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Atom Editor

August 23, 2016 by

The Atom editor is a very versatile and extendable coding editor made by the folks from GitHub.

Being extendable also means that the functionality out of the box is pretty limited. I therefore have a personal collection of plugins that I find interesting:

  • atom-beautify Code Highlighting for a whole bunch of different languages.
  • file-watcher Detects file changes outside of Atom and notifies you.
  • keyboard-localization Fixes inaccessable hotkeys for people using non-us keyboards.
  • less-than-slash Automatically closes HTML tags.
  • minimap Visual minimap of your code – conficts with symbols-list.
  • pigments Tints color values inside the code.
  • symbols-list Lists functions and methods of the current file in the right sidebar – conficts with minimap

Construction ahead

August 5, 2015 by

It’s been much too long since the last update, and since the design is also getting quite rusty, I’ll now be upgrading the whole site. This will probably break things here and there along the way, but bear with me.

Improved Trucking Physics

June 7, 2012 by

Had another go at the WheelCollider, as I wasn’t convinced that completely custom built vehicle physics would save that much time, and I have made a couple of improvements. Most of all the Suspension is now correct, as I was doing it wrong most of the time:

  • The best way to start is to set “Spring”, “Damper” and “Target Position” to zero.
  • Set “Suspension Distance” to the distance you want the wheels to drop when the vehicle is in the air.
  • Set “Spring” to something high (try 10240, depending on the weight and number of wheels of the vehicle) and start the game. Tweak the “Spring” value until the suspension is strong enough to keep the body of the vehicle from hitting the ground.
  • Now set the “Damper” to roughly 1/20 of the “Spring” value and tweak it until the vehicle stops bouncing (depending on how much you like it to bounce)
  • Note that everything you attach to the vehicle as well as the center of mass will affect the suspension behaviour and you will probably have to tweak it all over again

Here’s the new version with the improved settings.

Trucking v02

Trucking Physics

May 20, 2012 by

I experimented a little with the Unity physics and wheel collider features to try to get a working truck + trailer configuration working for rough terrain.

As I had already done some truck and trailer physics for a farm simulator at work I wasn’t expecting this to be that tricky.

I uploaded my current state with still quite a number of problems and my research in forums has only resulted in finding many other developers not really happy with the build in car physics, saying you should do your own or use one off the Asset Store.

Trucking v01

I’m not yet ready to give up on the built in system (but close).

Not working at the moment are:

  • Suspension isn’t following the ground properly, especially with the twin-axles. Resulting in one axle having ground contact while the other is hanging in the air. I may have to reduce the real twin axles to a single virtual one, driving the visible twin axles.
  • The truck tips over to easily. Lowering the center of gravity will fix this, but when tipping over the truck will then flip back to it’s wheels, looking pretty weird. I may have to animated the center of gravity so that it will rise if the truck is tipping over and lower it while it is going normally
  • The trailer sometimes drags the truck pretty violently. It uses a configurable joint with restrictions but these sometimes pull very hard on the truck (or it may lift the truck into the air when braking hard).
  • Sometimes the truck will not be able to gain speed. Very strange, I can only think of there being some large friction between truck and trailer leading to this behaviour.
  • Grip and slip isn’t configured properly. Either the wheels simply spin or the wheels stick so violently to the ground that it tips over. It would be nice to get more information out of the wheel collider. This again speaks towards using a custom made system.

Happy new year!

January 6, 2011 by

I decided to to do something about my homepage again and switched from LifeType to WordPress. The old site was having issues and has also been spammed regularly.

Most work went into transfering most of the content and comments from the blog. I also added and updated a couple of images and I finally added my gallery again. Luckily WordPress is able to reroute the URLs so I am confident this switch will not break too many of the old links.

I am still filling it and I am planning on adding new stuff to it. Let’s see how long that new years resolution will last 😉

Partially new

March 4, 2009 by

Sooo, the front page is new. Something broke my website and since I was to lazy to find the problem I redid the front page with a nice slideshow which will do until I rebuild the rest of the site. The blog survived unscathed and I used the occasion to update it’s software, hoping that nothing broke on the way.

