<<Previous Archive | Next Archive>>

Irrlicht 1.2 released

We just released Irrlicht 1.2. Includes new features such as Sun Solaris/SPARC support, improved .3ds, OGRE .mesh, .ms3d and COLLADA loaders, hardware texture coord manipulation and non-power-of-two texture support, and more, but see for yourself.



Ego shooters to be forbidden in Austria

After the massacre in Emsdetten last week (this is what my last short german rant was about if you were wondering) now even Austrian Politicans are demonstrating their total disqualification: They want to ban brutal games like Counterstrike (german link).



Killing Irrlicht

Yesterday I killed an Irrlicht. First I refused to do this, but no chance, if you want to finish the main quest, you'll have to kill a Will o' the wisp or in german - Irrlicht. Bad, bad game. But ok, at least I've slayed dozens of ogres before that. :)



Windows Vista Development

Ever wanted to know how software developers work at Microsoft? This is an interesting blog entry by an ex microsoftie, describing how he needed one year (!) to implement the shutdown menu in Vista. Reminds me on some of my own development experiences. Endless discussions about the simplest features - especially with non-techies - really can destroy the software your are working on.



New website launched

My satellite projects (irrKlang, irrEdit and irrXML) have been distributed across the web (ok, only on irrlicht3d.org *g*). I had to maintain a complete website for each of them, and this was a bit complicated and too much work, I decided to move them together to one single page. I thought about a website name, sat down and hand-wrote a nice css file and some .html files, and that's it: Here's the result.
As several people told me already, there's much space for improvement, but for a first version, it's ok for me. :)



Generation Killergame

Sorry, this time in german language only.

Ich habe mir länger überlegt ob ich meine Meinung zu der schon wieder startenden Killergame-Diskussion bloggen sollte, aber es unterlassen, weil mir das ganze dann doch zu blöd war. Als ehemaliger Spieleprogrammierer sollte es ja klar sein wie ich dazu stehe, und die meisten seriösen Medien als auch so gut wie alle Experten sind sich einig: Killergames (Leute die selbst noch nie einen PC oder eine Konsole angefassst haben meinen meist 'Egoshooter' damit) sind harmlos und tragen in keiner Weise dazu bei, Spieler agressiver zu machen oder gar in Amokläufer zu verwandeln. (Hier ist ein guter Artikel dazu auf SpON). "Killergames macht Killer" ist das neue "Fernsehen macht Dumm" - ein Statement der alten Generation die keine Ahnung von der Technologie hat, die die jüngere Generation verwendet. Aber dass Politiker nun nach Massakern wie gerade in Emsdetten laut nach Killergame-Verboten schreien, heisst nicht dass sie Idioten sind (zumindest in den meisten Fällen): Die sind sich im Klaren darüber dass ihr Vorgehen sinnlos ist, es geht dabei tatsächlich nur um Wählerstimmen. So funktioniert Politik heute einfach. Jedesmal wenn ich z.B. auf Digg einen Kommentar lese dass das Irakische Volk es ja verdient hat jetzt in einem so kaputtem Land zu leben, weil sie schließlich das World-Trade-Center angegriffen haben, dreht sich bei mir der Magen um. Die Leute glauben das tatsächlich. Man muss es ihnen nur oft genug erzählen. Und da wir jetzt in der vierten oder fünften Iteration der Killergame-Diskussion sind, sollte es euch auch nicht wundern wenn ihr dann im Jahre 2050 das fertig gestellte Duke Nukem Forever kauft und anschließend direkt als potentieller Amokläufer verhaftet werdet.
Was mich zusätzlich erschüttert ist die unglaubliche Bevormundung des Staates in solchen Fällen. Habt ihr schon den Online-Abschiedsbrief des Amokläufers gelesen? Nein? Kein Wunder. Wurde von der Deutschen Polizei überall gesperrt und gelöscht. Leute, die den Brief und andere Informationen dazu hosten, werden zusätzlich von der Polizei angerufen und unter diversen (so nebenbei bemerkt juristisch unhaltbaren und lächerlichen) Androhungen angehalten, das sofort zu entfernen. Nette Sache, der Staat heute. Ein Lichtblick sind ja heute zum Glück die Blogger, da ist es schwer deren zahlreiche Blogs und ihre darauf veröffentlichten Meinungen zu unterbinden. Aber unserem Vaterland fällt ja vielleicht auch noch was dazu ein, in anderen Ländern gibt es ja schon Lösungen in die Richtung.



Irrlicht on Symbian

Interesting: development blog of an Irrlicht Symbian port. That's Irrlicht on mobile phones. If you've missed it on the forum. :) The Irrlicht collision example already seems to run on the Nokia S60. Very Nice.



irrEdit 0.6 released

I just released irrEdit 0.6, including the global illumination/radiosity light map generator. It's not perfect but it works. I think you'll also like the fixed bugs and the compatibility with the upcoming Irrlicht release ;).

Looking at the screenshot makes it clear that it already evolved a bit since the first version, nice.
Ok: irrKlang 0.2 and irrEdit 0.6 done now. Next: Irrlicht release. Phew. If this isn't a hobby. :)



How to fight computer game addiction

Since I'm a computer gamer for the same amount of time as I am writing programs on those PCs - nearly 20 years now (boy, I'm getting old..) - I've suffered a phenomenon I would call 'RPG addiction' from time to time. It occurrs every time I've bought a new role playing game, resulting in lots of sleepless nights, extremely reduced social life, undone real life tasks, unhappy girlfriends and so on. Fortunately I think I've become immune to this illness and found some ways to fight its symtoms. Since the rise of the MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Second Life, this problem has become very popular and known all over the world so maybe I can share some of my experience on how to get over it:
So basically what I do is.. hm, no, wait. Gotta go and play Oblivion. Sorry.



