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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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About this blog

I have the heart of a philosopher. ... in a jar on my desk.

Entries in this blog

PumpkinPieman
Man o' man!

You haven't lived until you've come close to death. About two hours ago I came near to a comatose state here at home. I can hear the bells, uh, uh ... nope, sorry.

For those of you that don't know I have a very unique disease called Emery Drifuss Muscular Dystrophy. It alone is a very powerful stranglehold on all muscles in the body, this includes the heart and lungs which for myself are those I have to keep a constant eye on. They can be naughty...

For Christmas my buddies whipped up a block of chocolate (AERO bars) with a special treat from the non-forest floor bed. According to the vaults of erowid I have broken one of my personal all time goals. Experienced EXTREME time dilatation.

* makes the check *

Not only that, when everything took effect I found nothing I felt ... felt. Slowly over the progression emotions were blown up and silenced. Senses crossed hugely, as things I saw were being processed directly in to words without thought. Sentences contained jangled words slapped together without frame of reference, as if my brains digital system malfunctioned so they had to dust off the old switch board.

I'm sorry sir, it will take just one second.
Sorry sir, I plugged you in to the wrong line. One moment please.
Yes, hold. Yes.. yes , I know you've been waiting. *unplug*

The worst part was when I found out that because of my rare condition, my trip as not only powerful but it came without oxygen! Taking 8 huge gasps of air every minute, personally because I couldn't feel anything anyway I wasn't sure if I was getting air. If I had stopped thinking about breathing I would have stopped completely.

What creeped me out the most was the time dilatation. Minutes took so long, or no time at all. Like somehow my video card blew a capacitor and just encountered a bottle neck, then suddenly dropped off all the frames and I was fast forwarded 5 minutes a head. How, what, hunh?

It was 4:10 for a good 30 minutes, I swear.


...

Now I'm just downstairs watching Dots Data Cafe on late night TV while typing this. Whats even more amusing is that after all this all I can think about is how the guy on Dots Data Cafe is just as pathetic as he was back when he started ...
PumpkinPieman
A weird turn of events happened this week. For thanksgiving my parents came up to Ottawa for dinner. Only this time around I cooked the turkey, and good I might add. I can cook anything as long as I have instructions.

Yesterday really threw my mind off, my 19 year old cousin died in a car crash earily in the morning. My mother came in all teary-eyed, but I guess I didn't feel the same way since I usually live 5 hours away. I had only seen her a few times, so I'm a little relictant to go to her funeral. I want too, but I don't feel good about it. Poor girl.

In other news, I'm working more on that RTS but most of my time is being deticated to my assignments. My only problem is coming up with a good method to handle all the map data. The articles here are very resourceful, a little old but they will do. My problem is handling tiles that span multiple cells, how I would add them to my array of link lists and how I would be able to destory those tiles that span many cells in an efficient way if need be.
PumpkinPieman
This past month I've in some cases let myself go, as if all my original plans went to hell in a hand basket. Before I came back here to University I wanted to start working out, getting my body in to shape and not letting it fall in to the pits. But everyone in this house insist on buying nothing but garbage! Carbohydrates are a big part of the meals in this house, and the only thing here of nutritional value are fruits. Am I stuck to eat fruits for the next few years? I've been eating more plain Yougert and Raisins, which are better for you then hot dogs, bread, crackers, and canned saturated fats.

I've had a couple assignments to do this week. I got my C++ assignment done in an day, and handed that in quickly. I have an assembly assignment due on Thursday and another written one due on wednesday. I screwed up the one today. For the past few days I've been trying to catch up to this course on algorithms, but in the end the assignment kicked my ass and I didn't hand it in. Fuck.

I really haven't had much time to work on my stuff, been playing way too much network Starcraft and Diablo II to focus. But I've been layout out the foundation for that small tank game I was planning. The sprite, quad, and physics manager are kicking my ass and I don't really want to have to deal with those classes. So the game is going to have a grid based birds eye to it.

I got to get up in 6 hours. I really don't want to go to sleep, but I must. Sometimes I wish life was simpler, and always went my way ...



