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About this blog

Words of a mad man on a mission for graphical euphoria.

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Back in the saddle again... I hope...

Well it's been so long that I been active that I forgot how much I missed coding...

I have gone back to College to finish up my degree, have no idea why, maybe to get a piece of paper or a job who knows... Not going learn any new languages as I have had all the classes they offer for that, and I been doing this for a while now.

I just don't have enough time in my life currently to continue my goal of making my own game from scratch, so I have moved onto trying out Irrlicht and so far like it well enough to use that for my first cheesy game. Close to being finished. Nothing great just a 2D arcade style game. I am still mulling over making my own game from scratch for the only games I really want to code. RTS games or turn based. So well see.

I have recently in my few hrs of free time been playing around with OpenGL 4+. I was only using GL2.1 before and GLSL 1.2. I have now gotten some basic rendering working in GL4 and have decided that GL2.1 is dropped from my code base moving forward. Love the cleanliness of GL4 over GL2.

Java still bites at me over C++ at times due to the annoying IDE suites if I want to code for all platforms... I have tried C::B but miss so much of VC++ 2010 features that I have to keep coming back when I am on Windows. Linux I haven't tried yet, but have Ubuntu installed on second drive, and plan on moving to Linux as my main OS if Window8+ doesn't get back to it's desktop roots...

And OSX, back in the day Xcode wasn't bad but wasn't great either, that was Xcode 2/3 I was using. So no comment on Xcode 4 or whatever iteration they are on now.

So it would be nice to have a simple but powerful IDE to run on all three platforms and not worry about bugs and missing features or complex actions to do simple tasks, e.g. watch variables in VS vs. C::B ugh...

Well back to the JOYFUL school work, can't wait to graduate....




Not much to say.....

Well I ordered this book


curious to see how good it is. Got it for the C++11 standards update.

Gfx card to a crap, so not much else to do until the RMA is here Thursday!!

Just built a new rig with a Core i7-3770K, 32GB RAM, Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H MB, so far runs like a million bucks, but the Gfx card was a left over from a friend as I sold my last card to another friend, with hopes to getting a Gigabyte 670 Windforce card, but as we approach Dec/Jan timeframe I am going to wait now, as I think the Big "K" GK110 version of the latest Geforce family will show up, as AMD will release it's Radeon 8K series shortly. Hope the GK110 is all it was hyped up to be, if not getting the 670 at the very least.

Which brings me to state how SLOW a 8800GTS card runs todays games at 1080p, WOW talk about a slide show on some newer games with gfx maxed out. Really shows how demanding games have come or maybe poorly coded(optimized) compared to when the 8800GTS came out 6 years ago!

Ok catch you all later! SLEEP calls my name!!




Coding again, but seems useless

Sigh every time I start a project to make a game, someone else has done it or already to market with the same game... In my mind I am thinking what is the use?

To really get somewhere you need a game that takes notice anymore something fresh, IMO to even be worth while or if anyone would even want to play it let alone buy it....

So I grind away, and just hope that someday I finish something and see what happens after that... I think sometimes that I should just make the game I would always want to play, but then I think of the sheer scope of the whole project and the depression sets in after the reality of the time frame to complete such a project... Again futile...




Sigh what a long time to be absent and stil not much has changed...

I been away from coding for awhile now and decided I miss it and need to get back into it. After looking around at some of the API's I was using, I noticed most are still at the same level or have maybe moved on one rev since I was coding last. I was a bit shocked by this as I figured a lot of new stuff would be out by now and I could jump back into it learning the new versions vs. brushing up on old code or standards....

e.g. C++11 just got finished from what I can tell in Aug 2011 and no books to be found...

OpenGL4.2 is out but no tools for shader to code wth that I know of.... e.g. RenderMonkey which AFAIK is dead....

SFML still stuck at 1.6 not to 2.0 yet, I am using the 2.0 SVN but hate doing so, would rather use a released version if possible.

So all in all took a break and got rusty and now I want to charge forward with new vigor. Problem is I need to decided what I want to work on, game wise I have so dam many ideas and not enough time or money to get them done, so what I am looking at doing is something that doesn't require much for gfx, music, sfx assets, as I can't afford to hire unless I made money along the way.

So all in all feels good to be back and hope to get back up to speed like I used to be.

Now time to go clean out the cobwebs in my head....




Hell Yeah

Well I finally made the jump to Cascading Shadowmaps, and wow, they look so much better than normal shadowmaps. Took about 2 days and now its up and running, using OpenGL with texture arrays with a FBO. Nice and fast.

Everything is coming along just great now. I am shooting for a Dec time frame for completing this first game. Been a long time in the making, been fun learning various items along the way.

