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Orient: A Hero’s Heritage

On gamedev.net, there is currently shown an 'image of the day' of a very nice looking project named 'Orient: A Hero’s Heritage'. They are explaining that they were using an open source 3D engine for the game, but won't tell its name because "it's no big deal, we changed it so much that it's something else". They assert that the license of that engine allows this and that the engine is for C#. Which made me wonder if they used Irrlicht.

And actually, there is a postmortem of the game (Summary: big fail) where they write that they used Irrlicht. Nice, and a pity that the game wasn't finished. But after thinking about it again, maybe they deserved this with their attitude that it is ok to take the source of Irrlicht, probably change some few lines of code and then claim that's all theirs now. I don't have that much insight into this project, and maybe they are even nice guys, but more and more companies seem to base their business model on ripping off or at least taking advantage of open source projects without the intention of giving back anything at all. Maybe I'll write a detailed article with some examples about this soon. :)

irrKlang 1.1.0 released

I just released irrKlang 1.1.0, the cross platform audio library for C++ and C#. This is the 18th release of irrKlang, quite some work went into that thing now :)

There is also a new irrKlang scene node for Irrlicht 1.4.1 available, should be useful.

Another reason not to visit Britain

Woha: in Britain, they now are allowed lock you up for 42 days without telling you why, without any reason and without giving you a possibility to talk to a judge, lawyer or similar. I know, there are countries where this is not only possible for 42 days but for even more than 6 years, but 42 is way too much (I think 2 days is the average in europe, I think) and it looks like I'm not going to go there soon.
I wonder if this does hurt Britains economy and tourism, because I'm certainly not the only one thinking this way?
Update: Steve noted in the comments that this law is not 100% finished yet.

Fighting against cheaters

I've no idea why it could be interesting to cheat in a single player game like my rpg Darkness Springs, but I think those cheaters might have a similar motivation as hackers of websites of free and open source projects [actually, the Irrlicht website has been hacked twice (newsarchive)].
Since the game has now a public high score list, a lot of people started to cheat themselves higher exp and gold (the list should now be clean again). Anyway, I've now built in some more agressive anti-cheating mechanisms both into the server and the client, and protected the clients code now with the just released irrfuscator 1.1 actionscript 3 obfuscator which now should it make it really difficult for those people. Bah, such a waste of development time.

Irrlicht 1.4.1 for MacOS released!

Thanks to Varmint, our MacOS maintainer, Irrlicht 1.4.1 for MacOS is out now, a 85MB .dmg file. Happy downloading :)

Drunken City

It is broad day, beginning of the week. And the city is full of drunken, clamoring German and Austrian people. Quite odd. Ah, yes.

Why you have to live with negative feedback as blogger and software developer

If you are the author of a blog or website, or have written and published some software or a game you might know this problem: The overall majority of all feedback you get is negative, independent of the quality of your published work. Of course, this depends on the audience, for example for specialized open source software like Irrlicht this is a bit better because people using it are usually a bit more intelligent and tolerant than an average person.

For example, a lot of my friends reading this blog always tell me that they are shocked when they read the comments to my political blog posts in which a surprising high amount of people write that they disagree with me and that torture is ok and war crimes are actually no war crimes and similar.

Or another, even better example is the feedback I get from the Darkness Springs users from time to time, 90% of the comments can be sorted into these two categories:

And although all this is a bit sad and funny at the same time, it's still all negative feedback, and the amount of it won't change regardless of how long you work to increase the quality of your product.

