budget, trying to organize some buzz around them, sell copies in stores, advertise in gaming magazines, and so on. That sounds fun. What do you think about that? .

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Day 8 in L.A.

So, yesterday was a good day. I managed to meet Dave and Melissa, we had a very nice evening in a very good restaurant, loads of fun, talks about gamedev, and so on. To come and see them, I had a fairly long freeway drive, so I decided to try this Mustang a bit.

I'm pleased to say that I'm statisfied with this car. The driver position is confortable for long drives, and the car is responsive (despite the fact that it's an auto-gear. Do you ever drive manual gear cars, you American people? It's a lot more fun, you know). I pushed it to its limits (hoping that no policemen was roaming there), and it went nicely to its 120 mph. All in all, that was pretty fun. I definitely plan to buy one some day (when my MG ZR will die, I guess)

The dinner was really nice too! I tasted a red wine from Temecula (don't remember the name, but I think it was some merlot. Unsure about that though). It was quite good, with some distinctive points - although it was not that different from a French merlot. For the main dish, I chosed some chicken rolls with (made in America) French brie inside. That was tasty as well.

Of course, most of the discussion went on gamedev.net. I got a better view of the undergoing changes, our goals for the new millemnium (well, at leadt for this year), and on the organization itself (who is in charge of doing what there). That was rather informal, but very informative.

So yes, that was a very good day. The only bad thing is that I did some shopping at the Del Amo Fashion Center near my hotel, bought too many things, and had to buy another carry-on to be able to get everything back to France. Geez, when will I stop to spend my money? [smile]

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Continuing da trip in L.A.

Warning: this meditation is more or less an artefact of the bottle of Oaks Diamonds that I drank during the dinner. The idea was to test Californian wines; the best I can tell is that now, one of them has been tested (this is a Chardonnay from the Napa Valley, for those who are interested. For a French guy who likes wine a lot (I mean, me, or example), this chardonnay was kind of special, as it doesn't taste like a French chardonnay. It's like it constains some spices - that's quite dificult to explain. But you still discover the taste of the chardonnay if you keep the wine on your tongue for a time).

There's something strange about the experience I'm living. I had to change my hotel (because the Residence Inn was full, and I had to extend my booking - and they weren't able to handle that), so I went to the Marriot Torrance which is right in front of the Residence Inn (a coworker of mine is still there, so I couldn't move too far away). The Marriot is an Hotel de Luxe (forgive this French expression). It's still not a palace - lacking a huge number of services - but it's quite classy. In France, that would be somewhere between a 4-stars hotel and a palace (5 stars) - but I don't know how the Californian classification is enforced, so I don't know it's real rating.

The thing that's strange is that I feel at home in this obvious luxury. Drinking good wines that you pay with the skin of your nose, phoning to the reception so they can bring you a glass of fresh French mineral water and so on. Problem is that I don't have the money to pay such a luxury hotel for a long peiod of time - all in all it's not really a problem, as the company I work for will pay. But I really feel like I could live this way for a long time. I'm not impressed, I'm not thinking that I'm in the wrong place. I'm just there, acting like if everything was natural.

Obviously, it's not natural at all. I mean, everyone is at your service - you can ask whatever you want (the main difference with a palace being that some of your whishes can't be accepted). In real life, you won't ask someone to clean your room twice in the day because you decided to rest for some time during the afternoon. You do it yourself, or you live with it.

Ok, you don't care much.

So, today, I decided to rent a car. I took a Mustang (auto gear... do I look like someone who likes to drive auto-greared cars? Geez...), and I emptied the tank by driving in LA for a while (pacific coast fwy, sunset blvd, mulholand dr, and so on). That was quite pleasant.

Tomorrow, if God exists (and if he has some free time), I'd be pleased to meet Him. If that's not possible, I guess I'll take the car and do another rip - maybe I'll go to Electronic Arts office in LA. Not sure I'll find someone there, unless they are facing some crunch time. But that would mean that another ea_spouse will provoke another EA seism). Or maybe I'll visit the south of LA - There's a small city called San Diego somewhere. It seems it's not too far.

And on monday, I'll go back to work. I'll spend another day on the issue I had to fix by friday (it's fixed. It's just not fully tested, because the data set we use don't contain the value we need. Too bad. I was told that they worked on the subject on friday, in order to release a new version of the data set this monday morning. All they have to do is to enable some filters that they disables some months ago, so that shouldn't take them too much time).

I will stay in L.A. (Torrance; but now, I have a car, so I can move arround) up the the 5th of April. Then I'll go back to Stuttgart (I'll arrive on Friday afternoon).

But you surely don't care at all*.

