Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nogg-aholic - Monday, October 31, 2005

"Other stuff that's in progress is my Nogg-aholic movie, the sequal for my Exploration the Movie, it's the only two movies to ever get banned by Blizzard themself personally (special thanks to Caydiem), but I haven't had time to finish it due to school. But once I'm done with our board game, scheduled monday, I'll first finish my C++ course (two months late), and THEN I'll finish the movie asap."
-Saturday, September 17, 2005

"We had over 170 people today in the channel, and to celebrate that, Shajn made a nice forum for everyone to use. We're slowly turning into a community :)"
-Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"I'm sitting here alone in my office, on the midnight between friday to saturday, sipping on my hot Café Americano, and I just relized that Nogg-aholic the Movie is up to over 200 000 downloads."
-Saturday, September 23, 2006
Nogg-aholic one year anniversary (forum)

When sleep isn't a option...
Nogg-aholic finished... or is it?
Nogg-aholic the Movie
Fourth Annual Golden Llamas Nominations
Update on the Golden Llama Awards
Nogg-aholic the Movie shown at Inferno Online
Nogg-aholic the Movie - 100k Downloads

Saturday, October 28, 2006

RealMatter Soft Body Physics Engine

"RealMatter is a soft body physics engine that can simulate bending, twisting, tearing and breaking soft materials, such as rubber and flesh."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

@!#?@! Taxes

If tax is 33%, then I only get 67% of my sallery... stupid Sweden.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This is not Hot Coffee

Spelfest 2006

You might've noticed by now that I've started blogging like once a week, instead of as frequently as I used to. The reason for that is that I just been too busy with work, party and events to be able to blog.

I've also figured out, since I came to Uppsala, there's been some celebration every Saturday. Either it's because someone got a new appartment, or someone else had a birthday. None the less, it's nice and a great way to socialize with people. Although, I'm pretty fed up with Princess Cake by now.

Our concept artist Mattias Snygg couldn't be happier this week, since he got a box full of The Darkness comics that he made. People was walking in and out of his office all day, asking for a signed copy from him. It made you happy, watching him sign each copy with a gleaming smile. He even bougth himself a silver pen for the occasion.

I got myself three signed copies, which two of them were supposed to be given away to friends at Spelfest 2006, but I forgot them at the office. Typical.

Spelfest 2006, 20-21 october at café Street in Stockholm. It was a really nice event and I got the chance to greet and talk to alot of interesting people, aswell as listen to some great music by Boy versus Bacteria. You can download his music from the link at the bottom of this post.

I were suprised to see soo many people from the University of Gotland there, since I only thougth they would exhibit their stuff, not actually be there to present it for people. It was really nice to see them again, and Headbanger become one of the main attractions of the show.

During the friday party, alot of people came from both Grin and Avalanche Studios, and I were supposed to buy Chrille (from Grin) a drink as a thanks for my White Russian he gave me the last time we met. When I asked him what he wanted, he told me to suprise him. So I did. I think it became something like a White Russian with alot of rom, and a little bit cola in it.

Didn't see any DICE people there though, and I were the only representant from Starbreeze there, since most of them stayed behind for the office party during the same day.

I met some of the press people that visited us a couple of weeks ago to, and greeted on some of the independent developers such as Free Launch Design and my personal favourites at Muskedunder :)

Alot of my time during the Saturday, went into playing Free Launch Designs game, Icy Tower, which is suprisingly addictive. The rest of the time went into watching Machinima movies like Mine and Mine 2, that was produced in Battlefield.

Kajfa and Yosh where there to display Sumo and Yosh book about how to draw manga. I've had plenty of times to buy it before, but I never did, so I took the oppurtunity to do so now, and she where kind enough to both sign it and draw a picture of me.

