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Blog fixed

Apparently, this blog didn't work for the last 5 days or so. Commenting wasn't possible, and half of the blog entries linked into nirvana. Hope this is fixed now. Sorry. :)

Action Hamster

Even if I have a lazy day and cannot get much development work done, there is always one busy office member. See for yourself:

Just made this video using my Android test phone. The quality of the video is quite low, and it was a quite cheap phone, but I'm still quite impressed what you can do with that small mobile computer today everyone carries along. :)

Morbid Land Released

Leandro Serpa from Serpagames just let me know of their just finished indie game developed using Irrlicht: The game is named Morbid Land, and it is a single player hack and slash RPG. The game looks very extensive, although the graphics style needs a bit to getting used to, but feels very much 'indie' :) See for yourself:

It seems that a lot of work has been put into the game. The game is currently featured on Indievania, and you can get a copy of it for currently 4.50$ from there.

CopperCube 3.0.3 released

I just released CopperCube in version 3.0.3, adding the features I blogged about before: Support for vertex colors (=nice 3d models without using textures) and correct import of huge 3d models, including the possibility of showing them in Flash and WebGL at decent speeds.

It's pretty cool that you can now basically download mostly any 3D model out there and use it in WebGL or Flash Stage3D using this. But maybe and idea would be to add a feature to quickly simplify such a big 3D mesh? I mean, really, 5 million polygons for a helicopter isn't what you want in realtime 3D applications. It also sucks for the download speed when viewed online then.

Google Not Paying European developers - and has no clue why

If you have an App on the Android market (like I do) and are a developer from Europe (like I am), you might have noticed that Google hasn't payed you this month. It appears that Google simply didn't send any money to all European developers selling their apps on Google's store. Which is - quite frankly - for lots of developers quite a disaster.
Ok, this can happen, and usually a company which makes a huge mistake like this instantly tries to resolve this huge problem as fast as possible. Not so google:
No official statement has been done by the company yet. They even didn't reply to any call for help so far, as it seems. Simply silence.

One problem is that as with all services google offers - and I know because I'm a paying google customer - also Android developers have no easy way to contact any human being at google. There is no real contact form, no real bug tracker link, no telephone number, nothing you can use to get some help. Even if you pay a lot of money to google, every month. So it's possible that Google didn't notice this huge problem for quite some time. The desparate Android developers which received no payment from google this month started a thread in the Google Product Forums, and even that remained unanswered until today, which is already 7 (!) days. A google employee at least posted a small text into there, but it made it even worse. His words were:

Unfortunately the checkout merchant center team is going through a major transition. Many of the past owners of the code base have left, which leaves many of you without proper support :( I'm part of a three person team that's getting transitioned to take ownership of the code base, in fact we have a meeting in 15min to get an overview of the basic architecture and start looking into some of these bugs. I assure you we will work very hard to address your issues as quickly as possible, but please remain patient with us as our team makes this transition.

Big fat WTF. I can hope this is only a joke. WTF is going on inside of Google? There is only 3 people working on a piece of software handling multi-million Euro transactions every month? And none of them have an idea of the code base? WTF?

CopperCube update preview: Vertex colors

I am currently working on a new feature for CopperCube: Vertex colors. More and more people are using the editor, and although it was intended to be used for creating games and short game style demos, it is now also used by other people, with other demands. It seems to be a common way to do stuff is to download free 3d models from the internet, and place them into your 3D scene in order to create something. The problem: 3D Models used for other things than games usually are a bit different. They are huge and definately not low-poly, and usually use colors instead of texture mappings. CopperCube does work with those models as well, but not as nice as it could. Currently, vertex colors are simply ignored, resulting in all such models appearing to be white only, and there are artifacts when importing huge files. But with the next free update, CopperCube should also be able to handle all this:

The model you see above is an Apache Longbow, consisting of 27MB (!!) of geometry data, and no textures as material. I've extended the WebGL and Flash target renderers as well to be able to handle this easily. And doing this, espesially extending all the materials isn't exactly a small task. There are about 18 material paths (like solid, transparent, reflective, with and without static lighting, with and without dynamic lighting etc) in CopperCube, and 5 render targets (D3D8, D3D9, OpenGL, WebGL, Stage3D), making together a whole of 90 combinations to check.

The shot above shows my test case scene which I use to see if all materials still work. Looks good for now. :)
I hope this next update will be available already next week, but let's see.

Game Developer Job in Vienna

Since lots of software and game developers are reading this blog, maybe this could be interesting for you: Cliffhanger Productions, Vienna based game developer (Jagged Alliance Online' and 'Shadowrun Online') is looking for programmers (C#, .NET, Unity). For details see the job description. Also, Vienna is a great place to live. Moved here 12 years ago, not intending to leave soon. :)

Todays Gamedesign Lesson

I just watched a great video by Egoraptor, about game design and MegaMan. I'm not very much interested in game design and I never played any game of the Megaman series, but this video was both entertaining and interesting:

The video is a whole 19 minutes long, but it's really worth watching it. It also shows nicely what's wrong with todays games. Now I feel I know a bit better why games back then really simply were fun, compared to the scripted game movies we have to play through today.