12.31.2011

Minecraft's stupid game modes

0 Comments
One thing that really pisses me off about minecraft is that in survival mode, you'll loose all your items when you die. It's ok in survival mode, yes, but just think about when you're peaceful cause you WANT to gather your ressource instead of having them all the time like in creative mode. It's a good way to regulate my tendency to want to big things first, so my start is small and I get to have hooray moments when finding diamonds. I like this flow, but having collected multiple iron and redstone stacks along with 8 fucking diamonds, it's more than bitter to fall into lava under the next diamond. The way to get around is simple but requires discipline. And cause caves are huge and boring in time, I get unwary and will definitely prefer finding more stuff than finding my way back. Therefore, it's pissing me so off. Two hours underground, for nothing! Even worse, all my tools are gone, too, so I have to take another tour or different approach. And I don't want to mine systematically today. I'm sick of staring and walls and so on. Ya know what? I'll just dig a huge square til ground. That always works for sheer ressource gathering.

every-year events and social gatherings

0 Comments
One of these moments where I notice how special and nerdy my head functions, is when New Year's Wve comes close. From a certain age on (I was around 12 or so I think), I started questioning most social gatherings, events and other days happening every year at almost the same time. And New Year's Eve is some so questionable that I wonder why it was even intoduced. What happends on this day is different from country to country, but almost always people start loud and colorful fireworks and do something together. Sure, alternating the daily routine with something different is something everyone needs, but I just don't get why exactly when a year is over. It's just a damn number incrementing! Nothing else! The same stuff could be done in summer, what matters is the cycle of year and my year usually restarts after or before summer, not after the winter season begins to cease. Ironically, here it Germany the month past December are always the coldest, so it becomes stupid over time to celebrate this day. However, it's one of these days where I'm usually at home, not doing any work. So I don't blame this coincidence or anyone else, but I simply don't understand why anyone would start celebrating these days. It's like christmas, one of these commercialized days that serve no real purpose but providing a high TV quota and mucho dineros for firework sellers. Additionally, people do stupid promises they want to keep the next year (atleast here in Germany) but never doing anything about them. It's like christmas - everyone pretends to become grateful and family-friendly, but noone really gives a shit behind the cover. It's surface only and that always pissed me off. Furthermore, christmas bases on a goddamn religion so inferior in influence compared to what dictatorship is was before that it wonders me why people don't think about celebrating something else instead or on other days. Most of the days to celebrate in Germany come from religious events in the past though mostly nobody knows what they meant to be and what relation they have now. Full of commercial fuckfests that it's almost creepy that nobody gives a damn about it. I still don't see any logical reason for why anyone except church tards would want to celebrate these days. Maybe it's dysfunctional in my head to not see the actual value besides free days and meeting with other people (which you can get in even more other days, too). Or is it the fixed date in the year anchored so deep in society that it can't simply disappear? I don't know. All I know is that I like to do spontanous celebration if I'm in the mood. And every-year events are so over-rated that I simply can't get any celebration mood out of them. Must be the misanthropic part of me.

12.29.2011

Hope for Stalker 2!

0 Comments
Oh my god, I'm glad GSC said their dudes are working on it again. Rejoice!

Nice one, does it work?

0 Comments
Some twiddling here, some twiddling there and the new ressource manager is ready to be tested. I haven't found any dangerous spots, no holes in the concept and most importantly compared to the previous ones, not parts that seem makes me thinking. The system seems clean, using three task pools possibly having a maximum of three occupied tasks for each ressource (or non if not needed). I hope it is working out. If not, I'll drop the concept and do something else. But since I don't feel disappointed about myself or angry about some libraries or so, it must be something I got right - otherwise I usually start to get a bad mood and want to be fixed, via one way or another.

I'll test tomorrow or this night, don't yet know. Looking at much I had to create just to get it done so far is rather stunning. I guess it's normal for somehow into multithreading to "invent" mechanics on-the-fly, but for me it's not. Good thing that I do now have a great elemental toolkit for other mechanics and modules/functions. However, multithreading will still be something very dangerous to me with many pitfalls and much needed time to plan and think about what one has actually done. I prefer single processing units after all. Way more controllable.

How easy I forget

0 Comments
Oh my, after such a "long" christmas time and almost nothing but doing stuff that's NOT related to my engine, I totally forgot about and stuff is slowly coming back to me. It's always the same I should somehow get a daily schedule for this sort of stuff.

12.27.2011

Offline repost: ..!

0 Comments
I remembered my own knowdledge of grammar and sentence forming the whole day long and noticed how memorably similar they are to typical sentences in programming. The, rather universal, point is that in the end each language will come up with a sequences of words representing a an object, a circumstance, a meaning - in German it'd a Subjekt or an Objekt, in English Subject and Object (as long as I remember correctly of course). Those are in interesting because every action, every term of doing something (Verbs) are representable in the Subject/Object form and can thus be used to represent the same. Taking this further, I filtered a lot of other grammar parts I knew from school and came to the realization that every sentence or meaning can be represented with those Subjects (because Verbs can be Subjectified or whatever it's called) and a Context. Quite minimal if you ask me. Just go back to any language you've learned and try to look at it's most abstract syntax. Almost every sentence you'd speak there is like "Operand Operator Operand", a very basic mathematical expression. So whatever one would pre- or post-fix in any of those, it'll only either alter the contex it is seen in or the way of operating on those Operands (atleast thus applies to German and English). There may be implicit rules about the context or the actions or even the operands themself, but it's always an expression of thing doing and action with another. I took this as base for forming simply syntax (though still will programming symbols) that makes it seemingly possible to express everything in it, even in a small amount of time. It's like taking a C operator evaluation but omitting every evaluation order except with brackets. Add a xontext information before each Operand or Operator (usually time, place or another set of sentence forming the wanted context) and you can form pretty much everything you'd describe in reality and also of the stuff that you'd describe in a programming language. That's a base I think. The sentence structure is very easy and clear to understand if one knows it's rules - like with every other language. So it's the most simple and basic way of building and understanding sentences I can currently thinkg of. And I believe that with this simple way the language generation via a computer will be much more easier. However, it shouldn't be compared with something of big expressive value. Language comes from including new elements with every person speaking it, altering shape and meaning permantly over time. This language has no syntactic sugar and only one implicit rules for contexts, nothing more. So I guess I archieved my original goal of designing a simply language usuable for expressing stuff by a computer and beeing easy to learn and understand. Shouldn't burry this document, might come in handy some time...

Oh and as I said, I could use it for a programming language, too, because of it's format. But well, in the end it'd be useless cause I can effectively reach almost everything I want with my language of choice, so there's not much to try there. I have to say I prefer my syntactic sugar. I always loved sweets. However, I only need to think about the words to use then. The language's construct only knows words with any cases to time-specific variants of time. There's simply one words representing everything around it, depending on use as Operand and Operator as well as the context sometimes. It's like choosing new keywords for your favorite programming languages! This reminds me of how much I should learn latin some day. Whatever, maybe I get good enough at splitting the sentence in my mind so that it's worth trying to create a computer able to communicate with me in this language. That'd awesome I assure you.

Darn, I didn't do anything for my game engine. Well, some days one has to do something different that's not completely related to it. Though I have to admit that my current activities aren't that different.

