Monthly Archives: March 2014

Game Developers Conference!

I am excited that I am going to Game Developers Conference this year. I would like to meet engine developers. I am participating in the math and physics for game programmer sessions.

I was able to get collisions working. The solution involved some linear algebra. I needed a ray between the center of both points and a vector perpendicular to the axes (axis plural) of the first and second objects coordinate systems. Projecting the image of each object onto each resultant axis determined if there was a separating axis.

I will be implementing the sweep test where velocity is considered and the response to collision on returning from GDC. I will also be putting up demos of all the prototypes I have worked on. I assume our team will be working on design for the premonition game following our return. Busy times with GDC week here. I will write again, if no earlier, upon my return.

Spring Break! Time to get to work.

I am now on spring break. I am going to use the time to get my engine code up to snuff. I am starting my first four hour sprint after I finish this writing.

For my first sprint the objective is to get swept OOBB collision detection working in the demo file provided by our instructor, Joe. I will be using DirectX matrices to help detect potential errors in my matrix class. I will report on my first spring after the four hour period.

Dawn of a New Day

Life has finally settled down a little in cohort 4. I have been overloaded recently with work. As a result the quality of my work has significantly declined. I have learned that working under such duress inhibits my work. I have also learned that my best work is developed early in the morning and deteriorates as the day progresses. I have been making a plan for my time over spring break.

My plan over spring break is to spend four hours working on my engine in C++. I will follow each four hour period with one hour of playing a game. I am going to try to report on my progress over the break prior to starting my one hour session of playing games. If I am able to get my game engine to the point I am happy and proud of it, I will try to knock out all remaining tasks in Ethics in Games using four hour periods of work and one hour periods of play. During my flights to and from GDC I will be doing any remaining reading.

I am excited for GDC. I will be attending boot camps for Mathematics and Physics in Games. My objective is to be an expert in the mathematics, physics and optimization of game engines. My mathematical inclination lends itself well to machine learning. If I get any extra time over spring break I am going to work on clustering in my collision system. I am excited the rendering options being offered at GDC including DirectX 12 and Mantle.

Exciting news is that my team has decided on a game to continue forward with at this period of time. My team rejected the button game due to design problems and lack of time to correctly polish said game. I know my team put in a lot of work on the button game. I would like to extend appreciation to the team for exploring the concept of the game even though I have been opposed to the game throughout. I hope that my team will consider working on an engine that best showcases the art and engineering talent in the team. I am doing research on UDK, CryEngine or OGRE. Unity has been a great engine for prototyping. I will continue to use Unity for prototyping when I don’t need to build everything from scratch.

Industry Pitch and Brimstone

I haven’t wrote in awhile.  I have been behind in my coursework.  I am still behind, but might be able to catch up during spring break.

Last night I attended the industry panel event.  The event went well and I feel both the button game (“This is a Test”) and the premonition game (“Room 207”) were pitched well. The pitchers cherry-picked content in a way to downplay flaws of both games. I still feel like the “levels” from both games are each different prototypes.  I know there are daunting design flaws in each game.  I took notes regarding the words of the industry panel.  I have decided to build a table of the strengths and weaknesses of each game.

Button Game
Strength Weakness
Nostalgia for old puzzles games Extraneous narrative
Battle of Wits with Game Developers Frustration and alienation
Challenges game conventions Every level is a new prototype
Smart, loyal audience Competes with The Stanley Parable and Antichamber
Defined goals help No replay value
Premonition Game
Strength Weakness
Frenetic Strategic choice
Clear objectives i.e. escape the hotel Not enough information from premonitions for frenetic gameplay
Procedurally generated content is possible AI will be intense for procedurally generated levels
Twitch game Compared to every forced runner

I will report more after today is over. I feel both games have major flaws. The Button game lacks replay value and any new content requires huge engineering commitments. Catering to a small niche audience while competing with reputable games will be daunting. The Premonition game has a mechanic that seems to change with every level and lacks consistency in the rules it follows. Building an AI that reads designers minds would best great minds like Turing or von Neumann. I don’t think I fit the culture of my team.