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We are currently moving the Ambiera office to a new location, a bit outside of Vienna. Blog posts, Answers to forum questions and support requests will be a bit slower than usual, sorry for the inconvenience.

We live in the future

Today, I bought a small box of plastic, and plugged it into the electric socket in the wall. And without connecting any cable or configuring anything anywhere, all my computers instantly had fast Internet access. I realized that today we live in the future. Technology is great.

The Upcoming Collapse - From a Game Developer's Point of View

Disclaimer: I'm not a financial expert, I'm a software developer. But in this role, I've worked and developed software for the military, for intelligence services, online game studios (seriously, see below why) and banks, and have a bit of an insight about what is going on and what will happen in the near future.

If you watched the news recently, you might be a bit amazed about the strange contradicting headlines. On the one side, we appear to be in a economic recovery phase (or even boom) but are surrounded by failed states, exploding deficits and failing currencies. How does this make sense? And what does this mean?

What is going on?

Basically: Currently we have a financial industry which is bigger than any other industry. It manages and generates more money than anything else, although it doesn't even produce anything. It basically generates money out of thin air. If you ever worked on the game design of a virtual world it's pretty clear that this doesn't work for a long time. Sooner or later the money system in your game world will stop working. That's what nearly happened in 2007. But instead of 'resetting' the game world, the politicians decided to let the banks continue. They 'fixed' the buggy system by pushing out more non-existing money out of thin air.

This worked for a short time, since this whole system now is based on trust in the system and confidence in the future development of the system. People simply believed that the bugfix worked. But it didn't, because they actually didn't fix anything. And now it is breaking down again. There are so many signs for this, you only have to take a look into a newspaper, for example from today:

What will happen now?

IMO, there it's not possible to prevent the collapse anymore. The politicians have shown that they are incapable of even thinking about counter measures, and the bankers now switched to the squeeze-every-money-out-of-the-system-as-long-as-it's-still-possible mode. They know: If they succeed, they get the money, if they fail, the governments will print more money to save them. Nice setup, right? Also: Take a look at history. Every FIAT money system has broken down. It usually leads to hyperinflation. The only thing nobody knows today for sure when the time will be.

What can you do about it?

If you have some money lying around, it will soon be worth nothing. Buy something of value with it. Like silver, gold or if you have a lot of money: real estate. Some piece of land, a house, or whatever. And then wait for the collapse and smile. And even if it doesn't happen: You've lost nothing then.

Minecraft clones

Since most people now heard of Minecraft and its unbeliveable commercial success, Minecraft clones are popping out everywhere on the web, implemented in various languages and using lots of different technologies.
For example celeron55 created Minetest c55 using the Irrlicht 3D engine, and it looks like this:

Runs on Linux and Windows, features multiplayer support and is very fast. Nice project :)

I think the reason for all those Minecraft clones is not that people think they can also get a lot of money out of this (they wouldn't anyway), but that it is a nice programming challange: You don't need a 3d artist and the algorithm for rendering and doing game logic in that 3d world is quite fun, from a programmers point of view.

But I think it won't be long until commercial, big money funded Minecraft clones with non-programmer-art graphics will see the light. Sadly, game development today is mostly merging together two or more already existing game concepts which worked before. Will be interesting to watch what the big players will make out of this, and I hope to see them fail. :)

WebGL Demos

Because I just released a new version of CopperCube and CopperLicht, I also updated the WebGL demos a bit. There is also a new demo, the 'Third Person Camera Demo', as already blogged before. Looks like I created quite a few demos already, here is the current list:

Quake 3 Map Demo

This demo loads and displays a full Quake 3 level. Warning: Needs a fast PC. Start

Character Animation Demo

CopperCube supports realtime 3D character animation, also known as skeletal animation. This Demo shows one simple demo animated character. Start

Collision Detection Demo

This demo loads a small 3d scene and demonstrates collision detection and response. It is possible to climb up stairs and collide against walls. Start

Third Person Camera Demo

This demo shows the third person camera built-into CopperCube in action. You can walk around with an animated 3d character. Start

Asteroids Game

This demo shows a fully working simple asteroids game, including sound and music. Start

Toy Car Demo

This demo loads a very small 3d scene with a car animated along a spline path. Start

Maybe it is time now to create a real, small WebGL based game instead of all those small demos.


Thanks to the readers of this blog, there is now a new version of the web editor WebsitePainter released which supports 11 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovensky, Spanish, and Swedish. Thanks everybody for sending in the translations! I especially like the languages which I'm completely incapable of even reading, like Chinese:

Looks awesome to me :)

Family Farm

There is a new game using irrKlang, it's named Family Farm. If I remember correctly, the last game I mentioned on this blog also was a farming game, so apparently, this is now a new popular genre.. Interesting. :)
Family Farm will be released on 15th of April and can currently be pre ordered for a reduced price.

WebGL Third Person Camera Test

I just created a small demo for a new feature in CopperCube, a third person camera. If you are using the latest Firefox, Chrome or Safari, you should be able to try this WebGL demo:

Because of this blog software creating <br/>'s for line breaks, I had to embedd this using the iframe tag. You can also see the demo here without the iframe.
No programming was invovled creating this scene, you only need to select the new behaviors in the editor to create a scene like this. This is not yet finalized (needs a bit more tweaking), but will be in the next release of CopperCube.

Want a free copy of WebsitePainter or CopperCube? - Translations wanted

Do you want to get a free copy of CopperCube or Websitepainter? Do you speak French, Spanish, or Italian? Or another popular language? If you provide me with a translated language file of WebsitePainter, I give you a license as thank-you. Here is what you need to do for this:

Download WebsitePainter and locate the language file named 'websitepainter_language_en.xml' in the sub directory 'language' of WebsitePainter (or inside the .app bundle on Mac OS X). Create a copy of that one, and instead of _en, rename it to end with the two letters for the language from ISO 639-1, like _fr for French or _pt for Portuguese. (For this you need to be a system admin if your are running Windows 7) If your system is of that language, and you restart WebsitePainter, you should already see the new texts in the program.

You can send me the translated file or any questions to niko (št) irrlicht3d.org. Note that I'll verify the translations, so I cannot accept poor quality texts, I'm sorry. Also, if I get more than one translation for the same language, the quickest translator wins. (If it is close, both will get a free license, I'm not that mean).
I already received some translated language files, so a big thank-you to those friendly translators!

Update: Languages no longer needed (because already sent in): English, German, Portuguese, Russian, French, Chinese, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Slovak, Swedish, Bulgarian, Greek, Farsi.