PumpkinPieman

Wow

I'm pretty damn tired right now, and I've slept through one of my classes. Last night was a blast, I went to see Bad Religion and Dropkick Murphy's in concert. It was a fucking amazing show, a whole crap load of great songs were played.

The downer of the night was that I wasn't shitfaced drunk. But I still had a great time.
PumpkinPieman
Well, I'm still having those god damn ACPI.sys errors. The ones that make your CPU speed drop to 10% and lag your whole god damn computer. Well, I phoned microsoft today because I haven't been able to figure this out, neither can anyone else. It fucking pisses me off. So apparently being a good guy and buying their proucts out of the question. I have Windows XP OEM and they don't support the OEM version of Windows XP unless it has been bundled with some of my hardware. That having been said, this is a drawing of a Microsoft rep sucking on my cock.



This will cost me $600 fucking dollars to get fixed. I'm throwing away my A8N32-Sli Deluxe and AMD 4200+. Fuck AMD, fuck Microsoft, fuck your god damn bullshit. I can only take this shit for so long. I'm going for an intel core duo.
PumpkinPieman

Untitled

Well, I recently got settled in to this place and I'm already not doing much programming. I recently got addicted to Diablo II after I bought the expansion with the pack. I've been playing network Unreal 2k4, Diablo II, and it looks like Counter-Strike soon. To be real honest, I think I've lost interest in writing Hollow Halls. I'm just more interested in war RTS games then I am side-scrollers. I'm also sick of writing classes for wrapping other classes together to make one task more easy. Creating a sprite from a resource can now be done in 1 + x lines. One for loading the XML file and the other for creating the draw entity. It makes me cringe that in this one class I use XMLLoader, QuadManager, and PhysicsManager to wrap up creating sprite objects. Blah.

I got a new laptop for school. I didn't really care what was it in, just as long as it's light and works. I have a lot of time between classes so this is why I bought it, so I can sit in the library and work on my programs. I told myself that no games are going to be installed, and the only ones that are loaded are those that I'm working on.

I feel a D2 urge coming on. Gotta run.
PumpkinPieman

Moving Right Along

Well, this is the first week in the new place and it's quite nice. There is one small room in the 5 room house and at first it seemed as if it were going to be chosen when everyone arrived, but that slowly changed to first come first serve. I was the second here so I got one of the big rooms, which was then painted and pissed in to mark my territory. The only real downfall is that I have to sleep on the couch downstairs until by bed and matress arrive tomorrow.

The internet isn't fully up yet, we have someone coming here on the 11th to hook it up. For now we are just using some of the available networks around the neighbourhood. Is this evil of us? Yes. But were needed addicted fiends. Ben says he isn't addicted, but he's going through a case of denial.
PumpkinPieman
I finally got my optical prescription filled, and according to the guy who made the lens I have a very mild stigmatism. So I got the glasses back yesterday, and to be honest I don't ever remember seeing things this clearly. Tree's before looked like a shape with multiple colours, but with the glasses each individual leaf is defined. It's pretty weird. I can even read without stopping to make out words, which has always been a problem with me. I thought I was just retarded.

This is my last day here at the company for the summer school student position, and tonight I'm making a 5 hour trip up to Ottawa to get settled in to the new place. I came in this morning and I got a whole bunch of cards wishing me good luck at University. I get a feeling I'll do better this year now that I'll actually be able to see the board this time. Anyway, they also got me a small Bamboo plant with three stalks meaning "happiness", which I thought was great. How did they know that my favourite animal is a Panda? Voodoo I tell you.

Hollow Halls is coming along, even though I have been taking breaks I found out how to weed out unwanted events by sifting through the docs. It also passes a message structure telling me if the button is up down or down repeated, which is good because I don't have to keep track of the state. So what I need to do is finish the Draw class, which uses the Physics, Quad, and XMLResource classses. It will allow me to build a sprite list and to create new copy sprites defined in the resource on the fly. What I also have to do is look more deeply in to Flatland callbacks, just for collision detection. Since it returns which Flatland::Object* the collision came in contact with, I'm going to take a nasty approach to avoid looping to check which object is where. Right now I use a vector to store the objects, because flatland needs a container and I need to get an object based on position. However since the callback deals with colliding Objects and not positional data, I'm going to have to create a class that inherits Object and tacks an ID on it. Nasty yes, but the alternative is looping through the vector.
PumpkinPieman
Recently I've been a bit more tired then usual, with my computer back I should be loading back up visual studio but I haven't. I should be working on my application, but I'm not. I just don't feel like working on it. I don't even feel like posting this message.