Foreign expeditions

I don't speak french, and I don't trust those online translators, but even without this, this blog looks interesting. Shows irrXML, irrEdit and Irrlicht in action. Although I don't know - maybe the author is even writing negatively about that sofware. :-) From time to time I do find other blogs like this - mostly russian, spanish and various asian blogs writing about Irrlicht & co, and I have no clue what they are talking about. But it's nice. :)



irrKlang 0.2 released

I just released version 0.2 of irrKlang, a free 3D audio library. Changes: Several user requested bug fixes, major new features are scheduled for the next release. Thanks for all the nice feedback so far. Looks like it was the right decision to release that lib instead of using it just for my own. According to the download numbers, quite a lot of people are using it, or at least have taken a look at it. :)



The Great Firewall of Germany

The german government is showing up their incompetence regarding the internet and planning to start a project going into the direction of The Great Firewall of China, according to this article (german link). Using filters or redirectors, they want to force german citizens to use national gambling websites. Great. Looking forward to what is coming next.



Hardware accelerated global illumination

As already mentioned, I added some code to irrEdit and made the radiosity renderer run on the GPU instead on the CPU. My first results were disillusioning: The computed lighting was the same, but the time needed to compute it was the same as well. No speed increase. Hmpf. Then I optimized some parts of the code, minimizing a few render state changes and texture transfers, but the speed increase still wasn't that big at all. Maybe my GPU or the AGP transer was too slow? So I tried it out on my notebook, with some more modern hardware. Here, the speed increase was very noticeable:

irredit global illumination

Computation time for this scene: 9 seconds while something like one minute on the CPU. I also was able to remove some of the artifacts, but as you can see on the edges, some are still remaining. A lot of room for improvements, but I like it already.



Bored? Two movies for you to watch

Originally I wanted to blog some cornell box screenshots today, but didn't have the time to do them, they are delayed for tomorrow. So instead here are two movie recommendations for the weekend maybe. If you have a girlfriend/wife and are suffering from the constant problem of finding a movie which is ok for both of you (we don't like love stories, they don't like zombies) I can recommend Un long dimanche de fiançailles, or better known as 'Mathilde'. Nice mix up of World War I and love story (see, I didn't compare it to 'Amelie'). The second movie is a complete different one, we watched it yesterday in the cinema.
Originally we wanted to watch Borat and already had the tickets in our hands but when we discovered that the cinema only offered the translated Borat movie, we decided to go for Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth'. The movie is nothing more than a filmed lecture about global warming. Sounds boring, right? In addition, it is filled with IMO totally unnecessary excerpts of the resume of Al Gore himself. And furthermore if you are informed about environmental problems, there is not very much news for you to see there. But the movie is very good anyway. It simply throws plain facts at you and summarizes everything about global warming in those few minutes. Very informing and sometimes quite shocking. And if this wouldn't be enough: Some minutes from a Futurama episode are shown there too ("Solving the problem ONCE AND FOR ALL!!" (youtube.com)). So now there's no excuse left for you not to see it. :) Here's the trailer (youtoube.com).



Gothic 3 vs. The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

Being a huge Gothic 2 and The Elder Scrolls (especially Morrowind) fan, I am thinking about buying their successors. Unfortunately, Gothic 3 and Oblivion are both available at the same time now, and it's difficult to decide which game to choose. I've heard Oblivion is great and the only weak point is the german translation (I'd play the original version anyway) and that Gothic 3 is excellent (german version only, english seems to suck) but full of bugs. After some more investigation I've found out that the bugs in Gothic 3 really seem to be overwhelming, for example according to this article:

Rating this game has never been easier. Stay the hell away from Gothic III. The amount of glitches in this game instantly ruins whatever experience it aimed to achieve. There are not enough patches in PC gaming history to sort this one out.

And watching this video finally convinced me to buy Oblivion. The video is in german language, but the bugs shown there are hilarious. Tons of flying enemies and items, invisible player after every 10th game load, AI incapable of crossing a bridge, quest vital monsters sticking in walls, incredible graphic bugs and more. Really, I would have liked to play that game, but I've spend enough time already being angry about bugs in PC games.



Funniest referrer ever

I'm not analysing stats of this blog constantly, but search queries used to get here are sometimes very interesting. For example it's funny how much companies seem to use Irrlicht or which 3D technologies they are interested in. While browsing through the search strings, I also found this referrer, which made me laugh, it's obvious how this happened :)
BTW: thanks for all those encouraging comments to the last entry. :)



Demotivated

I'm demotivated. Programming, working, blogging, website updating, administrative stuff, answering mails, all this feels so senseless currently. But even doing nothing is demotivating and depressing, so I'm keeping doing it. I recently began to work on Irrlicht more again to prepare the next release, moved some pages to ambiera, implemented hardware accelerated global illumination in irredit (going to blog about this maybe) and lots of other things, but I'm still feeling empty.
I don't know what's the cause of this mood, but I'm at least depressed by the news. Huge democratic progress because of a death sentence? 2 days before U.S. elections? What a joke. Especially if the death sentence was because of 148 killed people, while Bush caused the death of 650.000 people in Iraq in the latest illegal war started by him, and there are no consequences for him at all. What a mad world. And did you follow news in Austria? You can only express in Austrian Language what they are doing there currently: Unglaubliches Kasperltheater, und auch noch finanziert von uns.
I could keep on like this for a while, but I'm putting this aside, nobody really wants to read it. Sorry for this negative post. Here's something more positive to watch via youTube, to cheer up.