Archive for the ‘indie life’ Category

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homeworld 2 like engine and other happenstance

May 27, 2009

So if you’ve never played Homeworld 2, then too bad for you because you missed out.  Big time.  That being said, when attempting a mod of it, I was immediately inspired by how unbelievably modular and streamlined it was.  It’s a space combat simulation with incredible levels of detail and realism, and it was modded in to a naval combat sim with the same level of detail, and graphics to make it look like it’s own game.  This is with no actual access to the engine source code.  So I’m like:  DAYUM SON.

I am attempting to create a modular engine of the likes.  You could also compare this engine to the Cortex Command engine, but CC is a totally different beast, because of it’s focus on pixel graphics and physics.

I’ve had one false start already, because I hadn’t thought the iterface through entirely.  Abstracting a camera as an actor makes sense, but only if you can unify it under the controller class, which would be a horrible mess.  Also, in order to get the root entity crap to work, and still have a new entity add itself to the singleton engine, I had to derive an otherwise worthless class to do this, in order to keep GetSingleton() from locking up the first time it’s called.

In other words, a disaster of bad code.  I’ve taken a few lessons in engine design away from it though, and I will start a new one, hopefully with less fail.  I’m drawing up a new inheritance tree right now.

And in terms of life, it’s being something of a bitch and something of a thing which is awesome.  I let slip about how I’m a rollercoaster of genetic disorders that will crash and burn before my time, and Travis just said, “well, we’ll make it a time ’till then, brother.”  Which I found extremely heart warming but also extremely sad.  Sigh.  It bugs me that I still can’t tell if I’ll be leaving anything behind, and it’s a loss for someone no matter what the case.

You should all check out Inhuman Comic, because it’s more baller than your mom’s genetalia.  OOOOO BURN.

That’s about it for now.

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first post in a long while + some erosion progress

March 15, 2009

Well apparently school takes up time.  So it’s been a while.  But here goes:

I got all A’s on my midterms, so fuck YES!  I feel happy about that.  Good times.  I have been spending an increasing amount of time with other people as well.  I know, crazy right?  It’s me.  Apparently some people don’t hate my guts, and I seem to have met some in person.  They are decidedly cool.  Hence that last post about Travis’ birthday.  So, yeah.

What else?  Oh, making progress on the Qix clone, Erosion.  Here you go:

It has a game state machine with GAME OVER and gameplay states and whatnot.  It has much better graphics now, I implemented bloom with my old shader framework and improved the color scheme.  You can die, and I’ve even got gamepad working with rumble on collisions and all.  You will also notice that I replaced the simple bouncing bar with a bar with a thruster in a damped system that actually semi-tries to follow you.  Enjoy this clip:

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tesselation + travis’ b-day

February 23, 2009

Both are filled with good times.  My good man Travis turned 17 on Thursday.  Yesterday we had had a b-day party at Ian’s place, and it was a fucking good time is what it was.  I can’t handle big parties, I hate ’em, but it was really just a few close friends just hanging out.  Which is my favorite.  I can’t handle too many people, or else I do an Asperger’s freakout.  I played some guitar, explained some autonoma theory, talked about stuff, then got blitzed and turned in to a sentemental cartoon of a wino.  I’d say my +20 liver of steel diety level holy liquor containment was definitely called upon.  I rarely drink so much.  But anyway.  I also recorded some hilarious footage, but I was told posting it would be in bad taste, so no drunken antics for you.

But here are two pictures:

Travis recites a random Lord of the Rings passage to Cat in the spirit of awesome.

Travis recites a random Lord of the Rings passage to Cat in the spirit of awesome.

SHR3DZ0RZ

You know what else totally shreds?  Tesselation algorithms!  Check this shit out:

  1. Walk around loop and record all x and y values in respective lists.  O(n) [iterate through nodes and copy values to lists]
  2. Remove duplicate x and y values, treating the lists independently.  O(n) [iterate through lists, remove and continue only]
  3. Divide the space in to tiles using the x and y values from the nodes as seperate lists.  O(1) [create tile array]
  4. Scan the tiles left to right, top to bottom.  Anywhere possible: Grow a rectangle right and down for each iteration until as much space as possible is full.  Repeat until all scanned.  O(amortize(n))

Conclusion: this is a good-ass algorithm!  BAM!

