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  1. It sounds like you are talking about two different but related animation techniques: 1) Skeletal (skinned) animation - often the vertex calculations are computed on the GPU. On the 3D modeling app side of things every app seems to do this stuff differently, and writing exporters for the bones and skeletal key frames can be a real bitch. In game engines the implementations are generally a little more consistent - mostly because there are some standard ways to do this on the GPU. Most engines allow around 1-100 bones per mesh, with up 1-8 bones influencing a single vertex. Anything more complex and you'll end doing all the work on the CPU (due to limitations of GPUs). 2) Vertex frames (which are either an entire copy of the mesh for each frame, or just the vertices's that change). You can do change sets between the base mesh, the previous frame mesh etc. etc. There are a lot of subtle differences between various implementations. Unless you have a lot of frames, you'll definitely be doing interpolation between frames. #1 is definitely the right choice for humanoid type animated objects. #2 is pretty much used only when necessary considering the massive amount of data stored per frame. Most modern 3D engines support both types in someway, but there is a fair bit of variation. Check http://www.unrealtechnology.com/features.php?ref=animation for some bullet point ideas on what is normally supported. I wish I could recommend a good book on real-time animation in general, but sadly, I am unaware of a good, comprehensive one. The game programming gems series has a bunch of useful articles on animation, but they are pretty much spread between all the separate volumes. Still, it is a good place to start for ideas. Finally, the ogre3d graphics engine has a decent animation system and its open source. You can learn a lot by taking a peak at the code: http://www.ogre3d.org/
  2. Depends on what you know, and how much code you intend to leverage. Check out the book "Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX" to get an idea of what's involved at a bare minimum. If you leverage all the functionality of the more recent DirectX9 SDK's, you could have a working FPS in less then 10 000 lines of code comparable to something like Quake 2 (in terms of looks). Your version would look better, but use more computer resources. From scratch, assuming you are a comptent programmer, expect it to take less then 3 months full-time. On the other hand, if you want rigid-body physics, your own custom skeletal animation system, and a totally shader based engine (not fixed pipeline) it would easily take a year or more, and between 50 000 to 300 000 lines. Quake 3 was in the ball park of 1/4 million lines. In the present time-frame skeletal animation, collisions/physics, and special lighting (light mapping, shader lighting etc.) are the things that are hardest to develop. There is realitively little publicly available knowledge (i.e. books) and small amounts - or poorly implemented - open source or free code. Writing a competitive AAA FPS (modern day) would take a talented developer several years. Michael Sikora
  3. A rare opportunity for the right person or company to purchase a small shareware company and gain the rights to top rated board game software products. An owner of an existing shareware business could easily sell these existing products to their customer mailing list and make back at least a significant portion of the cost to acquire Guardian Games. I am asking $8500 USD for all business assets. I will be accepting offers until April 15th, 2005. What will be included in the sale of Guardian Games? (1) Five currently available shareware downloadable games. Guardian Games flagship product, Chinese Checkers Master is the highest reviewed Chinese checkers game available. (2) The current customer list of guardian games, including all pertaining information of customers. (In the purchase of the company, you have to incorporate our policies in how we promised to use that information – this is not an unethical sale of such information). (3) An approximately 400 large opt-in newsletter subscription base. A company with complementary products could easily use this list to generate a significant amount of revenue. (4) Three supporting web sites, a main business web site, and two product specific web sites. The two product web sites include a customer/user tracking system which includes complete information on where sales are being made (i.e. download site, advertisement etc.) Why is Guardian Games being sold? As the sole owner/operator, I have a limited amount of time to pursue opportunity. I have been pursuing another shareware opportunity for several months now and came to realize that another company could take much better advantage of Guardian Games assets. As a full-time student, I decided I needed to focus on a single business opportunity, given my time restraints, I have made the tough decision to sell Guardian Games. Additional information on the sale of this business including past years sales history can be found at: http://www.guardiangames.com/sale.html If you have any questions, or would like to make an offer, you can contact myself by phone or email at: Michael Sikora, Guardian Games Proprietor Email: mike@guardiangames.com Phone: 1 (905) 361-5734 Thank you, Michael Sikora Guardian Games 46 Alexander Ave. Peterborough, ON Canada K9J6B4