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Obligatory Matrix Review(tm)

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johnhattan

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First off, let me dispense with my obligatory review of The Matrix. I guess good sci fi movies are a rarity, because this one seems to have appeared on every programmer's diary and finger-file.

All in all, I liked it. If you're an anime fan, see it. It's basically an anime movie shot live-action, and it includes all of the anime elements right down to the heroes making ridiculous poses while fighting and freezing time in the middle of action scenes. The main bad guy does a great job of being over-the-top and deadpan at the same time. Larry Fishburne is a good leader without being a military-type. Keanu Reeves grunts a lot, but that's a given :)

My biggest complaint was the weird theistic bent it took from time to time. They did a good job of explaining the inexplicable "matrix", but there was a messianic character called "the one" and a prophet called "the oracle" that are never explained.

My only other complaint is that they overuse the latest FX cliche', the "freeze the screen and pan around it in 3D" bit. You know the one. It's used in Lost in Space, Wing Commander, and every SUV commercial currently on TV. It reminds me of when they perfected morphing around 1990, and every movie, commercial, and music video had to have some gratuitous morphing.




Just cranking along on the latest project. Doing the level-builder is gonna be troublesome, because I can't really do an overhead view of the levels. Selecting stuff in perspective with the mouse is a pain.

As far as technology goes for the game itself, I'm probably gonna use several approaches. First one will be a fixed-perspective "fake 3D" level which can be done with traditional 2D graphics (like in WarCraft). Next will likely be an OpenGL-based level which will look similar, but can be zoomed and rotated arbitrarily and will support some fun special effects. Between those two, the system should be portable to just about everything.

I'm also working on a very simple database for levels and a class to extract files from 'em. It's dirt-simple, and should be really compact.




Thinking of going to E3 this year just for the fun of it. I hear it's a blast. It's only 3 hours from Las Vegas, so that could make for a fun few days. Probably a matter of seeing if the wife can get the time off.




Finally, I'd like to recommend STLPort.org for STL fans. It's basically the SGI STL that has been tweaked and bugfixed to work on tons of platforms. It works better on finicky compilers (like Visual C++) than SGI's version. Very nice and free.
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