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epic viking swordfather stew + qix progress

February 9, 2009

So, I got back from Ian’s earlier today, and let me tell you.  Best time I’ve had in quite a long while.  We lit a fire in the backyard as evidenced in this terrible cellphone picture:

FIRE IS PRETTY NARM

FIRE IS PRETTY NARM

From left to right: Travis or Chris (can’t tell from this shitty picture), Cat, Caroline, and Ian.  Then, we made some kickass Viking stew for our kickass Viking selves, and we were filled with the passion of the swordfathers to once again pillage and burn!  But instead we just fell asleep in front of “Aliens”.

Also, as it turns out, Ian is quite a fine musician.  He offered to maybe jam with me sometime!  How cool is that?

But, hey!  Progress on Qix!  I will show you once I have the filled area tesselator working.  The movement and drawing and topology works perfectly, and all that remains is scoring and badguys.  Trucking RIGHT ALONG BITCHES!  🙂

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plod along and learn things along the way

February 5, 2009

Well, I’m beginning to be a college insider, which is cool and all. I’m settling in to the routine. I have started making friends at an alarming rate. The person I thought died in me when I was maybe ten is coming back to life. Not really the same, maybe more mature, but definitely that person.

I was extremely sociable and kind to others as a small child, but at some point got beaten inward in to a pathetic recluse. Maybe the reversion is simply due to the fact that I no longer exist in what I perceive to be a hostile environment?

Regardless, it feels good, like the introverted dark reclusive Zen guy is integrating with my old personality, the happy nihilistic curious scientist. Put together I feel more complete than I have ever felt in my life. I think it is a good thing I have suffered so much, I would not have the perspective and scope that I do now otherwise.

What is happiness? Nothing special. I’m still not happy, and at this point I feel no inclination towards pursuing it. What I HAVE is contentment, something most people who think they are happy don’t really have. So I am grateful for that.

Now that I’m done being mister-life-story-bore-to-death-zomg-man here’s what I’m working on:

  • A clone of the Qix game. (assigned by Dr. Liow)
  • My book.
  • Concept drawings.
  • A general purpose topological graph program. (also assigned by Dr. Liow)
  • A sketchbook. (assigned by art appreciation)
  • An analytical history paper. (assigned by Dr. Karr)
  • A literature analysis paper. (assigned by Dr. Campbell)

Here’s something that’s freaking me out a bit… an art appreciation multi-choice test. I’m gonna have to CRAM that bitch. It’s just soooooo many stupid ass factoids with NO value! I already appreciate motherfucking art, I don’t need a million worthless discrete examples to confuse the matter. Whatever happened to pure enjoyment? Regardless, I feel like I’m somehow boned by this class. At least I still have a buffer, and I’m doing excellently in my other classes. *chkkkkt* over and out *chkkkkt*

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spelunky! + projects + GOGGLES OF DEATH

January 31, 2009

So, I came across a great indie game called Spelunky!  It’s unbelievable.  Imagine every rogue type game you’ve ever played, then imagine that the micromanagement components were replaced by fast paced platforming.  Now imagine that it’s all wrapped up in an awesome Indiana Jones cliche with hilarity abounds!  That’s Spelunky.  It is by a gentleman by the name of Derek Yu.

It has the idol on a pedestal with boulder trap deal, it has the damsel in distress deal, it has crossbow mask traps, spike traps, and monsters.  You can throw ropes and climb on them, you have bombs, you can visit shops to get things, stuff like that.  You can even kill the shop keeper or the damsel if you really want to!  Anything and everything can be done to anything and everything.  Rogue game like concepts and flexibility, platformer fun, Jones ancient cave defiling humor.  Did I mention there’s old school chiptune tracker music in it?  GOOD music.

What else?  Well, Dr. Liow gave me some side projects, because he rightly figured that my classes are too boring.  One, a topological solver.  Two, a Qix clone.  I’m making progress on both.  We’ll see how it goes.

The one you guys would probably like is the Qix clone.  If you don’t know about Qix, it’s an old game that introduced the fill it in concept.  You basically fill in the area around a bouncing Qix (laser line thingy) without being hit by the Qix while out in the open.  You must capture a supermajority of the area around it.  There are sparx on your inside loop (the only place you can move on aside from drawing new areas) forcing you to go out in the open.  They will always hit you if you don’t venture out, because you are on a loop, and one travels clockwise and the other travels counterclockwise.  This wiki should shed more light on the specifics for you.

