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About Jerky

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  1. With the recent decision to suspend development, we decided to start releasing our work to the public. I recently announced in the Game Programming forum that our code has been released under the BSD license. The next item on the list to open up was the wiki. The entire Project Wish wiki (formerly hidden) is now open to public view. There is a wealth of information on there for those who are interested in development, design, art, collaboration, and many other things. There is some information in there to help those interested in the source code as well, which will help them make sense as to what is what. The link is Happy hunting. To answer some questions ahead of time, I stripped out most of our team's personal information, other than real names. If someone thinks something needs to be changed, please let me know. Registration is disabled, and the entire site is read-only. It is not meant to be used going forward, but I will take requests if someone wants to move something to their wiki and wants the wiki-formatted version(s) of page(s).
  2. Not that many are going to care, but PW has halted development (details at We decided to release our code under BSD so that anyone interested in it could take a look. It will take a bit of digging for anyone to find something that might be of value, but its there for those who wish to do the digging. There is going to be a lot of redundant stuff in there, and I don't really have the time or desire to clean it up. After some help from jacmoe, there are now 2 x 100mb rar files which contain it all. When extracted, there is around 400mb worth of stuff. Again, its rather bloated, but beggars can't be choosers. P.S. I whipped these files up rather quickly, and threw that license in. I am new to releasing code like this, so someone feel free to let me know if I did something wrong. I tried to make it abundantly clear that the Ogre code and the Boost code found therein still have their own respective licenses. I'm sure I probably overlooked something. [Edited by - Jerky on February 21, 2009 9:31:14 PM]
  3. Jerky

    Chance to save Mod Tool

    I would say that my logic is more than fair to be considered something other than "uninformed FUD." You're correct that the title of the topic is a bit much, and it is an assumption, but one made on past history of similar tools. How about we take a walk down memory lane and see what happened to similar tools, like GMax. Also, if you read my first post's edit, you'll notice that I admit that it doesn't appear that they are pulling the plug. I'm just saying that it can't hurt to show support now. I admit I don't "mod" with mod tool. I am using it with a custom game engine, so I have not been following the other areas that Mod Tool is being used in. This, however, doesn't mean its safe. GMax was plenty popular when the plug was pulled from it. I would say that them pulling the Foundation from their lineup is not a good sign for game developers, but again, that's my interpretation of it. Obviously you disagree with my interpretation, and as I said you can "take it or leave it." I do ask that you don't be rude when you disagree with my side of things. There are other ways of showing that you disagree. Thanks,
  4. Jerky

    Chance to save Mod Tool

    It was an assumption made when they announced a couple months ago that they will no longer be selling XSI Foundation (Press Release Here), which is the version they most sold to indies who wanted to upgrade from Mod Tool. Them pulling their interest in the Foundation version was a sign to most indies that they were not interested in the games market any longer. After reading through the questions of the survey, I do not see any indication that they will be pulling the plug on Mod Tool, but I don't see many that they aren't either. I see the survey as a chance for Softimage to make a final decision about Mod Tool, and whether or not it is something they want to continue. If they can't expect any of the users of Mod Tool to upgrade to the Essentials version (now $3000, instead of the $500 of the Foundation) then why keep Mod Tool around? The true purpose of such a tool is for them to get users used to their software so that they eventually use it in the future. GMax and Maya PLE were for that exact same reason, and both had the plug pulled. Yes, it was an assumption made on my part, but I still don't think Mod Tool is safe while the only version available is fairly unaccessible to indies/mod teams/hobbyists. That's my reasoning, take it or leave it. Now you understand the title of the thread.
  5. Jerky

    Chance to save Mod Tool

    Well, that is how I interpret this anyways. For those of you interested in using a free, full-powered industry modeling program, Mod Tool has been the best there is, by far. With the recent announcement that XSI is no longer going to have the cheap version of their software, and essentially dropping the future of XSI in game development, it has been assumed that Mod Tool will soon disappear. I just received the following email survey from them: Survey link I take that to mean that they are still deciding whether or not to continue supporting Mod Tool. Please take the survey if you have used it to help show them that they need to keep ModTool around. [edit]Reading through the survey, it doesn't seem as if they are considering dropping Mod Tool at all. The questions make it sound as if they are planning on continued support, which is good news. Don't let that stop you from taking it though ;) [Edited by - Jerky on September 22, 2008 9:22:41 PM]
  6. So here is the report: It went well and I had some requests for the slides and/or the video. Let's face it, noone is going to want to see me speak for 1 hour and 45 minutes on the internet, so I broke the presentation into parts and overlayed the slides in parts. I finally finished getting the videos put together so here are the links: Part 1 - Intro - 4 mins 31 secs Part 2 - My Background - 8 mins 40 secs Part 3 - Project Wish - 22 mins 14 secs Part 4 - Set Your Sights - 24 mins 49 secs Part 5 - Take Action - 26 mins 53 secs Part 6 - The Process - 21 mins 21 secs Here is the presentation slides in pdf form: How to make your own game I'll warn you now that the sound is pretty bad. If anyone knows how I can clean it up and get rid of the noise, I would love the help. Unfortunately, the venue didn't provide a quiet area for speakers.
  7. Jerky

