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Weekend Reading: Tales from Journal Land

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Welcome to the new home of Weekend Reading! To be honest I've always wanted to have it here in my journal to begin with, but in the past it was much more visible in the News section, and we didn't really have a way to display journal entries right on the front page. Now that we have revamped the news system (please visit and add some feedback if you have not already done so!) and have a way to feature journal entries on the main page, Weekend Reading has come home to Journal Land!

So yes, I've combined Weekday Reading back into Weekend Reading, but to let our GDNet+ members have some extra exposure I've added the gold "G" icon next to their journal name so they can be easily identified in the round up and instead of just one Featured Entry of the week, I'll have one each from Member and GDNet+ journals.

Today's entry is posted rather late, as I got back from East Coast Games Conference earlier this evening (will have details about that trip soon!), but in general Weekend Readings will continue to go up at the end of the day so people have a chance to get in one last entry before the weekend.

It might also be worth reminding everyone that the entries you see below are listed in order from least recent to most recent, as I traverse forwards from the start of the date range for each week and add each new entry under the previous one. There's no other form of ordering going on - the top journal entries in each category are not "the best".

Here are your Journal Land entries from 3/6 - 3/15 (it starts from last Wednesday just this week to make up for a lack of Weekday Reading this week).

Featured GDNet+ Entry of the Week

Phyletic gradualism - now that ATI have more stable drivers for what he's working on, __sprite has been experimenting with 3D terrain, using tri-planar texturing. He's got lighting but the texturing caused some issues with bump-mapping that he had to work around. He includes a link to the GPU Gems 3 chapter that helped him with the bump mapping and has some example glsl code of what he's doing under the hood. If you've done bump mapping with tri-planar texturing he'd love to hear from you!

Featured Member Journal of the Week

Journal of Lethargic Programmers - cameni goes over the team's new terrain mapping and compression tool, which was re-built from scratch to better conform with the capabilities and direction of the Outerra engine. They've seen a massive speed increase, a smaller resulting terrain dataset size (although in this case they're still trying to figure out why) and cameni also details an interesting aspect to the new tool, which is that it traverses the terrain using adaptive Hilbert curves. A video show the terrain traversal in action and images show the new level of detail the terrain now features after the data is extracted by the tool - the differences are visible even without enlarging the images!

Check out what's going on with our newest Journal Land contributors, __Homer__ and sketchroid!

From the Staff

  • GameDev.net Staff Journal - Mike has the low-down on what's happening with the revamped news system now live on the front page. Check it out to better understand how it's meant to be used and what we have planned for it moving forward now that it is a system in action thanks to your participation.
    Project Updates

    • Sheridan's adventures in random nonsense logo+%20bullet.png - More screens of Project Ryfle from Deranged. Still no idea what it is, but it looks cool
    • Pixel ? Tile ? World - Servant of the Lord has a nice detailed update regarding technical features he's added to his Adventure Far project. There is now nearly seamless transition between screen tiles, and data exposure and plans for game modding have begun to be implemented as well.
    • IfThen Software LLC - Newsletter #81 has the seventh SHMUP demo build link while the programmer updates on texture memory loading and the physics the game is using for its weapons. Regular columns Artist's Easel and Community Spotlight are included as well
    • kiwibonga's Blog logo+%20bullet.png - kiwibonga gets distracted from his goal of writing a GLSL shader/GPGPU version of his cellular automata program, instead spending some time playing around with a shader version of Conway's Game of Life - with surprising results I bet he wish were video captured. Eventually though he convinced himself he had better stop playing around and get back to his original objective
    • Stop playing, start coding! - congrats to Pokemonster for a first playable build of his game being done - that is indeed a significant milestone! The build itself is not yet available for download (no doubt he wants to add more stuff before releasing something for us all to check out ourselves) but his first screenshot of the space shooter is up.
    • Inclemency Studios Log - Inclemency Studios announces their plans to use the Hero Engine's Hero Cloud service, their target completion date and that they are looking for both 2D and 3D modelers
    • Journal of dx elliot logo+%20bullet.png - another game release!! Congrats to dx elliot, who published his Flash-based cursor game Pigs Can Fly. The stats for the first 48 hours are "a million pigs have been saved, contributed by 100 thousand players with an average play time of 14 minutes". Not too shabby!
    • Jemgine - Deyja has been being all secretive, posting teaser images. The one worth featuring though is where he shows how the tree in the shot was composed (manually, it appears) of several sprite elements.
    • The 'Massive' Project - Kagami has a brief game update and a new screenshot - what is that a floating rock?
      Game Dev Stuffs

      • /* Why you crying? */ - Congrats again to JTippetts for getting one of his journal posts reprinted in Game Developer Magazine, which is now out and available. He's gotten emails about the tools he used and in response has posted up the binary build of his Accidental Engine, which is more of a framework built on Lua that includes, among other things, a set of implicit noise functions. Download it and play around!
      • owl's Blog - owl is looking into how to do Cal3D animated models "properly" in his model editor. He has a video showing off his current implementation in action
      • mytre's Blog - mytre has repurposed some code from Frank Luna's Programming with Direct X 9.0c: A Shader Approach book (with permission) to demonstrate soft particles in action. You can download the source and reuse it as you see fit!
      • #!/Bin/Bash-ObsidianBlk - ObsidianBlk talks about his experience participating in a pyweek challenge, which is a game jam event for python that has you building a game alone or in a team in one week based off a theme announced at the start of the week. If you're a python programmer looking for a challenge, check it out! He also uses this entry to give a lesson on what he's learned in researching Separate Axis Theorem collisions. I've prompted him to provide some references as well. Technical editors - descend!
      • Dungeon Fortress - Darkness is not your friend - Ashaman73 has compiled a rant on why we need more visual style in games, namely indie games because this is a very good way such small games can stand out from a crowd and garner attention with which they can use to become insanely successful (have we worn out Minecraft references yet?). In addition to going over why visual style is important, he talks about ways he thinks developers can improve their game's visual style
      • XXChester's Blog - XXChester has written up how he's doing command based scripting in XNA 4.0 for others to not only potentially learn or be inspired from, but also to check over what he's doing and offer up suggestions for improvement, he admits he's not happy with it. So whether you're looking to learn or critique (perhaps both?) head on over and check it out.
        Other Stuffs

        • I am a duck logo+%20bullet.png - so what do you think about IGN's new reality show starring the indies they've been putting up in their offices? Mike Bossy didn't think anything could top Sony's The Tester, but now admits he was wrong and is struck speechless. He fears for these indies getting portrayed as douchebags thanks to reality TV editing and being shunned from the mainstream industry. Lay down your own opinions on the upcoming show!
          Thanks for stopping by, GameNinja07 (would love to see more detailed Torque thoughts!) and SageKri.
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