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AoE 3 rocks :)

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I finally got around to downloading the AoE3 demo, so today I spent about an hour messing around with it. Man, that game is fun :) The gameplay isn't terribly changed from previous Ensemble games, but I do like the physics... Buildings collapsing and crubmling, ragdolls, etc. Here's my money shot, I just personally think this is pretty funny stuff, you can see the poor little peasants being blown away by these massive cannonballs:

In other news... I finished reading the book on C#. I was thinking of doing a project with it (like a clone of Gradius 3 or something) but I decided to put that off for now. I'm more interested in using it for tools than to make games themselves, so I think I'll just wait until I need to make a tool and then use it for that...

I read the 1st half of Mat Buckland's AI techniques book (all about genetic algorithms), and I'm pretty pumped thinking about all the possibilities. I read an article in gamasutra where they used something called particle swarm optimization along with GAs to optimize the AI for a racing game. Very cool stuff. I'm going to learn about neural networks next and then maybe put together a demo sometime...

I've also been reading ShaderX... I read the Cg tutorial about a year ago and I have a basic knowledge of HLSL, but I'm going back to the basics now and learning shader assembly properly so I have a better idea of how to optimize shaders, and also get a better feel for what effects are compatible with what hardware...

I've been working on Hero of Allacrost since July now, and now the graphics engine is more or less done, so I decided to take a break from coding and help out with recruiting. It's d*** hard to find pixel artists, I got one guy who said he might be interested but so far that's about it.

Finally, since I have more free time now because I'm not coding much for Allacrost, I volunteered to help with Raduprv's Eternal Lands MMORPG... I had only heard about it up til now but hadn't played it. It's a really amazing game, I was surprised that the server was so lively even though I tried it out for the first time at 8am or so :) So I'm definitely excited about getting involved w/ that.
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I was quite disappointed with AoE3. It didn't improve the gameplay at all. Everything you played in Age of Empires 3, you already played in the last two of the series.....

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Yea, I definitely know what you mean. Actually at first I was really disappointed too because I'd hyped myself up so much but then the gameplay turned out to be 90% the same as before. I definitely think it could have been a better game, gameplay-wise, but I still like it on the whole, because I think it's a fun game and I'm easily taken in by pretty graphics and physics :)

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Hehe yeah... Gradius 3 would be a lot of fun, but after I played it again, I realized what a fine game it is, and I wouldn't want to remake it unless I really made an honest effort. That could take months though. (With Bobo, the level editor was written in a few days and the game code in a couple of weeks, but then it took an additional 2.5 months to polish it). If I had a few months to spare I'd do it, but I feel like I gotta be working on more technical things since I'm going for a game industry job in about 1 year.

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