Unless ATI gets there crap together, this game will only run on Nvidia hardware, due to ATI hasn't updated their OpenGL drivers...





OpenGL 3.0

Well Rob Barris, has hinted that Khronos is still working on OpenGL 3.0 and this is good news. I am just worried at Siggraph they are going to say "We are still working but its going to be a long time still." I hope not. I would be happy with GL2.1+ as long as they rolled Nvidias extensions into 2.2 or whatever they would call it for now.

I am trying to narrow down a .3ds loader issue I been putting off for a LONG time. I am not sure what I am missing but sometimes, some polygons show up darker than they are supposed to be.

Once this bug is squashed, I can starting think about game play and what the goal of the game should be... I think I will go and do that now.





Well I decided to post a screenshot of my terrain engine for my RTS game I quit working on for now.


I have since taken some of the renderer from that and applied it to my new game idea that involves driving a hummer around and collecting coins and powerups, ect... I am close to having a simple level one demo done. Hope to have it up in a month or so, barring no gotchas.

Here is a basic screenshot, no shadows other other fancy effects yet, this time around I wanted to get the basics working, movements, physics, since I have the shadow code done, just need to dump that back in along with some water...


Love the PhysX and OpenGL APIs. Bring on GL3.0! And all of those cry babies wanting GL3.0 out now or I am leaving for Dx10 be gone. If you have an GF8 card you have access to all the features of DX10 right now, even on WinXP. Yeah a new API model would be nice to work with, but for now I am content. And really how many people are making games here, and selling them, let alone targeting DX10 when everyone complains that DX10 user base isn't large enough yet. Facts are Apple is now taking 66% of the PC sales that are over $1k, and gaining market share. This is good news as this expands the OpenGL user base. As does PS3 users.




About Dam Time

What a joke, its been WEEKS and I finally figured out my PHysX wheel problem. Getting support or help is a joke to. Either no one wants to help, or no one is using PhysX!

When the car would move fwd, or back, I would see the wheels shift fwd, or back depending on the direction you were moving. Finally by some stroke of luck, I found a function that I had not called, and never seen it in ANY tutorial that deals with wheels. I can't remember it off the top of my head, but had to do with timing. Now they stay in place.

Now the next issue, I need to get the Normals for my .3ds files figured out, I thought they were fixed, but after seeing the normals being drawn as lines and noticing the missing ones from the box's bottom, and the lighting for the normal mapped textures, I rolled my eyes at another bug to fix, more wasted time... I think it has to do with shared vertices. The bottom half is missing some normals, but the rest of the box is fine.






Well I am sure glad that I went with PhysX for my physics lib. The SDK is nice to work with, and easy to setup. I have hit a wall with my car, the wheels move back on the car body when you move forward. I have no clue why, I have been at this for two weeks, and I am using SDK 2.7.3. Find help is like pulling teeth and I have no idea why, when PhysX has 10,000 registered developers... If I can get this last issue solved and add in triggers I am set for the most part.

I tore out a lot of crap from my game when I added in PhysX, and that included water, sky, for I wasn't liking the results anymore. I want to redo them to see if I can find a better solution.

I added in a resource manager now, to take care of my textures, music, sounds for now. I don't need one for my model meshes as the game will only have a few models. Once I move onto my RTS game I will need on then.

I dropped FMOD and went back to SDL_Mixer as I didn't want to pay the fee considering I am already using SDL. I haven't had any issues with sound so far.

I decided to buy Visual Studio 2008 Standard edition. I can't stand it anymore not having a debugger, the VC++ 2008 express edition doesn't have a debugger build. I got it for $250 at Amazon seems like a decent price. Should be here in a few weeks.

I am seriously considering make my game Geforce 8 series and newer only. I know this cuts out many users, but with GF8 cards cheap now $100 and tired of using old out dated code e.g. pre FBO/VBO/PBO and no texture array support, I just don't want to code two paths anymore. Plus this makes for a lot cleaner code. And this sucks, but ATI users would be out to... :( Get it together ATI.

Well until next time.




At last Physics is working!!

What a relief this has been to get PhysX up and running. I now have it working to where I can load my .3ds models and upload the mesh data to PhysX and collisions work ect... Now I need to find me a decent car model with no wheels or wheels that go with it, so I can have a car that looks real vs. a Frankenstein looking car that I am using now... :)

Now I have to combine all this into a nice wrapper class for my engine and add it. Then time to add in power ups, and maybe redo the particle engine so it's a bit more modern, GPU based... Then add the HUD for the game, and should have a working game demo.

