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Will F


Been awhile since I updated this journal so I thought i'd throw an entry together. My birthday was about a week ago and I spent some of the $ I got on a gamecube. I really wish I had bought one awhile ago, some of the games are pretty amazing.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Wow, i'm loving this game. There's so much to do, and it reminds me of why I love games. I think any game developer/designer should give it a play - the level design is fantastic, and the way they treat wind and make it a central part of gameplay is interesting. I was a bit worried about the cel shading, but they did it right. Having said that, the controls could use a bit of work, and there's far too much sailing your ship from island to far away island. Great game though.

Metroid Prime
I've only played a couple of hours and I don't really like FPS games all that much, but i'm really enjoying this one. Despite the first person perspective, they've done a great job of making it feel like a Metroid game.

Animal Crossing
Really interesting game. It's hard to explain what it's about - It feels a bit like a cross between Harvest Moon and the Sims. You don't really do anything other than collect things and decorate your in game house. Well I suppose there's fishing, insect catching, digging for fossils, interacting with the people living in your town, playing NES games (right now i've got Donkey Kong and Excite Bike - there's something like 15 of them you can find) and a few other things - but there's something missing that I can't put my finger on.
Another interesting feature is how the game treats time, it follows the gamecube's internal clock - so if it's 11AM on October 19 in the real world, it's the same in the game. The sun will be up or down depending on the time of day - with different things going on in the game depending on the time and date.

I've got some design notebooks with ideas for games, one of which is similiar to this and Harvest Moon - doubt it'll ever get made, but this game has given me some great ideas. I'd like to get out of the design phase and started on a decent sized project in the next month or two. I'm leaning toward something like this, or possibly a Civilization like game (i've got a ton of great ideas to make a great civ game, but a lot of the ideas sound neat but possibly not all that fun).

I've also been reading 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development by Fletcher Dunn and Ian Parberry. It's an excellent intro to the math needed to do 3D games (an area that i've realised that i'm a bit weak in, but have been working on). I'll probably want to get something a bit more advanced in the future, but for right now it's exactly what I need.

Also been working on event and GUI systems for my engine. The GUI is based some work I did quite awhile ago for a 2D game - looking at it and porting it over to OpenGL has made me realise that I probably need to throw most of it out and start over - it gets the job done, but it's rather poorly designed and will need some changes to integrate it with the event system as I now have it planned.
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I've been reading the primer and noticed I don't know near enough about all the math needed to successfully write any alogrithms, but it's a great place to start.

Good luck

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Reading that book gave me all the info I needed to know to start programming in 3D with no linear algebra background. It's also the best reference I have when I need to writed some heavy duty algorithms. I liked the pratical implementation stuff (collision detection) but I wish it covered more on camera designing and picking.

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I haven't taken a math course since high school (it's been a few years), so i'm pretty happy with using the primer as a starting point. Right now the chapters on Matrices (Matrixes - sp?) have my head spinnig a bit, but i'm going through rereading and it's beginning to make some more sense.

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