Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Gamebryo Tower Defense Game: Defense Grid The Awakening

Happy holidays! I have a gift to give away, one free copy of Defense Grid: The Awakening. It is a Tower Defense game built with Gamebryo, just released on Steam. [Update: Deokhee Lee takes it!]

Here's a youtube video-interview that previews the gameplay nicely:

HD Video

If you're keen on the free copy, drop me an email at vincent.scheib at the emergent.net. [Update: Deokhee Lee takes it!] If you miss out, you can pick it up for $20. If you're feeling grinchy, there's always the free flash Desktop Tower Defense... but... lacking the richness.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coder Tip: Loading symbols in Visual Studio 2008 the easy way.

Bo Wilson keyed me in to this Visual Studio 2008 (VC90) Tip:
  • Debugging through some code touching Microsoft libraries (e.g. DirectX)?
  • Wish you had symbols, but too lazy to set them up again, cache them, wait for them all to download, blah?
  • Visual Studio 2008 makes it easy:
  • Just open the Modules window (Debug, Windows, Modules)
  • Right click a DLL, and load symbols from the Microsoft Symbol Servers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Link dump: Genetic Polygons, Scored Gameplay, ActiveX alternative, Gamebryo Training, Visualizing Files, Opening Files

Genetic algorithm placing 50 polygons to represent the Mona Lisa
I'm a fan of genetic algorithms... I'd have loved to see this one with triangles instead of n-polygons, though.

This image is early in the evolution, the final image is a good approximation. ;)
A fun, short, game. Cool novelty: the gameplay is synchronized with the music. Friend Adrienne Walker pointed out that this could be a great game jam theme.
Google Native Client
A plugin recently revealed by Google.
Cross browser, runs sand boxed native code.
Could be a good alternative to ActiveX.
Gamebryo 101
A university created webpage packed full of training videos, tutorials, and resources related to the product I work on.

I recently gave up on SpaceMonger -- it was having issues with lots of files. This survey convinced me to move over to WinDirStat, which works very well.

Mr EditGotoFindCombo
Nice tip for Visual Studio programmers:
Quickly open files with sub-string prefix matching:
CTRL-D, type:">of ", then start your file name.
More tips on the linked page.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jeff Russell Depth Of Field example

Depth of field came up on the gdalgorithms list. Jeff Russell caught the thread and replied with some screen shots from his brute force O(n^2*m^2) blur, with nice circles of confusion. I'm posting it here to make a few comments:

Sure, there are the typical DOF artifacts (halos, alpha object discontinuities, ...), but:
  • Top Left: Check out the trees, they look "right". The small highlights on leaves, or of sky through leaves, has that distinctive look that Gaussian blurs don't capture.
  • Center Left: Most of the scene is mush, but the enemies show distinctive disk highlights on points and lines.