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noisecrime

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  1. Do you need the emboss text to actually be part of the input mesh? In other words will you be trying to do something like 3D printing with this afterwards?   If not then the simplest answer would be to simply make the text as a separate mesh and allow it to penetrate the original mesh. This would be the easiest method to implement as it does not involve re-triangulating the original mesh in any way.   If you need a complete solid object, then the other suggests are a good starting point. Just be aware that you're original mesh is going to have to be heavily triangulated to get a decent resolution for the text.
  2. noisecrime

    [Flocking] How to improve performance?

    Whilst everyone is correct in terms of addressing memory allocations and re-engineering your overall algorithms being used will give the best improvements, I thought it odd that no-one had pointed out that you are using a standard distance check instead of a squared distance check. I.e. instead of using Vector3.Distance() use Vector3.sqrMagnitude() and provide your MaxDistance as a squared value. Though these days i've no idea of the relative performance benefits of doing this, probably not as much as it used to, but still worth doing IMHO.   I'd also maybe look into where you convert the KD Tree results into Unity types (Vector3). For example you convert vel but its only used if several conditional checks pass, would it not be more prudent to do the conversion only when you needed to add it to the avgVeL?   Indeed I would maybe question why you convert to Unity types at all within the function, leave the vectors as doubles (unless there is a tangible benefit in casting to and working with floats) and only convert to Unity Vector3 the avgCenter and avgVeL at the end of the function or in the calling function. It would mean writing your own sqrDistance and dotproduct methods, but they are easy enough, just don't forget to convert your character.pos from Vector3 to a double array in the calling function. In other words its probably far better to keep all your data in one format/type and convert at the end, instead of converting on the fly, especially when some of the data may not even be used.   However as I said at the beginning you probably find better gains through changing your approach  or algorithms, but the few optimisations above are pretty straightforward and simple to implement.   For repeating an action infrequently like updating your KDtree you could use InvokeRepeating() in Unity.   Its not clear to me but are you calling GetNeighborhoodInfo() for each boid for each Cohesion, Separation, VelocityMatch? If so shouldn't you simply be sharing the results between all three behaviours and just calculate it once per AI Tick using the highest K value you need?   Finally a few points about Unity. If you have a spare email address you should be able to sign up for a 30 day demo of Pro, getting you access to the profiler. Alternatively you could try emailing Unity Technologies and asking for a Pro demo key, explaining that you are using it for your thesis and supply evidence, as they are quite a nice company and might be willing to help you out - at least it doesn't hurt to try.
  3. Just a note, but you should be aware of the current trend of browsers moving towards abolishing (traditional) plug-ins based on the NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) by blocking them. Currently there is a whitelist and I think the user will always be able to enable a NPAPI until support is completely dropped, but it does mean browser plugins that don't support newer plugin api's will be at a disadvantage.   To be honest my knowledge in this area is limited as I rarely do browser content these days, but as far as i'm aware both Chrome and Firefox have taken the above approach and to my knowledge some engines that support browsers have not yet updated to the newer plugin api. Worth doing a bit of research on this to see if it might influence your choice of development engine and wether to go PC or browser or both.   Of course the other problem with supporting browsers through plugins these days is the increasing use of phones and tablets where they are often not supported. That might be something else to factor into your decision. Personally i'd probably pick the engine with the widest platform reach and develop the project with a view to enabling it to run natively on many platforms i.e. PC/Mac standalone,  Android/iOS Apps, Browsers etc.
  4. noisecrime

