I’m a simple man – I like creating big effects using a minimal amount of processing power. Sure, you can go and make something look “Industrial Light & Sound”-level good, but sometimes simple is better, depending on your situation. And one thing that’s gotten better and easier with age is Water Effects.
I came across Adeniran Moses Adeagbo Jr‘s blog while looking up some water normal maps, and his demo for Texture-Driven Water, where, not only does he utilize normal maps for creating some nice looking water (which, for most engines, is child’s play), but he pulls out a bit of refraction and Schlick’s Approximation to really get some great reflections out of it.
As a fellow Jerseyan, I gotta show some recognition for what this dude is doing. So, please, check out his site for some great tutorials.
3D Modeling is nothing to shake a stick at. You can’t even shake the whole tree at it. May different tools out there exist to make modeling “easier” by honing in on a very specific style or feature, like Crocotile 3D or Wings 3D. But, when you’re trying to find an end-all-be-all to all forms of modeling, you go for the big boys: Maya, 3DS Max, and, of course, Blender.
A problem with all these heavy-bliters is that their toolset is huge! Tiny icons surround the boarders of your screen, and many, many more tools hide in secret little menus. Most of the time, I find myself knowing what I want to do, and I’m on 18 different tabs trying to figure out the damn workflow!
Well, like any good craftsman, the best solution to having too many tools is to add more tools.
Link: Engility Corp – Making Stuff User-Friendly
Did I ever tell you guys about the time I took my Virtual Reality work on the road to Washington DC, and had a booth for the internal Engility Trade Show convention? That’s totally a thing that happened. My Virtual Tour demo of an FAA Facility with the Oculus Rift won 2nd place Best In Show, too.
“OK, you’re flying the plane inverted now, which is cool, but not recommended…”
Afterwards, I was asked to help provide content for a blog post on the Engility website about, well, making stuff user-friendly! I provide a little insight into the world of user-interfaces in real-world application, and blur the line between what makes a user interface work for a professional business application and what works for gaming applications.
Go ahead, give it a read if you’d like. This might be seen as me just tooting my own horn, because I’m liking an article I wrote on another blog on my own blog, but, hey, if that’s the case…
… toot toot.
(PS: I’m glad I got second place, but I also lost to a bunch of guys dressed up as scientists from the movie Starship Troopers. They had robots.)
Link: Game Programming Patterns – The Observer
OK, first off: No, I’m not dead. 2: No, I’m not a zombie. 3: Yes, zombies are considered dead. 4: I’d like to take a moment to consider a pivotal part of any
game programmer’s arsenal of design patterns: The Observer.
The observer pattern, to put it simply, is an object that will only perform a specific action when another object/objects (called “the subject”) are in a particular state. A gentleman by the name of Bob Nystrom is working on an online (and soon physical) book regarding game programming, called GameProgrammingPatterns.com. In his book, he describes the fundamentals and design of the Observer pattern in a fun and simple way that can have even the most basic programmer up-and-running with Observers in no time; like a strange digital voyeur of code.
OK. That was disturbing.
Anywho, go run over to his site, and check out the other “chapters” he’s done. His book is still a WIP, but it’s already a classic. Take care!
Zelda Dungeon Generation in Unity3D
The other day, I found a post in Reddit’s /r/Unity3D to random procedural Zelda-style map generation using a binary-tree by a dude named David León, a game programmer. He goes on to explain his method for generating the maps, and even has downloads to his source code. He also has a bunch of other tutorials for creating a rougelike-style maps and so-on. Really great stuff, and if you’re looking for a little inspiration for random map generation, check out David León’s tumblr.
Link: Two’s Complement
You wanna know what always used to break my brain back in school? Two’s complement. For those of you unversed in
nerd geek, i’s the computer’s way of interpreting negative and positive binary numbers by using the left-most bit as the sign.
Lets talk in nybbles here (4 bits instead of 8). In a perfect unsigned world, the number 15 is expressed as
1111 in binary. However, speaking in signs, this is -1.
So, my blog’s concept is nothing new: Games, programming, tutorials, the works. But everyone’s a little different and post up different content, and recently I found this blog, by Rodrigo Monteiro, where he not only posts up tutorials, game design, and even 3D game math, but he also gives his 2 cents on games and game design ideas. It’s a real great blog, and definitely one to bookmark. Here, I have a few pages of interest for you: