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My Encounter with The Walking Dead

I'm used to buy games as physical copies, and carry them home, to install them there. It just feels nice. But today, this has become nearly senseless, because after you installed a game from disk, the DRM stuff kicks in, and you usually have to download a patch anyway, which sometimes is as big as the game itself. So I'm late to the party: A few weeks ago, I purchased my first computer game entirely as digital download, from the internet (via Steam, in particular). The game I bought was The Walking Dead, and boy, this was a good choice.
The Walking dead is the game adaption of the The Walking Dead comic book series and probably better known from the The Walking Dead TV series. I watched the TV series. It is entertaining but unfortunately not particularly good: Bad script with bad dialogs. But it's a Zombie TV series, with lots of undead, crossbows and people trying to survive. It's good for this alone! The wife and I watched Season 2 nearly only in anticipation of seeing the disliked characters die. Yes, we basically sided with the Zombies. :)

But this blog post is about the "The Walking Dead" computer game by Telltale Games: It is great! It's a kind of adventure, although it's more like an interactive movie. It's really fun, the choices you make are interesting, the characters are believable and you can play it casually, as needed if you have a fulltime job. The game is devided in 5 episodes which you play through one after each other. Because of this, it feels a bit like watching a TV series when playing. One episode lasts for about between 1 and 2 hours (I think), so you get enough of entertainment for 24 euros. I only had a bit trouble starting the game on Windows 8, but the problem disappeared by itself, I guess there was a patch which fixed this problem. So I really can recommend getting the game. It really deserved all the "game of the year" awards it received. Get it if you don't have it yet.

CopperLicht 1.6

Finally, I've also finished the update for my free WebGL 3D engine, CopperLicht. I just released version 1.6, which has all the features from CopperCube 4: Particle Systems, Mobile2D input nodes, extended Overlay2D node with nicer API and multi-line text support and more. I also speeded up billboard rendering by about 600% (measured a few times with Chrome), because I now don't construct and destruct vertex buffers anymore senselessly.

I also updated its website a bit, hope it doesn't look that crappy anymore. :) Additionally, I've also created a small update for CopperCube, it's now at version 4.0.1. Although it was tested extensively, there are always a few bugs which get spotted by users after the release. Nice side-effect: Generated Android apps are now much faster, and can load about twice as many textures. I'll blog about how I did that soon in more detail.

CopperCube 4 released

I just released CopperCube 4. In short, the new features are: Android support, Particle systems, Touchscreen support for mobile devices, customizable loading screens for all targets, Multiline text, more and extended actions and behaviors (cloning, deleting, vehicles, random positions, etc.), new examples and prefabs, lots of other improvements. See the details in the forum.

When I posted the hint image about the new feature, it was a picture of Lieutenant Commander Data, who is an android. I thought it would be easy to guess that this would mean CopperCube 4 will be able to create Android apps, but obviously it was not. :)
Hope you like this release!

After Earth

I received a link to this movie trailer now for the second time, both from persons telling me that this is similar to the ideas in my book:

I like the settings and idea in 'After Earth', and it really reminds a bit of my book. But the book is entirely different. Really! :)
Post-Apocalyptic settings now seem to be in, did you for example see the Oblivion trailer already? It also has some similarities. Sooo... did you look into my book already? Amazon currently has some of them in stock again, hint! :)

Subscriptions on Dreamingmethods

Andy Campbell from onetoonedevelopment now offers subscriptions on his website Dreamingmethods.com. With a subscription, you get access to the source code and the media files, textures and sounds used to create the projects on this website. Definately worth the $31, I guess. Alternatively, if you like the projects he creates, you can also donate on that website.

IonMonkey first impression

Just tried out Firefox 18.0.1 with its new IonMonkey JavaScript engine. It needs a bit to start up - you'll notice complex JavaScript code lagging for a fraction of a second once - but boy, this is fast. At least with the latest version my WebGL 3D engine. Mozilla did a great job with this piece of software, I'm impressed.

Guess what feature I mean

I finally have finished and cleaned up the particle system implementation for the upcoming new release of CopperCube. With that and all the other already finished features, CopperCube is nearly feature-complete now. Here is a screenshot of one of the new examples which will come with the software package, showing some instances of a few particle systems in action: A camp-fire and some futuristic green ball-thingy:

I know, I haven't talked much about the other cool features which will be in the next release. I usually don't do this because I don't want to disappoint people: When I'm working on a new feature, it's still possible that just before the release it turns out that there is some major technical problem preventing me from including it in the build. But in this case, I'm now 99.9% sure it will make it in. So here is a hint:

Can you guess what one of the bigger new features might be in CopperCube soon?

If you would like to get a mail once this new version of CopperCube is released, you can subscribe to the Ambiera Newsletter:
Your email adress:
(will open the ambiera.com website for confirmation)

Malware gates wide open!

Out of curiosity, I just took a look into the Internet Explorer options, to see what addins and plugins there are active in that browser. Altough I don't even use it anymore. Turns out, there were about 20 plugins active. Some 'safe search' toolbars (where did those even come from? Preinstalled maybe?), two versions of Java, two Java "helpers" from Oracle (WTF?!), Silverlight, Adobe PDF reader, and whatnot. Disabled them all. Just in case I use IE in mistake. Boy, a lot of crap wants to be "in the web" today. No wonder it is so easy for malware to find a way onto your system.

Mobile Game Engines Interviews

Jason Brownlee from Mobilegameengines.com did a short interview with me, mainly about the 3D game engine stuff I am working on. He did the same with 21 other developers and now published this interview compilation as a book: Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Engine Developers.
If you are working with mobile game engines or planning to create one yourself, this might be an interesting read for you. It's already available as eBook, and Paperpack on Lulu.com, but also soon on Amazon.com, as it seems. Talking about books: Did you already take a look at the book I wrote? It's in german, science fiction, and also available on Amazon. :)

3D Particle System in Flash / Stage 3D and WebGL

I just finished the implementation of a small particle engine for CopperCube. Besides in the native Windows and Mac OS X targets, it also already works in Flash and WebGL, so it's possible to show it in action directly on this blog:

Does it run smoothly on your system? It's not very optimized yet, but I am very happy with the outcome so far. Also, it looks very nice :)

This feature will be in the next release of CopperCube. If you would like to get a mail once this new version of CopperCube is released, you can subscribe to the Ambiera Newsletter:
Your email adress:
(will open the ambiera.com website for confirmation)

Short visit in Skyrim

The lack of updates in the last week on this blog were because I spent New Year in a part of the world which looked surprisingly like the world of Skyrim. Here is proof:

It was also quite cold, but at least there were no dragons. During my stay there, I had a lot of ideas about my software projects, and I'm quite busy implementing those already. I'm going to post some experiments and tests about this soon on this blog.