Offline repost: different languages in a game world

0 Comments
Due to a lot of Stargate a Jet Force Gemini Speedrun with it's awesome insect slaughter fests, I wondered how great it would be have multiple languages spoken within a science fiction firefight in which you'd only understand certain words because you learned via random evens, talk or so. This can be expanded to general ingame text and conversations as long as all these languages share the same syntax or atleast a basic formula with which one can build proper sentence or atleast constructs of equal meaning. Usually, one would learn this stuff either by example or ingame teacher telling you how to understand their language, but of one would simply create a system that expands your diary automatically and then translating the learned words into English for example, that'd make the game a lot easier to play for those not wanting to learn the language wile playing or, like, would simply forget about while not playing. So either way the players who actualy learned the language provided that their is a way to learn it, could for example know more than other players not learning because they'd be knowing things other still have to learn and so on. The whole story could be changed this way and offer a more interesting second playthrough. However, there must an answering allowing you to use both languages - a direct text input. One would need to write two parser, one for English or interface language and one for the game's own language. Since languages and programming language are in essence the same but differ a lot in history and possible interpretation, I don't thik designing a more logical and simple to process gane language would be problem but rather writing a parser for all the other input languages. And that's the actual problem I think. Sure, simplified english wth limited words to use is rather easier but I don't think that it's sentence structure is made to be interpreted or even generated that easy. So as an alternative, creating a completely language one will need to learn while playing is another option. No other language of course. I think I can create something interesting that supports some very atomic talkage while still enabling to shorten words or express stuff differently. It has to be generatable and interpretable. Sure, it'll be a damn flat language, ut one could use not only for a video game but way to let the computer express data and also your non-binary input data and so on.

However, since I already had so many thoughts about programming languages, their features and to realize them, I noticed that I can actually realize them all in C in surely less comftable manor but still with the full functionality. That means I don't really need to make a language just for the few features and focus myself on other, more interesting stuff. The only thing a bit impossile this way is to generate code dynamically, but creating some sort of language and mind for a computer is effectively the same cause the computer would always need to form to language to express himself. I'm not talking Offline repost: different languages in a game world

Due to a lot of Stargate a Jet Force Gemini Speedrun with it's awesome insect slaughter fests, I wondered how great it would be have multiple languages spoken within a science fiction firefight in which you'd only understand certain words because you learned via random evens, talk or so. This can be expanded to general ingame text and conversations as long as all these languages share the same syntax or atleast a basic formula with which one can build proper sentence or atleast constructs of equal meaning. Usually, one would learn this stuff either by example or ingame teacher telling you how to understand their language, but of one would simply create a system that expands your diary automatically and then translating the learned words into English for example, that'd make the game a lot easier to play for those not wanting to learn the language wile playing or, like, would simply forget about while not playing. So either way the players who actualy learned the language provided that their is a way to learn it, could for example know more than other players not learning because they'd be knowing things other still have to learn and so on. The whole story could be changed this way and offer a more interesting second playthrough. However, there must an answering allowing you to use both languages - a direct text input. One would need to write two parser, one for English or interface language and one for the game's own language. Since languages and programming language are in essence the same but differ a lot in history and possible interpretation, I don't thik designing a more logical and simple to process gane language would be problem but rather writing a parser for all the other input languages. And that's the actual problem I think. Sure, simplified english wth limited words to use is rather easier but I don't think that it's sentence structure is made to be interpreted or even generated that easy. So as an alternative, creating a completely language one will need to learn while playing is another option. No other language of course. I think I can create something interesting that supports some very atomic talkage while still enabling to shorten words or express stuff differently. It has to be generatable and interpretable. Sure, it'll be a damn flat language, ut one could use not only for a video game but way to let the computer express data and also your non-binary input data and so on.

However, since I already had so many thoughts about programming languages, their features and to realize them, I noticed that I can actually realize them all in C in surely less comftable manor but still with the full functionality. That means I don't really need to make a language just for the few features and focus myself on other, more interesting stuff. The only thing a bit impossile this way is to generate code dynamically, but creating some sort of language and mind for a computer is effectively the same cause the computer would always need to form to language to express himself. I'm not talking about only commands like in most programming languages. I'm also talking about asking, answering and deciding. It doesn't have to be a fully blown brain or something like that but a simple pool of premade things and fixed algorithmix to handle asking, answering, deciding and executing. I'll focuds my language design efforts on this and not on things I don't need to write a programming language for. I'm curious what I can come up with this way. At first it'd probably be best to design the language itself based on a logical, question-/answer-alike structure. It won't need as many possibilities and freedoms in syntax as normal human languages do cause less dynamic als means a more strict way of receiving and reacting on information. Thus, it'd be easier for a computer to understand and express in it. I'm hoping I can find an interesting solution to this! about only commands like in most programming languages. I'm also talking about asking, answering and deciding. It doesn't have to be a fully blown brain or something like that but a simple pool of premade things and fixed algorithmix to handle asking, answering, deciding and executing. I'll focuds my language design efforts on this and not on things I don't need to write a programming language for. I'm curious what I can come up with this way. At first it'd probably be best to design the language itself based on a logical, question-/answer-alike structure. It won't need as many possibilities and freedoms in syntax as normal human languages do cause less dynamic als means a more strict way of receiving and reacting on information. Thus, it'd be easier for a computer to understand and express in it. I'm hoping I can find an interesting solution to this!

Offline repost: Christmas with Smokers

0 Comments
The last time I tend to see my parents as a necessary evil, mostly due to their constant tries to control the life of their children and even more constant smoking in the living rooms. Leaving a household with only government-guaranteed financial support like most students in Germany is difficult if the parents don't play the game, taking ages to fill the required forms I'd need to get out there. Therefore I'm now forced to stay over christmas until they move up their asses. And even today, on christmas day they weren't able to atleast stop their unfriendly bevahiour - if only for a day. Rants and stress-making because of the most unimportant things that totally don't matter on christmas as well as repeated redirecting of the fault until I am once again the evil that did everything wrong. A very stereotypical reaction I'm usually answering with saying or doing nothing because it doesn't matter what I do, I'll always end up beeing the evil component in the plot doing everything wrong. However, until 10:00 pm everything went nice and me and my sister were even able to occupy the usually smoke-ridden living rooms, watch a movie and have some happy christmas illusions. Well, short before the film went they started to get back to their typical ignorant behaviour and smoked. Damn, can't they even wait ONE DAY IN THE YEAR? Wait on the own children to have one of those more than rare moments where sitting with their parents would not attack their health? Atleast I was able to rescue my christmas presents before they'd smell like shit. It's simply terrible. Every second together in the same floor your smell worse. Put something in their room and it'll smeel for DAYS and beyond. It's like old women putting so much parfume on that they'll never smeel anything else but this parfume. Even if they didn't all day they could simply go out and do it there. But nooo, it's cold and we want to smoke in our den of ashes and fuck other people's lungs and noses even more! I have goddamn asthma, a cold and only want to have one nice evening with my parents, atleast one time until I'll move my home elsewhere. This place is not my home anymore. It's a temporary prison build on top of a nuclear power plant. I'd even call my university more home than this place have become over the years. On top of that, my Internet broke randomly and I have until the christmas are over cause I'm still someone not wanting to interfer several events at this time. So I'm writing this offline and hope these few days will be over quick so that I can get my net back and pick up the only distraction I'm this place: video games and movies. If I'd know that my internet would go off, I could simply put Steam to offline mode. But know, those stupid things always happen RANDOMLY. Darn. I just want to get out of here as soon as possible. My parents have some days left until I'll ask them again to fulfill their duties of simply filling out those GODDAMN FORMS.

Having no internet and thus no way to play a game or two with someone or simply talk about annoying everyday stuff just right now when you need is a rather... new experience to me. Well, since I had my problems with getting proper internet running for exactly this kind of stuff, the irony lies within in the fact that I now do have my problems leaving this state. Guess it's all quite human then? Probably... Anyway, I got enough Stargate episodes to make my time sweet enough until all the eventful days are over. And while watching so, I can work on my game engine once more. I hope that I can now, after creating a tasker system, a taskpool system and some other quite multithreaded stuffs, continue with the ressource loader system and then finally start running the whole actual game functionality behind. Some stuff just takes time. Applying new technology as well as finding a new home - whereever it might be.

