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Yay, Digital

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Evil Steve

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Whee, we have digital TV now. No more crappy cable with about 8 channels. The guys were really efficient, they got the whole thing done in about 30 minutes. It would be less if our Internet connection wasn't fubar. Apparently the signal strength was extremely low, because it turned out that we were plugged into the wrong bank out in the street. So my Internet should be slightly better. And, we (Edinburgh) get a free upgrade between 27th September and 17th October. 1Mb -> 4Mb downstream and 128Kb -> 384Kb upstream. Yay!

I got very little coding done today, I modified my logging to just fflush() instead of opening the file each time, and I converted a walking animation a friend made so it's a decent size and stuff. Next up is getting an animation class written, and get it to load animations into one texture, for performance. If I have 10 frames that are 64x128, I'd be better making the texture 512x256 and jamming them all onto that. That should be pretty easy, but I just can't be bothered just now.

I'm trying to think of ways to keep a reasonable performance. I think I'll have one texture for each character, and the texture will contain all of the animations (idle, walking, jumping, etc). I can use render-to-texture to get all of the clothing onto the texture properly, that should give me another performance boost. It'll save rendering each bit of clothing onto the character each time I come to draw at least.
On the other hand, if there's 50 people on the screen, and I need, say a 512x512 texture, and I'm using 32-bit textures, then I'll be using 50MB in just player textures. I don't think it'll be much of a big deal though.
I could always try to use the suggested maximum texture size (based on the free video memory; see my log outputs in previous entries), and put several characters onto it, but I think that would be a nightmare to program.

What else then? Well, sound is pretty much done. I could add a bit more to it perhaps, but that can wait. I want to get input rewritten soonish. At the moment I just use WM_KEYDOWN for simplicity, but I'd like to integrate DirectInput soon.
Once I've got characters going, I think I'll try to make the game more state-based, and have a title screen, login screen and so on. After that, I can get the networking done. That'll be pretty basic to start with, but I'll be adding some compression and stuff to the packets. Probably huffman for text, and some other method for other data.

Well, I'm going to go and play with sprite sheets and render to texture I think.
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4Mbps? [wow] That's something to look forward too when I head back from St Andrews!

As for digital cable TV, what took you so long? Some of us have had it for 5 years [grin]

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My dad's belief that terrestrial TV is fine. It took us ages to persuade him to get cable TV, then he got the cheapest package. And then Telewest gradually removed channels from it to persuade people to upgrade or change to digital.
But the TV has been utter shite recently, and we kept pestering him about it.

As for the 4Mbps thing; Yup. All 1Mb connections get a 4x speed upgrade [grin]. Linky

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