But I think I deserve to play some PC games now for a bit!! Now that I am on vacation!




Get me a BFG

I am going to kill my computer soon, I have had it with these physics libs that are SO Called user friendly. GOOD grief, all have crap for documentation, except PhysX. They all have their tutorials, but the things are setup for there scene management framework. I just want a 4 wheeled car and some objects with my terrain mesh. With PhysX I can't figure out how to just send in the terrain mesh data I have already calculated. I don't want to user there cooking crap. There has to be some way to send in the vertices, normals, and indices? I already have this data. As for help, this is joke. All are guilty of this. Knew this was going to be a fucking joke.




Death to bugs!

Well I have had a lot of fun lately with coding. I just got newton up and running and its awesome to watch 1000 boxes fall down a hill side!! CPU from what I can tell is going nuts. Wonder if using the second core would help? New territory for me. So with the basic terrain collision in newton working time to add in the car model and get that working.

I downloaded VC++2008 and so far I like it, but having some issues with the debugger version of my engine, will not run. If I use release mode the engine runs fine and will run with debugging. Got me what is wrong.

I had to recompile a static lib for guihcan and now that solved some more bugs I was having!!! YEAH.

So all in all I am pumped and ready to get some more work done. Hope it stays going this well for awhile.

Time for sleep...zzzzz




Newton it is!

I decided to go with Newton physics lib. From what I can tell it's powerful and people seem to like it. The only complaint I have with all of these physics libs is NO one has written a book, so I can buy one to learn from. HINT HINT people! With the many physics libs out there seems like a good time to have some books around.

Anyway I have a basic demo working with a 1000 boxes that fall down onto a flat plane, and fall all over the place. Looks neat! Now the next thing I need to do is figure out how to get my terrain mesh to work with newton, so the newton world knows what to do. I think I need to use NewtonCreateUserMeshCollision() but not sure. Plus I really don't want to code a bunch of callback functions when this issue seems like a common scenario in coding physics that there should be a way to upload a terrain mesh and say here run with it...

Back at it...




No soup for you!!

Well I decided it was time to move from 32bit IBO to a 16bit IBO for my terrain rendering. I been putting this off as it was going to take a bit of work to switch over to it. I was hoping to see a FPS increase, but no.... Reason is I am texture/shader bound which increasing my vertex processing wouldn't help, but the positive is the memory requirement for the terrain will be a lot less. I have one 16bit IBO of 32x32 size vs. whatever the terrain mesh size is e.g. 513x513x4bytes vs. 32x32*2 nice savings! So I am going to keep it this way.

I am determining that I am having slow downs based on my FBO auto mipmapping. I am using 2048x2048 texture sizes which are expensive but man it kills FPS... Not sure what one can do for that... IIRC I don't see any difference in IQ with the mipmapped FBO vs. non mipmapped. So I may turn them off for now.

Once I run through my list of things to check or update, I will add in physics. I am looking at newton for the SDK. What I have seen so far it looks easy enough to use. I hope.

Anyone here use laptops? If so which one are you using? I love my desktop very powerful, but if I go somewhere I would like to keep coding. e.g. Xmas is here and driving a few hundred miles to the relatives sucks, but if I could code while I was there if I stayed the night now its becomes a nice tool to have.





Games, games, and more games!!!

Well I have a boat load of gaming to do and have done some quite a bit of gaming so far.

Rainbow 6 Vegas, Fear Perseus Mandate, Supreme Commander, Lost Planet, HL2 EP2, Portal. These I have played and won!!!

Now the games I need to finish

NWN2, NWN2 Exp, GOW, SupCom FA, Bioshock, Stalker, Black and White 2, Oblivion and Exp, COD4, Crysis, Solder of Fortune the newest one, UT3!!!!!

I need to win the lottery so I can play games for a living!

Now for coding, I fixed a bug that was killing me, I was about to throw out the whole damn project. turns out it had to do with my font rendering and I have no clue what was wrong, but FTGL, Freetype were the libs I was using and would crash everytime on exit. So I ripped that code out and used glut's built in font rendering and now no more crashes. For now it works fine and good enough.

So now I am onto physics. Newton lib is in the running so far. The dick wads at PhysX never emailed me back for a membership. So blow me. If newton doesn't work I think I will try either bullet or ODE.

After that is done I will have something that is playable to a point that resembles a game for once. See if I can make someone happen and be done with this game by summertime.

Bedtime sleep is welcomed once in a few days!!!





I'm back!! Yea!!!!!!