    Cloud Rendering

      Could it be lack of self-shadowing and maybe not using exponent on the noise, which is creating very wispy looking clouds in your screenshot? Though obviously sometimes wispy clouds are desirable, they often don't look very volumetric.   My go to resource for cloud rendering is a rather old thread here on gameDev by Yann-L, sadly the pictures are all missing now, but they looked impressive at the time and i'm pretty sure the techniques are still in use today. Though the site redesigns have made the posts harder to follower (quote blocks seem to have been lost and so a reply and quote all flows together), there is still plenty of good information to be found in Yann's posts, probably worth a read.
  5. Very Impressive.   If you like to see a breakdown of its kickstarter stats check out Kicktraq here. Its trending to between $800k and $1.4million   At first glance gaining $170k on its first day looks a bit suspicious, particularly when you factor in its avg pledge vs backers ($38,000 vs 200).   However digging a little deeper reveals over 1300 backers in the first day and judging by the 600 backers in the $300 reward ($195k) I'd say its pretty clear that these guys have a very strong and loyal core following that are actively watching the company negating the need for heavy amount of promotion, at least for day 1 kickstarter. I think this is probably backed up by the fall in both backers and pledges for almost a week afterwards, at which point it raises again no doubt due to some form of marketing.   Overall it just goes to show how important it can be to have a fan base for your product/company and that maintaining their respect can provide huge benefits such as seen here. I also suspect its the type of market that really plays up to fans and fan support, not to mention that board games themselves have been under going a revival of late and have always been popular.   Of course it should also be noted that whilst it is a large amount of pledge money, the basic game itself is costing $75 so its not exactly a cheap product so it would be expected that the money raised would be high.
  6. noisecrime

    Advice for pro composer moving into games

    Hi,   I had a listen to some of the stuff on your soundcloud and whilst very competent (and good, really liked a few themes and motif's) it felt rather TV/Film centric which I guess is to be expected. Of course game soundtracks often echo tv/film but there was something about yours that didn't always seem to fit with my expectations of a game soundtrack. Unfortunately I can't quite put my finger on it (maybe individual tracks were too long?), but I did feel that perhaps it would be beneficial for you to familiarise yourself with modern games and their soundtracks in order to write more game centric demo tracks to add to your showcase.   To this end it may well be worth either writing specifically game designed music to sell or even taking on some short, lower paid work for actual game music to broaden your show-reel. For example you could write some themes or several tracks based around a theme and sell them yourself or better through a virtual store like the Unity Asset Store. Indeed hanging out or posting in the Unity forums (and places like Unreal UDK or Crytek) might lead to some lower paid work to get greater recognition. Another positive, is by hanging out in the Unity forums (and other places) you'll absorb the culture for game production and that can only be a good thing in terms of breaking into writing music for games.   In my mind this would kill two birds with one stone, it both expands your showcase with actual game centric tracks and increases your exposure and recognition. Although Unity is clearly aimed at indie's it is increasingly being used by indies making larger projects and the cost/budget of indie company (as opposed to say indie bedroom coders) games is growing substantially. Indeed today indie games can easily have a decent budget for composing bespoke soundtracks, so I don't think its necessary to think about targeting AAA.   You should also consider that for lower paid work that you keep the rights to the music allowing you to sell the soundtrack independently on say iTunes. Several indie games seemed to do this such as Fez, Minecraft etc. It provides a second revenue stream for yourself (possibly making up the difference in excepting lower paid work)  and again increasing general exposure.   At this stage I would strongly discourage getting a next gen game console, there simply aren't going to be many titles available for them for the next year or more. Far better to pick up a current gen cheap (360 or ps3) or use you Mac/Pc and join Steam to buy cheap (on sale) games (sometimes you get their soundtracks too), also might be worth checking out Humble Bundle as they often throw in soundtracks with the games.   Overall I feel like discovery and self-promotion are going to be large factors, sure you have soundcloud and a website, but I feel you should be doing more if you want to break into a new market. Get a YouTube channel up (at least a quick search didn't reveal one, though there are several Jamie Salisbury's and a couple of video's using your music), engage as much as possible with fans and commentators, networking is always good and you'll never know when it might give up a profitable lead.   One last comment which is rather critical, is that I didn't feel you had a signature style. I heard echo's of David Arnold/Joel Goldsmith (Stargate) and a few other modern composers in your work. This in itself is no bad thing, and i'm pretty sure producers would often ask for composers to write something in the vein of another, however it did leave me wanting to hear something more personal, more unique, to get a better understanding of you as a person and as a composer.     Anyway with the absent of direct information in this thread (though quite a few good suggestions), perhaps it would be worth discovering some of your favourite composers for games and researching them to see how they got into the business? For example Youtube is a good way of finding the OST's to games to judge the style and maybe get some hints to the composer, from there you can check wikipedia or the composers won websites. It will also point you to game developers that you feel more in tune with in terms of your musical style and who might be worth sending a showreel to.   e.g. Lorne Balfe (Assassins Creed 3 OST) (Wiki) Michiel van den Bos (Overlord 2 OST ) (Wiki) Magnus Birgersson (Mirror's Edge OST) (Wiki) Brian D’Oliveira (la hacienda creative) (Papa & Yo OST) (Papa & Yo Wiki) Rich Vreeland (Fez OST) (Fez Wiki)       It may be worthwhile to subscribe to uk trade magazines (should be free, certainly don't pay for a subscription) so for games Intentmedia (Subscriptions - 01580 883 848) make two that might provide useful information and contacts   Develop: www.develop-online.net  dev.subscriptions@c-cms.com   Slightly marketing/advertising biased in my opinion, but at least gives you a bit of an inside track on companies making games in the uk.   MCV (The Market for Computer & Video Games) www.mcvuk.com mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com   Focuses on the selling and marketing of games, so not directly related, but might still provide you with ideas, information and contacts.   Now one or maybe both of these also come with a yearly 'Source Book' that lists companies involved with gaming, though much is focused on services that have no relevance to you there is a small section for 'software development' as well as 'Creative & Promotional services' so maybe they might have some useful contacts to pursue.     Anyway good luck with your endeavour.
  7. noisecrime