*: it's strange: evertime I say that, noone answers "no, youre wrong, we really care". I wonder why.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Ooops. My title was too long.

The good thing about working for a car equipment maker that sells electronic products is that they want to show their talent every year at the CES. Since they do high-end car audio and navigation systems, the best way to present them is to put them in situation - I mean, in a car.

But if you show something at the CES, you'd better try to make something that everyone will remember. So there's not way you'll present your equipment in a normal car.

That why, at Alpine, they decided to tune cars a bit. The result if quite impressive - this is not the average rice boy tuning here.

For exemple, let's begin with a close-up:


clicky's biggar

We see the Alpine logo quite well, and it seems that this "thing" has huge wheels. That's quite true - although it's difficult to know the exact wheel size. Something around 24 or 26 inches.


clicky's biggar too

But changing the wheels doesn't make your car a nice one - you have to change something else also. Why not removing everything which was in the inside to make your own? After all, who needs to get more than one passenger in a car? Also, don't forget the sound system (remember, you're selling them).


clicky's biggar again


yar yar yar, clicky's biggar

Now, you may have forgot what was the car at the beginning - so it's still interesting to not remove some distinctive signs. After all, you have to tell your friends that you are richer than them, and that you can do whatever you want with your BMW SUV...


clicky's biggar. still smallar's than da car

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Playing with GDNet

Three major thread started by staff members - three major thread that shows you how GDNet can evolve into a better web site and community.

Proposed ratings mechanism modifications by Oluseyi
GDNet Trump Cards: adding gameplay to the GDNet forums and Hold The Front Page: Revamping GDNet's News by stimarco.

Review, discuss, propose your ideas - these threads are not announces, they are suggestions. It is up to you to propose even greater ideas [smile].

Other subject: L.A. is really cool. And cars are still big. A coworker of mine just arrived yesterday evening, and we finally rented a car this morning (a Taurus SEL. I wanted a Ford Mustang, but for unknown reason the company I work for decided that it would not be cheap enough...).

I still have some day to spend there (my plane is on next saturday evening). Let me know if you knos something that I can visit... (no, I won't visit a mall).

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

So, I'm in L.A.

Yep. Well, not exactly: I'm in Torrance, in the wonderull Residence Inn near Rodondo Beach (now that you know where to find me, you have no excuse to not come).

My first impression so far?

Well, cars are BIG. And French cheese is made in America. And everything can be cokked in ovens (good thing I have a oven in my room). And (no offense intended) but the only very beautiful girl I've seen so far is French (and has 2 kind kids, and a very strong husband).

But on the overall, I'm impressed. It's quite easy to find anything I've needed so far (but I don't need much). Everyone seems to understand me, despite my horrible English accent - Sneftel knows about it, you can ask him. For the moment, the only thing I would say is that I really enjoy that. The only bad thing is that I must go outside to smoke my cigarettes - but that's not so bad, because as a result I smoke less.

I need to speak about the Residence Inn goodies: every tiny bit of service seems to be free. I have a free braodband intarweb connection, I got a free breakfeast this morning (but I didn't tried to eat eggs or potatoes - you know, we tipically don't eat that so early in France), I can give my grocery list to the hotel staff in the morning and I'll just have to pay for the groceries - not for the delivery. I can swim in the pool from 9 AM to 10 PM, or I can play basketball or tennis. All that come with my $159,00 room (that I don't have to pay, since it's a business trip), packed with a king side bed (any beautiful girl out there? Remember, I'm French... [smile]) a nifty kitchen, a Nintendo-64 enabled TV, and more.

Since Im' here (yesterday), I only had to spend something along the line of $40, mostly to buy food. I gave myself some pleasure by buying some cool Revo sunglasses. I'm also going to buy some Marvel comics - if I can find anything related to their Civil War event.

Of course, the consequence of my trop is that I'm going to enjoy everything, and I'll be less present on GameDev.Net (not sure in fact. I should try to spend more time outside my room). I will also postpone the translations of the blog tickets I wanted to write or translate - and the "SOMETHING" project is delayed a bit, mostly because I forgot to bring it with me [smile].

have a nice day! (and leave a message if you're not far from me)

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

About fmx/07

Hello dudes !

As some of you may know, I'm going to attend the fmx/07 conference (it's all about content in movies, games and so on). Most of this conference is about creating content, so it's more an artistic conference, but there are some development tracks (Flash, ...) that can be interesting as well.

There will also be some game development house recruiters and press guys, so I may be able to ask them questions too.

The good thing is that I'm going to cover this event for GameDev.Net, so I will (1) update this journal with anecdotes about the even (2) post appropriate press releases (most probably about the release of new tools) (3) write track coverrage (to the best of my ability) (4) write interviews (again, to the best of my ability).