12.22.2011

Hm

0 Comments
So after playing for a while without any blocking, only conjured swords, minions and Mage Armor, I've got to say it works quite nice but I already lost so many points that I'm not up to the damage I could do with more points in Conjuration. Furthermore, I had to fallback on Restoration to constantly heal myself in battle. In terms of difficulty and surviving I haven't noticed any real difference to my previous character with a shitload of defense and fire spell specialization. I had to drink a whole lot of potions and some enemies were so fucking hard that fighting became sort of turn-based. However, I took less damage - mostly because my mage armor is only around 180 at the moment and I had around 300 or even more last time. All in all it works rather well and most stuff I can handle nicely except bandit chiefs - these are only bearably when they carry a shield. Conjured creatures come in very handy. They are sill easy to kill by Draugr Deathlords and other more powerful enemies but while they get bashed I can simply attack my enemies from behind and avoid constant health problems.

It's challenging. And it'll probably even more challenging in higher levels where I won't be able to increase my armor as easy as warriors. I could still use wards but adding 80 armor still makes only a maximum of 380 armor plus quickly drained mana - healing would be way more effective... There's still the master level spell giving you the maximum defense ever possible with 80% damage reduction. So it'll easy once I get there, but, well - I still need to get there... Maybe some sneak + backstabbing and a decent dagger (Mehrunes' maybe) can give me some more dungeon-level damage when proceeding carefully. However, casting is a noisy task, so I'd need Illusion too which I find disgusting to use. A real hero doesn't need to cover his awesomeness. I don't know. I'll just play as I did before, get a decent shield brother (so far I managed so stay well enough after Lydia got killed in her first fight...) and some other resistance thingies, too. I somehow have the same problems as before but didn't notice them. And I don't really know how other players can have four or five different magic schools along with all the voodoo you only get when putting huge amounts of points in it. I simply don't know. And maybe I also don't want to know. I'm a simple barbaric rush-in-and-kill player in games, never understood I'm supposed to alternate between more than two different actions in combat excluding the ones I do before and after attacking. I was able to mix them using the now all-nice shortcut and dual-wield system but I can get more than 3 different actions running dynamically. Though I suspect the combat system and enemy fuzzyness.

Useless perks in Skyrim

0 Comments
Oh I'm in such goddamn fucking rage mode right now! I mean if one would use and train Block, I'd say that you'd atleast get some reduced damage or faster reaction time (WITHOUT investing skill points) but I still have the same damage reduction as when I started. More annoyingly, using Block will slow you sowhat down that it's effectively impossible to avoid beeing quashed with multiple enemies. They'll swarm you, attack from everywhere you will never see them all in your limited FOV or even be able to react while blocking. I'd totally useless! I die as fast as if I'd use no shield but react a bit more quick. That's especially due to the fact that the only way to properly handle Bound Sword, conjuring a creature, Mage Armor, Healing AND a shield is to use a fuckload of hotkeys with the result that the shield is an item and you can't simply dual-wield your mage armor, dual-wield a conjuration and then equip your sword with a shield all together while maybe also needing to dual-wield heal yourself (not using the perk, two parallel heal spells) and thus doing all the shield/sword stuff again! Not using any shield, I could simply double-tap armor first, then double-tap conjure and/or double-tap my swords with a better general speedyness and flexibility. I have NEVER seen any enemy profitting from using a shield cause you can lock them down so quickly that they won't even have to have to land a hit but loosing life constantly! Fuck, it's already at 32 this moment and I can only see it as a total waste. Also, I believe that the mage armor doesn't correctly with it cause it's either light or heavy armor.

Geez, that's fucking, really. I can take down Master vampire with no problems at all without blocking but Block will leave you so unable to react, it's a shame to the balance. Well, I shouldn't blame the game or the developers. I know there are so many players having so many different styles while also having heard that a bunch of them use the shield to dead-bash all kinds of enemies. I'm not one of those and prefer highly offensive damage spamming. Therefore, I'll put more points into dual-wielding and conjuration to have my tactic perfectly matched. Too bad I can't also combine this will destruction spells like in Oblivion... Conjuring swords takes quite a long time and wanting to dual-wield them makes perfect offensiveness in the beginning but less damage for strategic fights where you'd need to heal yourself or get assistance from dead bodies (I love necromancy skills!). So I'll simply try it differently for the next progresses. But I can remember having problems with multiple enemies in my first playthrough, too. Mostly cause I didn't have enough mana for spamming fireballs and not enough power to take them down with a few sword hits. Whatever. Time will prove me right! Atleast I hope so. In every case, I now there are very powerful master mages in Oblivion and even at around level 50 I had to watch for their powerful attacks and their even more powerful shields. I wanna be one of those! But first I need to train a bit...

Reload!

0 Comments
Did some more tiding in my code pile and made it all much more to my liking. Merged several macro collections, added a pool/slot manager, integrated my new logic and function control macros and so on. Now I can continue my ressource shit with some nice language expansion and less disgusting scattering of all the stuff I once did. I have that there are so many things I though about actually using that it's no wonder that I didn't to continue so often. I simply need to make myself aware of all the good ideas I had. It's not of use to not use them - otherwise it'd all pointless.

Anyway, I don't think I need much more codebase for a nice coding feeling and better productivity than before. And most of the difficult theoretical problems got already solved so there's more tedious work to do, like managers, general game data management and so on. I need to appreciate simple programming.

12.21.2011

four-state logic

0 Comments
As describe in my previous post, I' tinkered around with stuff, dropped all that persistent history of true/false values and introduced a foru-state logic system I came along while designing my own macros for this. Not to my surprise, there's a formal description of a four-state logic by someone who's name I forgot but I guess it's a bit different from mine, though in principal the same. And what does this have to do with getting better function feedack? Well, I have the states true, false, maybe and unknow where maybe is th result of true and false. Maybe will always stay maybe, whatever or, and or not operation is involved. Thus, maybe is the dominant state in this system. The submissive state is unknown because everytime you put something know into an unknow system, you'll eventually know something about it. Unknown is the 0 in number system, maybe is infinity. I've combined with a condition macro that will accumulate all previous conditions and end if it's not true anymore. So the function return value will tell me whether atleast one thing, everything or nothing succeeded. It works for boolean/ternary expressions and therefore function calls and variables, making it less redundant when writing parameter checks and so on.

I'm pleased with this. Only problem is that I'd have to rewrite all parameter checks then. Well, atleast I don't have to alter the logic. I've also deleted a bunch of codes not useful, effective or simply uncontinuable. I will focus on my ressource shit for now and hope it to be done soon. Guess I've now sorted some more stuff out that annoyed me all the time. I usually don't do such "language extensions" as I'd call it in non-personal projects. It takes too much time if you don't already now everything you want and it don't add any real productivity. However, it makes things nicer and easier to work with. I don't think that I would be able to easily do this in other languages. I love macros. But I don't misuse or fear them as others often do. Oh and did I mention how elegant my solution of defining a constant, global logic state table is? In worst case, a single four-state operation would 12 checks. That's too long to execute and too code-heavy for inline use. Using a global array is simply optimal in this case! Such small optimized solution always warm my programmer's heart...

And if I'm done with the ressource stuff (will make it very, very simply this time), I'll do something different, like doing the backtrack system I always wanted to make. Very simple of course with a bunch of callback functions. I don't intend to use it for time-critical tasks, so I really don't care about making bulky macro systems anymore... I mean really, I could've started like this in the beginning. But I'm loosing the focus so often that I'll probably have to through this all the time.

Whatever. Eier aus Stahl!

Offline repost: thoughts about catching exceptions without exceptions

0 Comments
I'm usually a rather careful programmer if something has to work properly. Still, when I'm pumping code cause it needs to be done fast, I won't check every single possible problem, especially if it's about acquiring system objects or memory allocation. However, I build my own ternary logic to convert every single boolean success/fail value from every function call to provide a quick look from upper layers whether something failed, succeeded or only partially functioning. However, this does in all cases require strict and consistent discipline and also not less code to write since C's macros are limited if it comes to dynamic parameters... wait. Wasn't there something like that? Hm... Anyway, I'd need to collect a lot of variables and I'm not exactly fond of doing so. Having programmed in both Erlang and Prolog, they offer very convenient features because they provide ways to return/inform when even a single function failed (though Prolog uses it to backtrack and in Erlang for terminating). Taking this as inspiration, I'd like to have some sort of system where everything I do would evaluate in either true or false OR in it's return value! Just think about: you'd only pump all calls to functions or mnenomics for initalization, involve to results of branches, conditions and so on and you'd exactly you know way it went correct, where something failed a bit and where the real problem was. You could use those paths for debugging and reconstructing problems in a fully compiled program and use during development process, too! I'll start a small set of macros and look whether they would be of use in C, where such a functionality is not included. Now I'm really curious whether there's a lnaguage out beeing capable of atleast providing a portion of that. I'd also be happy with some simple "precondition" functionality returning when parameters got wrong values and so on. However, I guess I can write these on my own and also implement the bool-for-every-function thing with macros and static memory... Yeah, I think that this might be a good idea. Could make some very convenient system cause I currently want have exactly such a thing before continuing.

