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Random Thoughts

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I'm still waiting on NTL to get our internet connection hooked up. It's been over 2 months now... They came round last weekend, but didn't do it because of a miscommunication across their departments. This was the second time it has happened....

So the 4E4 is over. It makes me a feel a little sad as I wanted to enter it, but time constraints and other things in my life prevented me from doing so. I look forward to being able to see everyone's efforts though....

I still plan on working on my 'entry' for it as it had some promise. It's whether it's now more important than Hydra or not... Probably not. I've actually been thinking about this whole Manta-X, Hydra franchise... I think it'll be worth my while to sit down and write a large background story around the 'universe' the games sit in. I've recently been having other ideas that I could base in this same universe, such as an RTS or a turn-based strategy game, so sitting down with all my game ideas and sketching out a rich background story for them all will allow some atmosphere to be built up should other games ever materialise. It'd be nice to be playing Hydra and know where the story sits on the timeline; the same applies for a 'conquest' style game where you're managing a space empire - the events from the Hydra game could be in there somewhere - perhaps with events for this game being referenced in Hydra. Of course, I'll need an overriding title for them all; any ideas?

I've been working on a website for my girlfriend. It's not up yet, but will soon be around. She's a photographer and wanted a portfolio site, so it's probably one of the more art-like sites I've done. It's pretty simple, but I like how it looks. It should be up in the next week or so.

I've also been playing around with some ideas in C++. I'm building entities from components, rather than having an all emcompassing entity class. The component-based model is something I first heard about being used in Dungeon Seige; there's a few more articles and thesis' cropping up on the subject these days so it does seem to be a place to look at. The Game Programming Gems 5 book has a halfway decent implementation, so it's worth looking at if you're interested in such things. My implementation is using similar messaging systems as found in the McShaffry book but has been combined with some of my serialisation and GameMonkey scripting work. Effectively, you can load/save component states to a stream and override certain componet event handlers with a scripted function. It seems to work quite well, although the Irrlicht SceneNode implementation I'm using seems a little clunky. Irrlicht uses the ISceneNode for both rendering, collision and positional information which doesn't bode well for a component-based system. My implementation requires me to dynamically set the base ISceneObject with the position data from the PhysicalComponent component when it changes and likewise for the RenderComponent (this is less of an issue). It seems like a lot of rework, but it shouldn't really be a problem for an engine built with the component-model in mind (which itself poses a problem because I don't intend to write my own engine from scratch...). I'll write more on this some other time...

That's all for now - back to work!
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I feel for you regarding NTL. I moved into my new flat September 3rd. Despite the problems I'd had with NTL in the past, me and my housemate ended up signing up for their broadband since we didn't have a BT line which most providers for the area needed. 8 weeks later and 5 installation appointments they failed to show up for later we got a scrap piece of paper posted through the door saying the installation team were sorry to announce they had to do some work on the road and couldn't install til 2006 sometime (even though they had already done their assessment and given us an OK when we first signed up for them).

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On the topic of NTL... If you live in studentsville then this time of year always seems really bad.

We were lucky in our foresight a couple of years back and booked our installation in July (or thereabouts) and they honoured that for September time. Everyone else we knew who didn't sort it out until they came back to uni were still offline in November [oh]

On other topics.. Keep up the good work Evo' - sounds like you got some good stuff on the go [grin]


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