I don't plan to provide you a coverage that would be as extensive as the GDC coverage (obviously, I'm one, and the GDC coverage was organized in a better way). But I will try to get something that will please you.

If you want me to focus on a particular point, just let me know (post comment here, or in the associated news, or send me a PM).

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

I am sold to the Devil !

Yesterday, I had to change the code of the project I work on at Alpine GmbH - and I realized that my initial idea to use a std::set was really not a Good Idea. A std::set is a nice thing, but it just doesn't do what I need.

A better idea was to use a std::list of std::list. But then an issue arise: this is an embedded platform (Windows CE), and the way we manage memory in the software is horrible (I didn't wrote that part. Someone believed that having memory pools which are created by memory pool managers which are managed by a higher level memory pool manager manager was the way to go; of course, it's slow, and you have no control on memory allocation. But hey, that's a The Memory Manager). Writing an allocator was my first idea (so I did it). Suprise, the code was awfully slow.

No optimization (allocatiopn strategies) of the memory manager helped. Oops.

Finally, after I spent two days on that issue, I decided to go the Old Way: I did my own n-ary tree class, without using the STL. Me. A fervent supporter of the SC++L. I did code something that looks like a linked list of a linked list (and, to help readability, I didn't even followed the SC++L idiom).

I feel ashamed.


Better news: "SOMETHING" goes better and better, here is another excerpt.



Cookies to the one who can tell me what all this is about.

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

"SOMETHING" excerpt, and plannin next week trip to

Paris this week, Los Angeles next week, Marseille on April the 22th (ya know, it's for the French presidential elections. I'm still unsure about who is going to get my vote. I have a lefty bias, but the French Parti Socialiste is quite dumb these days, so I may vote for Mr. Bayrou - but maybe not, as I don't see how he can win the legislative elections later in the year), and probably Paris again on April the 7th.

So I'm moving quite a lot, my old laptop is suffering from that (CD writer is not working, batteries are out of service, and for unknown reason my sound card doesn't want to render sound - this looks like it's linked to a svchost crash at power up), and I don't have much time to work on my pet projects.

As promised, here is a small excerpt of "SOMETHING":



I'm still looking forward to meet any of you in Los Angeles. I know several guys on GDNet are living there, but LA is a big city - so that may prove difficult to arrange a diner. Anyway, I'm open to any proposal (especially if you are a 21+ blond-haired, tall, beautiful, sexy and open-minded woman. Don't ask why.).

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

My life at the Charles de Gaule airport's Novotel

This is a week of change - Something like "Oh, geez, it seems that finally, I grew up!". I still read comics and watch dumb movies (seen "Ghost Rider"? No? Don't go then. It's a pure waste of time - some part of it are really ridiculous, and the special effects are not that great), but I grow up.

Now that I said something you really don't care about (don't you), let's speak about gdnet.

I am pretty proud of the News Team. For some weeks now, we found nice news for you, an you routinely get 3 or more newss per day - so I believe it's quite good. Of course, we still have some work to do - you always need more news, perhaps about related subject (business oriented news? hardware? please, tell us!). Furthermore, we are planning different features that will interest you (hoppefully), but if you have any idea, don't wait - give it to us!

On the programming/writing side, I didn't do much this week-end (lots of things to do). I began the part 2 of my XNA introduction for my blog (I'm planning to translate part 1 sometimes in the near future) - it deals with the structure of any XNA game or program (not counting libraries) and presents the main game loop. You must recall that not all of my readers are game developpers, so that's more an introduction than a real game programming article.

I added some bits of info to "SOMETHING" - I will post another excerpt soon.

The most beatiful woman in the world is now supposed to come in a few minutes. Maybe one hour (or two. You never know with women), so I guess I'm going to stop here, put a suit, a tie, wash my hair and my teeth, and find this damn perfume bottle that shouldn't be very far (order of actions has still to be std::sort'ed).

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

I'm moving a lot !

Well, I'm moving, at least.

Right now, I'm in Paris, in a hotel near the Charles de Gaule airport, drinking a green tea. I'm planning to visit Paris a bit (the Quai Branly museum, and maybe the Chagal expo in the Musee en Herbe) and to meet the most beautiful creature in the whole world (I hope she doesn't read that; I try to not give here the impression that I like her a lot).

Then, next week I'll have to go to Los Angeles - for my work this time. I'll try to take at least one photo o the giant Hollywood letters (don't know why... maybe because it's like, linked to movies I really enjoyed a lot). I will stay there one full week, so if there is any crazy GDNeter who lives there, I'd be happy to meet him/her.