I’ve designed a reversible linked satellite list to solve the topology problems of this evolving loop structure with nodes linking in from outside.  It actually iterates and traces the structure keeping track of old values, so we never go backwards.  This means the topology of the list is NOT effected by switching the nodes.  This allows us to have a much looser and more dynamic linkage structure, essentially freeing us from explicit directionality.  This not only allows reversal of a satellite list in constant time, but it also means that it becomes completely unnecessary to calculate a path for the sparx to get on to the main path.  They just launch two iterators, the first to find the main loop wins, then two iterators are launched from there to find the clockwise / counter clockwise relationship on the loop for you.  This important as the order of the links on the nodes is arbitrary with this structure!  Tasty data structures abound, I love it.

Lastly, at the roller rink on eighties night, there are many interesting people.  Among them is a girl who wears traditional costumes with goggles.  All the time.  And she got an UPGRADE!  The old welding goggles were cool and all, but she now has a pair of GERMAN DRIVING GOGGLES WOOO!  And she built in some crazy awesome magnifiers that look all evil geniusy.  And in the discoed out light show, they’re even cooler!  Observe:

MWAHAHAHAHAHA

MWAHAHAHAHAHA

I’ve got a history paper to write, and I need to have my programming assignments (my actual for credit ones) done by Monday.  So I’ll catch you all later.

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first week at college + what parents have always done wrong

January 16, 2009

Well, it’s friday, and apparently I just went through a week of classes.

  • Programming: introductory course CISS240.  FUKKEN EASY.  Not even up to syntax yet, just basic form.
  • English composition: ENGL 101.  Interesting.  Has a lot of stuff on logic driven writing so far for arguments.
  • Western Civilization History: HIST 102.  A little interesting.  The professor is kind of obnoxious and arrogant though.
  • Art.  Appreciation.  FUCK.  THAT.  SHIT.  Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate art, but I DON’T appreciate being told how.  It was the only gen ed class I could take from my late registration, and I am NOT HAPPY WITH IT.

So far, I have found the atmosphere relaxing and enjoyable.  Mostly it is the fact that I’m not being hounded every step of the way about everything.  I actually have freedom.  And… hey guess what?  I’m doing fine!  I guess my problem WASN’T that I didn’t like learning.  Which I always have.  It’s that I hate authority, and prefer to deal with others as equals.  I shouldn’t be told what to do by teachers, and I shouldn’t disturb the teacher.  The cut ups in class and the tyrannical school system both disgusted me, but those days are over.

I can visit my professors to talk with them, and we kinda just chat and talk about classes and stuff.  They aren’t ever so superior acting, and this allows me to be comfortable.  And I therefore accomplish more and cause less trouble.  I’m willing to bet my nuts most kids cut up as much as they do because of the fact that they’ve lived with bosses and authorities their whole lives.  It is the only expression of freedom they have, and they must even so be separate from others to express it.

When I was little, my parents never told me what to do.  What they did was say “here’s what you should do, and here’s why.”  Small children absorb everything they are told, so it is just as effective, but motivates them internally by giving them a reason over a pathetic external threat.  I do what I do because I want to.  The trick is to get your kids to want to do the right thing.  The reason temptation has always been considered evil is because most people are shown evil from the start as the way to go.  Hit that kid and make him shut up!

I guess my point is that in a world in which we raise our children properly, there would no longer be authority, or at least not unfounded or nagging authority.  To hound someone every step of the way wears them raw.  To hurt someone and threaten to do it again if they do it wrong teaches them to avoid being hit.  So what if you aren’t there to hit them?  You can’t keep someone in line effectively if you make it dependent on something outside them.  The solution is to make good pleasant, not a hard thing, that you better fucking do you sinner!

See my point?  There is a satisfaction is serving the greater collective.  The self is an artificial construct, and once you realize this, you can define it however you want.  It goes from being I am me and they are the others to we are the sentients.  So to serve the greater collective is to serve the self all the same, but a greater one than you and you alone.  As they say “you get out of life what you put in to it.”