It's either that I've just become more lazy, or I'm just running out of ideas and I've overshot my deadline. Sometimes even the smallest issue can halt all thought for me. Hollow halls is supposed to be a e4 entry, but I haven't nearly as much done as I've wanted to. Which is to say that I could get more done then I have, I haven't necessarily overshot my deadline.

The concept of events is driving me nuts, I often find myself in a corner when dealing with input. If the user holds down a button, in my current model it calls the code every frame. So if the character is moving to the right they're constantly being changed to the right every frame. In order to change this I would have to find out when the key was pressed and when it was let go. Even then there is a chance that the proper animation won't be changed.
PumpkinPieman
Well, there has been a slight issue that this ACPI.sys stuff is far from over on my machine. What I'm actually thinking of doing, because I believe these problems are related to drivers and or IRQ conflictions is steer away from on-board devices. Right now I use both on-board network and audio. I don't think is a very good idea, even though they work fine. This may be causing most of the problems I've been having.

I'm going to be calling microsoft as well, and see what I can do. You know, for a company that has such a huge cash reserve as Microsoft. I don't see why they charge for customer service.
PumpkinPieman

Urgh - part X

Well, I finally got my machine back. I bought this machine I'd say around 2 months ago, used it for a month and a week before it broke on me. Brought it in and it has taken 2 1\2 weeks to get it fixed.

I take a look at this thing and notice that the data on my hard drive right now is toast, so I reformat. Load up some software, and much to my surprise ACPI.sys started to act up again. For those of you who don't know, ACPI.sys on my machine tends to cause a lot of defferred procedure calls and hardware interrupts. On some machines it is known to take up all of the CPU cycles, but since I'm running a dual core it tends to only use up one of the cores.

Anyhow, I root through the bios settings and come across a setting to turn ACPI off. I do so, but since windows has loaded an ACPI driver it has problems finding that board feature. After much trouble I reformat and it doesn't load the driver. I've been running this machine for 2 days and it hasn't kicked in once. I'm happy.



In one week I'm going back to Carleton University to start my second year. We got a place that's around five to ten minutes away, so getting there is pretty quick. This year I'm happy because I'm not in B.Math because of my shitty grades, but I finally got in to B.CS. Now instead of doing a few amount of math courses in "Computer Mathematics", nine out of ten courses this year are COMP courses.

So, I need to get visual studio installed.
Looks like I've almost hit 2000 views, oh goodie.
PumpkinPieman
I finally got back my machine, boy does that suck.

I took it to the repair shop and after 2 to 3 weeks they figured out the problem was the memory and board. Wow, this is the first time in my life where a part has just failed before it was even used.

Good by old A8N32-SLI deluxe
Good by old OCZ PC-4000 2GB EB Dual Channel Memory Revision 1

I'm getting you replaced, they'll take you apart and reassable you. If the operation isn't successful, well, we'll bury you in PC part heaven (dumpster).

So I got a brand new board, and new memory. Revision 1 is stop being made because of revision 2, so they just upgraded the memory for me.

Huzzah!
PumpkinPieman
Over the past few years I've tried to develop a way of speaking, or expressing myself in reasonable matter. One of these things is the how to type perfectly logical sentences. I remember back in High School I used to bastardize the English language with internet lingo and a variety of misspelled words. My path as a student has always been a bumpy one, especially when dealing with languages. If there is anything that I'm guilty of it's not caring too much.

So over the years I've improved that, but also I'm confused as to what type of speech people respond to. Depending on how things are phrased or structured, some people won't give the idea the light of day. Humour is also some people don't pick up on, I try and lace my comments with lots. But it seems people here follow a different, more mature sense of humour. Where as I personally laugh at the obscure.

"Cats deserve food"

Well, after being reamed out by a no-nothing colleague I don't feel like typing anything anymore.
PumpkinPieman
I've been working with Flatland recently for Hollow Halls physics code. I've put more hours in to design then I personally think I should have. Although, creating this is another step towards a drawing unit perfect for drawing sprites.

