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Time to kill

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As my body is being dodgy, sleep wise, right now I find myself with some time to kill so rather than use up all my reading material for work I'm going to waffle slightly.

Bonsai

Bonsai got a bit of a refactor/rewrite at the weekend; I extracted all the FFP stuff into it's own source file (ie most of the graphics code in the gfxengine.cpp file), punted the SM4 path into it's own source file and shuffled common things between the two into yet another source file.

I've also translated one of the coding habits from work into my own code; more use of foward declares instead of including headers all over the place. Now, the only headers includes are for things which aren't pointers to objects, which tend to be std::vector et al.

Does this help compile times? Pass.
However it does mean that in header files at least I can stop caring what headers I need to import for stuff and just wave vaguely at the compiler to say 'hey, this exists somewhere man' like a hippy on some form of coding drug.

Work

First 4 weekly review of my 3 month trial period (hmmm, that makes me sound like some shareware software) was on monday; went fine and good, Barry (my lead) seemed happy with everything I did and my contribution to the code base headed off the 'things to do in the next 4 weeks' thing of the review. I believe we settled on effectively "dont start sucking at your job" for my next goal.... o.O

We also got Herman Miller Aeron Chairs yesterday; setting aside the fact that carrying one up 9 floors nearly killed me (stupid broken lifts) these are the nicest chairs you will ever sit in! With a control system like a fighter jet and more customisation than a mmorpg character pimped out in high level equipment these chairs are so nice. I'm looking forward to returning to work today just to sit in the chair!

GDC08

I'm having a hard time getting excited about GDC this year. I remember in previous years looking forward to everything which was going on and generally thinking it'll be a good week.

Part of it is probably down to the change in overrage style at gd.net; last year for example we had articles and pictures going up practically live as the week unfolded. However I can understand the change here as it's gonna be hell attending everything, writting them up at night and then getting enough sleep to do it all again the next day. I'm hoping to attend myself next year, press passes and being able to afford flights/hotel not withstanding, so I dare say I'll appricate it then.

However, I think the biggest 'meh' factor for me this year is the lack of anything OpenGL related. In previous years NV and ATI have done joint days where they have gone over OpenGL stuff, from new extensions to GLSL tips and tricks and what is coming up in the road map.

This year however AMD are doing a feature on OpenGL|ES 2.0 (hosted by our very own Dave Astle) and NV are doing something on their development tools, with I admit, OpenGL link in and I'm sure it'll be handy (once ya know, instrumented drivers appear for my 8800GT 512Meg) but it doesn't feel as good as previous years in that respect.

I can understand why of course; OpenGL3.0.
However, the ARB have been silent on this for a good 6 months now (after saying at SIGGRAPH they are nearly there and patting themselves on the back for better communication and how that would continue) and with apprently no annoucement planned at GDC I'm not expecting anything before mid-march now at the earliest.

As always with the ARB it's not the waiting which is the problem as such it's the lack of communication, like they seal themselves away in a box somewhere.

Still, the biggest thing I've heard from GDC this year is that XNA games will be playable for those without a Creator Club subscription. In my eyes this finally makes XNA worth while, as before it was all very well and good other devs being able to play your games but it's the 'normal' people who you really wanted to try them out.

If you've got a XB360 wander over to the market place, select 'new arrivals', scroll to 'content' and then scroll all the way down to find the XNA launcher. There are a couple of time limited games on there already which is cool [smile]

XB360

Which of course brings me to the fact that I now have an XB360 myself (gamertag SquirrelWithGun) and thusly a quick review of the games I've got and played;

- Gears of War : Oh sweet lord I suck at aiming... still, it looks really cool [grin]
- Assassin's Creed : Hmmm, so many controls... maybe later (ok, I haven't technically played that one yet)
- Mass Effect : ah, now this is cool, looks good, fun to play and even helpping my aim ^_^
- Devil May Cry 4 : holy shite! Now this IS cool.. soundtrack fantasic, graphics top of the line, stupidly long and destructive combos from practically the word go.. oh hell yeah! What sets the mode nicely for this game is when the first combat scene begins and the music kicks in... it's like... perfect ^_^

Of the XBLA offerings;
- E4 : Destructive fun, you shoudl try it out.. music is pretty cool too
- Rez : Quality rails shooter, can't get it enough praise
- Chess : It's.. chess... nice to know I can still beat a computer however
- Uno : See Chess but replace 'chess' with 'uno'
- Geometry Wars : Shoot'em up goodness [grin]

Right, time for work...
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