12.20.2011

Blocking in Skyrim

0 Comments
I was bored and started playing Skyrim again, building a character with all the others skills I didn't use before. That'd be quite some, though not all and I started to focus on Conjuration, Alteration, Block and Heavy Armor. Why Heavy Armor again? In my second playthroug I noticed that I'd get bonus for unarmed damage and combined with a Khajit it's +15 damage extra. So why not use a shield to block, fists to attack, Alteration to pimp your armor rating even more and Conjuration for support? Well, after trying to play such a character, either you get hit more often by armor (making it impossible to invest in magic while also wanting to push the shield) or you're using the shield too much (having the other problem). I NEVER got the rid out of blocking and attacking at the same time in Skyrim. In my first playthrough I simply used no shield because I didn't need it at all. Enough armor rating fit the offensive one-hand/destruction combination and I didn't really anything else but my bow, lockpicking and sneaking from time to time (well, sneaking and archery are always in). Smithing was thus of course my only defense and didn't have any problem with it. But the skills I used this time were simply too excluding to be useful. Alteration is mainly for giving you protection while having some other useful spells in it, too (one couldn't get the skill high enough without protecting). Thus, Heavy Armor will be increase 40, 60 and atlast 100 points, though you'll get such a high armor rating that it doesn't matter in the end. Additionally, a successful block prevents our armor skill from raising and will bring some heavy balance anomalies. So in any way it seemed that I simply chose a successful way the first and did now see how one still has to plan stuff to make a character fun and useful. Oh and I also invested in Restoration, another point bringing doubt in. The whole character should theoretically tank by all this protection but can't because it lacks skill point focus. One here, one there... Even the previously silly trolls can now tear my defense apart. I did better by leaving the block in the first place. I'm not the one for "training" for rats for block and armor skill increase. That's no playing to me but the same principle as grinding. So either I use no armor and block (cause there's skill increase loss when blocking often) or I go for armor and drop Alteration. Anyway, having armor sucks cause I WILL want to have and use smithing for that. I'd be rather happy to drop it completely and concentrate on other things, like my actual magic for example. And no smithing means also no fat custom weapons buy only the stuff one finds... Well, if I'll in any case use Conjuration too, I could also start fighting with conjured swords - I get training in one-handed, get training in Alteration AND Conjuration this way! Sounds viable to me. I'll still use sneaking (no heavy armor = more sneaky) but no bows at all (can let my conjurations do this). So I might now have a ranged weapon but I have an interesting combinations that would make use of almost all the skills I didn't use before. I'm a bit concerned about magic/health/stamina balance. I'll definitely not let my health go down, rather keep the previous 50/50 on health and magic with less stamina. Didn't need to use power that much at all except for dual-wielding attacks. Those are simply badass and I will be able to use them with double conjuration. So I think I found a better concept this time? I hope it really is like that cause I don't want to face this immortal frost troll again...

12.18.2011

I hate mutual exclusion

0 Comments
Ok, fuck it, I can't this done because is theoretically and practically impossible. The system will ALWAYS result in a deadlock because in this degree of freedom will lead the tasker to lock the list mutex first, then the mutex of the executing task (this one would guarantee consistency) while the other threads wanting to edit the task and the list would lock it in different order, thus always resulting in a deadlock. I turned the system dozens of times, went trough around 6 different variations and all lead to deadlock mutual exclusion. It simply won't work. I wanted to it work, that's I tried so many to revive it. I simply hate mutual exclusion. It makes so many things impossible, yet it is the reason why there are standoffs between persons. Without the user-induced repriorization, there wouldn't be a deadlock! So the only way out off this is to either drop priorization in total or move towards the tasker again, giving it another try with more careful thinking.

I'm exhausted right now. This stuff ripped off every motivation of myself to even think about good. Maybe I can find another solution. Maybe I can solve it by keeping two tasks - one for the low priority list which will switched to "do nothing" if the priority changes and another one to insert when a higher priority is necessary. All in all there no way to re-priorize a single task without creating a deadlock. I'm through with it and a lot more experienced now. I learned my lesson but I still won't be able to easily detect such complicated deadlock situations without figuring out the whole system. It's somehow embarassing. Simple facts seem not to lead to instant success in this area. However, I bet noone working on stuff like that will always create a new approach but rely on existing ones that ran through the sweat and blood of many hard-working programmers. So I shouldn't blame myself but accept the fact that multithreading brings a exponentially higher degree of complexity. I never experienced it before at this degree. Made me feel like exploring World of Goo for the first time, again - physics games are beyond my perception of fun.

A virtual toggle

0 Comments
Guess I invented the synchronization I was looking for. I'd call it a switch, but switch is already a C keyword and will thus not enable to name my parameter variables like this. So I instead named it a toggle (I thinks that's a good alternative). This toggle can either be on or off and a thread can wait for it to become on (not delaying if it's already on) or the opposite - waiting for off. A thread can also wait for a state change - the code is so small and almost always the same but the concept greate for solving my problems. Actually, I could do this by hand but since I need quite a few them and want to keep the code as simple and understandable as possible, it is important to modularize everything. Additionally (and probably the most important thing) is that it really eases the knots in my mind. I can't say I'm somehow who can handle a lot of difficult rules at once, but I know how to simplify and generalize things in a way that they are very easy to understand use. And this is what I think makes a good programmer - the ability to also keep your creations bearable for others. So far I've met really a lot of people thinking very differently who can keep so many fucking rules in their mind that it's to say for what they use their brain for - remembering! Well, that's not me, I tend to forget everything that's not always necessary. So I can also not keep everything in mind I created or every rule (therefore, laws are a real nightmare to me...). For a programmer having everything in mind, you can surely create a shitload of stuff really fast, but nobody else except someone of your caliber can understand it this way. People knowing will think that I already know a lot about programming, sure, but only managed to know very specific knowledge to programming and program execution itself, not directly about all the solutions I wrote code for. Right now, I can't even remember how my tasker works in detail (because it's quite specific) but I'll know it when reading. You always know the stuff you once coded? Well, consider yourself a remembering mind then! I'm not. I can only layer series of simple actions and reactions to generalized systems. A bit like my former math lecturer. He tend to have a couple of mathematical definitions and would do everything by applying them - just like an algorithm or program code. But I always had problems with mathematical notation because I learned programming before understanding maths fully.

*sigh*
0 Comments
I think I want to make a system that requires too much control over threads and their continuation control than possible (or just not imagenable to me) with the stuff implemented in SDL. I've this some times now and this means I'll have to do something else about it. I guess I'll never get to the point where I've a finished game due to that. There are so many things to consider with this system. If I'd not want to always put ressources immediately required into a list position with higher priority, I wouldn't get those problems. Point is, that this wouldn't really make something that's better than always loading when needed or in a loading screen. See, when everyone's waiting for something, it's like loading all the stuff in the way they started waiting on it. So it's not of use to decide between priority. It makes it completely useless. So there's only wacky, specialized loading of textures or direct loading when required. This is why Borderlands loads it's levels and sounds first and will the stream it's textures in the background cause there'll always be a texture to work - no matter how big it is! This is why Skyrim and Oblivion tend to have their short freezes once in a while - because they have to load their level data instantly when entering it. I tried to overcome this by concept but I fail by the operations giving by SDL and the operating systems.