The physics code uses a combination of Flatland and Open Dynamics Engine. Since flatland is lacking a few features, I use ODE to supplement these. This seems to work fine, but overall I'm glad this project will be as small as it is. Flatland collision detection doesn't use any tree method to do area testing so all objects are tested. For a 2D sidescroller with little objects this is perfect, but for a space shooter (my next project) I may have to write my own quad tree.

The other little problem that I was dealing with is the engine is designed to simulate full physics. In reality of you throw a block, depending on how it lands its angle can change. When dealing with a typical character that stands straight you don't want any angular physics applied to it. This was simply fixed by setting its angular velocity and angle to zero after all the calculations are done.

Once the physics code is done, I'll have finished all the necessary pieces to tie together all I need for a draw class. The quad manager is specifically designed to handle animation of quad sequences. So it will be used in unison with the physics class to handle sprite collision and sprite collision layers. With a game like Hollow Halls I want to have multiple layers, so say for example walking past a clock won't throw a collision between the pendulum in a clock and the character.


.. I'm so tired.

Hollow Halls also has a logo thanks to the ever so talented Salsa.



and the inverted version



I wonder how much it would cost (if he would) to get the art in my game done by him. *ponders*
PumpkinPieman
Only 24 hours left. I found myself bloated beyond belief, because of this it was harder to walk then usual. Before I went to university I was idling around 160 after losing 25lbs from exercise and wise eating choices. When I got to campus I was forced to eat the food that I paid for at the cafe. The food full of oil, MSG and half of it was carbohydrates. You can understand that people were posting on the boards about their nice, slim and trim girlfriends gaining weight. You know you have a problem when you have people complaining about that, but it wasn't an issue for the corporate swine who owns the company.

I walked out of that place with a 32lb weight gain. I shot from 160 to 192, and my the time I got home I couldn't even walk to the end of the street. I was out of shape, unhealthy, had repertory problems, and was tired all the time. This is coming from a guy who eats ONE plate of food a day. Granted, I didn't do a lot of exercise during that time, but I shouldn't have gained that much (especially since I mainly consumed vegetables, meat, and hot sauce).

Anyhow, over the summer I have lost 13lbs of that, and this bloating has driven me nuts. So I'm on a 42 hour fast, the only exceptions are coffee and water. The odd thing is, I don't even feel hungry. I feel less bloated after 24 hours.

...

And I got Tim Horton coffee at home, I'm so happy.



Random Interest


(a play on RobLoaches Random Interest)


C8H10N4O2

PumpkinPieman
I have a coffee in my hand; this should dictate what type of state I'm in. To be honest I have a lot of rant about, but I'm just too tired to do it. So I'll tell you about what I was doing last night.

I posted that example of my "TinyXML Handle Addition", what I did last night was expand that handle to act as if it were the handle and the element. This way I can iterate through the rows along the current handle and pull the attributes. So I've got to the point where I can do something like this:


XMLHANDLE xOMGWTF = xDocument.GetHandle()["x"]["OMG"]["WTF"];

// run through all of the BBQ's
for(; xOMGWTF; ++xOMGWTF){
const char* text = xOMGWTF("BBQ");
MB(text);
}

// original

TiXmlElement* xOMGWTF = xDocument.GetHandle().Child("x", 0).Child("OMG". 0).Child("WTF", 0).Element();

while(xOMGWTF ){
const char* text = xOMGWTF ->Attribute("BBQ");
xOMGWTF = element->NextSiblingNode();
}







Look a bit cleaner then before? This also makes loading data so much easier for me by simplify nested for loops. Which brings me to my resource loader which currently loads textures, fonts, sounds and animated sprites.

The first design of this loader was just a collection of 4 functions each with their own purpose, and the assumption was that you'd pass the right data to it.
Now I can't assume that even I would pass the right data to the function. So instead of calling pieces of resource loading functions, which is where I would find problems depending on the order in which they were called. (LoadSprites depends on LoadTextures) It now just calls all those private functions through a load function. If they're not in the XML file, well, tough luck it won't load the resources and will throw an error.