I also relaunched the Amiga Graphics Archive with my own gallery system because ZenPhoto got a bit too cumbersome for my taste.

Symphonic Shades

August 25, 2008 by

Symphonic Shades 23. August 2008 playing video game music from Chris Hülsbeck with the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra

Symphonic Shades concert hall“Symphonic Shades” was Chris Hülsbeck’s dream of bringing a whole concert with his videogame music to life with a proper symphonic orchestra into reality. The first concert was sold out within days of it’s announcement and I was one of the lucky ones to find out in time to get a couple of tickets (later a second concert was announced for the same evening, three hours later, which sold out just as fast)

I was very excited to be at this concert as this was my very first videogame concert. I had already listened to renditions of Final Fantasy from Nobue Uematsu, but never live, and I was used to these concerts and remixes sometimes sounding a bit strange.
I am a great fand of Chris’s Amiga music and I have also bought nearly all of his Soundtrack CDs, although I have to say that his Style worked better with the rough and gritty sounding Amiga soundchip. Even the remixes of his own songs seldomly reached quality of the originals.

Tickets to the Symphonic Shades concertThat said I can safely claim that “Symphonic Shades” was worth it. The songs that were played worked well with the orchestral arrangement (most of the songs were arranged by Jonne Valtonen aka “Purple Motion”) with only the odd deviation into the strange.
“Gem’X” had a man hitting coffee cups for percussion which sounded a bit strange and den symphonic rendition of “Shades” had a real synthesizer playing lead which sounded a bit out of place and ever so slightly out of tune.
The only real letdown was the Turrican II theme which was supposed to be some sort of journey through several classical ages which was either to high for me or just simply failed to recreate the atmosphere and ‘power’ that was behind the original. I also expected the Turrican 3 Piano Suite to be good but it was souly played by a finnish piano virtuoso called Jari Salmela who raced through the theme rather faster than his fingers could move and I rather missed the orchestral accompaniment which would have given the ending theme so much more emotion.
Apart from these small gripes the songs were very good. The X-Out theme was great, R-Type was fantastic (although a slightly jumpy beat struck me as weird), Tunnel B1 was brilliant despite being fronted by a 5 minute percussion solo.
“Karawane der Elefanten” was the only new song and as such failed (in my eyes) to convey any sort of Hülsbeckiism, but that may only be me wanting to hear something I can recognize.

The complete playlist:

  1. Grand Monster Slam – Opening Fanfare
  2. X-Out – Main Theme
  3. Jim Power – Main Theme
  4. Tower of Babel
  5. Turrican 3 – Piano Suite
  6. Gem’X – Main Theme
  7. Apidya II – Suite
  8. R-Type – Main Theme
  9. Licht am Ende des Tunnels – Suite
  10. The Great Giana Sisters – Suite
  11. Tunnel B1 – Suite
  12. Symphonic Shades
  13. Karawane der Elefanten
  14. Turrican II Renderings – Main Theme

There will be a Soundtrack CD of this concert in late 2008 which is supposed to feature all Songs from this evening. As it will feature recordings made during the week up to the concert itself it should probably sound more balanced than the live concert and maybe the timing issues will also be corrected (I’m no expert in symphonic music but there were parts where some parts of the orchestra semed to lag behind the rest but because I have seen this happen in professional soundtrack recordings I am not quite sure if this isn’t some kind of special rhythm thing).

Symphonic Shades poster hanging outside the Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz in CologneI will have an eye out for the CD and I hope there will be new opportunities for videogame concerts when (or if) the Games Convention comes to Cologne next year (but there have been signs of Leipzig putting up a fight so there may be two events next year very close to oneanother that’ll both be only half baked).

It was nice seeing Chris Hüslbeck personally attending this event and we even managed to get him onto the stage for the final applause as he prefers to stay in the background. But as a musician he has made a name for himself and an impressive legacy ranging over two decades in the videogame industry.

One last thing that struck me when seeing the audience at the concert was that they were all round about the same age, my age, all with their love and enthusiasm for Amiga and C64 music and one thing dawned to me: man, we’re getting old Laughing