Monday, August 27, 2007


I've gotten really carried away with the idea of doing an 8-bit (or retro) post-mortem site, I think theres still lots to be learnt from hearing what others did in the past, and it might even inspire others to do more in the future! Who knows! I've also registered although it just points here just now.

So to this end, I've started doing a Blood Money post-mortem, although unlike modern ones its not really a what went right or what went wrong document, but more a what did I do and why presentation. I do give public presentations every now and then so speaking through this on my own at home is gonna be really weird. I might see if anyone at work wants to listen to it just so I can get an audience and someone to speak at!

These things usually last an hour, but I think I'll be lucky if its lasts 15-20 min, but thats probably okay.

Another oddity is that your used to getting some questions, but at home you won't get any! The more I think about it the more I really want to have someone -anyone! to speak at.

.............Anyone able to travel to Dundee? :)


Russ sent me a link to an interesting talk (HERE) about a PSone game where he talks about how he did the physics in the game. Now, this struck me as a great idea, doing post-mortems on old retro games like Blood Money or Shadow of the Beast (I did the PC Engine one) or whatever would be really interesting for lots of folk. I wonder how possible this kind of thing would be; I guess you wouldn't need to hire a hall or anything, but do a powerpoint thing and talk through it, and then post it somewhere. This could be pretty cool to start building up these for people to watch. YouTube (or google video) would work really well for these.

What do you think? A site that has post-mortems of various retro games? I don't know about you guys, but I'd love to see some of them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So, I'm thinking about some mass storage device so I can store my DVD's and music in a single easy to store location and theres a couple of really cool little devices out there now. One of which is DROBO which is a new hard disk system which seems to overcome most of RAID's limitations. Its a little pricy, but since its dynamically upgradeable, its well worth the cash. If you watch the video, you can see just how amazing it is; very cool indeed.

Now...if you use one of these you still need a PC, but there are a few answers to that too. I have a little linksys unit that that takes USB2 drives and then puts them onto the network, which means anything can see it. Theres also a cool little media server available for this little unit which might spell the end of the PC altogether!

Cool toys, if a little expensive.

Oh, and I have finally recovered, but we have a close family wedding this weekend, so Ive had no time to do anything. Hopfully after that, i can get back to doing more interesting things.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jetlag boy....

Yep, I've come up with a new super hero: Jetlag boy!!

As you may have guessed, I'm still too jet lagged to do anything, I was fine for most of today, and then once my bum hit the seat, my eye's closed and then it was 2 hours later! doh!

I was at the new Edinburgh International Games Festival today as I was taking part in a panel on getting into games. I've done this the last 3 years now and its pretty good fun even if its not very busy. I also went to have a look at the Dare to be Digial entry's which were on display and open to the public this year, and as usualy, they look pretty good for 10 weeks work. Some were of a very high standard, and some were struggling, which is normal. 10 weeks is a very short timeframe to do what they are trying, so they all do well getting anything done at all!

Anyway, I hope to be back to fighting ways as I'm back to work properly tomorrow, and then back to doing stuff at night as well; I hope.

I've been thinking more and more about making XeO3 a pretend cartridge game (that is, a self booting MMC/SD game). So that when you buy an MMC card reader, you also get XeO3 for it. This makes life interesting as theres no disk involved, and I have fast storage available.....but.... another part of me doesn't like that because not everyone plays on a real plus/4 which shrinks the market somewhat.

But, even if I do a normal version, I can still see me doing a special MMC version as well - for the C64 too, as it's just cool :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

SigGraph 2007, Day 5....

So, almost done.... Just a couple of hours left really, and then off to the shops. The show goes onto 6pm tonight, but theres nothing I really want to see after 3:30, so I'm gonna go do some last minute shopping.

Im in a Spore demo just nowm and it does look very polished, but at the end of the day, it does just look like a populous (or god sim) game. So for all their bluster they haven't really added much "game" stuff.

The problem with being at a graphics confrence, is I now want to go home and write raytracers and model some stuff in lightwave! Oh well.....Im sure this urge won't last.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

SigGraph 2007, Day 4....

So, day 4..... one more to go. I now remember why we were itching to get home last year; its hard going. Until you've actually done something like this, you don't realise how hard it is to sit in a dark room for 5 days straight sitting listening to folk waffle on. Still, theres some good stuff being said, and I hope we get a chance to use some of it when we get back. Russ has been doing XeO3 stuff while sitting listening, but I find it pretty hard to code on the laptop, particually doing paths - which is what I have to do next.

I guess I could start to flesh out the front end a little and do the high scores and saving to disk etc., but I'd rather start doing the gameplay beta and start to get feedback on difficulty. I think thats the next big step for us - something playable and getting some feedback on how hard people think it is, that would help make the final one that bit better.

Still, I find it hard to think about this stuff while listening to guys go on about high end rendering on PC's and in movies. Oh well....I'll be back home on Saturday, so I can carry on with my own projects rather than vegging out over here.

The only good thing about being here is occasionally getting to shopping mall's.... but you dont really get a chance to do that very often.

Monday, August 06, 2007

SigGraph 2007, Day 2....

Well, after a really boring day yesterday with nothing of real interest, todays a little better so far - although not by much. Most of today's work has been shown in the past and they aren't really going into detail about things, but theres supposed to be an interesting paper tomorrow about taking photographs and making 3D models from them, so that could be good.

However, I hope things are about to pick up as the next talk is from the guys that did the need for speed and how they modeled the world there.... So could be good...

Later that day.... Mmm.. Not bad at all. Nothing new or ground breaking but was nicely presented.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

SigGraph 2007, Day 1....

Started off with a raytraching course this morning, not quite as good as I thought it would be, and with 5 others here as well, not a lot of choice for skipping out into another one. oh well. This afternoon should be better as I'm going to a DirectX 10 course and the guys from Crysis are talking about stuff; and hopefully showing some video!

The Conference center is huge again, and it feels like you have to walk miles between talks, but it does mean you can stuff your face and walk it off!! :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Arrived in San Diego

We've arrived after a fairly long trip of 15 hours, but we here safe and sound. Hotel seems nice, and we're not too far away from anything so could be fun! Trip was pretty good (as much as it could be!), the plane was reasonably empty so we had space to sreach out and the seats were actually far enough away for me to open the laptop!

Which brings me to XeO3. I managed to get the weapon upgrade more or less in, which means I can now kill a baddie group and pick up a new weapon. So really its just paths to be able to use them properly. The biggest problem with the pick ups is that I can't leave them on screen as I might need the sprite for baddies. This means I have to get it off screen quickly; kinda like the coins.

I'm not sure the 2 char bullets are working right either, they seem to hit things and do no damage sometimes.... I'll have to try and check that out... Working on a plane can be hard going though, its hard to concentrate 8 hours into a flight... Oh well, at least I got something done!