    Augmented Reality: The Future Tech Leader of Gaming?

      Interesting, I look forward to finding some time to watch this.   I've been involved with a number of AR projects for clients and frankly I fail to see the appeal or relevance, certainly with the current technology, but also in general. There are maybe a handful of AR or AR like projects that I've seen which actually provide some tangible benefit.   The problem I have is that so far in nearly all cases, the overall result of using AR could have been accomplished without using AR at all, the only thing that has been gained is a degree of 'coolness'. For example many AR applications or games involve overlaying 3d models into the world, or usually on top of a specific marker. This model then animates or you can move around the marker to view it from different directions etc. None of which ever needed AR to function, the same results could just as easily be achieved by displaying a model on screen and using gyroscope or accelerometer or even just traditional input methods. So I find myself asking, why bother? What is the point other than shouting hey look at how cool we are using this new technology. Which ultimately makes me feel rather sad.   Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a coolness factor to all this and it can certainly enthral and inspire people, but ultimately it just seems completely superfluous. However I wouldn't claim that AR as a technology is completely pointless, just at present the vast majority of uses of it seem to be. I'm desperately hoping this will change over time and that clients will understand the medium better to enable more interesting applications to be created.   Here is a great example of the most pointless use of AR I've seen to date. It was for some kiosk piece for Shell (a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies), where they stick an AR marker onto a turntable, so that users can rotate it whilst watching themselves on a screen and view a 3d model of a 'Gas to Liquid Plant'. Its utterly pointless in my mind because not only is the marker card superfluous (same result could easily be accomplished with a turntable and 3d accelerometer), but the final display of placing a model in front of a video of the person standing behind it is also superfluous. Sure it has a slight element of coolness to it, but the AR enhanced interactivity and the AR of combining virtual with real world leads to no tangible benefits or results.   Of course i'm making some generalisations here and part of it is definitely out of frustrating with working for clients that end up imposes artificially silly restrictions on what AR is being used (which I wouldn't be at all surprised is why the Shell AR project above turned out like it did). For example one project i'm working on has a collection of iPads to view the markers, but they are tethered, completely removing the ability to move around the markers with them!   I think there are some genuinely good uses of AR. I like the fact that it can be utilised to provide a 'understandable' means of controlling movement through a space. For example using a mobile device to view a virtual environment, where the relative position of the mobile to the AR marker controls the viewable position of the environment, allowing users to navigate through or around a space without having to use gamepads, mouse/keyboard etc. Its the simple aspect that the user is essentially holding a 'camera' into a virtual world that makes this interaction natural and understandable. I think these are the sort of elements where AR can shine.       Pretty much sums up a large amount of the AR work I've seen and been involved with. To a degree the act of using AR can give some extra depth to content, but it can't replace the need for good content and I'd go further and say it requires meaningful content that benefits from being displayed within an AR system.       Very true. I feel that everyone sort of has an instinctive knowledge or understanding of what AR is, but when you actually get down to it and start looking for more meaningful ways to utilise the technology and go beyond just adding some cool factor, this knowledge breaks down dramatically. I've seen it my own client projects where quite often I realise they are simply trying to mould a touchscreen delivery of content into AR and it just doesn't work.   As such i've started to jot down what I feel are the benefits of AR, what use cases make the most sense of the technology, where does it fail, what other interactions should it be mixed with or not, how do people interact or expect to interact with AR, AR Markers, or the display (e.g. handheld devices) etc. All in order to heopfully help guide potential future clients into developing a project that has better value than previously.       I'd love to discuss this further and to have had time to properly collated my thoughts in order to write and explain them better than I have above, but as ever i'm in a bit of crunch mode for coincidently an AR project ;) So I just wanted to put done some initial thoughts and viewpoint on the matter. Hopefully i'll be able to return to it in a week or so and after i've had time to watch the video posted.   Oh i'm also interested in the whole definition of AR as it could be as broad or as narrow as you want. As such I wonder if the term AR is a little meaningless now since at its most basic it could include anything and everything where by information is overlaid on top of a real or even virtual video stream. That's not really AR to me, its a subset, basically a HUD. However defining and naming these things can cause huge arguments, so i'm unsure how beneficial it is to bother ;)
  8. noisecrime

