Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I've never been able to do sequels...

I haven't had any time over to work on the "secret project" since early december or something like that, and will most likely not have any more time for it anyway, I just found some old fraps footage wasting space on my harddrive, that I put together into a short clip. Don't expect anything, it's a 15 min job.

Short clip of "secret project"

Neglectance caused early death...

2005-2006, rest in peace

"Happy birthday",
Chuck the plant said,
a friend for life,
a friend to watch over your bed,
a friend that's now dead...

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's tough, studying game development, part 3

Woke up early today at 08:00, well prepared to be able to make it in time with the bus that was supposed to leave the bus station at 09:35. Had no bread at home so I made isterband and spaghetti for breakfast instead. Me and William left home well in time to make it to the bus station.

At 09:20 I was halfway over the parking lot and called Samir to ask if he would join us to the bus... to my great suprise he said he was already on the bus and that we wouldn't make it because it's already started moving... I went like "What?!" and saw the bus turn in the corner infront of me... SHIT! "I got an idea", I shouted at the same time I turned off the mobile, made a 180 and started running as hell.

I ran around a house and ran across the crosswalk, infront of the bus forcing it to slowdown... and William ran after me, but slipped on the ice and landed flat on the crosswalk infront of the bus. I don't know if he took the sacrifice to force it to a complete stop or if he just was unlucky/lucky, although I ran back to help him up before running further next to the bus stop like 15 meters away, almost running alongside the bus and waving to the driver that we wanted to get on, and we did.

Completly exhausted, we sat down on a seat next to our classmates in the back of the bus, cursing over why the hell the bus left early... apperently as we found out later, it was two different buses, one leaving at 09:20 and the other one at 09:35... but that didn't matter, we felt like heroes (atleast I did) making it in time even though it seemed impossible.

A jolly good walk up to the military facility, p18

Rafael focusing his gun kanta

Well, safe and sound in the 'classroom' comfortable walls, we started out with strapping on our WearLinks and heart rate monitoring clocks. Of course we had high pulses after the early marathon of the day...

This turned out to be another belly day, we should celebrate that each week

After some basic powerpoint slides, introductions, namelists and a explaination on what we'll do for the rest of the day, we went on to the shooting range. There we recieved some instructions about how we would do the shooting, pairing up in groups, what weapon we would fire with (a glock of some sort), and how dangerous it was and how we would handle it safely.

Eager classmates, waiting to shoot, like kids on christmas eve

Me, putting Rafael in a life and death situation with my thumb, just look at my desperate expression...

Rikard giving out lessons about shooting

Rikard: "What have I done?!" Mattias: "omfg!"

Me showing the target who's the man...

Before shooting the first round, my pulse was at 117, above relaxed pulse and close to anxious. This was my first time shooting a live weapon, and I was well aware beforehand that this is nothing like ingame, and shouldn't even be compared in that way. The only resemblances is that ingame, the model represents a weapon, and except from the looks, it's not same at all. With that said, I can admit my pulse dropping to 104 after the first shot, a normal pulse meaning I'm comfortable in the situation... I was enjoying it.

I didn't care too much for aiming, I just liked the feel of shooting, and I atleast hit the target with all of my five bullets. The sound was much louder than expected, and even though the recoil was small, you really felt it and it came as a surprise for the first time. After shooting, dining was next, and todays menu was isterband with dill potatoes... bah...

The rest of the day was mostly talk about biological stuff and some further pulse readings. At a test were it had three columns, one for relaxed, one for normal and one for stressed, I maxed out on stressed, with 100% with no changing values. Most people had 0% or very low in the stress column and the rest of the percantage spread among the normal and relaxed column. Must be because I'm having a hard time with OpenGL and I really want to be good at it, as soon as possible.

After school, most of us got tired of waiting for the bus home so we walked our way back. Once again I got persuaded to go for a swim (if anyone remembers my last drowning attempt) at Solberga badet, and this time it felt really good. I took it easy, relaxed each time I've swum a length, and stayed alive the hour we spent swimming. And of course I won our sauna competition, holding out the longest in 91 degree celsius.

The evening continued with buying snacks for watching a movie on the projector in my room. We warmed up, listening to game music on the highest volume, and then the LAN dude came over to pick up his computer. I helped him carry down his stuff, and when I met his dad that I haven't met for a while, I got a instant "It looks like you've lost some weigth"... I felt happy and the urge to buy me a scale to check up on this statement.

When I got back up, we started watching Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a long name indeed. It felt a bit crowded with a total of seven people in my room (including me), although we've been more once before.

When closing my window, Marcus accidently knocked over my christmas present from my sister, and shattering it's fragile glass. I think he felt really bad for it, but you have to expect stuff like that to happend when it's this crowded, and it turned out to be very low quality so if he hadn't accidently broked it, sooner or later I would've, and besides, they vacuum cleaned part of my room, which is always nice (I don't do that too often). Also I'm glad it wasn't something else, and I'll just try to persuade my sister to give me a new one instead.

