Monday, September 24, 2007

First of all I'd really like to buy one of these:
then they go on sale in November - especially if I can get the hand crank or foot pedal. The coolest thing about it (imho) is the screen - very cool that it's so low power (apparently by reducing the filtering process - I forget the details - there's a white paper on it by the woman researcher that invented it).

The other thing is Black Shades Elite. While it still needs a much if it's ever going to be a multiplayer game I have fixed basically all of the things that really annoyed me (except for the sound bug): (1) added a help screen since I can't remember the keys to save my life; (2) re-wrote the GUI, this made the help screen almost trivial, but a lot more needs to be done in this reguard; (3) fixed the FPS limiter and tick thingy, so they run independently and less stupidly (it was very confusing at the get go), what really annoyed me was the busy loop instead of sleeping, so a game that should use less than %25 cpu at all times use 99%; (4) split up some of the huge functions (Init, Draw, and Tick), so it's a lot easier to read; (5) fixed all of the compiler warnings (that gcc found for me); (6) moved some other stuff around, and added new classes (Environment, Weapon) and added to others, making the game more modular (still a long way to go); (7) now you can change resolutions and it doesn't look too silly and added full screen as a config option; (8) and lastly a lot of general cleanup that is only really obvious if you look at the original code.

Major additions that'd I'd still like (although I'm not sure I'll ever get there) are: a model viewer - so I can work on added new models and animations. I think a nice tool to figure that stuff out will be very helpful. And with the re-organization it's becoming a possibility. Much more difficult is the networking: I've dealt with it only enough to know that it's very hard to get running smoothly. Not only does this require additional networking features it also requires more GUI additions (input boxes at least), a check box, as well as a proper button widget.

So the next part that I'll put most of my effort into will be the model viewer, because I need to figure out how all that works, and make it easy to add more animations and models. I'm not sure if I even want to think about any other cool features - this is enough for now.

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