Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thousander Club Update (1/25/2009)

This week's Thousander Club update:
  • Game Development Hours: 24 / 1000 (this week), 29 / 1000 (overall)
  • Novels read: 0 / 12
  • Books read: 0 / 12
  • Games finished: 0 / 12
Now that's what I call progress! I decided I really need to focus on my game development this week, and so I did. Since my last week's decision of pausing work on my main game project and instead starting a 3D Rubik Cube project, I've done a great deal of work on that and I've learned a great many things about Ogre that I didn't know before. Here's what I've reached so far:

So far, I've managed to:
  • Get one of my old DirectX cube meshes that I had made myself on Maya back in the day, and use Blender to convert it to an Ogre mesh.
  • Load up that mesh and use 26 copies of it to compose the big cube.
  • Create a rotation animation using Quaternions and triggered by the keyboard WASD keys.
  • Add some debugging information display, in the form of the on-screen overlays displaying some useful values, and the red/green/blue axes to the left showing the current rotation of the cube in terms of X/Y/Z axes.
  • Add mouse ray picking and use it to select the cube currently under the mouse when the left mouse button is clicked. I tried highlighting the selected cube by showing its bounding box, then alternately went for exchanging the base "black" material for the cube body to a red material to indicate the currently selected cube.
I still need to figure out how to:
  • Get the cubes of a certain face of the big cube, both absolutely and relative to the current rotation, and rotate that face just like a normal Rubik Cube face rotates.
  • Implement this face rotation so that it would be triggered by the mouse in a click-drag motion, and allow for rotating the entire cube using the mouse in an ArcBall style.
  • Show "mirror" copies of the cube to display the back of the cube, but without using multiple viewports. I've already tried it using multiple cameras/viewports, and it killed the frame rate!
Hopefully I'll continue working on it with the same energy throughout next week, and if by next week's update I'm done with these objectives and I find time to encapsulate things into classes (I'm currently working out of one class since I keep changing everything every so often) and make it into a distributable package, I might release it here for everyone to download it and try it out for themselves...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thousander Club Update (1/18/2009)

This week's Thousander Club update:
  • Game Development Hours: 2 / 1000 (this week), 5 / 1000 (overall)
  • Novels read: 0 / 12
  • Books read: 0 / 12
  • Games finished: 0 / 12
Busy, busy week! I had lots of free development time, but I spent it learning Perl instead (fascinating language, by the way!). In the short time I did spend on game development, though, I discovered that I know a lot less about Ogre than I would like to. So I might actually start working on reaching smaller objectives with the code just so I can learn to handle Ogre more aptly. I was even thinking of making the Rubik's Cube game using Ogre; since it's kinda been my Hello World of 3d platforms.

I'll try to dedicate more time to game development this week, though, regardless of what I'm working on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thousander Club Update (1/11/2009)

This week's Thousander Club update:
  • Game Development Hours: 3 / 1000
  • Novels read: 0 / 12
  • Books read: 0 / 12
  • Games finished: 0 / 12
I actually managed to do some game programming this weekend, which kicked off this year with the first 3 hours. I am pretty fired up about the game, an I will try my best to take full advantage of that for as long as I can. If all goes well, I will be posting some serious updates soon, and maybe if I managed to get that control system working like I have in mind, I would also post a small demo for that!

As for the other activities; I haven't decided on a game to play or a book to read yet, but I already have my choice of novel set; Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers. I simply can't wait to get back into that mystic and marvelous world again. I just need to do some time management so I would get to do all that I wanna do.

I am also open for suggestions for a good video game to play and a useful technical book to read. I was thinking since I never really got to finish Doom 3, I might re-install that and give it one more try. I was also thinking of reading The Art of Assembly or some other book about assembly language; cuz I've been getting kinda curious about the deep and greasy details of assembly languages recently (I know someone who would be pretty excited to know this! If you're reading this, I'll be expecting a comment from you with a few book suggestions about that ;-) ). So, if you have any recommendations, please share!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Thousander Club, re-re-visited

So, I've had some previous attempts with The Thousander Club, which didn't go quite as hoped for at all. First year, I kinda reached a point where I stopped blogging altogether, and of course The Thousander Club stopped consequently. Then the second year, I made a set of different goals and the result wasn't exactly what I hoped for either.