After the abrupt halt, we finished watching Wallace & Gromit, and I must say that I'm very pleased with the movie. With this and Dark Water, I've seen two great movies recently, something that gets rarer and rarer to find. We ended the evening to fast forward to watch most of the fight scenes in Tom Yum Goong (Ong-Bak II), which is recommended, because the parts in the movie without the fighting is horrible.

Now I've probably spent a hour or two to sum up the day, and I feel it have been a great day and I feel much more relax now than when I did during the pulse test earlier today/yesterday (100% stressed)... getting up in a few hours again so I guess I'll have to pummel the bed soon... it's tough, studying game development...

It's tough, studying game development
It's tough, studying game development, part 2

Sunday, January 29, 2006

It's tough, studying game development, part 2

09:35 A bus is leaving from the bus station. Get off at P18. It takes just a couple of minutes. Follow the small road to the regiment area... Just to the right hand side at the open guard (no pass control any more) there is a grey big building. Go there to the AVAR aula.
10:00-16:00 Military and civilian collaboration in game eduaction and research.
10:05 Welcoming Remark. LtCol Ronny Larsson, Chief of Gotalnd Garnison
10:05-12:00 A laboratory moment. HR in FPS and Live shooting in a military training area. Warm clothes!
Discussion afterwards: Similarities and differences?
12:00-13:00 Lunch at Hwitstjärnas restaurang. (Own cost. 50 SEK)
13:00-14:00 Psychophysiological responses -the good and the bad ones for our health. Discussion.
14:15-14:45 A summary of the NATO-group meeting in Stockholm 2005 on "Commercial games for military use in education and training"
14:45-15:15 Coffee Break
15:15-15:45 A review of psychophysiological responses to Media Research
16:15 Bus leaves from the regiment guard for the bus station in Visby.

And remember, friendly fire is on, so keep your aim at the targets for everyones sake...

It's tough, studying game development

Sonic X-Treme

A long lost and rumored Sonic game for the Saturn was recently revealed its existance by Chris Senn, art director, team coordinator, and eventually co-designer of the game. Sonic X-Treme was the first game/prototype of Sonic in 3D. I've tried to gather the best links about it and the few movies that were showing the game.

3mb Sonic Demo 1
4mb Sonic Demo 2
835K Tiara Demo
830K Knuckles Test
394K Isometric Test

Sonic X-Treme E3 1996 Trailer
Sonic X-Treme Tokyo Game Show Trailer

Chris 'Kurisu' Senn, Forums
Sonic X-Treme 718 Prototype
Secrets of the Sonic Team: Sonic X-Treme
Lost Levels: Sonic X-Treme
Lost Levels: Sonic X-Treme Timeline

When I was young the life seemed so beautiful

Added a new link to the link list, 'Game Revolution, Game Endings', which is a new section at Game Revolution, featuring, game endings (suprise!). It sure brings back memories, seeing lots of the games I had on the MegaDrive (Sega Genesis) and reviewing their endings. They also got lots of other classics, like the magical Zelda: A link to the past, ending and Ninja Gaiden.

It looks like the archive will constantly grow so coming back there for a visit once a week seems like a good idea. If there's a game ending you can't find at Game Revolution, then you could try visiting The Video Game Museum instead, although they only got non-animated screenshots over there.

Aladdin (SNES)
Decap Attack
Kid Chameleon
Toe Jam & Earl
Ecco the Dolphin
Sonic the Hedgehog
Castle of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse

The Video Game Museum
Game Revolution, Game Endings

Friday, January 27, 2006

Exploration and Nogg-aholic @ Curse-gaming

When just playing a game isn't enough...

Meqon GDC 2005, ball jumping bug

Half-life speedrun with various bugs/exploits

Guild Wars collision detection bug

Speed collision detection exploit in over 90 degree corners, that let's you noclip through walls

World of Warcraft, world changing exploit (done on normal servers),
Exploration the Movie and Nogg-aholic the Movie

This list is only a small fraction of all the bugs/exploits I've encountered during my years of gaming and be sure that it will eventually extend even further.

It's tough, studying game development

Yesterday, we had our first real lesson in 'human and machine interaction'. Everyone had to wear a Polar s810 heart rate monitor (looks like a clock) and strap on a Polar WearLink right beneath their chest. There were lots of bellys around the classroom that day.

After that, we booted up Quake 3 on the projector and a couple of test subjects had to play some in front of the live audience (the class) while getting their heart rate measured. I relized how much I sucked today, my glorious days of FPS'ing was a long time ago... either that or the settings was crap... invert mouse and mouse acceleration... bah...