Is there no way to workaround this? Do I once again have to create a new synchronization object that works around it? That's switching between waiting on mutices and changes of values? It seems so. So I'll give a last try before attempting a simpler system with no good features but atleast a few advantages but optimized waiting between. *sigh* My next step is collect what would be the best solution for a simple ressource manager code. First the features, then the implementation. I'm not liking this but there's no other way to avoid system limitation. I'll have to invent something new again. Darn.

Thinking about (system) object management and acquisition

0 Comments
As the (horribly long) title suggests, I'Ve been thinking about it. In general, handling mutices (mutexes?), semaphore and condition variables works fine with a limited amount in smaller numbers. However, what about dynamic creation? What if this dynamic creation would allow a vast, systematically managed amount of synchronization objects? Well, it's simple to guess that this is the case for super computers and all those system where massively parallely processed stuff is going on. What I am actually wondering is how they handle their synchronization inside the operating system is done. Is there a pool of ojects? Does every process provide a manual, non-predictable dynamic allocation of it's objects the system can't before they are created? I don't know it. I can only guess or drown myself in wikipedic research. Point is I don't have the time or interest to learn more about. My understanding of computers and processes is a very classic, single-processorish one (a reason why I'm taking my time to designing multithreaded stuff). Therefore, I'm actually interesting in knowing whether it is appropriate to simply doing everything dynamic but rather think about to support both model - will I know what platform my engine might run on? Not really. I sense it's the same as with memory allocation - there is a pool with n elements and you want to reserve m elements in a row. Ever though about generalizing this concept? That creating a mutex is only getting a one elements instead of m? That there may also be the possibility to combine multiple "layers" of acquisition that form their behaviour by the layers above and below? I find this thinking intriguing. In the end you end you end up with something very simple - the question for how to manage the distribution of m out of n. Dynamic memory works like this in every case. The base of it is a distribution where m equals n (a stick of RAM) - the case where no mangement is necessary cause everything is already there. Beyond dynamic memory are for example system objects or normal object custom for each program. They are either single or multiple, where multiple objects could actually once again used as a pool of n objects with m to choose. Once can use the same mechanics for memory management to manage those other objects cause it all depends on placement memory, right? I don't interrupting between my program and the system. But I know that this generalization can allow me to see everything as the same, making all performances equal on all systems as long as the object operations themselfs do not depend on how the acquisition went. That said, it'd solve a lot of problems getting or destroying mutices, condition variables, thread "slots", objects in memory and so on. You'd just say RESERVE and you get it. That's in the end of course the same for all those system calls and techniques used of course! I never said it's something new, I'm just reflecting and analyzing it from a distant point. One day I'll tackle this generalization so that every can use the same principles everywhere - no special cases anymore, just the same reliable system everwhere.

I'm looking forward to this day.

12.17.2011

Why Borderland's ballistics suck

0 Comments
I haven't played Borderlands in a while (along with three unfinished DLCs) but since I wanted to play it with a friend via network, I figured it'd the best to play it once again and look whether I can safely playing without to rethink my choice to play as Mordecai. However, I was totally wrong. Haven't played so many great games with excellent ballistics, physics and proper flight curves in general, Borderlands simply sucks ass. I mean I can't even imagine how I managed to reach the end of the game with only pistols and sniper rifles. The bullet speed in general is simply stupidly slow and one can't make when a non-visible bullet like those from sniper rifles or shotguns will hit their target. You can only hope and shoot. This combined with the fact that EVERY enemy runs around like it'd be walk in the park makes it even less possible to properly snipe out targets. It's one thing hitting targets while they move, but a totally other if the bullet so slow, so small and the enemy's movement so spastic that noone will ever hit anything. Even my MP rifle bullets are faster - sniper rifle calibers are MADE to have high speed and flat trajectories! Simply stupid. I can't have fun using sniper rifles in this game! Instead, I'll choose a different build in our multiplayer run. If I'll choose Mordercai again, I'll a) use only the skills useful for all weapons, especially pistols and give the action skill a try (never really used it - couldn't get the hang of it. On the character selection side, Lilith is not an option, I simply endure playing her. And Brick is as dumb as he sounds. No benefit for my playstyle at all. Roland would be an interesting choice - lots of awesome damage and defense bonuses and we'll profit from his action skill. So sniping in this game died for me. Revolver on the other side seem to have the highest bullet speed ever. Personally, I prefer to with revolver or assault rifles. The rifles have atleast visible trajectory and no sway-away (another annoying thing which I'd be able to compensate very easy but combined the other shit stuff...). I mean really, what where these developers thinking. Pistol calibers are slow, rifle calibers are fast - everyone reading Wikipedia for research on the subject will know that... and I expect developers to atleast know the reality behind their concepts.

12.16.2011

Fooling myself, once again

0 Comments
So I was once again thinking about my ressource manager system and I'm sort of pissed how long it takes for me. I think it's now the second time that I tried to find another solution for something I already solved but simply didn't remember it because I also had to do other stuff which I, personally, find less important for my own goals but is necessary to get my bachelor. That beeing said, I hate to turn my back on those important parts of game programming just because some stupid lecturer thinks we have to solve his stupid magic square puzzles with esoteric programming languages. Even worse, it makes me start over and over again without making actual progress.

I'll change this this weekend and noone's gonna stop me. To make my work with this way easier, I'll generalize the idea of priorities and merge it the tasker. It'll have, for simplicity's sake, have two task lists it'll use to get new task. The original one will be the low priority list, used if there are no high priority tasks. The new, additional one is reserved for high priority tasks and seperates the total of tasks. If the tasker did execute it's current task and put it back into it's list or not, it'll first look for a task in the high priority list and, if it's empty, in it's low priority list. All tasks in both lists will have the same possible runtime behaviour, thus making it possible to abuse for a few more things than only priority. This also makes it rather simple to define the interface as every lock of the tasker will lock both lists. I prefer this solution over all the others and it'll provide enough feature set to do all the stuff I want. And that'll be the final concept, no more changes, no more delays. There's no more time for such stupid hazzles. The project has to go on.

12.15.2011

No more Stalker

0 Comments
Oh my god, I can't believe this. GSC Game World, the creators of the Stalker series layed off almost everyone now formerly working there and I don't really what to say or even think because they started to suppress everything about it and said they will give a statement on monday. According to rumors they either had problem finding a publisher for the console version of Stalker 2. However, I don't want to drown my mind in all that, but kicking everyone off the boat (no matter whether it's a sinking one or not) means no more Stalker game and the dispersion of a lot of developer. I can remember them having 80 employees or so - just imagine it, a studio you've respected for their work, completely vanished with from one day to another. Vanished is exactly that what's currently going on in my mind. Their Stalker games are an elementary part of my video gaming history and influenced my mind permanently. That they are now completely gone and that I'll never ever see the Stalker 2, not even in some buggy Alpha version or so will be on my mind for weeks! Oh man, this is so fucking depressing. Oh no man, don't think about it. Just don't think about. You'll make yourself cry and think the worst place ever can only be in your head. No good idea.

12.12.2011

0 Comments
Out of something completely random, I think I found a solution to somehow rescue my ressource manager model. In essence, I'd only need to move the priorizing of tasks into the tasker thread. This way there wouldn't be a problem with wanting differnet priorities for different tasks from different threads. Anyway, the question is only how and when to actually process these priority changes. The point is that when all threads want to randomly change task priorities without properly synchronizing with the task (which would mean a lot of wasted time), they'll eventually end up with a chain of mutexes yielding the same waiting as waiting on the tasker to frequently give racing conditions for a short time and then letting all other threads wait again. So one solution would be to let the other threads dump priority change request in some memory in the tasker. When all threads start doing this, there is only the question in what order the priorities will be changed. Between taking tasks, a tasker would have to apply these priority changes (if there would be any) to know what to do next. Whether the the rather quick re-priorization occurs in the tasker or in the threads is totally irrelevant since the waiting during the loading process is the real time spend doing nothing. Many, many threads wanting to edit a task list at once won't do themselfs a favor when fighting over who will be next - in the end they send their wish once and another one will evaluate them in the order they came in - exactly the same result, less hurdles with synchronization and better control. I'd need to find a way of getting the memory for these re-priorization list items. It was one thing for tasks cause their memory is fixed and a thread would simply need to wait for one of those tasks to finish (it'd be possible to use the same condition variable for multiple threads, so one would get notification for whatever task would be finished). Priorizing is fire and forget. You don't worry about it because so many can alter the priority that you can't predict that exactly the wanted priorization kicked in. Using a fancy system for putting the wished priorization into the task itself is also no option cause the tasker only knows the top and the bottom task in it's list, so it's the easiest way to simply use a list of priority changes with an item for each task to change. Well, actually if I put the item into the task (optionally of course, up to the user), I could take a list start in the tasker and have the tasker in only one priorization list... sounds good enough! Yeah, this could work. Let's test it.

