New AnimA coming

May 25, 2008 by

AnimA - Web Logo - metallicNew metallic AnimA logoHere’s the new and improved AnimA-TV logo. It will be featured on the redesigned as soon as the relaunch is complete.

The logo was completely rebuilt and now features highly detailed bevel edges and creases. This catches the reflections and specular lights much better than the old logo and also looks much better with the new nodal surface settings.

ColoursXNA started

February 24, 2008 by

I have started to play around with Microsoft’s XNA Framework in C# and, as a first project, started porting my old puzzle game “Colours”. I created that game 1992 on my Amiga in AMOS Basic and have ported it successfully to HTML/JavaScript round about 2004. Several attempts to port it to the PC in Blitz Basic / DarkBasic Professional failed because the languages were a little bit to basic for my likeing (and because I accidently deleted a prototype version that was quite close to getting finished).

19920101_originalStarting with C# wasn’t quite as easy as I had hoped because I am used to PHP and doing everything myself. C# has load of features for handling variable scopes and breaks pretty fast if you try to be smart and ignore all that, which is what you can do in PHP. Also, the XNA Framework is huge and does loads of stuff for you, but if don’t know what structure it expects then you’re a bit lost.

There is a very good list of tutorials and websites for XNA and the basic things are very easy to understand. But some of the more advanced examples work very differently and aren’t documented very well which leaves you out in the cold as soon as you have understood the basics. Maybe the Creators Club is better but I haven’t yet decided if I will manage to keep going long enough so that the 100$ membership fee won’t be wasted.

coloursxnaAt the moment I have the blocks, playfield, gravity, colour reactions, cursor movement and score counting running. I still need lots of graphical effects (such as exploding blocks, score overlays and the whole gui) on my todo list as well as everything outside of the actual game. I also have lots of ideas on how to extend the game from it’s 1992 feature set so that will be quite interesting to see those coming along.

Rez HD – Xbox360

February 2, 2008 by

I already had Rez on the PS2 and loved this little gem. When I heard that is was going to be released on the Xbox360 in HD (720p) I was quite excited to see what they had made of it for this new iteration.

The graphics look wunderfull and the sound is great. The game has been converted very faithfully to the Xbox360, including the controller rumble which you have to enable the first time around.

Improvements to the original are mostly with it’s enhanced resolution although there are also a couple of minor details that seem to have been added including some extra effects (one spectacular glare effect that makes fighting the area 4 end boss quite taxing).

Overall the game seems a little bit more difficult than the PS2 version (having not played the DreamCast version I can’t really tell how faithful it is to the original).

I am not sure that it is worthy it’s 800 Microsoft Points pricetag having already bought the PS2 version (although it would have been terrible if it had been a full price game). It does have a limited long time playability with only 5 levels to unlock but it also has a uniquely fun gameplay that just works wonderfully on HDTV with a good surround sound setup.

For a rail-shooter remake this is very good (I don’t think we stand a chance of Starblade or Starblade: Operation Blue Planet getting released on any next-gen console) and if you haven’t had a chance to play this one before it is certainly a recommended buy. If, like me, you have the old version this still is nice to have, but just keep in mind that this is only a remake, not a second part.

Works in progress

January 25, 2008 by

Here are a couple of models that I have been working on for the last couple of months. The Veloque fighter has been in the albums for quite some time but hasn’t been announced properly.

Veloque (WIP) - v05 - first setupVeloque (WIP) - v10 - front with wingsVeloque (WIP) - v13 - a bit over the top

I created it from a sketch I made on paper and I made it to test modelling techniques for subpatch modelling with Lightwave. I deliberately tried a couple of difficult shapes to find solutions for the usual problems and I think I succeeded quite well in solving a couple of them.

It may have become a bit overloaded in the meantime so I may have to reduce oder modify a couple of shapes.

Titan (WIP) - v00 - Damocles v07 - predecessorTitan (WIP) - v01 - frontTitan (WIP) - v02 - front

The second WIP is a long one streaching from an idea I had for a couple of years in the shape of the Titan carrier (or Damocles as it’s predecessor was called). It’s purely polygon modelling and therefore not as demanding as the Veloque. It is based on the basic shape of a two bladed broadsword and will be (once completed) over 1km long. I have planned to launch the SpaceHead and Veloque fighters from it’s hangars but it will be quite some time until I will be able to do this. It is very likely that I will port these meshes into XSI before hand because LightWave isn’t quite as good at handling and combing complex mesh objects in one scene, so that will further delay the completion of this project, but I will keep you posted.

Finally finished Final Fantasy XII

January 22, 2008 by

After playing this part in the Final Fantasy row since it’s release in germany (23. February 2007 – yeah, thats half a year after the US and nearly a whole year after japan) I have finally finished the game.

After my failed attempt at defeating Vayne a couple of months ago I took some time off finishing most of the hunts and getting all of the espers. Usually in Final Fantasy you have quite a good chance in defeating the big boss if you manage to defeat most of the extra beasts before hand and therefore this time Vayne didn’t stand a chance.

Piratennest (Sky Pirates Den)

In addition to the higher level I also had quite a good and demanding time gathering extras for my sky pirate’s den. This is quite a simple thing to implement for the game developer but it somehow adds a nice incentive to the game. Quite similair to the achievements you get on the Xbox or Half Life. I’ll just show you has become of mine:

Quite crowded by now, but I did leave out a couple of things, including the Tiamat and several other things just because I thought it was about time to finish.

My final stats are just over 4.000.000 clan points with all characters being at level 68 (and Vaan leveling to 69 inside the Bahamuth). Final playtime was about 170 hours which must be the longest time I have spent on a Final Fantasy (or any game for that matter).

Now let’s just hope Final Fantasy XIII isn’t going to be late.

Power consumption

November 10, 2007 by

I decided to test the power consumption of my new PC today.

Intel Core 2 Duo Q6600
Gigabyte P35-DS3
XFX nVidia 8800 GTS 320MB

Application Consumption Comment
Idle 145W
Lightwave3D 204W Rendering a scene with all 4 cores maxed out
3DMark06 up to 247W Running on default settings. 3DMark06 gave me 10586 3DMarks (SM2:4102, SM3:4229, CPU:4672)

Black Mesa group photo

October 31, 2007 by

Having played through Half Life 2 Episode 2 I could’nt fail to notice a photo hanging in the lab at White Forest. I think I recognise some of the faces, although they look more like the Half Life 1 models…

A group photo of Black Mesa staff found at White Forest:

HalfLife 2 - Episode 2 - Black Mesa Group Photo

  1. unknown
  2. unknown
  3. unknown
  4. seen him in HL1
  5. probably Eli Vance
  6. unknown
  7. Dr. Isaac Kleiner
  8. Dr. Gordon Freeman
  9. G-Man

Anyone know the rest or what position G-Man had at Black Mesa? My memories from HL1 are a bit shadey Wink

Another blog

October 28, 2007 by

Well, this is going in a different direction to what I was originally planing. But with time being as limited as it is and blog software being as good as it is I thought I’d save some time by not reinventing the wheel again by developing something that has already been done a million times before.

Now I can get back to doing creative stuff and have a rant every now and then.