    Economic Systems

    This is a post I made which has many links about MMO design: Down at the bottom of that post are links regarding economy.
  8. Thanks! I will have someone there with a video camera to record it. I will post it online as soon as I can afterwards.
  9. Next month I am going to speak at an upcoming GEEX (Gaming & Electronics Expo) here in Utah. The topic will be about hobbyist game development: I have a 2-hour time slot to fill, and plan on sharing all my experience from the last 3.5 years working on Project Wish. It should be beneficial to anyone interested in making games and breaking into the industry. I will cover all aspects of development, and try to be informative for people interested in doing things alone, or with a large group, like we are. I hope to convey that the most important parts to "hobbyist" development are dedication, motivation and learning. I also plan on covering Project Management, Art and Artistic Pipeline, Design, and more. The relevant part for I am going to share about how is a fantastic resource to anyone intersted in learning how to approach their dreams and make games. Anyone who is close to Salt Lake City, Utah and might be interested can go check out the conference at: I am officially scheduled on Saturday, July 19th at 12:00PM I'd love to meet anyone who is able to come. Wish me luck! [Edited by - Jerky on June 25, 2008 5:40:27 PM]
  10. Description: PWToolBox is a cross-platform API providing common functionality for software. Although PWToolBox is part of the Project Wish software family, it is suitable for all types of software projects. Flavors: Win32 and Linux Features: The current version, PWToolBox 1.0, has the following features:Extendable configuration support that uses streams for reading and writing. Two readers and writers are provided for you, allowing you to use INI or XML formatted configurations. Commonly used exceptions deriving from std::exception. Some Math functions we've found helpful in other projects Memory management functions to help when you can't or don't want to use smart pointers. Portable Plugin Manager capable of dynamically loading libraries that derive from the Plugin interface. A high-precision timer to measure elapsed time, providing at least microsecond precision. UID Generator. A lightweight object that helps when generating unique names. Version Information utility using the major.minor.maitenence[.revision] [<build type>] version numbers, with support for comparing versions. Singleton base class. Python bindings Documentation: Doxygen documentation can be found here: You can also visit the dedicated forum for PWToolBox located here: License: PWToolBox is licensed under the LGPL v2.1 license, with an optional unrestrictive license. We do not currently offer the unrestrictive license, but will expedite it if requested. If you are interested in an unrestricted license, contact: Roadmap: Version 1.1 FeaturesOptional thread-safe support. Dataports Non-intrusive property layers Metadata Logging How can you help? Besides spreading the word, you can help us out by heading over to our forums and report any bugs you come across. We're also looking for linux package developers to make packages for us. Contact us if you can help. Who's using PWToolBox? We're interested to find out, so let us know. Download: Download both flavors from HERE. Feedback We would like as much feedback as we can get to help us improve the functionality. Our goal is to have this library actually be used by others, so we want to know how it can be improved. You can reply here or sign up to our forums to give feedback. P.S. The Senshi said it was okay to post this in here, rather than the announcements forum. [Edited by - Jerky on June 19, 2008 2:22:42 PM]
  11. Jerky

