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Of Bioshock and MxM Blocks

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Well, it's been a couple weeks, but I'm now fairly established in the new apartment and it's absolutely fantastic. Though, aside from the move, the main other reason for the lack updates has, of course, been Bioshock, which is far and away the best game I've played in recent months

The Bioshock thing brings me to my first point. I think that the one of the reasons that the game is as good as it is and is getting such a massive number of glowing reviews is that Bioshock has such a well-defined atmosphere. Sure, the graphics are great, the audio is fantastic, and the gameplay is good, but the thing that puts Bioshock ahead of the competition is that Irrational2k Boston has used the engine to really flesh out the world of Rapture. The stuck-in-time mood in Bioshock is handled well; the music that plays on jukeboxes and in bars throughout the game has a very 40's-50's scratchy record sound to it, the basic weapons are a six-shooter, a Tommy gun, and a big, bulky shotgun, the monitors throughout Rapture are all fuzzy black-and-white, and the list of things goes on. The atmosphere created in-game is, in my opinion, the reason for the game's critical success thus far.

Anyway, that was my little bit about Bioshock in, what I have no doubt is, a completely incomprehensible little paragraph. This is what happens when I try writing things in between build times.

As far as the progress on Rawr, things are going slowly -- I started up development again a couple days ago and have just been working on the framework for the terrain implementation that I started a couple weeks ago. Once I'm done with the terrain implementation, which I assume I will be able to make some very nice headway on over the course of the extended weekend, I think I'm going to resume work on some more framework-critical components; the terrain implementation is primarily a way to get a good visual representation of what a full scene should look like (as opposed to basing my visual results on nothing but an anorexic mesh). So far, this idea has already proven useful when I got the basic MxM vertex block rendering in-game (below); I realized that the reason my camera had been giving me such time had nothing to do with the actual camera code, but the fact that the model that I thought was positioned up-right was, in fact, titled 90 degrees along the X-plane. So, yeah, I went through four camera code iterations thinking that it wasn't handling FPS-like movement the way I wanted when, in fact, it was doing fine, my sense of orientation was just screwy. Yay.

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I agree about Bioshock - I've yet to be particularly impressed by the story, but what it lacks in that department it makes up for elsewhere. Deus Ex is still my benchmark best-game-ever and that had an engrossing storyline and atmosphere!


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