Before venturing back to Uppsala, I managed to loot a huge poster of Ninja Loves Pirate from the Muskedunder team, and the entire team (except one) signed it for me. They even added "Muskedunder <3 Starbreeze" at the bottom of the poster. I'm going to hang it up soon, take a picture of it and post it on the blog for everyone to see.
Also, I must say, the subway system in Stockholm is ridiculous confusing. You're supposed to go in one direction, and then the train starts going backwards towards where you came from, or something. Well, it was confusing.

Oh, and thanks Calle for arranging such a nice event and letting me sleep at your apparment (even if it were only for three hours on your floor, it still was a nice experience).

Yokaj Studio
Boy vs Bacteria
Muskedunder Interactive
Free Lunch Design (Icy Tower)

Dan Flynn - A Wii Adventure

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My new room

This is where I slept during the first three weeks here in Uppsala. On a inflatable madrass, on the floor behind Saint's couch.

Here's where I live now. I miss my old place...

Gamer Lifestyle

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Limbo the Game

Limbo is currently being developed solely by the danish Arnt Jensen. The game has a really beautiful art direction and looks very atmospheric, with similarities to Another World. Jensen even got funded by the danish government to complete the game, and he's using the money to hire a C++ programmer.

Limbo the Game
Another World, Another Time
Limbo hiring a C++ programmer

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Penumbra - Sound Physics

The video is divided into several parts clearly marked with a number, following will be the narrative for each part.

1. All physical objects in the HPL engine(The core of Penumbra) can create a variety of sounds: Impacts, scrape and rolling sounds. How much detail you want to give an object is entirely up to you as the creator. In this first example I demonstrate a simple wooden box that uses 1 single sound to produce impact sounds. The sound is played at varying volumes depending on the speed of the impact. This is as basic as you can make it.

2. In the second part I drop the box on a surface, the surface is also producing a sound. The engine mixes them together making it sound like a mix between wood and dirt. This means that all materials sound different in the HPL engine depending on what material they interact with.

3. Using only one sound for an object creates quite a repetitive sound. That's why the sound engine is so dynamic, it's a simple task adding multiple sounds to an object and making the game randomly select a sound to play. To give even greater detail you can divide the sound into sub-groups that are triggered depending on the speed. For Penumbra we use 3 different groups with 3 sounds in each: slow, medium and fast impact speeds. In this clip I bounce twice with the box using the 3*3 sound details.

The engine can support as many groups and sounds as you like, making the detail level extraordinary. But to keep the requirements down on the RAM/CPU/Time to create the sounds, the 3*3 system we chosen is quite adequate.

4. In this part I throw the box around on the dirt, both containing sound pools of 3*3. Making the sound picture quite varied and dynamic as the wooden boxes creates sounds in combination with the dirt.

5. For scrape and rolling sounds we only use 1 sound, this is a choice to keep the requirements down. We could use several sounds and the engine would randomly choose one of them, but we also do other nifty things with the sounds here making variations to a single sound. As the creator you can set several properties that will simulate real-physics scrape sounds. The engine will pitch and fade the sound depending on the settings you make. In this clip I simply push a large wooden box forward, making it produce the scrape sound, if you listen closely you can hear a subtle pitch as the movement speed changes.

6. As with the impact sounds, scrape and roll sounds for different materials are mixed together. Here I move the wooden box over several different materials, producing unique mixed sounds for each. I also do the same with a "glass box" to demonstrate a different surface type.

And there you have a short concentrated review of what you can do sound-wise with the physics engine. You can do everything from having one sound for all objects in the whole world, to having multiple unique sounds for every object in the world, making them entirely unique as they interact with each other. The only limit is how far you want to push the RAM requirements!
-Jens Nilsson, 2006-09-21

The Darkness - X06 Interview

GameTrailers - The Darkness

Make love, not Warcraft

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Welcome to the Sky

Alright, back home at the job once again, after a short evening trip to Stockholm. The plan was to visit the Swedish Game Awards arranged event, Gamer's Challenge at Zkillz. Aswell as to greet some friends that also used to study at Game Development and Interactive Media, Gotland.