New ressource manager needed

0 Comments
I gave it up, the current ressource manager/tasker model simply won't work with mechanics that'll either require a fully customized tasker system (well, I designed the tasker to BE everything I'd need for such stuff!) or a shitload and not-to-debug synchronization objects. Somehow I have to control and bind these behaviours which's problem will only reveal themselfs when successlessly testing! I'll see whether I can use my beloved qmutex object for that. The problem isn't the parallel access but the fact there are gaps between the tasker logic (the only one which really works bulletproof in it's limitations) and the ressource manager logic, leaving room deviate the previously proper tasks when moving from a loading thread to a releasing thread. It sucks to learn this that late and I should listen to my concerns before attempting to implement something. That's what I really always re-learn these days: never simply start coding something that bears a significant, possible all-off-the-to-boats situation. And multithreading really is complex which 4 or 5 threads parallely running and possibly accessing task lists and randomly changing their priorities in a fixed access context. I feel a bit like I overdid it this time. But well, it's the first I'm really working with more than two threads in general and I'm starting to feel why there are dudes out there doing such stuff for their living. It's complex and open end. Something you either need to be experienced in or have a pro doing it for you.

Well, drawbacks always happen, but I don't want to stop here. The system's fully defined and I only need to make a brainstorming about a clever solution to eliminate the problems. Then I only need to define the loading and releasing functions and can start to port the rendered engine and try to get the physics working. I feel I won't be able to get everything done until February, the time were I have to start looking for an internship. *sigh* I was so eager to get something awesome done to show off my skills with. Bet it won't be more than what I already made of some years ago. I can't say I wasted my time inbetween, but I feel bad about having nothing to present, to show that I've actually done something. I actually created a lot of stuff, yes, but it's nothing I wanted to have to show off. I can't prove them good without proper use and presentation, so I'll probably have to work my way through annoying "side quests" until it'll get interesting. Or I'm once again overestimating the whole situation and they simply won't care for a having a game actually done? I mean I'll do my stuff there as a programmer, not a game designer. So my main concern is good tech and combining it, right? So we start by the previous problem of not having a completely assembled set of those...

I'm tired of this. Where did it put my synthesizer?

Some bad points about Dead Island

0 Comments
So I've played 40% of the main story and all side quests up to this point, too. I won't take back what I said about this game and I still find it an awesome days due to his rather unique experience. However, there are exactly two things extremely annoying right now at the moment which I somehow have to get rid of, mentally. First point is the absurd respawn rate of zombies. You'll notice that when tending speed up your walkings by running or simply when questing through all the tasks you can in an act. It's ridiculous how fast zombies respawn - just go back a few streets and you'll greet the same thugs again! That said, you can possible imagine how annoying it can become in a zombie-infested town with groups of 4 to 6 normal zombies and sometimes even two bigger, boss-like zombies between them. One simply can't clear anything but plan the shortest and most zombie-less route. I didn't have against it in the beginning cause there were only a few zombie packs. But now it becomes an obviously bad joke producing a certain fear of running into the wrong way cause, well, each group of zombie can kill you instantly if you don't watch out. It's anymore the fear of the zombies or their surprising attacks - it's the fear of thinking that an area cleared with suffering has to be cleared again, making any walk back a repetitive task. See, I know it's a zombie game, lot's of dead people coming out of everywhere and so on. I only wish to have it a bit less obvious in terms of respawning and atleast some variance of the spawn position and a respawn distance adjusted to meat the current surroundings. Since this is in any way tolerable with a good equipment and adjusted skills, there's a second problem simply driving me mad. The spontanous loss of items! One moment you're holding your fucking awesome upgraded fire machete and the other it simply disappear cause you were eating a mueslit bar! Why is the fuck is it suddenly disappearing and who in hell didn't correct this mistake already??? I wouldn't have a problem with that if it'd be only one weapon of the 10 I'm carrying (see, I'm playing Logan, the dude potentially only throwing his way through a zombie infestation). But this happened around three times to me on normal aways even more horrible, though not related the admittedly precious muesli bar, is the fact that you'll loose all the weapons you don't have in your inventory when dying. Sure, dying in a zombie terror situation is absolute and you'll lose more than this. But what the fuck is this game thinking by simply respawning me at the last checkpoint but not rerolling the inventory I had when approaching it? I mean you'll always leave your most precious weapons this way cause they do the most initial damage and can boomerang back to you for multiple uses in a row. My average damage was around 600, now I lost almost everything after dying in a ridiculous follow-this-asshole-to-a-quest-marker run. Sometimes you can also not pickup weapons lying under bodies, making it necessary to chop them to pieces - to bad if you need this weapon cause to give the almost-dead thug a last shot! Geez, what were these developers thinking! And now combine both negative points with small rooms and exploding zombies. I lost almost all my good items except the least good one and was forced to pick up the lastest garbage near, spending a chest of gold to upgrade it. Later I suddenly died on my own account, only to respawn infront of an exploding zombie, with now items left to kill him. Hopefully I once again found my least good axe from before and was somehow pleased to still have it - "good memories" and such. So I'm a bit pissed right now. I had so great weapons, all found in chests or got a quest reward in act one. Haven't got any good weapon in act two so far except from traders. I'll have to somehow refind it all again. That could be avoided by giving some more control about sudden deaths except instant respawning and weapon loss. Maybe some non-autosaving system the next time? Really, the developers should've used another system - whatever platform they initially designed it for.

However, the fighting thrill still persist and the game's difficulty is all about knowing your enemies and surroundings, as well as knowing what ways are relatively zombie-less. However, the game could really shine through everything if the minimal enemy spawn distance wouldn't be so ridiculous. Once you get into the hazardous area in the town, there's a spot where I can exactly predict that going back one step will trigger 4 or 5 fast-running zombie to attack you, no matter often you do it. It's simply stupid for the player. Sure, it is thought to be so dangerous, that you won't survive in there. But really, then one would simply place 100 zombies in there and not just spawn a few every time, right? Gentlemen, please - a bit of realism in your zombie game. Your damage model is so detailed and properly working, why can't you do this for the few love-needing parts, too? *sigh* They'll probably never change it (I mean it's the game's balance mechanic, you see...), so I'll have to cope with it. Still, I miss my lost weapons. They were so great, so full of damage and sparkles, so nice to play with. But now? Nothing, simply nothing to properly cut off a zombie head. Even the better weapons I found while recovering went missing cause of these shitty eat-and-your-weapon-could-disappear moments. Man, I want my stuff back. It felt so safe, carrying them - a feeling you'll rarely get in this game since nothing feels more unsafe than a free-range zombie apocalypse!

12.11.2011

lyndibeige's Youtube channel

0 Comments
I found a quite interesting channel on Youtube including many good explanations and reasons for why most fantasy/mythology movies thingies are simply wrong. Why battle axes are so small, why hoplit are unlikely do do certain things they are somethings pictured doing and so on. Most interesting videos are older and you better skip the newer ones, stop the autoplaying video at the front page and avoid everything including stupid video stuff not beginning with "some point(s) about" or so. Following these rules, it's a very interesting output.

