Category Archive: Games

Like most of my generation, I do play computer games occasionally. This category, you guessed it, is for when I have something to say about a game I’ve played.

Oct
19
2013

An Opinion on Unity 3D

When Microsoft pulled the plug on XNA (or rather, the moment Shawn Hargreaves left the team, but I have the suspicion that at least inside Microsoft, that’s more or less the same point in time ;)), I started looking for alternatives. At first, I toyed around with Ogre3D and its C++/CLI-based .NET wrapper "Mogre", but …

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Sep
08
2012

Console Ports :-(

Screenshot of an error message from the game "I am Alive"
Decided to buy the game “I am Alive” from Steam today because it was only $15 and the setting sounded interesting: a psychological survival horror adventure taking place after some unnamed apocalypse. The first thing that greeted me was this: The moment I see such 1990s-typical “System Check” idiocy I’m already appalled by its developers. …

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Jun
23
2012

Thread-Safe Random Access to Zip Archives

Flow chart illustrating the logic employed by my ZLib extraction cache
Many games choose to store their resources in packages instead of shipping the potentially thousands of individual files directly. This is sometimes an attempt at tamper-proofing, but mostly it is about performance. Try copying a thousand 1 KiB files from one drive to another, then copy a single 1 MiB file on the same way …

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Jun
18
2012

Ogre 1.8.0 for WinRT/Metro

Screenshot of Ogre 1.8.0 on Windows 8 Release Preview running as a Metro app
In March I provided some binaries of Ogre 1.8.0 RC1 that were based on Eugene’s Metro port of Ogre, allowing Ogre to run as a native Metro App, using the Direct3D 11 renderer and RTShaderSystem for dynamic shader generation. Those binaries no longer work with the Windows 8 Release Preview and Visual Studio 2012 RC, …

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Apr
07
2012

Perfectly Accurate Game Timing

Illustration of the tick variance shown by a timer using Bresenham's Line Algorithm
These days, I designed a timing system for my game. Doesn’t really sound impressive, eh? The problem with accurate timing, apart from hardware faults making timers change speed or jump back, is to resample a high-frequency clock running at 3+ MHz to the update rate your game is running with. The naive approach would be …

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Mar
29
2012

Ogre 1.8.0 RC1 for WinRT/Metro

Screenshot of the main dialog of the Windows App Certification Kit (ACK)
Here’s an interesting hypothesis: when Apple started its App Store, it was the El Dorado of software developers. Now Microsoft is adding an App Store to Windows 8. The Windows user base is huge, much larger than even the number of people running around with iPhones in their pockets (some estimates I came across average …

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Mar
16
2012

IslandWar: Animating Turrets

Screenshot of Blender showing my bone naming scheme
Given that a lot of my game involves turrets attacking and defending, after setting up my water plane and a small height-mapped island in it, the next thing I attempted was to import an animated turret in a way that lets me control its orientation and elevation from code. To start with, I already used …

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Mar
13
2012

IslandWar in Unity

I decided to give an old project of mine another try. Back in 2007, after I finished my freeware game Ball Race, I ventured forth to create my first indie title, IslandWar. This is what gave rise to a lot of the classes that can now be found in my Nuclex Framework, including the GUI …

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Feb
21
2012

McMyAdmin as Daemon on Linux

A screenshot of the game "Minecraft"
I’m pretty sure that by now, everyone reading this blog has heard of or probably even played Minecraft himself. It’s a sweet little game that tosses you into a simplified world that you can freely (and easily!) shape in any way you want. Your tasks: feed yourself, keep monsters out of your buildings and build …

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Aug
02
2011

Mogre 1.7.3

My last contact with Ogre 3D had been in 2008, when I had created an experimental x64 build (back then, OpenJPEG, FreeImage and some other dependencies didn’t yet build in x64 by default). This worked out fine, but I didn’t find the time to actually do anything with Ogre. Finally, during the past weekend, I …

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