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About geolycosa

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  1. geolycosa

    How to "care" about programming?

    Have you thought about "pen and paper" game design? Making board games or pen and paper role playing games are great ways to build your design skills and your portfolio. Modding games is another way to get some programming experience without being overwhelmed by the hard-core programming aspects of making games. When I'm reviewing portfolios for new design hires, I expect to see some modding and scripting experience.
  2. geolycosa

    Scripts in games, What for?

    Scripts are also considered "content" by most console manufacturers. Patching content is significantly easier and cheaper than patching the executable once the game is live.
  3. geolycosa

    Where to begin?

    If you want to be a programmer in this business, the single best thing you can do for yourself is learn C++. It's what we make games with (especially console games). Read and grok these three books, in the following order: C++ Primer Plus (5th Edition) Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics (2nd Edition) Real-Time Rendering (3rd Edition) When you make it through those, you'll be in good shape.
  4. geolycosa

    Best Book For Experienced Programmer

    I would highly recommend the Game Programming Gems series. It's a great catalog of "in the trenches" techniques. Also, David Eberly has written several excellent books on game engine design.
  5. You're not going to find a tutorial on exactly how to do this in 2D (it's not something that's commonly done), but the 3D implementations you're probably looking at are very close to the 2D ones (the math and setup are exactly the same). If you want an XNA implementation of light pre-pass, check out J. Coluna's excellent post on the subject. If these links don't make sense to you, this lighting implementation might be out of your reach at this point. I would recommend finding some basic XNA tutorials on shader-based per-pixel lighting (even though they are 3D) and figure out how they work. It's simple to take those techniques and use them for 2D.
  6. I use three maps to compute light at each pixel: a normal map, a specular / diffuse intensity map, and a color map. The specular / diffuse intensity map modulates the specular and diffuse light contribution to each pixel. [/quote] Okey, how are these maps made? I mean like, are there three different textures? (Have they been made by you using a program like photoshop or are they made "on the run"?) If they are made "on the run", do you have any good tutorials for this? As far as i've reached now im only printing a 1x1px texture stretching the whole screens resolution, and then just fades this using COLOR in the Draw-method.. This doesnt feel like im doing it right! [/quote] There are three different textures used per material. I used Photoshop to create the color and light intensity maps. For the intensity maps, I have diffuse intensity in RGB and specular intensity in A. The normal maps were generated in a program called Crazy Bump. Crazy bump is pretty good at generating normal maps from organic looking images (rocks and stuff), but not so good at making maps for non-organic surfaces. For that, I would suggest actually modeling the shapes in a 3D modeling application (Google's SketchUp will suffice) and generating the normal maps that way.
  7. I use three maps to compute light at each pixel: a normal map, a specular / diffuse intensity map, and a color map. The specular / diffuse intensity map modulates the specular and diffuse light contribution to each pixel. I don't compute a "ray" so to speak. The lighting process is detailed on Engel's blog, but essentially it works by rendering in these passes: Geometry Pass (out: gbuffer) - Encode position and normal vectors into a gbuffer Light Pass (out: light buffer) - For each light, sampling the gbuffer, render light color * N.L * attenuation in R, G, and B channels, then the specular contribution in the A channel. Render with additive blending. Material Pass (in: light buffer) - Forward render each object and compute light by sampling the light buffer. Again, if you're really interested in the nuts and bolts of this, I would encourage you to study Engel's work on the subject.
  8. For my 2D games, I wrote a light pre-pass renderer as described by Wolfgang Engel here. I wrote it as if I were writing a 3D renderer, but was able to take some geometric shortcuts because I knew the game was a 2D platformer. The image below shows the results (light pre-pass + tone mapping + bloom). The material on the tiles use normal and specular maps in addition to their diffuse color. The characters are rendered without light. Using this approach, my engine supports hundreds of dynamic lights at very high framerates. Most 2D engines that have lighting aren't this complex though. You can get acceptable results by simply rendering your lights with additive blending after you've rendered the rest of your scene. You should check out a game called The Archer which is being developed over at TIGSource for an example of this.
  9. geolycosa

    Idea for game

    Publishers very rarely take unsolicited game ideas or game design documents from the public. They do this for liability reasons. If you send in a game idea, and they reject it but later make a game that is very similar, it's grounds for a lawsuit (even if they never read your pitch). This has happened in the film industry a couple of times, and is why film production companies don't accept unsolicited screenplays. Best of luck with your game idea. Female gamers are extremely underrepresented (especially core female gamers). Somebody needs to make games for them!
  10. Were I teaching a realtime shader class, I would probably give an overview of popular lighting techniques like deferred rendering and light pre-pass rendering.
  11. geolycosa

    How do game engines compile?

    You could compile the C++ as a DLL using Visual C++, GCC, or something similar, then link it at runtime. Just know that there are much better and more practical approaches to this. Consider a scripting language like Lua or Python. Or have your engine generate XML or JSON when storing level data - these are much easier to load up and use.
  12. geolycosa

    How do game engines compile?

    You can't compile C++ at runtime. That being said, I have seen the Tiny C Compiler (found here) used to compile C code at runtime and execute it. It's reasonably fast, but still not a popular solution when programming games. I'm still not quite understanding this code generator you have made. Did you write it yourself, or are you referring to the "designer view" in Visual Studio .NET (or something similar)? Both Unity and the UDK are free to use. You will not be able to take whatever C++ code you're generating and run it in either of these engines. Unity is programmed using C#, JavaScript, or Boo. The UDK is programmed using UnrealScript and Kismet. I would advise you to check these engines out and learn how to use them before you try to write your own engine (if you write an engine at all - you should be writing games instead). Both of these engines have large communities and great resources to help you learn. They are both suitable for commercial and small-scale projects.
  13. geolycosa

    How do game engines compile?

    Unity has an embedded Mono runtime, which JIT-compiles .NET bytecode. The UDK uses UnrealScript, which is compiled to bytecode, and interpreted by Unreal's virtual machine. I'm not really understanding what exactly you have made. A code generator? Please elaborate.
  14. geolycosa

    How many of you use C for game programming?

    Linus Torvalds (somewhat angrily) on the subject: link EDIT: Also here.
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