12.10.2011

Maybe not as a bachelor thesis

0 Comments
I had opportunity to pick up my programming language again and actually came up with a perfectly stack-based solution for the bytecode and the parser, but programming would have beend so aweful and unformtable that I decided to go back to a simple procedural setup with parameter and function call. While doing this I totally revamped the whole concept once again, but this time with a seemingly fully functional concept. The point is that you can create great fast byte code when leaving out concerns about memory and variables. However, I can't program without them and I don't want to throw away all my experiences with normal programming anyway. So what I do have is a bytecode using a string-like memory address resolution system that can be used for static and dynamic code, making C-like program flow as possible as completely dynamically generated code you can put together during runtime with the same properties. This is a step as complete as I never had before during my concepts and it still is a concept after all. The syntax would look like assembler with some more C-like code blocks. Since that's a bit suboptimal (I'd rather want to write some mathematical expressions as well, too) I'm now free to add something on top, but the base will probably be the same. It's a good concept that can work less effort than concepts I had. Theoretically, one could also abuse it to call functions by string names - something I mostly dislike, but it can become quite useful in some situations. I got local variables, I got variables multiple levels up and also in completely other areas possible not yet beeing created. So whatever it'll result in, I got an acceptable byte code I now only need to generate from a custom syntax. I'll have to watch what a syntax to choose now. The point is that this whole concept doesn't know anything abou altering values or defining actual variable with specific types. The only thing iT knows are addresses! Yes, adresses. There's only call by reference and only the functions to call know what type should be behind. This enables whatever type to use and should provide broad compatibility with all kinds of types and programming languages as long as they are callable from C or wrappable. That said, there are also no real return values and thus a simple 'if' will also require a boolean variable before doing something. Wouldn't be too hard, but writing a compact code combining the 'if' function with the calculating function will require compiler-translated syntax rules and so on. Not sure how to continue there, but I guess I won't be able to choose thing as bachelor thesis as it is quite a lot of stuff I'll probably have to do for it to become something actually suitable. I'm really thinking about this right now and I hope I'll get a good idea in the future. At the moment I'll probably screw it all and wait for some idea to come in later. Currently, I better hurry continuing my game engine so I can show it off as a sign of my experience, so that I don't get some useless coffee job or so. I didn't really give my programming language as much love as it'd need lately and some day I want to start making more game stuff, too. So maybe as a master thesis. Well, atleast if my specialization will allow this. My university has only three specializations available and I guess I'll once again choose Multimedia due to obvious videogame-related reasons. It's all getting closer a bit too fast for my taste. Everyone needs to setup priorities. Mine should be videogames in any way. This is where the music plays.

12.09.2011

First looks at Dead Island

0 Comments
Holy Hamilton, I'm in some kind of shock right now. First of all, Dead Island arrived yesterday and I played the first mission before goin to bed. It has a perfect start. You'll immediately learn that running into zombie masses brings you instant death if you're not careful in deciding what to do now. You feel weak, you feel vulnerable. You need a better weapon. And today I continued my long journey through this island and man, this game is bloody. The damage is very interesting. Each hit blunt weapons will damage a surface surface layer and break bones below. The more you punch your way through his body, you'll eventually end up with his guts and bones. Broken bone sometimes reach out of body and the according body part won't function anymore for the zombie. It's amazingly detailed and ugly at the same time. Sharp weapons on the other side either simply pierce the body - leaving a blood texture or puncture - or cut of limbs completely. This seems to work for individual bone joints, so it's certainly "free" in it's what you want to chip up. Besides it's technically great detail, IT'S FRIGGIN BLOODY. Oh man, I can't remember the last time I was so startled. You see them walk as broken and crushed as they are, with no fear but stumbling over the nearest lounger in their way. I rather feel sorry for them and this combined with the fact that some of them are actually more than crazy, climbing walls and wanting to kill me is extremely creepy in it's way. I had to stop playing a few minutes ago cause I can't play it that long in one session. I'm immersive, it's brutal and you'll want yourself to find all the stuff you need to survive. That, my fellows, is the ultimate zombie apocalypse experience. Really, I can't say how much this feels like a better zombie movie or comic. And holy shit, you'll even get more of it later when the shit totally starts to freak out with zombies swarm coming from everywhere, brutes ramming to hell and whatever not stuff might come out of the island. It's a hell of a game experience they created there and it's more than good work. It's definition of a zombie standard. If not saying that it is THE zombie game the world was waiting for. However, a few drawbacks like respawning zombies at know positions for example would theoretically bring the experience in every other game, but this one is so fucked up that it simply doesn't matter.

If you get the chance to, buy it. I can't think of any other game giving you such a great apocalyptics survival experience. I have to come down a bit until I can play it further, but I still hear it calling for me. Sounds like a promising long-time gaming experience.

That annoying stuff in English

0 Comments
Sometimes, as a non-native English speaker, I use words in English as wrong as I once thought them right. Why I had them wrong in my head can be due to many reasons, but most of the time I simply didn't need them and will rarely do in the future. Today I had a personally embarrassing moment involving the differences between 'tell' and 'say'. While I wrote a friend of mine "don't say me you where doin xy" it is of course not correct cause I'm referring so some sort of story of process he told me but a some sort of fact or so. Anyway, 'tell' would've been the right verb, but 'say' is so damn stuck in my head, I can't actually think of something different right now. I know I use tell and say differently, but from person to person, there are not rarely those moments in which I'm simply doing mistakes though I probably know it better when thinking about it. I wasn't able to find anything about using 'say' as 'tell'. So I assume I read somewhere in the webs where stuff often goes wrong for whatever reason. And I'm feeling ashamed cause of that. I mean one day you're thinking everyone telling you about English grammar simply can't reach you but then you prove yourself more than wrong. I hate those situation but will by defaul never admit it cause due my sister's usual British English attacks. I'm also not fond of having to hear that I'll really learn those things when having longer non-text conversations with other English speakers. I mean what the fuck, I haven't actually talked with other English speakers in ages (except the few words during the first BIGJam) but I can still articulate myself properly enough. Personally, I'd rather have proficiency in certain areas of English chosen by myself the smalltalky way most others learned it. I don't plan to live somewhere where it's necessary to have all that shit in mind and I'm happy with beeing able to read and understand the technical and video game stuff as well as writing my own portion of content. If I remeber correctly, I even told my old english lecturer that I'm not even remotely a smalltalk dude and that my knowledge about English is no where near to be useful for non-argumentative, non-scientifical talk. Everything else I usually cover in cryptic third person sentences.

I still feel embarrassed about it. I know, we never stop learning, blabla, but those little difference I learned at the school were simply forgotton this moment I actually missed something during my education. However, I wasn't completely concentrated when writing it. I would've used a different sentence instead, beeing bend of sort to meet my typical way of forming responses. Darn, what am I talking about. There simply isn't any point to anyone at all except me. However, beeing able to completely avoid the use of it is not an easy task, judging from how I form sentences and how others do. I can't remember using those two words of concern aside from some very basic not-to-fuck-up. Actually, the method of talking in facts and conclusion rather than using usual sayings, verbs and nouns is one I prefer the most. It makes your mind and language clear in concept, yet full of associated circumstances and realizations. A friend of mine once told me that Russian is way more clearer and has more logic in it than English or German. I always wanted to learn it, but some things simply fail. *sigh*, so I'll never be able to experience it myself with paying money and learning the hard way. In the world of programming and video game, there's simply no time to differentiate between 'say' and 'tell'... Commands and threats get the job done as well! That's why clingons simply don't need anything else.

12.07.2011

Minecraft 1.0

0 Comments
Oh boy, I currently joined Speeddemosarchive.com's Minecraft server (well, it's rather only a server where only SDA member may have access) and I really have to say that I enjoy the new 1.0 version. There are still horribly annoying bugs and double doors work even less than before, but I'm pleased to have those new features like abandoned mines and enchanting tables in it. I don't need to go up for getting wood, I can grow complete plant cultures underground and the finding in general became more interesting. However, I still think the overworld map generator is shit and that the older ones gave more interesting stuff except those nice biomes of course.

