Merlin Roger Avery

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About Merlin Roger Avery

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  1. Render to screen buffer vs. to texture problem

    Rendering to them doesn't differ, other than the fact you may be actually writing the alpha out to the texture as well. Which can also change what you draw when you draw a texture. 
  2. Anyone here a self-taught graphics programmer?

    I started programming on Extended Color Basic for Tandy COCO II when I was ~7 after browsing the computer's manual (They put programming information in manuals back then). Switched to QBasic on DOS and eventually Turbo C++ on DOS. Everyone pretty much used BIOS and OS interrupts to do anything useful in DOS.   It took me awhile to move to windows because nothing could produce fast graphics until DirectX came out, and DirectX 3.0 was a completely different beast in early windows 95. I'm highly amused APIs like Vulkan are coming around because I remember DirectX 3.0 having an immediate mode where you created command ques and similar ideas but they decided to move away from them in 5.0 (Never had a 4.0 DX).   I do programming for a living now on AntiVirus software and as a hobby. I guess I've been programming 28 years in general and probably about 22 in C++. I had no schooling, just picked it up on my own.
  3. OpenGL Enabling a buffer but not using it

    State changes (Even some redundant ones) that aren't needed are generally considered bad practice. If you do not have to change a state, do not change a state. This -can- lead to performance problems depending on the state and where it's being set, as well as frequency.
  4. OpenGL Best practise: Texture atlas & VBO

    Careful with Texture Arrays on a 2D Game. Many older hardwares still don't support them and 2D games tend to be expected to run on older systems just because of the nature of 2d.
  5. Improving AI of MMORPG Raids

    I think static content is more the problem with MMOs than the AI. Looking at things from outside the box, do you really want an AI that, for example, stops using frost abilities because you have frost protection? Didn't you just nullify all the work I put into protecting myself? There's a fine balance between challenge and just being downright mean. There needs to be a feeling of reward for a player who does things right and can utterly dominate a situation because of it. Certainly they will learn the magic method of defeating a boss to where it becomes trivial, but I think that's part of the Static content problem and not a problem with the AI itself. Personally my problem with Dungeon Crawls in MMOs is the "Trickle" problem. You walk into a base and see monsters around you standing and having a conversation, you really don't feel like you just infiltrated an enemy stronghold where everyone would be on alert. I think there needs to be more dynamics on that front to bring immersion.
  6. Protocol ID - usage and point of it

    Even with the ID in there, the packet can be spoofed pretty easily if that's what you're worried about. "Oh, it's passing this DWORD around, I'll just pass the same one". I'm not sure if security is what you're worried about? If it's just to make sure you're talking to the right machine, why not simply challenge up front and leave it be?
  7. ElapsedTime Movement?

    If you're handling all the entity updates in batch, you only need one delta for all of them. Create your delta and pass it through your updates. Depending on how you go about calculating your delta it can be a subtly costly operation that has little gain. It also mean all objects are synced to the same 'point' in time. I do all these things in floatational numbers. So time becomes normalized to a second.
  8. Garbage Collector?

    I don't use garbage collection. Garbage collections and such cause too many hassles and inefficiencies. I like absolute control of the memory I'm using. Allocation and freeing can get deep into problems with fragmentation, cache issues and more. One thing I like to do, for example, is reuse already allocated memory when it's not being used. This can increase performance of dynamic objects significantly and if it's using certain methods you can push fragmentation out of your mind forever.
  9. I used a marker and do a quick string function after I load the file to replace the markers with 0's and save offsets, Then I pass those pointers to the compiler. [vertex shader] [fragment shader] [geometry shader] is what I use. I also have shader definition which allows me to create indexes to attributes and other data opengl needs to index data. So it ends up looking like this. [source lang="plain"] [Shader Definition] [0] = attribute vPosition [1] = uniform mModelView [2] = uniform mProjection frag fragColor0 [Vertex shader] #version 150 in vec3 vPosition; uniform mat4 mModelView; uniform mat4 mProjection; void main(void) { vec4 posTemp = mModelView * vec4(vPosition, 1.0); gl_Position = mProjection * posTemp; } [Fragment shader] #version 150 out vec4 fragColor0; void main (void) { // Save it squared fragColor0 = vec4(0, 0, 0, 0); } [/source]
  10. 2D Animation Scripting

    I found using scripting for animations is better than an animation data format. It tends to give more control and there always ends up some state you want to pull off your format doesn't allow.