Monday, January 24, 2005

Crisp Mountain Air

I spent the day on a mountain. I'd start at the base of a hill and would travel up that hill. I'd then slide down that hill, only to get up and travel back up the hill. I went tubing, as it's called, at one of the local ski resorts. I did it with a group, which consisted of my girlfriend, her brother, a friend of ours she works with and her boss and boss' son. It's good to take advantage of what nature has to offer, once in a while. My only complaint: today was particularly warm, which caused the snow to turn very much into slush. The first pull UP the hill (on a pulley) soaked my
back to the point of no return. It just got worse from there on. But the sliding down the hill was still fun.

-But wait, there's more.

About Games

I'd have to say that the original Half-Life has the best story/script of any game I've ever played. I've played through the original game (Half-Life) and the add-ons (OpFor, BlueShift) many times, it's that good. And the mods available for it are killer. Especially the official DeathMatch: Classic. But more on that later.
Still on the subject of Half-Life, HL2 is awesome as well. Not so much for the story, as it's not groundbreaking there (imo). HL2 is rawx0r for the engine. Source is where it's at. Picking things up and throwing them around is shweet. Counter-Strike: Source wins big kudos as well, especially for the bots recently made available. No need to play online with lamers any more. Not when there are bots to play with/against. I just wish the mod community would get around to releasing some quality. I want my Half-Life 2 to be put to some good use.

Quake (DeathMatch: Classic in Half-Life)
Tenebrae. You should really check that out. Doom 3 lighting algorithms in the original Quake engine. It makes playing through the original Quake another time worth it. Advanced texturing and lighting and wow. Smoke coming out of the ground and light from a stained glass window refracting through it. Wow. I can't really say what I want to say. There's no words. Try it, you'll like it. Definate eye candy.

I've been playing the original Quake, I'm currently in the lobby standing outside the entrance to episode 4. Episodes 1 through 3 standing completed, exhausted by the total rape of which I had just performed. Maybe those are too strong of words, regardless, I brutalized them. GL Quake is what I'm playing, as even my laptop lacks sufficient power to play Quake Tenebrae. Yeah, I'm too lazy to link anything tonight. Maybe you're not too lazy to Google what I'm referencing. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

Codename UGOD
My own little concoction I've had in the works for over a year now. It always makes progress but never sees the light of day. Maybe some day I'll get to polishing it to something I think is worthy of the public eye. My latest accomplishment was overcoming a hurdle that was something of a shortcoming. We all know that when you are using an array to store some information (I may lose some readers here, as this is programmer talk) that you can't have two objects in the same cell of an array at the same time. Doing so causes one object to overwrite the other. You can clearly see how this limits using a 2 dimensional array in your game. You can't have two objects (two players for that matter) occupying the same cell of an array. So how are you supposed to have your players interact with each other? Sure, you could loop and
check every cell around the player (that would be 8 tests to see if another player is in an adjacent cell). But that is a severe limitation. So you think, ok, maybe I'll make a 3 dimensional array. No, that won't work either, it's too inefficient. If I make a 3 dimensional array with a height of 10 but only two players are in the game then that's a waste of 8 2 dimensional arrays. So! why not program a room and create a 2 dimensional array of rooms? The trick is, every room has a list to store one or more players! You've just turned your 2 dimensional array into a static 2d array with a dynamic 3rd dimension! Of course you can play around with variables, you don't have to limit yourself to a static 2d array. This is programming and anything is possible.

Moth Work
The above example was worked out in part to the limitation in my moth simulation. The simulation, written using the SWARM library (.org) is limited to a 2 dimensional array. I've been seriously considering rewriting the whole simulation in a standalone programming language using my own tools and libraries, thus circumventing a static array. Moths fly, .: (therefore) they exist in a 3 dimensional space. It's not fair to them if you prevent them from occupying the same x y coordinates in an array.

Doom 3
I shouldn't rule this guy out. Doom 3. I'd have to say it is extremely unfair to ATI and it's family of video cards. My laptop should be able to run this beast with all the eye candy turned off, but unfortunately it's brutally choppy. This means I have to wait until a PC upgrade comes my way before I can enjoy this one. From what I've seen so far it scores points. I just wish I could enjoy it now.

-My neighbor insists on sharing the bass-line of her country music with me 24/7