Well it's been at least 6months since I have coded crap, and all due to overtime at work. Good thing is I paid off my Jeep! :) Now back to coding and some gaming, with the onslaught of new games coming out, I am thinking sleeping will be NON existent. Crysis, UT3, SupCom expansion, GOW, NWN2 Expansion, and those are the new ones off the top of my head, not including all the other crap I have bought and need to play!!!

When I stopped coding about six months ago, GL3.0 was supposed to be out end of Sep.... Guess it was a good thing I worked instead so my days thinking when is the drivers going to show up. But for now GL2.1 with extensions such as texture arrays is good enough for me. Just sucks ATI doesn't have them, and from what Phantom says looks like I can rule out coding my engine on ATI till GL3.0+ is out... Oh well looks like Nvidia for me for now.

I am now going to move onto physics and looking at using Bullet for a library. Anyone here using it already? I want to use it for car movements and possibly collision detection...

Been toying around with a Mac again, but every time I look at one, I look at GL support on one and cringe again, as the drivers don't support what I want them to, and hear horror stories about the drivers keep breaking old school support and other items of interest.

Well good to be back, and now on with the show.





Pissed off

I am sick of certain people's attitudes on gamedev as of lately. I start a topic to discuss pirating and the loss of PC games due to consoles seem to be taking over, and big dev houses that are considered PC game companies are moving their main platforms to consoles. So what happens it gets into a debate on the fucking semantics of stealing or copyright bullshit. REGARDLESS ITS WRONG AND ILLEGAL. And I could give a fuck less who you think you are or what you think you know. So what happens I try to be civil about it, and get a down rating. Shit like this makes me move closer to closing my account at gamedev and demand a refund on my time left. Pretty sure I remember a discussion about in the lounge how keep the personal down ratings out for it's more opinions and not related to how helpful you are or how you behave towards others in the main topic areas.

On a lighter note, I got PBOs working for streaming textures now. Wow they speed up my load times but a decent amount, well worth the time invested. Also the memory requirments are less now, in task manager I was at 175MB now I am down to 65MB!!! Nice drop.

Moved to Vista Ultimate 64bit last night. In the process of updating and installing everything again. What is the deal with EM64T and AMD64? The SDK only supports amd64? I haven't done any research on the two other than I know one is Intel and the other AMD and both are 64bit... I read that MS is saying amd64 is the 64bit versions? Some say x86-64??? Confusion sets in.

Now I am off to find some other smart mouth punk to give a beating to...




Dying slowly...

I have been at work NON stop since June 27th, 2007!! And I have about 3-5 more weeks of this crap! So no coding to talk about.

The only thing I have worked on is, PBO. I have moved my texture loading code to stream the data into a PBO and upload that data to a texture object. As far as I can tell, its faster at loading my 100+megs of textures. Also the memory now being used by my app according to task manager is 68megs vs. 165megs!!! That is a nice drop. No speed increase in rendering.

Then there are the games, sitting on my desk staring at me, begging me to play them. I hope to play them all once my overtime is done. I picked up Bioshock for PC as all my games are for PC and I haven't even loaded it.

I have a fresh new copy of Vista 64bit on the desk also, I got MS to give me a new disc for $30 to move from 32bit to 64bit. So I plan on moving to 64bit soon.

Well I am off to bed for once, see you all around soon...




64bit Vista here I come

I have decided to move to 64bit Vista Ultimate. I called MS and they kindly allowed me to send them $30 and COA and I can get a new disc with the 64bit version on it. I decided that I wanted to run 64bit after seeing SupCom has issues in 32bit Vista and XP? when you run the largest maps and many many units. More and more games are going to hit this 4GB barrier which also has a 2GB barrier per app. So with 4GB and Vista 64bit I should be fine. I now have questions about VC++ 8.0 express and whether or not it works with Vista 64bit and any gotchas? I wouldn't mind compiling 64bit versions of my apps, so I would like to know if that is supported also?





How to start my physics...

I am to tired lately to work on coding my physics for my car game. I get about 3hrs of sleep a night! :(

So I am wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction for simple car physics for movement, turning ect... This is my first game and I just need simple as long as it's fun and does the job.

I would be willing to get a book that has examples on this subject and covers it well. A good website would be nice to if anyone has one?

I have to work every single day till August sometime! So not much time now for coding but I try to code an hour a day to keep my mind thinking about stuff while I am at work.

If I can just get the physics for this done, I will have a playable demo for the most part, and at least gives me hope that someday with in the next year I will be able to finish my first game ever. :) So I am pumped. Been a long time in the making.

Ok, sleep and back to my JOB! Oh joy!




