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This journal has something terminal...
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Found a young dog cowering under the local park bench at around 23:00 last night. I went home and brought it some dog snacks from the house and it started following me around the park. It was obviously someones pet because it was well groomed and well trained. It sat on command, rolled over etc. A beautiful little black and white collie.
It had no name tag or collar on it so I took it home with me while I tried the phone. I couldn't get through to the cat and dog home, local police station or council services because they were all shut for the night...
I decided to keep it in overnight and take it to the local police station in the morning to see if anyone had reported it missing. Unfortunately my own dog started chasing it and barking with it. I couldn't keep it in the house as I have neighbours above an below me and this would have went on all night. I took it back to the park and let it follow a scent if appeared to recognise. When one of my previous dogs ran away it came home itself so I figured this one would too although I felt bad letting it go.
This morning, to my surprise, the dog was still under the park bench! I was on my way to work so I let it jump in my car and took it to the police this morning. They will check to see if it has been reported missing and, if not, send it to the cat and dog home. It is sure to find it's original or otherwise good owners there.
If you own a dog please make sure it has a collar and some sort of identification details - also get it chipped with your details. I would have phoned the owners myself and drove it round for them...
Doom 3. High quality. Smooth as silk. Awsome. Nuff said.
With my new system (which I hope to collect today at lunchtime) I will have access to vertex and pixel shaders for the first time. This is more exciting to me than the copy of Doom 3 I have sitting on my table for some reason...
Transitioning from using the fixed function graphics pipeline to programmable shaders seems like a dark art though. I can not find one book that seems like a difinitive guide or that is really well rated. I also want an up-to-date book using the HLSL and I notice that most of the ones in the Gamedev books section are in or around two years olds. An age in computer terms...
I was considering GPU Gems but I am getting an ATI card an want to be able to run the samples and I hate books made up as a collection of articles. I wish people would stop publishing them.
Just bought a new system. It is built to order and takes two days before I can collect it. I can't wait for this - it will be the first system I have with a graphics card capable of programmable shaders! The last system I bought was my laptop a couple of years ago which has a GeForce 2 Go chip in it. [smile]
The new spec is:
Processor: AMD Athalon 3000XP
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA7N400 Pro 2
Memory: 512 DDR 400
Video Card: Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
DVD Drive: 8x DVD Writer
Sound: 5.1 Surround
Price is 575 GBP which equates to 1,034 USD
I woke up this morning with aching joints all over. I feel like I had been drinking all night or doing serious, strenuous exercise but I haven't done any of those things in the past week. Knees, elbows, knuckles and shoulders... It is probably something viral. My colleagues have all started back at work from their summer holidays and brought god-knows-what with the from foerign countries. Now I can not be arsed with anybody or anything.
I thought I would list the books I have bought related to game programming in some way. In no particular order:
Programming Role Playing Games With DirectX 8 by Jim Adams
Advanced Animation With DirectX by Jim Adams
Data Structures For Game Programmers by Ron Penton
Physics For Game Developers by David Bourg
3D Game Engine Programming by Stefan Zerbst
Swords And Circuitry by Neil Hallford
3D Math Primer For Graphics And Game Development by Dunn & Parry
Multiplayer Game Programming by Todd Baron
Special Effects Game Programming by Mason McCuskey
Game Scripting Mastery by Alex Varanese
2D Artwork and 3D Modeling For Game Artists by David Franson
The Indie Game Development Survival Guide by David Michael
3D Game Art F/X & Design by Luke Ahearn
Collision Detection In Interactive 3D Environments by Van Den Bergen
Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9 by Gregg Snook
Focus On 3D Terrain Programming by Trent Polack
AI Game Development by Alex Champandard
AI Techniques For Game Programming by Mat Buckland
Programming Visual C++ 6 by Ivor Horton
Programming Windows 5th Edition by Charles Petzold
I bet nobody who reads this can beat that list [grin]
My only regret is that I didn't have access to the discount afforded by GDNet+ when I bought them... bugger.