    Project Management solutions

    Well, the answer of your question really depends on the scope of your project, its demographics, and how serious/committed you are to it. For the sake of this response, however, I will assume that you are very serious and dedicated about the project in question and that, like many other projects, you plan to utilize people from all over the world to act professionally to create a top-notch game/product :). I've commented on this subject in particular a number of times, but rather than quote myself, I'll just write this from the top of my head, for selfish reasons (I'd like to see how my opinions/methods have changed over the last 3+ years of managing a large project, so I'll compare my current response to my past responses myself ... No need to drag you into it ;)). There are really a number of things you are looking at here, so lets break them down. Public website - Used to post news, blogs, screenshots, and anything about your game to the public. Private website - Used to discuss development in an area that can be viewed across time zones Development Wiki - A repository for design, documentation, guidelines, etc for your project staff. Possibly public depending on your goals. Source Control - A repository for code and its revisions. Task Management - Depending again on your level of professionalism, you will want to keep track of assignments, progress, etc. Bug tracking - Depending on the size of your project, and assuming you have a team larger than one or two, and they work in different time zones. File Repository - A place for the non-code assets, other project-related files, and media. COMMUNICATION - A place to discuss the project in realtime (or as close to real-time as possible). Now, let's go over these things and why they are needed. A public website will create a "face" for the game. This will serve more purposes than just to create hype and display news. This is also what prospective team members will be seeing. In my opinion, slacking here has the potential to kill your project, no matter what is under the hood. Possiblities: Make your own, pay for one, or use a Content Management System (CMS) (check out, or a hybrid (forum/cms solution via an addon to Invision Powerboard or vBulletin, or even free ones like phpBB, SMF, etc). A private website will be a good tool to help manage teams who span the globe, across various time-zones. Realtime communication does no good when some of your team is asleep when you are awake. This can also serve as a great place to conduct interviews with little effort, across the same time zone issues. Possibilities: Same as above. A development wiki is going to be crucial if you plan to actually document. Documentation, from code to a design document, should be incredibly important to any serious project. This can also be used as a repository for works-in-progress, and often changing work. This is usually limited to text, but there are some exceptions. For example, I use Freemind to outline some of my designs, and I can embed the accompanying .mm files into my wiki and view them from there using a flash or java applet. This also keeps historical versions of things, so its VERY nice for history-keeping purposes. Possibilities: DokuWiki, MediaWiki, DekiWiki, Trac and MANY more. Source Control should definitely be used if you have more than 1 programmer. SVN is not your only alternative. There is CVS and others to choose from. The important thing to remember here is that if you rent a web server, make sure you get one that supports your version control. Possibilities: SVN, Trac with SVN, CVS, Perforce, Sourceforge, more. Task Management is important unless you have one person (or more) who wants to spend all his/her time trying to give assignments, keep track of them, motivate, etc. This type of tool is definitely better suited to a programmer-heavy team, and creative team members will not be that enthusiastic about it. Possibilities: AgileTrack, Trac, Trackit, XPWeb, many more. Bug tracking is important when you get many people working on the same code. If each developer is working on his own thing, this might not become important until much later in the project. Possibilities: Bugzilla, Trac, and many others. A File repository will become important as you gather assets that aren't really part of the code or documentation. This is most likely going to be your art and sound assets. Some people use their Source Control for this, but that starts to get big real fast. If your Source Control has a size limit, you will want to use a place that has cheaper space. There are all-in-one repository tools, but most are expensive. Possibilites: Perforce (free if you are GPL), FTP server, SVN, CVS, wiki Communication is going to be absolutely crucial unless you go to school with the people you are working with. Since most projects aren't lucky enough to find enough local people, there needs to be a way to keep better tabs on people. It helps if you can become friends, and that is hard to do on a forum. IRC is your simplest bet, but MSN Messenger can also work. Some people also will go to voice chat, via Ventrilo or Teamspeak, but this is really only icing on the cake. What is important is that there is a place you can all "hang out" while you work. It will act as a virtual office space as you chat and share things in realtime. Forums and email also work for this, although can be very slow and are definitely not the prefered way of keeping up. Possibilities: IRC (host your own, or use a free server like Freenode), any IM client (MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, GTalk, etc), voice chat (Ventrilo, Teamspeak, Skype) The majority of the items here can be handled with two things, a good forum/CMS and Trac. A CMS will take care of all your news, and good ones also have blogs, galleries, and forums. You can try them out for free on the site I listed above. The downside is the customization that needs to go into them to make them look good. If you have, or can recruit, a good web developer, then skinning them is fairly simple, depending on the one you choose. In my experience, the commercial ones (like vBulletin and IPB) are MUCH harder to skin than free ones. That brings us to Trac. Trac is an integrated wiki, ticket/bug system, and SVN system. It can become very powerful, should you decide to go with it. That being said, if you choose to go with Trac, you will already be ready for the future needs of your project as you grow. The downside is that it is harder to learn than some of the other wiki systems for the non-programmers. The easiest wiki that I have seen is DekiWiki for non-technical users. The most popular is MediaWiki. I personally have used all 3. They each fill different (yet overlapping) needs. The last thing I will mention is communication. As you can see, I bolded it above. I believe this is going to be one of the most crucial things to a large project spread all over. Realtime communication is a great motivator as well. As some of your team work on things, and share them in real time, it helps others to be motivated and see the growth of the project. As they see progress, they will be more likely to want to pitch in more time. For my project, if we had not setup IRC long ago, we probably wouldn't still be around. IRC has been the lifeblood of PW and has served many purposes. We hold meetings in there, hang out, do some interviewing, answer questions, and many other things. I could go on and on, but hopefully that gives you a good overview of what is needed to make a truly great project that will stand the test of time. Feel free to ask me to clarify anything.
  12. Jerky

