Thursday, 16 December 2010

Developer Journal 19


Tron 2 comes out today! I liked elements of Tron 1 but I wasn't a big fan. However, the Tron 2 trailers look amazing.

I got into uni at about 11:00AM, took care of some personal matters and looked around for how to get information on my motherboard. My computer makes a loud noise whenever I do any intensive work and I plan to replace the fans with a passive cooler or quieter fans.

System Info for Windows is nice. You can print motherboard information but not processor or memory information. However, you can export them to a html file and print from there.

I couldn't figure out how to use Belarc Advisor. All it did was scan the computer and then stop.

I coudn't get Everest to install because I'm working on a computer at uni and not at home.

Other options were Sandra and Hwinfo32.

dxdiag.exe accessible from start > run was not that useful.

Neither was System Information accsible from start > programs > accessories > system tools or start > run > msinfo32.

I'm sure there are more programs but now I have my motherboard model, Intel D915GAG, Socket 775 LGA.

I'd like to move my processors to another motherboard so that I can use a better graphics card but I don't know what motherboards I can use.

I'd also like to replace the current fans with a passive cooler or queiter fans but I don't know what's compatible.

More research! Later though.

Strange. I've been taking a break from games since 19/9/10 and my goal is to do so for 100 days which will be 28/12/10. I wanted to get around to things I've been putting off for a long long time, to get a move on with my work, and for several other reasons. At the same time, my headspace has been heavily about games from reading about them, to listening to podcasts, thinking about Mortality, my own X-COM like project, and thinking about hardware to play games.

There are a number of games I want to play and a number of games I want to put aside. I want to focus on PC games for starters. I've had enough of consoles for a long time. No first person, no third person, no platformers, no puzzles, no adventure, no real time strategies, no japanese role playing games, no card games, no board games, no arcade games, no abstract games like Bejewelled.

That basically leaves strategy and simulation.

The thing I like about strategy and simulation is that the systems are in the games. There's been talk about systems versus scripting and they relate together strongly. Systems basically operate inside a big script. Scripts exist to give the illussion of systems. For example, scripts that spawn soldiers in a first person shooter give the illusion of a bigger battlefield, a bigger system. On the other hand, strategy games begin with a scenario which is a big script defining the boundaries or box within which a group of systems operate.

The problem I have with puzzle and adventure games is that the systems are mainly in the head of the designers. Then you spend a big part of your time working out the systems in the puzzle, and guessing the systems in the head of the designer. Once you invest all this time, you then leave it and move on.

I'm looking for the more meaty games that I missed out on, like the flight sims and wargames or old. Of course I'll probably have to take a break from them time to time and finish off games like No One Lives Forever 2 and Blood 1. It's so cool that Dos Box has somehow enabled sound in Blood 1 when it didn't work previously. Ooh, and Freespace 1 and 2 has to be somewhere on the plan as well.

(The thing about Emacs is that you learn things all the time. As I was writing this I thought I'd look up if there was a way to check my spelling inside Emacs and there's an option to start a speed bar. Very cool.)

It'd be great to play through something like Titan Quest with my brother. We tried Neverwinter Nights 1 together but my computer crashed so we'll have to go at it again. The strange thing is playing with another person took me out of the immersion of playing Neverwinter Nights 1. I felt either rushed or that I missed out on a fair bit of the flavour.

At the same time, I checked out some of the paper miniatures at DriveThruRpg and they looked pretty amazing, espcially stuff from Microtactix, (Occult Wars), and (Graveyard).

There's something about the abstraction of miniatures that works for me.

(Link pictures)

At the same time, I'm kinda getting used to not playing and there are all these things I want to do. On the other hand I've got all these fond gaming memories. Yeah, I'm a bit nuts.

Another strange thing is I keep thinking about either putting a browser on my work computer or enabling access to my blog on my netbook. I'm currently writing this in Emacs because I want a place to write things down but I also want to focus as I'm working. There is something attractive about writing directly on my blog instead of having to copy and paste at a later date. On the plus side, the delay does help me to avoid doing silly things. A little, anyway at least.


Strangely, OGRE seems to push my computer a fair bit but a similar situation with something like the demos that came with Bullet do not.

Making the ground bigger.

I want a unit cube in Ogre.

Which do object to I reuse? Mesh? Entity?

There was a tutorial that loaded 2 ogre heads.

Looks like I reused class Mesh.

I think PT_CUBE is 100 units. It's actually 1000 units!

Hang on, something's wrong with my maths.

Yep. Something was wrong with my maths. PT_CUBE is 100 units.

I'm going to use PT_CUBES as my basic measurement.

Argh! I'm going to have to code more controls to move around!

I'm getting a big gray mess when I increase the size of the ground.

In the physics doe, the blocks are 100 times smaller than the ground.

The graphics and the physics don't quite sync up.


Argh! My computer sounds like a jet engine!

When I set the camera at 0,150,0 and looking at 0,0,0 I can't see anything.

The blocks seem to be falling onto an invisible plane.

I may have to enable to Bullet debug rendering.

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