I got a letter this morning inviting me for an interview in two weeks time which I applied for exactly three months ago! It was sent recently as I could tell from the letter head. What the hell kind of place takes three months to respond to your application? It is a job within IT Security and I really wanted it three months ago (if I remember correctly). I can't even find the damn details for it..
On a different note I have finished coding vector, matrix and quaternion classes. I am probably going to have to stop this for a while, while I reread my interview techniques book instead.
Woe is me (again).
I have started to write a 3D math library for my game engine. In the spirit of an ancient greek nomenclature I have decided to name it Hades. I have done this because I was getting tired of attributing my development time entirley to designing and want to code something useful and this will be fundamental.
I am using some of what I have learned in the book 3D Game Engine Programming in conjunction with the best 3D math reference I have used, 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development, to code the library.
I have decided to code my own math library for two reasons. It means I am not relying on an API specific math library like D3DX (which I am used to) and by writing my own I will hopefully be getting an even greater understanding of some of the math concepts and how they work rather than just accepting that they work.
I'm currently reading Data Structures For Game Programmers. I think it is quite a good book. It has been beneficial to me as a knowledge consolidator and has exemplified concepts to me that I had dabbled with but never thought about using to their full potential. One fundamental data structure I had never used before was hash tables!
I think I am reading this at the right time as I am designing a game and engine from the ground up and this has helped me to think about data organisation from new angles while filling some holes in my game programming basics.
I subscribed my CV and details to an online job site and have had three phone calls from three different agencies in the past three days. One of the jobs I turned down because it was only a weeks work installing network infrastructure. The other two I think I sounded a complete moron on the telephone and I haven't heard back from.
These people could be charlatans I suppose (being cynical). I hope I get used to taking these phone calls out of the blue at my current job otherwise I'll never get out of this dungeon...
I have started on my design document. Coming up with ideas is not as hard as I thought. Laying them out and connecting them in to a story is quite difficult though...
I am currently at work and have just spent three and a half hours in one of our offices trying desperatley to repair the payroll system. I had to restore from dubious backups and patch up a not-so-standard system with people standing over my shoulder and looking for a scapegoat. If I don't fix it nobody get's paid. That simple.
I eventually managed to get it sorted though! It is not really a position I want to be in again. I'm going to take a late lunch now (all the good stuff will be gone from the local bakery).
At the risk of overusing the journal in one day I thought I would put up a few screens of the last project I was working on. It was an updated 3D clone of the game "Smash TV" [smile] This is before I got bored with it (proper initial planning people!) - it is also when I discovered how much time it takes doing the artwork.
[Level Fly Through]
[Before Enemies Enter]
[When Enemies Enter]
I have done lots of programs in the past to get to grips with DirectX, CAD tools, general graphics rendering, terrain rendering, particle systems, space partitioning, AI, animation etc and have recently been studying rigid body dynamics and physics. I have also been studying how to organise my code and on writing a game engine.
In a nutshell, I am working on a single player RPG situated in a physically realistic environment. I now feel I am at a stage where I should be able to complete a project and so I am going to write a full design document for this one. Here in lies the problem! Coming up with a story is a million times harder than any of the programming [rolleyes]
I am going to take my inspiration from such great titles as "Battle Of Olympus", "Secret Of Mana", "Illusion Of Time" and any of the Zelda games though. I particularly like the idea of setting the game on an island like in "Zelda: Links Awakening".
Doing the artwork yourself along with the programming is also migraine inducing and takes just as long. Good job I'm not setting myself a timescale...
I also need to update my website currently located at http://www.bytefoundry.co.uk which I haven't done in two years.
After having signed up I checked the PayPal account and, besides the successful GDNet+ transactions, there was a subscription creation and subscription cancellation entry both with the status "Cancelled". What the hell does that mean?
Ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? I get them so often that "one of those days" for me is when things go correctly, grr!
Of course, not to be a drama queen though...