On monday we're travelling to a about to be closed down military facility, to shoot some with live firearms and measure our heart rates again. We're lab rats in the on-going debate about how gaming is affecting us, but I don't mind, it's all fun and games for us :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TrackMania Nations ESWC, freeware

Tomorrow, a special edition of TrackMania for ESWC will be released, for free on the internet, and as some of you may already now, in my humble opinion, free stuff is good stuff. The winner at ESWC will get $13,000 in prize money, which isn't bad at all, considering it's prize money for a freeware game... well it isn't bad even if it were a standard game, but it can't compare with the likes like Counter-Strike. The only bad thing I can see, judging from the trailer, is that it seem to be no collision detection between the cars, so it will be almost like playing solo, even if there's other cars around.

TrackMania Nations ESWC - First Impressions
TrackMania Nations ESWC - Trailer (70mb zip)

Elder Scrolls IV Dev Diary

Bethesda Softworks has published a preview of "The Making of Elder Scrolls IV" and a part from their developers diary which shows the content of the collectors edition, one is the bonus DVD with "The Making of..." on it. I'm looking forward to Elder Scrolls IV, to be released on the PC in two months from now.

The making of Elder Scrolls IV preview (mov)
Developer Diary Issue 01.24.06
Elder Scrolls Downloads

Update: Bethesda answers FAQ from their fans

Game Violence in Swedish TV

The swedish channel TV4 has made a interview with Anders Eriksson from Safe Game and a reportage about game violence. Safe Game was founded after some high school students vandalised for 1 million SEK, and parents started looking on the internet and read about Columbine, where several people lost their lives, and the massacre "had connection" with "the doom", a computer game.

The reportage continues with interviewing two high school kids who says that they usually plays "warcraft" and "doom" and once they played it for two days and then thougth they've seen much blood, and that it was horrible when they decapitated someone. As far as I know, that isn't possible in any of the games in the Warcraft or Doom series.

Battlefield 2? Hard to distinguish...

Then they showed a scene from the beginning of F.E.A.R, with a huge blood pool, then claimed it was from Battlefield 2 and that it shouldn't be allowded to be sold in a store due to the gruesome graphics. It instantly triggers my vomit reflex whenever I hear this kind of crap, and Anders Eriksson idiocy is even worse than that of Jack Thompsons.

Claiming that all the violence in our society is because of games as Battlefield 2 is just retarded, and it's a common fact that gamers is usually less violent in their nature than a "normal" male football player.

TV4 nyhetsmorgon, om datorspelsvåld (swedish)
Bang, Bang, You're Dead
Bowling for Columbine

Pro-gaming, Fatal1ty on 60 minutes

Three days ago, 60 minutes visited Fatal1ty and made a interview with him, filming his home and covering esports in general. You can see that the host is very skeptic to the whole idea about cyber athlets and esports, but it's a good interview and definetly worth a watch.

Download: Fatal1ty on 60 minutes (zip)

Pro-gaming, Fatal1ty vs Vo0
Pro-gaming, Fatal1ty and Prozac

Chrono Symphonic

Chrono Symphonic is a project a long time in the making. Starting from the autumn days of October 2004, and ending in the wintry days of January 2006, it’s been a labor of love for everybody that has been a part of it. Initially designed to be the soundtrack for the long-desired Chrono Trigger movie (no, the movie doesn’t exist and probably never will), it encompasses 18 different artists' takes on the way such a film should sound in an orchestral setting, and many more on how it should look and feel.
-Chrono Symphonic website
Download: Chrono Symphonic (torrent)

Chrono Symphonic
OCRemix @ ormgas.com (radio)

The story about Atari's E.T.

Wintergreen has released a music video online, about the story of Atari's E.T. directed by Keith Schofield. Although the lyrics doesn't seem to have anything to do with the video, the music is quite good and the video is awsome. This is a tale in the desert, about a retro legacy that will never be forgotten.

(Picture unrelated)

Keith Schofield
Wintergreen - When I wake up (mov)
Wintergreen - When I wake up (wmv)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Unigine Engine

PRT (Precomputed Radiance Transfer) lighting

PRT lighting, HDR (High Dynamic Range) glow

PRT lighting, reflection

Volumetric directional light, particles system refraction, flare

Unigine sounds like a good and cheap OpenGL and C++ based engine, with pricing $95 for non-commercial use, $1985 royalty free for a release of one product and $4985 for the full source of Unigine, royalty free for one product. They also got a special offer for indie developers which is as following;
  1. We provide a Unigine v0.33 license and technical support to your team at very low price ($495)
  2. You make a Unigine-based demo of your project and obtain funding from a publisher or whoever else
  3. You pay the rest of special license cost ($1490) only after getting funding
And also, each one of these offers gives you a 50% discount for next Unigine release (v0.4). The engine includes, graphic rendering, physics, sounds, a scripting language and tools like 3DS Max scripts, and much much more.

Unigine v0.33 Site Tech Demo
  • PRT (Precomputed radiance transfer) lighting
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering
  • Procedural sky with light scattering
  • Postprocessing: motion blur
  • Reflection
Unigine Features
Unigine v0.33 Site Tech Demo