Anyway, it does again eat away my time (still have an assignment to do for tomorrow...) like any other game and am more than pleased to have spend 15€ when it was still in Alpha. Can't count how hours of playtime I spend on it. Definitely more than on other games.

12.05.2011

Prolog-inspired string matching

0 Comments
Beeing a bit picky about what to program after that sort of half success I had yesterday, I got somehow interested in my Prolog lectures and realized that it might become more interesting from today on. We finally got those parts making the language itself more useful while throwing some more normal programming language elements not beeing tracked all the time. And by "track" I actually mean that the method of backtracking went to it's full power in head. I noticed how I'd be able to use backtracking to create any kind of binary of text parser since regular expresion would, in theory, also need backtracking to fully match. Furthermore, I could use backtracking for any not time-critical task that requires a certain amount of complex scanning and collecting of data. Whole can be written with it when applying the concepts Prolog used (though only the track-on-true-backtrack-on-false stuff should be used in combination with normal programming language features. So yeah, I'm digging the concept. Until I feel myself comftable enough with threads again, I'll create a macro-based tracking/backtracking system for all kind of things and data types. It's a good task to do while distracting myself with Minecraft and a copy of Dead Island (well, only if I get it early enough). I hope that this method will expand my code arsenal by a deadly weapon to use for everything where it could replace horribly much amount of code or brain spaghetti - simply by tackling a problem differently than with a solution that you can't figure out in your head completely. Sometimes this happens to me.

12.04.2011

fifty fifty

0 Comments
Oh my. I used the whole day to work on my code and in the end did something very useful that's in the end what I really need, but that's only one half and the other was the actual reasons why I created to other, now realizably the more useful one. And all just to realize how right my initial thought was before fulling realizing that it only this thought and now the following ones were correct. Phew, now I'm through with programming - for today atleast. The real knowledge of today is that limiteless communication between tasks will always in true chaos in the end except you can provide enough complex access methods. I know why I didn't multithreading in the beginning. It's like O(N^2) compared to O(1): simply complex!

Dead Island

0 Comments
I've decided to buy Dead Island for some reason - probsbly cause I started watching a four player speedrun and I'm as intrigued as rarely by how detailed the developer implemented the zombie damage model and the zombie feeling in general. Personally, I prefer the slow kind of zombies beeing more broken and strategically slashable than those rather typical for splatter movies (I'm kind of too afraid of those unescapable horror movie scenerios too watch them). Due to that I also enjoyed Borderland's Zombie DLC cause there were quite a lot of them. Dead Island anyway is something I've triedto follow from the first day the developer published material but lost track of it while they were busily working on it. Then they didn't release in Germany and I simply started beeing comftable with that until I starting watching this let's play. I didn't think about the fact that I can simply order it from an Austrian shop to avoid shipping costs and such for a very moderate price around the same as when I'd buy it in Germany. I don't have a credit card, so most UK shops are simply useless for me. It should arrive in three or four days and I'm already sure that I won't be able to play this game for too long in one sitting. As fascinating the developer's care for detailled dismemberment is, I'm still a friend of rather sparse of of such effects, so I'll eventually get too much of it and... yeah, do something else that doesn't have to do with dead bodies. From what I know (the let's play is rather a sort of rushing through the game like most players do), there are enough mechanics and selfmakable, differing items to guarantee a long play time with many toys to play with. If it's for one game to overcome my less limblusty mind, then for one that does it detailed enough to appreciate it's technology. Oh, I better not think about the nightmares I may get from cutting off dramatically lightened zombie limbs in claustrophobic hotels or holidayic beach environments. In any case I have to play this game and test how dynamic this damage model really is. I've seen blood on any possible game object, cut-off and later smashed limbs and body parts as well as sot-off ripped of flesh looking exactly like the multi-layered damage model I've a demonstration of one or two years ago or even longer. I'm interested in how they did it exactly. I bet they've chosen a simplified model for the major body parts but a slightly more complex system for the texture generation. I don't think they've choosen a pixel or array-based model for the blood and dismemberment details - it's probably a coverage of arrays or a list of special shapes that will be recobbled each time a hit occurs in an already covered area. Personally, I'd cover the body in different layer which again are composed of parts and different texturings - maybe split in surface parts, too. But the probably simplest and more easy to implement would be some sort of generic voxel array for each seperatable part with some fitting texture selection algorithm. Hm, that sound like a good idea suitable for some smaller hordes of zombies. Haven't yet seen whether each zombi is unique and will permantly stay until the next level change or if they let them constantly disappear and respwan under different look and status. I'm really intrigued by testing and seeing it in action. I guess it is obvious, that one of my main interests is to experience the implementation and technology behind this game. I can safely live without such features in a game like Dead Island (I'm already satisfied by some blood particles and plainsurvival feeling) but sometimes I'm stumbling into the desire of eventually writing such stuff by my own. The great motivation I'm not unoften getting when playing certain games. The ballistics and visual realism in stalker, the visible feet of Dark Messiah, Bethesda streamed world map, Metroid Prime's HUD effects - all those great moments where I felt technology as a dominating part of my game experience. One day I want to say that I was able to give a great game experience by creating technology that's necessary to get this great experience. I'm a more programmer than anything else in game development,so it's no wonder why I'm only coding and thinking but not caring about creating any graphics or game design features. Well, features are quick and simple to implement and I'm not one of those dudes wanting to finetune existing concepts but just add what's coming fine and awesome to it in total. I know what I want and making some random limited game engine I'd never use is not of my goals. It doesn't matter if it's easier to make, it matters what is needed to reach your game's goals. As a tech lover my goals are simply tech-related, so the circle simply closes and I can get my satisfaction and goal approximation but archieving tech stuff etc. Oh man, I can't even stop arguing with myself about programming goals while originally writing a post about a video game! Darnit, I must be one obsessed fanatic these days. Sometimes it seems so, eh? I give a fuck anyway. Only brings me closer to mastering enough stuff interesting to video game programming. And I'm noticing that those argumentations usually occur when I'm stuck with programming. Actually, it is a bit of that, but not totally. For my multithreaded ressource loader/releaser system to work I had to add two additional, optional synchronization objects to each task which aren't necessary to create but will still occupy some memory. I've thouht about allocating tasks dynamically, but that will disallow the renderer and physics thread from running without function calls (I wanna make this possible). But wait, it's only one task to insert each frame and only the parameters to fill... darn. I created so much stuff and code that I'm not even into it enough to see that I already took care of everything! See, that's a problem a to me and don't know how to change it. Maybe this has simply to do with the fact that I have to do not less uni stuff and some other organisational things beside which all obscure my mind when coding and designing stuff. If I'd be doing this fulltime, I could focus on it much more, but the problem of loosing track by too much code to tune for erasing all anomalies still persist. The amount of time required to create bullet-proof multithreading with not few desired features is enormous, I didn't expect that some weeks ago. Well, that time I wasn't in too much but now I am, delaying work on stuff I realized to be not perfect to finish. The never-ending tales of perfectionism. It never goes away, it doesn't even look different - only you forget how it really looks.

The let's play is getting a real climax right now. The game doesn't increase your health or defense, it only increase enemy difficulty and available skill points. Therefore, all players currently experience quite some survival horror as the infected (the fast zombie type) coming from everywhere and getting players down extreely fast. They are now forced to work together better than before and using explosives, electrocuted weapons and other special weaponry. It's awesome to see those players only becoming better be applying game mechanics more skillfully. Sometimes they get insta-killed and the only way to get around this is by communicating, distracting bigger zombie and then reviving teammates behind. I've never experienced to see something like that - mostly because I'm usually an iron single player except for a few games. Sure this will probably be a bit different when I'm playing it alone, but it's nontheless amazing to see it work for multiplayer this way.

Oh and my laptop smells strangely by long hours of watching youtube videos with adobe's horrible flash plugin for linux. Poor thing, I say you, this laptop.