Oh yea Physics time!!!

takingsometime I owe him a beer sometime, if I ever get to Austraila. Thanks a million for him helping me out with my 3rd person camera issues. Now that I have the camera done, my player object is moving correctly and collisions work like they should. Now I have to smooth things out a bit.

After that I am onto Physics for the car. Acceleration, deceleration, ect... I hope this turns out to be fun, and not a nightmare! :(

Once this is all finished up I for the most part will have a playable version of the game idea, and just need to start adding in items into the game. I hope to have this first game of mine wrapped up by winter time, and at that time make my mapeditor for this/future games. The girlfriend was excited to see the game in action, for she is a console gamer "UGH" where I am a PC Gamer. So that makes for interesting conversation. :)

I am looking at sometime by years end or next spring getting another Mac again, I have been without one for years now. OSX.5 looks good, and with the new versions of the Mac with EA throwing int here support for games, I hope Mac gaming takes off somewhat... Back when I was on Mac G4/G5 10.3 days I really hated how the games just weren't there.

Anyway code time....




About time

Well I finally got my car to move around the terrain using terrain following. What a relief. So now the only thing left to do is rotate the model to look realistic vs. just moving up and down to match the terrain height. After that is finished onto making the car move to some kind of physics system... Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to move the car somewhat realistic like with a simple enough physics formula? I would like to have variables like rate of turn, acceleration, braking, ect... to be a part of the equation. I have no experience in this section as I haven't done any physics coding up till now. ;)

After that is all finished onto collision detection with the terrain and other objects and the map's edge.

So I am hoping to have something playable by summers end. If I can get some free time to actually do coding!!

Right now I am using a single normalmap for my terrains lighting calculations, someone mentioned that this is a bad idea? I was told by someone who has actually made commercial games to go this way. As far as I can tell it looks good, but I bet it would look better if each tile set had its own normalmap. What is everyones thoughts on this? Appreciate any input.




I HAVE NO SUBJECT, just babble

I see the new ATI card is out today. It's a power hog. The 2900XT is on par with the 8800GTS. Only thing that I see that would be nice to try out is the 2900XT has a tessellator unit on it along with the GS. So I would like to play with that feature. Hopefully Nvidia will add this soon also. I wouldn't expect to see if until G90... :( What would be nice is to use the TsU(A.K.A. Tessellator Unit) and displacement mapping to make some very nice detailed meshes. Terrain, Human features, other things I am sure. Can anyone else think of things to use this for?

Onto coding issues I am having. I am having an issue with Guichan when I click a textfield and click the mouse button to set the users input up. The textfield stays focused and doesn't allow me to click the same textfield again to change the input if I want. I have to click another textfield to make that one gain focus. The keyboard input works great and correctly. Missing something but can't nail it down.

I hope to have some screenshots in the next few months of this in action, with my schedule being HELL, who knows. I do plan on having this done by years end. Hopefully. See how many games I have to play between now and then.

Seen Spiderman3 last week. Not sure what to think of it. I liked it, but not sure I liked it as much as 1&2... The new house is great now I am just waiting on my sidewalk and black dirt so I can plant grass and trees.

Anyone here have a quad core? I am curious to know what they think of it, and how hot it runs...




Again time slips past me....

Been a few weeks now since I last posted, and good reason. I am a Pack Mule, A.K.A. Beast of Burden in most people's eyes I guess. I been working O.T. at work, my dad needs help with his business, and then my GF wants attention, and a friend of mine has had numerous issues with his P.O.S PC and so we built him one, so coding gets almost impossible to do. [flaming]

Well I have managed to do some coding, and got the user input done. The menu now accepts user inputs for actions in the game and saves them. And I have the event logic setup to take the action inputs and do something with them. Granted they are just empty functions for now, but the framework is there. So now I am going to load up my map files and display the terrain and 3D gfx now, based on what the user selects for a map to play. Progress at last.

Game pad works also which is nice. I have locked the user inputs down with the gamepad. Just doesn't make much sense to change the buttons on the gamepad when you only have 3 actions so far to map...

I am hoping to have this game playable by summers end.

BTW what do you all think of Bullet the physics lib?

See ya




I hate work!!!!!!!!!

I really hate work, overtime kills coding. I have no days off til next Wednesday. I will have worked 15 days in a row. Ugh. So I hope to code at least an hour a day to keep on track. Anyone know of a good site to look at game models you can purchase, models like cars and vegetation?

I see ATI held their R600 release in Tunisia today. Anyone here anything new or worth talking about?

CS3 is now out. Anyone gotten it yet? What's new? Worth getting?

Anyone else having a hard time anymore with trying to get a game played or won? I got a stack of games that stair at me begging for some attention... :( I need to win the lottery.



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