Since the underlying engine that I'm working on depends on ints as resource handles I had a big conflict with the XML loader class, which primarily deals with text (unless otherwise designed). I can't guarantee that myself or any others will give textures numbers in sequential order, so each texture is given a nick name and cross references with sprites. So when I pass a XML file to parse to this class it will load all of the resources in to the classes you passed (QuadManager, IRenderer) and store a text handle.

The implementation of this really drove me up the creek, and the main reason was the increasingly large number of resources I'll have to load. This basically means that if I load a resource I'll have to test when I use GetTexture("game-tex") if it's non-negative. Seeing as I have to somehow guarantee that the proper resources are loaded. I'm not prepared to make 100 or 1 if statement(s) so I decided to use catch and throw.

To be honest I've always had some kind of a bias against catch and throw, it just seems to -- unclean. It could have been that I remember it being frowned upon by some when I was first starting, the time where linker errors were my worst nightmare. Since I've started I've rarely used catch and throw for these reasons. However I found this one case where it is EXTREMELY helpful in catching errors.

So now I got a little bit of work to do, I still have to devise a way to incorporate FlatLand Physics in and FMOD. Once I get those two libraries I think I'll be ready to assemble the game.
PumpkinPieman
You know, up until around 2 months ago I was using small libraries to do specific things. Like to create a sound model I used DirectSound, and Vorbis OGG. Now I see how much of a waste of time that was, why bother trying to reinvent the wheel when everyone gives you free better ones. I've created a new model for the engine, this time I'm using a plenty of good libraries (FreeImage, FMOD, TinyXML, PhysFS, and FlatLand). This should lay a good foundation for Hollow Halls, at least one that will allow quicker turn around time. I should talk about the game, but for now I'm going to keep quiet.

Now, this week I started working with TinyXML. I've never touched XML up until now, and I'm starting to grow attached to it. Now, the only real use I see for it at this stage in the game is to use it to define resources. Currently I am using it for storing stories, questions, answers, texture, font, sound, and sprite lists. The only real problem I see with the format is its "all out in the open" model, so this would mean that I would have to have a list of texture names that I would have to properly link with the XML file. Argh.

Anyhow, here is an interface that I wrote to extend the functionality of TinyXML handles. My original intention was to scrap the .Child idea, but I ended up tacking a few other features on.


//typedef TiXmlHandle XMLHANDLE;
typedef TiXmlElement XMLELEMENT;
typedef TiXmlDocument XMLDOCUMENT;

// designed to extend the functionality of TinyXML Handle
class XMLHANDLE
{
public:
TiXmlHandle handle;

XMLHANDLE( TiXmlNode* node ): handle(node) {};
XMLHANDLE( const XMLHANDLE& ref ): handle(ref.handle){};
XMLHANDLE( const TiXmlHandle& ref):handle(ref){};
void operator=( const XMLHANDLE& ref ){ this->handle = ref.handle; };
void operator=( const TiXmlHandle& ref ){ this->handle = ref; };

inline XMLHANDLE FirstChild() const { return handle.FirstChild(); };
inline XMLHANDLE FirstChild( const char * value ) const { return handle.FirstChild(value); };
inline XMLHANDLE FirstChildElement() const { return handle.FirstChildElement(); };
inline XMLHANDLE FirstChildElement( const char * value ) const { return handle.FirstChildElement(value); };
inline XMLHANDLE Child( const char* value, int index ) const { return handle.Child(value, index); };
inline XMLHANDLE Child( int index ) const { return handle.Child(index); };
inline XMLHANDLE ChildElement( const char* value, int index ) const { return handle.ChildElement(value, index); };
inline XMLHANDLE ChildElement( int index ) const { return handle.ChildElement(index); };
inline TiXmlNode* Node() const { return handle.Node(); };
inline TiXmlElement* Element() const { return handle.Element(); };
inline TiXmlText* Text() const { return handle.Text(); };
inline TiXmlUnknown* Unknown() const { return handle.Unknown(); };

inline XMLHANDLE operator[](const char* value){ return handle.Child(value, 0); };
inline XMLHANDLE operator[](int index){ return handle.Child(index); };

inline void operator++(){
if(handle.Node() == NULL)
handle = NULL;
else handle = handle.Node()->NextSibling();
};

inline bool operator==(bool& ref){
return (handle.Node()!= NULL) == ref;
};
};



Anyhow, I've been spreading this post in little bits over the last 2 hours. I've lost what I was originally going to talk about.

