Saturday, October 22, 2005

I have been incredibly busy this past month, especially the last week or so. I was getting really stressed with the workload, but managed to get through it. I should have some decent grades too, which I wasn't sure about earlier. Infact, it turns out I may well be top of the class which I am really proud of if true. I was hoping to graduate Valedictorian and that may well happen at this rate! :) Anyway, enough bragging about that...
We were working on Optimization, which meant learning some Assembly and using Intel's software profiler VTune to make a program run faster. Definitely useful. More stressful was Real Time Programming. That involved messing with RenderWare to get the basics of a 3D game going. We had to get a tank driving around a hilly area and shooting at targets with various weapons. The 3D math was not a problem, it was the implementation in RenderWare which certainly handles things in its own special way. It took me a while to get going with that which is why I was so stressed out, but I appreciate the opportunity to work with something I may come into contact with again in the future.
I'm going to try and put some of my work together and up here after I post this, including some older stuff like the map for Unreal Tournament 2004 which I made for 3D Content Creation. Some things, like my Maya Model Exporter and OpenGL Model Viewer, I still want to work on. I want to get that working with animated models (the framework is all there, it should just be a slight adjustment to the exporter,) and then get it running on the Sony PSP, which I have had a quick mess around coding for.
Homebrew coding for the PSP seems to be the only decent thing to do with it since there is a terrible shortage of games for it. Grand Theft Auto will be coming out for it next week which I'm sure will sell a boatload more PSPs and bring some relief to current owners. Meanwhile I've been playing F.E.A.R. (which I have previously written about after playing the demos,) which was released a few days ago on the PC and so far I think the horror part is excellent. It is really a pretty standard FPS with a few gimmicky addons, (bullet time and hand to hand combat,) but the spooky atmosphere has made my skin cover in goosebumps at time. You can't ask much more from a game than to evoke a real emotion like that. There are some decent effects too, like the shockwaves sent from grenades exploding. Its a shame I have to run the game at 640x480 with pretty low settings to get it running at around 10-15fps on this laptop however. Chris has just gone out to buy a copy of Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, so I'll have a mess around with that later on too. Might be handy to stock up on entertainment since Hurricane Wilma is on the way. As long as the power holds out anyway... otherwise having all these games to stare at will just be cruel punishment.

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