After that, I have to meet a guy I worked with last year - in Germany, not very far from Stuttgart where I live (when I'm not in Marseille, I mean).

So I'm happy: now, I'm teh international working guy!

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

I'm writing in the journal again!

I had some problems to do it before (thanks to Drew "Gaiiden" Sikora and the the other GDNet staff for having dealt with this issue), but I'm now able to use my journal again - I'm sooooo happy!

First thing to say, I devoted most of my writing time to populate my French speaking blog. Of course, I'm going to continue (and I will expand it's brand new English speaking section with translations of my French blog tickets), but I'm also going to spend more time here - ya know, I have some WIP to present.

BTW, here is my latest English translation (for my blog (your remember? I just talked about that)): Traps of the delete operator.



I'm currently writing "SOMETHING". "SOMETHING" is a codename for a project I find cool. Here is an excerpt of "SOMETHING":



I won't tell you more right now. Let's say that I'm going to post more excerpts in a near future...

Other thing of interest, I'm going to cover (for GameDev.Net) the FMX'07 show in Stuttgart. The FMX show is more about computer generation of images (there's even a projection of the lastest SIGGRAPH shorts) but a part of the show is dedicated to real time applications of these technologies, another part is dedicated to the Flash technologies and so on. So I think it's a valuable show - at least, since I can attend it, I think that its coverage should make a good GDNet feature.

The Flash conference is appealing. Peter Elst will speak about Flash development for alternative devices - guess what: the Wii -, Klaus Wahler will explain the 3 new AS3 UI components, and so on.

I will also try to meet recruiters - I know that a lot of people here want to get information on how they can get in the game/realtime content industry (you know that the cinema industry also needs talented programmers, don't you? For example, Pixar's Renderman is constantly evolving).

Finally, I just saw something weird:



You see? A rating of 1789. Being French, I must conclude that it's a GDNet hint that should telle me "hey guy, it may be the time to get a Revolution". So I guess I'm going to buy a Wii...

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

I feel green !

That's pretty much how I feel today. Even if it was somewhat expected, this was still a surprise when I went to my cybercafe of choice in Stuttgart yesterday evening. So now, I'm a full staff member, complete with the staff color and the terrible power that comes with it (something that, I must admit, scares me).

I now need to change my behavior. When I was a regular user, I saw no problem in downrating. That's now something I see as odd - I would definitely expect a staff member to support a user that deserves it, but not to negatively judge a user that, from his own opinion, deserve it as well. So while I may continue to support you by giving you positive ratings, I will stop giving negative ratings.

I also need to stay in my own role, as a news editor. I'm not a moderator, and I have little knowledge about the system and so on. So I won't ban/suspend/warn/close thread/and so on. I'll post news. That's already a cool job, believe me [smile]. In fact, I don't want to act as a moderator, so I won't do it (unless it becomes one of my task; but as of today this is not what I want). The current mods do their job very very well, keeping the noise ratio very low.

I also wonder how I can make up some kind of Rejected News (not news that haven't been approved for whatever reason, but news that wouldn't be featured as gamedev.net news, mostly because they are not targeted to hobbyist game programmers).

Last thing I want, 10 million EUR. If you can help, please tell me [smile]

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

 

Back to our work....

I have not been very gdnety these last weeks. Well, to be more exact, I have not been very active in the forums.

I had some good reasons - first, I set up a technical blog which is external to gdnet (and is written in French, and targets French engineers that don't want to read English blogs). The second reason is totally gdnet related : I had to catch up with my new gdnet responsabilities.

You probably notices a good amount of news that came from me. The reason is that I became a News Editor - I effectively have the power to post news, and to approve news that you post (expect me to send you a PM or a mail if I don't approve your news for whatever reason; this also mean that while I'm not greenefied, I'm a GDNet Staff member as well (a lesser one [smile])). So far, thanks to the cooperation of the staff and mods here (and in particular Rob and Sean), it goes quite well (IMHO). I no longer ask myself "Should I approve this news?" (which is a great improvement upon the first day: I really felt the "fear to approve something that should not be approved").

The good news (ah ah) for you is that now, news can be approved twice a day - since I'm in Europe, and most other news editors are in the US. It also means that now we begin to have quite a powerfull news team (well, it was already quite powerfull before I joined; not sure I'm adding anything in fact) so we should be able to find more news for you (on the overall, there has been a real improvement since last year, and it's even more obvious if you compare the news rate now and the news rate 2 years ago).

So... stay tuned, pals, and see you soon on the front page!

Emmanuel Deloget

Emmanuel Deloget

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