PumpkinPieman
Honest to god I am sick and tired of reading the news, I'm sick an tired of listening to the news and watching it. Most of all I'm sick and tired having to try and convince others that of peoples absolute stupidity. War is a great example, another Canadian soldier was killed today. In a country of 30,000,000 people, we cry and whine because we've lost 00,000,026 soldiers. Boohoo! Here's a tissue you stupid bastards, what the hell did you think was going to happen!?

Here's my partake on war, once someone writes their name on that sheet they've signed their death certificate. They're dancing with the devil, and having tea with Lucifer in a boil of burning obvilion. What these people need is a good reality check, because this is something that they don't get too often.

The first test will involve a movie, the more clockwork orange you get the better. This movie will flash pictures of real war on the screen, real photographs that we don't see. A man fighting for his cause with half his head missing, and his brains painting a nice picture on a gravel road. A healthy 21 year old kid wrapping one of his arms over his buddy, then he next frame the same kid in hospital with two missing legs and a bandage over his eyes. Anyone who doesn't run out puking is worthy of wasting their life for a noble-less cause.

Living in my shoes seeing people with cancer, diabeties, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and many other life threatening conditions makes me think of how worthless these people are. There are people out there who can barely walk, and yet these people are throwing their lives out the window. Do they even realise how much they take for granted? It's foolish, yet we idolize these people as heroes! I hardly think this last guy is a hero, his vehicle crashed in to a delivery truck! This is like saying victims of drunk drivers or head on collisions are heroes. You wish buddy.

Go ahead, throw your life away. Just don't tell me about it. I'd much rather hear about another homeless person off the street, then your lack of dignity.


I hate even thinking about this, it just sickens me.
PumpkinPieman
This is something that I've always hated with some buyers, actually a lot of American sellers. Back when I was on eBay buying from Europe, Japan, China I didn't have problems with people not allowing international orders. But something that has always pissed me off was that some Americans only allow in country orders. Why not just allow me to pay the extra fucking shipping?! I know, it's so hard for them to ship internationally, it requires another check or two on the shipping sheet. Hard work, busy boy!

It wouldn't be such a big problem if I didn't have to search Amazon.ca when I can't find any international shipping on Amazon.com, it's just that these sites aren't connected what so ever! If the seller posts on Amazon.com and allows international shipping, I don't see the item on Amazon.ca. Holy crap, and not only that I find products are actually priced higher if you buy them from "Canadian Versions" of websites.

I think we should dig a big trench along the border.

Secondly, after an hours searching and picking on Amazon.com I bought:

Super Solvers: Outnumbered
Super Solvers: Midnight Rescue
Super Solvers: Treasure Mountain
Super Solvers: Gizmo's and Gadgets
Super Solvers: Spellbound

all CD's too. When my parents bought these for me as a kid, all they had was floppys. Sadly all I have left of my collection is Spellbound Disk 1\4, so I'm rebuying them in a more relyable format.

Total: $15
Shipping: $35

*sigh*
PumpkinPieman

Untitled 105

I just shaved my head. [smile]

My head has been itchy for a while, and while I was sitting up at to cottage I decided just to take it off. So I did, after having this for 11 months and trying multiple products, from 6 doctors my hair just seemed like something preventing the itch from going away.

Anyway, I'm back from the cottage and whilst I was there I finiahsed "AI Techniques for Game Programming". It's a good book but I think I'll need to give it a second time over, I couldn't pick up so quickly. Next on the list is "More OpenGL Programming".

Back to my game.

Also, I want a discussion as to what makes a good post. I seem to find myself trying to interlace my posts with a little bit of humour, just hoping I can hit a note where people will respond to it.
PumpkinPieman
I'm at the stage in my program where I'm developing the underlying game play of the game. How everything is going to interact with the end user, and one thing I don't want to do is apply a generic model on the game, because from my experiences this leads into massive and unpolished code as well as recompiling every 2 minutes to change small things.