    Microsoft and the Xbox One. Thoughts?

      This rumour is due to the fact that last year MS got a patent for doing exactly this. However there it seems very unlikely they are launching with such a system. Although currently the kinect must be connected to the X1 to function, it is supposively only keeping on its audio functions, so that you can use voice commands to turn on/wake up the xbox as shown in the reveal.   Of course the problem here is that there is nothing to stop MS from simply turning on such a feature in the future.       Its hard to know the percentage of hardcore gamers to own consoles, especially so late in the generation, particulary with PS3 having its blu-ray and MS with its Kinect skewing those results further, I suspect they still make up a larger percentage than one third. Though this also depends on your definition of a hardcore/causal gamer, which even gamers themselves often define themselves as one or the other against the common-sense understanding to the terms (e.g. people playing 4-5 hours a day on a single game, consider themselves as causal ?)   However I have no doubt in my mind that its exactly the hardcore gamer crowd who are the early adopters to purchase these systems and remains o for the first year or more, after all it makes sense, they are/were gaming machines. This I think will be problematic for MS as they've made such a drastic move away from supporting and indeed possibly going out of their way to frustrate hardcore gamers. Though this also heavily depends upon where Sony and the PS4 are in regards to second-hand, backwards compatibility etc Assuming the PS4 permits the existing second-hand method and their streaming BC works then they will have very clear benefits for gamers over X1.   This leaves MS having to convince non-gamers and gamers alike that their machine, with all its built in 'entertainment' features is worth buying. I'm just not sure they can. While there is no doubt that it will probably be good value for money and offer interesting features to the general public, do they have the disposable income to spend on it or are they busy spending it on tablets, smartphones etc? Are those features so much better than there current TV/entertainment or using a remote to tempt them? Do they really want to have a second blu-ray? There will be takers, but I have a feeling initially it will be dwarfed by hardcore gamers, which may then become a self-fulling prophecy if PS4 gains significant traction as the console to get.   Worse MS have done nothing to retain their existing gamers beyond continuing with their gamer account (achievements etc) and gold covering both systems simultaneously. The lack of backwards compatibility, and the lack of being able to transfer anything game related purchased on the xbox, means as a user you are back at square one. That is i'm no better off getting an X1 this time than if I were to switch to PS4. Indeed switching to PS4 may offer more benefits as I could use its streaming BC service to catch up on the half dozen or more exclusive games I missed by not having a PS3.   From all the information so far I'm summing it up as 'X1 for entertainment and media at the center of your living room, PS4 is a gamers console'. Which one you get will ultimately depend on where you prefer to be placed.
  9. noisecrime

