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Happy Birthday to me

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Today is my birthday and I have now been on the planet for 32 years.

For my birthday I received some great stuff. For one, I got the Game Programming Gems 1 - 5 books. This is some serious reading material and it is going to take me a few months to plow through it all. Some of it is rather intensive also, so I may have to narrow my scope as to what I want to learn rather than reading them from cover to cover.

On the gaming front, I received DarkWatch for the XBox and Shadow of the Colossus for the PS2. Both of these are great games and I highly recommend either.

Another I book I received the other day was Accelerated C++. I have been programming in C daily for a few months now, and thought it might be a good idea for a quick refresher in STL. I saw this book was highly recommended on the gamedev forums.

I read the first chapter of Game Design this week - PreVisualization. It is not a programming book, but it gives a nice high level overview of the development pipeline.

On the development side, I finished porting the engine over to SDL and tested it. I am not that impresses with SDL actually and I will probably go with something else. I have found occasionally that I will get dropped to the desktop without anything posting to stdout or stderr. It's possible that it is something in my code that is triggering this, but I do not experience the same thing when using glut.

I am tempted to just program directly into the win32 API, but I do not want to abandon LINUX support for several reasons. I also have no desire to program one X11 and one Win32 version. I will test out GLFW tomorrow. Drew Benton was nice enough to package up a GLFW Visual C++ 6.0 zip file for me to make life easier.

I have object picking working in the code, but the performance of the silhouette rendering is not acceptable at them moment. Basically the problem is that I am rendering the entire wireframe into a stencil buffer of the object with a fixed line width. The results look really cool, but I need to cull the amount of lines I am drawing into the stencil. Perhaps a simple edge-front/back facing test would do the trick. This is on my to-do list. Here's a couple of screenshots from the rendering engine - nothing that interesting at the moment.

I also have a basic idea of what I want to do for this game project. I have to keep things modest and realistic, especially if I may be the only one working on this. I'll write more on this later, but I think the idea that I have come up with is modulated in a way that I can add things incrementally.

I did find an annoying bug in my rendering code tonight that I plan on repairing tomorrow if possible. I tried exporting a Poser model into an obj and rendering with my engine. At first it rendered, but some of the normals looked corrupted. After a recompile it crashed without rendering. I've tracked this down to a corrupt normal index value.

[edit] I stayed up late and tracked down this bug. It was a string that was not being NULL terminated, but was being converted to an integer. Goodnight. [/edit]
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