I'm never written a collision detection system, which is partly why I'm stuck on it. Actually, it is the reason I'm stuck on it. I have no clue how to go about doing this, and I'll probably be doing the same thing I did when learning the Direct X API. Posting a lot of non-sense about increasing performance, or good practices instead of actually implementing a design myself and playing with it. Hell, with the amount of stuff this game is going to draw on the screen even the most inefficient way (recursive OBB checking) would do the job well. But yet, my mind gets boggled as to where I should start. Now where would that be? Should I start with the Quad Tree so I can utilize spatial partitioning, or should I implement a small interface then improve on that design? I don't know if I should "jump the gun" or start basic, and it really drives me nuts.

Animated sprites are simply an interpolation amongst multiple frames, so as long as time is kept that is fine. Storing the frames, and how they act with a small physics matter is a whole different thing in its self. What I could do is have the sprite manager do all the nitty gritty work of creating and buffering the sprite data. But also have sprite data accessible to the games draw class, which will handle connecting the physics class and the sprite manager. The physics class will deal specifically with the Quad Tree and handle collision. The only problem with this model is I shift a lot of the calculations on the CPU, since all sprites are recalculated to a certain extent. Oh well.

This model puts more stress on the CPU though, but what's it going to matter anyhow. It's not going to resemble anything after 1995 to begin with, and these days CPU is a lesser concern for older style games.

My application was running at 2fps on an Asus Geforce 3 TI 500, I spent two hours trying to figure out what was wrong. Turns out it was the driver. Now it runs at 60. (I never understood why nVidia cards get stuck at 60 either)


A wise main once said, "Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza".
PumpkinPieman
I'm now going to be updating you guys on my 4 elements entry, I'll also be posting screenshots at the top as they come. As you can see I'm doing this pretty much myself. The story, questions and character designs are going to be handled by Crystal, she's good at that stuff. I've been thinking about using all pen and pencil art as a medium for the art, since you don't see many games like this it may be effective. The only problem with this is depth and darkness of the texture in the scene. So what I may do is make a quick shader for this, providing a hatch texture so the deeper the layer the more hatched it becomes. This will have to be done later if I have time, because I have just a small understanding of shaders and the programmable pipeline. I'm also going to be writting a layer system for parallax scrolling. Now since I'm on a strict deadline this will be a down and dirty approach, and not neccessarly the best one. Save games are going to be broken into files, and written directly into the mix file. ./save/save_XX.dat, I was originally thinking XML but I don't think I'll go with that idea.

But anything you guys can provide would be a great help, tutorials, simple implementations. Stuff like that would put me on the right foot. If it's any incentive, rates for people who do.

PumpkinPieman

Cowabunga!

I've recently decided to use FMOD as the primary sound library, with an overwhelming fan base and support it seems like the only logical choice. For the new game I'm going to be creating a system to get story data from XML files, which wouldn't be secure seeing as they're going to be stored in PAK files. Besides hashing the file, what other options would be available to prevent tampering?

Here's something to peak some peoples interests.


This was done in a two hour meeting, the coffee wasn't enough to keep me awake so I started doodling. I realize now that the sleep messed up my perportions and idea of muscle groups. But horray for Donny none the less.
PumpkinPieman
I've come to the conclusion that everyone here just doesn't see humour in the obscure. I don't have any problem making people laugh normally.

Anyhow, I'm going to be participating in the 4 Elements contest this year. I've never done one of these before so it should prove to be interesting. What might I have in store you ask? Simple. What's more delightful then a childrens game? Who is more easily frightened then a child? What is more perfect then an English museum at night for a good setting? What about a game where you must solve english & math problems (at most a grade 8 level)? I think it sounds good. And the butter in the caek is my family crest, a creepy Cornish crest with two severed arms holding up a severed head.



This is an image I hope some of you know. The title has been done, although I haven't finished the sound so the timing of the fade and lightning aren't refined. Now I'm working on the menu with just standard filler graphics I whipped up, they will eventually be filled with pen and paper art drawn by me (or hopefully someone much more talented).

This will also be my first game using OpenGL.
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