    Free motion SDK for PC and iOS

    Very interesting technology and looks almost too good to be true, which is a shame as with the content of many of your video's it led me to be highly sceptical at first. I guess part of the problem here is that many of the video's are targeted towards gaining interest from the public and gamers as opposed to hard facts that developers would want to see.   For example in the promo video you posted are claims of full 3D skeleton and 3D depth whilst only mentioning a 2D webcam which seems unlikely? Further more many of the video's on your youTube channel have a fake look to them, mainly due to the editing and poor reporting. For example in this video at 55 seconds in the reporter says the Panda is copying the moves the dancer makes. But its clear that the panda is moving before the dancer does. However, as it appears to be a classic 'dance game' this is to be expected as the player is meant to copy the virtual dancer not the other way around. Like I said poor reporting on behalf of the guy in front of the camera.   Sorry if that seems harsh, but it was my first impression, which is a shame as it looks like you've got some very impressive technology on your hands. Obviously much of what is shown in the actual demonstrations is clearly possible, such as full body tracking from a 2D webcam (presumably through segmented filtering and machine learning) and its not like you've sprung up over-night.   So as I've worked with Kinect over the last couple of years for various projects this makes your Extreme Motion technology very intriguing and appealing. Removing the need for specific hardware would be hugely beneficial so it was a no-brainer to sign up and request SDK access, especially as there is Unity plugin support. Hopefully my application will be approved as i'm keen to put this tech through its paces and see just what it is capable of achieving as well as how it could free us from the Kinect.
  10. For obvious security reasons the Unity web player runs as a sandbox in the browser, as such it does not support plugins,dll's etc and never will. I believe its possible to add your own code to the web player, but that involves obtaining a specific license from unity to essentially produce your own version of the webplayer. However that will have a substantial cost involved and for all intensive purposes is not a viable option.   So really you are looking at converting all the c++ into either Unity's javascript or c#.
  11. noisecrime

    Microsoft Illumiroom

    Personally I think its little more than a gimmick, at least the way its being used and sold here. I could see it attractive for added immersion, but strongly suspect you'd actually just get really tired of it quickly, not to mention even with the auto-calibration the set up requirements are unlikely to match most peoples situation/environment. I'd say its pretty clear this is not a real room, but a 'set' designed specifically for the demonstration too.I'm very suspect about how it would work with games to fill your lounge wall, yet still keep what you'd normally see on the TV screen. For example if the game was running at 1920x1080 on your 40" TV, just how big would the game have to be rendered in order to include the peripheral parts projected onto the wall around it?   That is not to say i'm not impressed with the technology, but its been around for a long time. When I first saw the illumiroom last year I was instantly reminded of this demonstration from a white paper on the matter back in 2005 - Sadly the video upload quality is pretty poor compared to expectations today, but i'm actually more impressed by the features this shows off, especially the way it can be used to create almost holographic like images, that appear to float in front of the projection surface. Of course this is helped greatly by the fact that it can adjust the projection based on viewing angle too in real time.   As such I think illumiroom is going to be an interesting stepping stone in the commercialisation of such technology.
  12. noisecrime

    Z-Buffering issues

    Nice solution, but i'm wondering what impact it will have when you come to render other elements such as spaceships and asteroids? I expect these can be worked into the same system, although whilst sorting front to back shouldn't be too much of a strain, losing rendering by batches might be. I guess a potential solution is to continue to divide up space into zones. So a planet has a near/far zone, and the space between two planets is a zone (own near/far) (by zones i mean in camera space, not world space). At least that way all elements within a zone (between planets) can be batched. Anyway really just wanted to say how much I enjoy checking out your progress, but isn't it time for another interplanetary movie to show off planet textures?
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