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general interestingness

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I saw an interesting movie the other day. It was an old Corman film from 1963, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. It was campy, creepy, and thoroughly entertaining. It was also made for $100,000, half of which reportedly went to the star, Ray Milland.

After watching it, I realized something. Even translated into today's dollars, that film cost 1/100 of what something like Armageddon or Wild Wild West cost, both of which sucked. A cheesy little exploitation film from 1963, despite cheap special effects and a generally campy premise, though, kept me going to the end.

It's little things like that that give me faith in the discount rack. Nobody got rich from X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, but nobody was embarrassed about having made it.

FWIW, it's on TV March 30 at 1:00 AM on American Movie Classics, so set your VCR and lemme know if you agree.

I made another The Bench strip. It's one I'd been meaning to do for a while. It's here.

Found a new interesting free utility. A while back, I recommended CodeKeeper to keep bits of code with descriptions. Found a better one, though. This one's called Information Manager. It's better because you can make trees more than one level deep, and it'll store more than just text. It's free, so it's worth a look.

I forgot to tell you what interesting books I found while at the GDC. The first is Game Architecture and Design. Everybody else has discovered this one too, so I won't comment on it.

The others I found were Excursions into Mathematics and AI for Games and Animation at the AK Peters booth.

The first is a reprint of a 1969 book on esoteric mathematical concepts. In addition to stuff like prime number-finding and map-coloring, it spends some time analyzing games. It's quite an interesting book that still stands today. The only additions were annotations throughout the book for things that have changed in the last 30 years, like the proof of Fermat's last theorem.

The second is a small (200 page) book on doing real-time AI for things like goal direction and flocking. Funny, but the things that bugged people in the Amazon reviews were exactly what I liked about the book. It didn't spend any time on things that had nothing to do with the subject, like physics modeling or IK. Nothing bugs me more than to pick up a book on doing a certain technique for game programming just to find a 150-page opening section of how to do DirectX. This one gets right to the meat without a few opening chapters on IK or 3D modeling to help pad out a page-count.
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