So this semester is to be the next step in the masters graphics module. There was a clash between tutorial sessions and as one of them was for creative writing and the other was inevitably things I'm familiar with, I asked the graphics lecturer if I could attend the writing tutorials. He told me to come to a different tutorial as he would be showing techniques that I won't have seen. I was sceptical, and wondering whether he was aware of what my honours project entailed. However I went along to them and found myself amongst third year students. I soon learnt that the "masters" module was simply a rehash of the 3rd year graphics module. Not only that, but it seemed to have been dumbed down from when it was taught by another lecturer. When I did the third year module, we were tasked with creating our own terrain model and thus had to conceive of the best way to go about that.
Last year, the global game jam was great! But that's perhaps down to the fact I was inebriated for half of it. This year I wanted another shot at it. Unfortunately, the tickets for the Dundee jam sold out within the hour, before I even knew they were available. I was pretty gutted but was considering just doing the jam informally anyway, although it would be more difficult without the facilities and space available at the University.
Fortunately, no such decision had to be made as the lead designer for Pixel Blimp offered a spare ticket. Turned out he was one of the people who jumped at the chance to get multiple tickets for his team as soon as the tickets went live. I had less cause to complain of course, given I could now participate.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, it was great getting back into proper coding. Unfortunately, I had to put working on the project on hold while I made sure the rest of my studies were up to scratch. I started back up when I broke off from University for the Xmas break. I was confident that I would be able to create an application within the 3 weeks I had before the hand in and while I did indeed manage it, it was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.
Writing graphics code is no straight forward task. While the methods are always the same, trying to write a nice graphics framework can leave you thinking about the best approach. I've been in this situation at least 4 times now, writing a DirectX framework from scratch. Usually in an earlier framework I'll realise a better way to go about something but the framework would be so big that it wouldn't be worth the time to make the change.
I love writing all this code. After many months throwing shit together really quickly in Unity, it's nice to get into code at a lower level, making the functionality how you want it designed. The problem is the size and lack of time available. I'm trying to make a model class that will be really flexible which requires a flexible shader class which requires useful methods and so on. I keep getting lead off into a new branch of development and sometimes lose track of the initial goal.
Still, I seem to be on track for my subject though. I've left it quite late to get back into it, but other modules required more immediate attention. It's only been about 2 full days worth of development and I've already got a nice input system, timer and window. I'm now working on trying to get the ol' triangle rendering with a basic vertex colour shader.
Since my last post, way back when, there have been quite a few developments.
First off, my Ludum Dare results came back.
Sadly, while I was happier with the resulting game, the results were lower this time than my last submission:
Coolness 79% (up 11% from #23)
#466 Humor 2.40 (down 0.89 from #23)
#847 Theme 2.83 (down 0.47 from #23)
#890 Fun 2.50 (down 0.03 from #23)
#923 Audio 1.50 (There was 0 audio in the games so…)
#951 Mood 2.16 (down 0.52 from #23)
#994 Innovation 2.30 (down 0.51 from #23)
#1016 Graphics 2.10 (down 0.12 from #23)
#1068 Overall 2.43 (down 0.18 from #23)
So I never carried on the dare game…
Which I’m a little disappointed in myself for. However I was working on average 10am-8pm Monday-Friday for 7 weeks. It was originally just a game to try to work on through to completion so that I have a game in my portfolio.
I never expected, going into it, to receive as much experience as I did. Not only did I get a good hands on with working in a team, but I was able to see (albeit perhaps on a smaller scale) the typical ups and downs of games development. I also never expected to get a chance to show off what I’d make nor how the experience would have an effect on me.
This is going to be a biggie. I'll be containing my full flow of work in this post.
Over the summer, certainly off the back of my last project detailed in this blog, I’ve been turning around in my mind the concept of expanding from a single planet. Typical of my imagination, the task I envisioned wasn’t particularly on a small scale.
I want to make the universe.
This post combines my initial post as well as the later results page
The 48 hour competition.
I was at a slight disadvantage in that the comp began from 2am Saturday morning and would run through until 2am Monday morning.
I was working both Friday night and Saturday night.
I had a plan for how to get the most time. But it didn’t sound appealing.
I managed to pull off the plan. It wasn’t appealing.
These following posts span my later half of my 3rd Year at the University of Abertay Dundee when we were studying procedural generation and post processing effects.
I was initially tasked with creating a flat mesh to represent a terrain. It was advised to create an algorithm which created a diamond pattern. After sketching out a plan and trying to work it out in my head, I went on to code out what I thought would make the correct mesh. To my amazement; it was spot on. The only issue was that I was only using a vertex buffer, which not only meant there was up to 8 vertices at any one point, but also, randomly offset vertices would result in a broken surface.
So I went about editing my code to include an index buffer, which to my despair meant recalculating my algorithm, however with the basic principles in mind, this wasn’t too hard and I soon managed to recreated the same grid:
Since part way through my third year at the University of Abertay Dundee, I have made blog posts on my progress as a computer games programmer on Tumblr. Recently I have heard of other blogs being wrongfully closed down without due warning and the authors being unable to retrieve their blogs. As such, I'll be moving across my posts to my site. Unfortunately, there's no straight forward way to port the posts and as such they'll be grouped together into quite large posts.