At the train station, we didn't find the train that was supposed to go towards Stockholm. It was going to depart from track 0, but the only tracks visible were 1-4 (or was it 1-5?), so where could this mystery track zero be?

The time was cutting close, until Patrick (my co-worker) spotted a awkward sign that was pointing behind a corner, so we started to run. It lead to the front of the station, where there was another sign pointing behind a food kiosk, and yet another one pointing down along the street and away from the station.

We started to run faster. It seemed like they were constructing something between track zero and one, so we had to run around the entire enclosement, but we made it just in time, and it started to move before we had a chance to sit down.

While there, we met our president (Johan Kristiansson) for this compnay, and the plan got a little sub-mission added to it. Apperantly, "Spelbar" (a swedish game buisness gathering) was arranged at Skybar during the same hours as Gamer's Challenge, and Kristiansson would be glad if we could come along for a quick visit. Who am I to decline?

The place felt really extravagant (in a nice way) with a specific elevator to the floor, and some guy asking for your coat once you arrived. The only face I recognized up there were Doru Apreotesei from Avalanche, which I met at Gotlands Game Convention.

I don't know if it were his automated social skills that made him respond "I've seen you before, but from where?", as he saw me approaching, ready to do the traditional handshaking, or if he actually had good enough memory :)

Something to note on though, is that they usually have a annual voting of who's the leading swedish game developer, during "Spelbar" (if I'm not mistaken). Since our president and my other co-worker wouldn't be able to participate, Kristiansson gave the suggestion that if Starbreeze were to be deemed winners, I should be able to stay behind, recieve the prize and state our thanks and gratitude.

This came as quite the shock, since I'm the new guy that haven't even been here for three weeks, and to be requested to walk infront of the creamé of the swedish game industry, and represent Starbreeze. Of course it would've been nice, except from being somewhat awkward, but it was pretty clear that DICE would be voted for their fourth consequent year in a row.

I think Kristiansson might think highly of me, since he also asked me some day ago, to answer a interview for Electronic Gaming Monthly. That wouldn't be any problem at all, but they requested something like 500 words about something rather specific, and I think I'll have to waste alot of words on describing stuff that got no relevance to the story whatsoever, to make up for that.

Back to the present (or a few hours ago). After finishing my free Cola (alternative was beer, which I wouldn't prefer), and socializing a little with some FragZone staff, we left so we would be able to participate at Gamer's Challenge aswell.

Was nice to meet Gnarf, Calle and Kajfa again. Kajfa, actually devolped one of the games they had a tournament in, and is now working at Avalanche. I got a chance to play some Dawnspire while I were there, which is sort of like WoW battleground only, but that's actually good, instead of the contrary. I recommend you to give it a try (link at the end of this post).

On my way back here, I got to know that my travel expenses might get payed since I acted as a "Starbreeze representative". Hehe, I should've worn my Starbreeze shirt today after all :)

About other things that might be worth mentioning, is that I've started to spend my weekends on learning myself their way of scripting, so they might find even more use of me, beyond Quality Assurance ;)

Oh, I collected my passport from the police station yesterday, so I'll be ready to travel to London any day now. But it seems like it's going to be the next week instead of this one. Tomorrow, we're going shopping on Ikea, to make things even more pleasent (like it weren't enough sweet already?) around the office.

Somehow, I feel a bit pampered (in a good way), and the free massage last week didn't do anything to worsen the situation. Let's hope I don't have to wake up anytime soon, and relize that this was just all a dream...


WoW eats your brain!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

X06: Future of Storytelling

Peter Jackson, Peter Molyneux and Greg Zeschuk (founder of BioWare) discussed the future of storytelling during X06, and Gamespot catched the transcript.

Storytelling in games

First release of Deus Ex - HDTP

Project HDTP is a High Definition Texture Package for the original Deus Ex game. The original in-game textures were of a very low resolution, some textures even being as low as 32x32. However, it was discovered that it is possible to increase the resolution of those textures to a maximum of 256.
Deus Ex - HDTP (High Definition Texture Pack)