Well, I wasn't completely sure whether I would set any goals for this year, but after reading Gianfranco's post about joining The Thousander Club in 2009, I guess just because I didn't reach what I wanted to doesn't mean I shouldn't keep trying. And, as Scott puts it (in the comments): "We’re going to make it this year, I tell ya!". I do feel the same way, I feel that for me, 3rd time will be the charm.

As for this year's Thousander Club, my goals are:
  • 1000 Game Development Hours recorded
  • 12 Novels read
  • 12 "Technical" books read
  • 12 Video Games played
I will start counting the hours I work on my new game idea and game development in general, and I will always have a monthly selection in each of the other categories, pledging never to let a month pass without making progress in each of them.

My weeks will be from Sunday to next Saturday, and I will post weekly updates on Sunday of each week.

Until next update...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Don't try this at home

Let me just say that I think operating on an electronic device, say a PC, while it's powered and running, is a bad idea. It is also a bad idea to, say, try to screw a fan off of the motherboard while that PC is running and already has windows up. It would be a further worse idea to do all that while instead of looking at what you're doing, you are in fact looking at a movie running on the screen of that very same PC! It's a bad idea because if, perchance, that fan would slip out of your hand while unhooking the last screw, it might end up falling on the display card, which would in turn cause the entire system to issue all sorts of weird noises and freeze up instantly, only pure luck standing between it and total meltdown!!

I'm just saying, I really wouldn't do any of that if I were you.

I'm not you, though...

Just a passing thought!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Still Alive...

So yeah, I am still alive an kicking! Well, alive anyway; I'm not really crazy about kicking... Anyway, I know it's been a while so here's a long overdue update of my life since the last blog post...

First and foremost, I am finally done with my obligatory year of service in the armed forces! Since the start of December 2008, I officially became free of my ties to the army and all the crap that involved. Of course I'm still in the "reserve" forces until like 2017, but that usually (hopefully) doesn't mean anything other than having to do some extra paperwork whenever I need to travel or something. It was a long and tiresome year, and although I did learn a lot from the experience; I am deeply glad it's over!

The past couple of months got a little hectic, with the army service nearing its end and then going back to full-time web development work afterwards. I've been trying to get things into order and I think I'm almost there... I still haven't managed to get that much free time after my day job to do anything else, but hopefully that would change starting next week. I have lots of projects that I wanna work on -- both technical and otherwise -- and of course since there's only one of me and only 24 hours in the day (unfortunately!), I will need to get things organized and prioritized. I'm still in that phase right now, but I'm actually starting to realize it's taking too long so I promised myself to get things in order pretty soon.

As for my objectives list, it's nowhere near done! I wanted to read 12 novels, finish 12 games, finish my first game project, and earn an MCPD certificate. Here's how bad I did:
  • Novels Finished: 2/12 (The Hobbit & The Fellowship of the Ring)
  • Games Finished: 6/12 (Starcraft 1, Max Payne 1, Max Payne 2, The New Super Mario Bros., XIII, and Second Sight)
  • Game project: Barely even started!
  • MCPD: Almost finished the first book, then stopped around the beginning of September and never resumed.
So the moral of the story is: it didn't work out quite as I expected. I need to be more organized in 2009 and work on time management so I can establish all my goals.

The last bit of news is about an online game: World of Warcraft. I finally got down to playing it, and I am happy to report that it is as legend tells and much, Much more! I won't start talking about it now, but enough to say that it is an impossibly rich and detailed world, excellent gameplay, and an amazing online gaming experience. I only played the 10-day trial, but I actually had to fight the urge to get a paid subscription. The only reason I haven't so far is because it's very engaging and I know it has a very good potential of being the center of my life for a really long time (which is a nice way of saying "addiction"), and I have more important things to do with my free time at this phase. That said, I am certainly looking forward to the day I actually do get a subscription and get immersed in that wonderful world.

Well, that is certainly a lot of typing. I still have a few more blog posts in mind, so keep those RSS readers tuned...