Older blog entries for fzort (starting at number 208)

davidw articulated very well something that has been on the back of my mind for a while.
19 Mar 2012 (updated 19 Mar 2012 at 20:21 UTC) »

After banging my head against Blender's interface for a while, I decided to leave behind any hope of modeling realistic 3D assets for the game I'm working on, and instead go for minimalistic, mid-1990s ciberspacey visuals. It's looking like this. Please ignore the pathetic FPS count.

I'm using textured billboard quads for the "antialiased wireframe" look. I have to sort all polygons in the scene back-to-front for proper transparency, so I'm using a BSP tree. Adding moving objects (like foes you can shoot at) to the BSP tree dynamically is presenting some interesting challenges.

I should upload a video soon.


Reading comments written by Americans on news sites like Yahoo under the story on the recent massacre in Afghanistan can get quite depressing. I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't, and I'll be the first to admit that my own country sucks, but it's really, really hard to avoid generalizing, you know.
12 Mar 2012 (updated 12 Mar 2012 at 13:59 UTC) »

The Wikipedia article on Google Panda has, under the References section, a link to an article called "How Google's Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever".

Let's meditate on this concept for a moment.

SEO best practices.

SEO. Best. Practices.

It's great to code knowing that no one else will ever see what the hell you did.
7 Feb 2012 (updated 7 Feb 2012 at 12:30 UTC) »
cdfrey: Thank you. :-)

(Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I wrote this useless toy C compiler that generated exactly the same assembly code for if (a) b; else c; and a?b:c. I guess the task was made somewhat easier by the fact that the only data types it knew about were int, pointers and arrays.)
6 Feb 2012 (updated 6 Feb 2012 at 21:32 UTC) »

Some people at the office keep talking all day long. The only way I can get anything done is with headphones and mpg123 -z slayer_-_raining_blood.mp3. I'd rather listen to Philip Glass, honest, but I need something to cover the background noise. I'll go deaf in a few months if I keep this up.

There are times when I feel trapped in purgatory; a lifeless object, alive.

This is why I need to start my own business. Something related to games. Maybe a multiplayer strip poker operation, hosted on the Cayman Islands. Something classy like that.


Please explain why the commented out line is not allowed:

struct foo { };
struct bar : foo { };
struct baz : foo { };

foo *doit(bool which)
#if 0
return which ? new bar : new baz;
if (which) return new bar; else return new baz;

Game development proceeds apace.

(I've been meaning to use the word "apace" for a long time.)

10 Jan 2012 (updated 10 Jan 2012 at 14:44 UTC) »
Recent spamming

This is an embarrassment, people. Srsly. Aren't we supposed to be hackers here?

A while ago I suggested adding e-mail confirmation for new accounts. But here's an even simpler idea: since these idiots can't even understand what nofollow means, why don't we just filter out hyperlinks for observer journal entries? Replace them with the text "[filtered]" or something.

I haven't touched the mod_virgule code in a while, but that would be a piece of cake to implement. I'd do that, if only I knew there would be a dim possibility of the patch getting considered.
9 Jan 2012 (updated 9 Jan 2012 at 23:07 UTC) »

So there's a new game demo development contest sponsored by Intel going on.

I started to work on something for the previous installment of the contest but failed to finish it before the deadline, even though I got a lot of coding done and, when the going got tough, didn't get much sleep for almost two months (while somehow managing to keep my day job). I shouldn't have gotten derailed experimenting with things that didn't add to the gameplay experience, like dynamic soft shadows.

But the biggest trap I got myself into was trying to work with other people, thinking that I wouldn't be able to handle everything by myself. "Artist" types. Hate them all. In the end they didn't get anything done other than complain and bug me about how they wouldn't be able to do anything unless I implemented normal mapping or whatever. I ended up doing the modeling myself (the player ship turned out okay for a coder, eh?), but by then it was already too late.

I've learned my lesson and will make it this year.

Why am I blogging about this here? It's not even a free software project. Ah well, I guess this is more topical than proclus' political ranting.

3 Jan 2012 (updated 3 Jan 2012 at 20:44 UTC) »

It's been a while. Oh crap, is it really 2012 already?

So what have I been up to?

I've been wasting investing a ridiculous amount of time trying to learn Japanese. It's a nutso language, especially the writing system. Seriously. And I used to think that English was weird. Being able to read, say, a sci-fi novel written in Japanese without a dictionary is looking more and more like a pipe dream. I should have gone with, say, Mandarin instead, which looks a lot more sane (and more useful these days). Anyway, along the way I wrote a couple of programs to help (?) me with my learning (??).

The first one (which I still use every day) was a flash card program to practice vocabulary and kanji. That one's not too interesting.

Then I wrote a Missile Command clone to practice kanji. Here's a YouTube video. And here's the code.

Then I wrote a typespeed clone with kanji. (YouTube video. Code.)

Then I wanted to try out Android programming and started to write a Tetris clone with kanji. (YouTube video. Code.) Yes, of course I'm not using Java. Java, as we all know, sucks. There's a tiny Java wrapper but most of the code is under the jni/ directory, and I can compile a stand-alone Linux version with SDL/OpenGL.

I started to use C++ for my personal coding, which is a lot more fun than C. Unfortunately my C++ code has yuck-inducing raw pointers all over the place (oh hi ncm).

This concludes our blogging for the year of 2012. Thank you, you've been a lovely audience.

(Actually, I have a Japanese-language blog somewhere else but I'm not telling you where it is! Muhahah!)

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