The reason for this is simply that it is a lot easier to write negative stuff. How often did you think about writing a mail or a comment to the author of a blog that you like his opinion or his blog post? And now think about how often you wrote that something isn't ok in somone's blog post, or that there is an error here and that something isn't right. Easier, hm? :)

So you'll better put on a thick skin before publishing something, and get used to negative feedback. It doesn't mean that your blog, software, website or whatever really sucks. :)

Opera 9.5 Released - Including Dragonfly

I've outed myself as Opera fan on this blog already, and I am very happy that Opera version 9.5 has been released today. The browser has a new default design now (not my personal favourite) and a lot of new nice features, but the most interesting thing about this release is for web developers: Opera 9.5 includes a preview version of Opera Dragonfly:

Open any website and click Tools -> Advanced -> Developer Tools, which starts up Dragonfly. It is a JavaScript Debugger, CSS and DOM inspector, and includes an Error Console which not only prints JavaScript but - very useful for me personally - also CSS errors. BTW; Dragonfly is open source and uses the BSD license. Looks like Opera will continue to be my favorite web development utility :)

Nice list of things which are ok to do today

Recently, a congressman (Kucinich) presented a list of 35 articles which every single one would be enough to impeach Bush. Here are some few extracted highlights (as I didn't find a nice summary anywhere):

The original list is longer, the complete one with details and evidence and references can be found here (PDF). It's a shame that probably nothing will happen to Bush anyway. Especially if you compare that Bush did all this and caused the death of now several hundred thousands of people in iraq alone without getting impeached and that Clinton was, because he got a blow job. Not impeaching bush sends out the message to the next president and every politican that you can do whatever you want to without fearing any consequences.

Movie recommendation: [REC]

Last week, I watched the movie [REC] in a local cinema. It is a spanish horror movie which can be described as a mix of Blairwitch-Project or Cloverfield (because of the amateur camera style) and any modern Zombie Movie. Sounds not that innovative and even a bit boring, and we didn't expect much from it, but were surprised that the movie was actually really good. They made every effort to make the movie thrilling and exciting, and IMO succeeded.
We watched the movie in its original language although we don't even speak spanish :) (there were german subtitles) but I think it was a very good decision, added some thrill and realism to our impression. Obviously, the uncreative people in Hollywood share my opinion of [REC] and although it has been released in November 2007, they are already producing a remake named Quarantaine. Looks like the average american won't watch movies not produced in Hollywood, strange.
So if you want to flee the EM 2008 like me, the cinema is ideal (quite empty during a game) and REC is a perfect movie for this :)

Duke Nukem Forever Video

There is a sign of life from my favorite piece of vaporware, Duke Nukem Forever.
If you watch the several minutes long video on the Jace Hall Show, you'll see several seconds of the game in action at the end of the video. Looks like Doom3 with DukeNukem weapons to me.

Free Software is great!

I just created an updated youtube video of DS and used VirtualDub and Audacity for this, two great pieces of software. Just wanted to say thanks to the authors with this blog post. (The fact that the video is crap is basically my own fault ;) )
Btw, the author of Virtualdub blogs interesting stuff from time to time and is using the same (also open source) blogging software like I am using on this blog.

Irrlicht 1.4.1 released

Irrlicht 1.4.1 is mainly a bugfix release and includes improvements to the COLLADA 1.3 loader, support for Milkshape 1.8 files, enhanced .3ds, .obj loaders, Microsoft .x file animation playback improvements, added X11 support on OSX, several speed optimizations, and tons of bugfixes, API enhancements and other small improvements.
It's out now, happy downloading!

irrEdit 1.4.1 Released!

A new version of irrEdit is out now: irrEdit 1.4.1, compatible with Irrlicht 1.4.1.

Right, that Irrlicht version is not out yet, but will be in the next few days, and as now really a lot of people are using irrEdit, I think it is quite useful for them that irrEdit is now available right at the release of Irrlicht 1.4.1 and not 2-3 months after it as usual.

Frustration dump

Oh how I like Vista... How difficult could it be for Microsoft to make their own compiler run on their newest OS? Currently I'm getting a lot of these, randomly:
LINK : fatal error LNK1000: Internal error during BuildImage

In addition to the cases where VisualStudio is not able to write .pdb files because it thinks somebody else locked that file (but actually, itself is locking it), developing on vista is no fun at all. Arrrgghhl.