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Bring it!

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360 goodness
So this sunday I finally got myself a 360. And of course, I got Gears of War to go along with it. I had already beaten it at a friends house, but I loved that game so much that I had to get it myself.

And of course, I wanted the achievement points as well. Not that I'm an achievement point whore or something, I just think it's a brilliant system of encouraging gamers to do their best. Plus, I'm really enjoying the community and connectivity of this new generation of gaming consoles. I don't think I'll get rid of my PS2 for a while though.

Mainly because of Final Fantasy Tactics.

Everyone has one game that they always go fall back to when some other game in that same genre blows. Whenever I try a new strategy RPG, I just realize it's shit and then I go back to playing tactics. After playing Doom 3 what did I do? Went back to playing real Doom.

My Fallbacks:
Strategy: Final Fantasy Tactics (The job system is a requirement for a strategy game IMHO)
First Person Shooters: Doom (20 imps, 10 shells ... whatcha' gonna do?)
Puzzles: Super Puzzle Fighter (Super Tug-of-war battles, with strategy!)
RPG: Final Fantasy VII (Growing Materia is like crack to me)
Fighting: Capcom vs Snk 2 ( Like the 6 different "grooves" you can fight with)
I don't play Sports or Racing games.


So I spent most of this week wresting with default model viewing directions and allowing the character face where they are actually moving. At first I had big problems with this implementation. My movement model is restricted to the axis'. Moving up would be moving in the positive Z direction, and left would be in the negative X direction. My problem was letting netwon know the angle between the direction that the model was facing and the intended direction of travel. Once I had that angle stuff figured out, I forgot to normalize my intended direction vector so the player was facing in strange directions when not moving up and down.

I had some really overly complicated algorithm using a lot of quaternions but then I finally came to this simple way to make an actor face where they are moving:

//Get this actor's current direction and normalize it
Quaternion CurrentHeading = orientation;

//Multiply it by the default facing direction to get the currently facing vector
Vector3 VecCurrent = CurrentHeading * a->getFacing();

//Then get the last direction we wanted to move in.
//So that when the player taps a key, this will automatically turn the actor into the last direction
Vector3 VecDesired = mLastDirection.normalisedCopy();

//Do a cross product to get the upvector, this will be the angle we apply the torque to
Vector3 CrossAxis = VecCurrent.crossProduct(VecDesired).normalisedCopy();

//Get the steering angle between the current vector and the desired vector
Radian SteerAngle = Math::ACos(VecCurrent.dotProduct(VecDesired));

//Get the amount of time that passed since the last timestep
//Real fElapsed = body->getWorld()->getTimeStep();

//Calculate the torque needed to turn in that direction
Vector3 thetorque = ((CrossAxis * SteerAngle.valueDegrees() * 20.0f) - (body->getOmega() * 100.0f));

//Add the torque to the physical body
body->addTorque(Vector3(0.0f, thetorque.y, 0.0f));

Later on, I'll have to add movement that's not just relative to the axis', but maybe to the camera as well. But at least I got a good start on movement.
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