    Program for 3d

    XSI Foundation is going to be your best bet, but I think the pricetag is closer to 4-500, iirc. On a nicer note, however, is the fact that you can use XSI Mod Tool for free while you make your decision. It has pretty much all the functionality you will need. Consider it a free trial of the full version.
  13. Jerky

    3D Tank (feedback)

    We could make a better determination of that model if you were to render a wireframe version and one of your texture map, so we can see the UV mapping. Take a look at game art on CGTalk if you want to see examples.
  14. Jerky


    Just to clear up a few things in this thread. While it is true that an engine can make a difference in performance, this is not going to be an indicator. The far better indicator as to your budget (polycount, whatever you want to call it) is going to be the hardware you expect to target. You GFX card, more specifically, is the number one factor in determining poly count. A great engine on an older card will still be limited, regardless of what the engine itself can handle. Again, the gfx cards are the major bottleneck. So, when determining your polycount, you need to have an engine and your "Minimum spec" card in hand, so you can determine what is playable and what is not. It is becoming more common to have a stricter scene polycount while being a little more lenient in the character polycount. Most newer cards don't have the limitations that older cards had in this respect. With this in mind, your polycount budget itself isn't quite as useful as it used to be. This is not to say that you don't need one, but it is important that you keep an eye on other factors as well. The shader model version on a card will play important rolls, since a shader is required to utilize a normal map or offset/parallax map. Then, you need to keep an eye on your texture size, and the number of batches will be in a scene. If you don't yet know what batches are, or how they come into play, you probably don't need to be worrying much about polycount at this point, especially if you are targetting newer cards (like for a mod of a current game). As far as the time consuming thing goes, any top quality art takes time. While it is true that without something like a normal map, you can create something much quicker, you should also remember that this is not top-notch. If you are after the AAA quality, get used to taking days, weeks, or months on 1 model. Hope that helps clear up some things. If you really don't want to get into the fine details of it, and are after a "safe" number just to keep in mind, < 6000 is safe, and < 3000 is safer.
  15. Okay, economy time. I have finally read enough to feel that I know a little more about what makes their economy tick. This page was very helpful in giving a brief overview, for anyone who is lacking in Eve knowledge, as I am/was. My first question was whether or not they had an open or closed economy. Apparently, they, like UO did before them, attempted a closed economy before finally changing it to an open economy. According to the devs, it wasn't because they couldn't pull it off, but rather, it was because it took too many of their resources. They also said that they, with their current system, are getting all the benefits of a closed system. I suppose this would imply that they have been able to control hyperinflation as much as a closed economy would. Now, it is our job to find out why this is the case, so we can learn from it. From what I gathered, NPC's provide a very small amount to the economy, and the rest is player driven. I think behind the scenes, the devs are monitoring the supply and demand metrics, and make adjustments as to where the rich spots for the resources are found. Without question, based on some of the graphs I saw on the developer blogs, they have tools to monitor their economy that may have no match currently with any other MMORPG. I come to this conclusion merely by the fact that no other MMORPG economy is as consistently strong as Eve's. If other teams have tools just as good, then they must not be as smart ;). We'll assume that they are all smart, and that Eve's tools are just more deep, and therefore, superior. So would a player-based economy always be better? Not necessarily, in my opinion. I think it works in Eve's case because, like PinWang pointed out, they are focused on PvP. There are many other smaller aspects, like the corporations, that help play a part, but because of the competitive nature of PvP, players seem a little less likely to hoard goods, as opposed to a fantasy game. That doesn't mean hoarding doesn't exist, I just don't think it is as widespread as it is in other games. Thoughts? What else are we missing?
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