Friday, June 29, 2007

I've started a new game!

My latest project, which as usual has started out in a flurry of exceitement but will soon fizzle out as the real world of programming problems set in, is a 3D adventure in the style of Deus Ex. Here's a screenshot of the setup. There's no game, just an environment to walk around in:

So far I've got sliding doors, some stairs, and a man with a pidgeon chest, so there's plenty of stuff to do, like a story and pretty much everything.

BTW, this is written in Java using the excellent jMonkeyEngine.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I don't know if I should feel slightly annoyed with myself or with the open-source community. I uploaded a new version of Nuclear Graveyard on May 2nd. Since that date, the number of players slowly dwindled, and I was wondering why. I thought people had maybe got bored of it. However, it was still being downloaded 2-3 times a day.

Then, just today (June 25th) I received an email from a kind soul who has informed me that the download from Sourceforge is corrupt! Aaaarrrgghhhhh!! I know it was my fault for uploading a corrupt file and then not testing it, but you would have thought that one of the 100+ people that have downloaded it might have just sent me a quick email to let me know!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Programming 3D Games is a PITA!

I'm going to log here all the small problems I have with 3D programming, hopefully so that I don't succumb to them again. Most of them are probably applicable to programming 3D in any language or platform.

Q. Why can't I see my 3D bullets, which are cylinders? They worked when they were spheres!?
A. It's because you are shooting them from the camera's location. If they are not "closed" cylinders, and you are culling the inside of the cylinder, then they are effectively invisible since the camera is not looking at the outer surface, which is the only visible part.

Q. Why can't I see anything?
A. It could be any of a million things. Is the camera at it's correct location/direction? Is the camera inside the 3D object that it is trying to look at?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Manhunt 2 banned in the U.K

So Manhunt 2 has been banned in the U.K. God knows I hate censorship! It's like religeon - why do some people think that they have the right to determine what other adults can and cannot see? What makes them so special?

And in a deliberate turn of irony, I'm going to try and get it, just to find out what the fuss is about. If it's been banned, it must be good.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Online Gaming Organiser

Updates to my games have been a bit slow recently, and I think I can now announce why. I've just set up a brand new website called "NewGame!", and it's designed to be an on-line gaming session organiser.

One of the problems with a lot of on-line games (especially the not-so-famous ones) is that the worlds are often very sparse of players. I run a couple of on-line games that get several players a day, but unfortunately it's quite rare that they will join at the same time, making the players experience a lot less fun.

This website is designed to help this siutation by making it easy to organise a gaming session for a particular game, and then automatically email everyone else who has highlighted that game as being one they play. The date and time are chosen, and voila! Everyone plays at the same time and the gaming world is populated by more than bots. It does other helpful stuff like take into account players' timezones, and links to the games home pages, and also highlights which games are free.

By the way, the address is It's just started, so the membership is pretty sparse. However, I'm hoping people will just add their names on the off-chance that someone will organise a session for their favourite game, and slowly the numbers will increase.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Microsoft Developers Don't Even Understand the Licence Agreements

Buried in this story of typical Microsoft bullying (briefly, a programmer won an award from Microsoft for developing an add-on for Visual Studio, and was then threatened with legal action for developing the very same add-on) was this email from the Microserf:-

From: Jason Weber [Micro$oft]
To: Jamie Cansdale [bedroom programmer]
Date: Dec 9, 2005 4:37 AM
Subject: RE: Follow-up Information

Since I'm not a lawyer I shouldn't comment on the license. However if
you read the Express SKU EULA you'll see verbiage around reverse
engineering, and if you read the VS SDK license (the license that covers
all native API's that you're accessing when you QueryService from your
add-in) you'll see additional terms that are relevant to your hack.
Sorry that I can't be more specific, but I'm just a developer ;-)

Later - jason

So Jason, the Microsoft clone with an army of lawyers at his disposal, doesn't understand the licence agreements, but he's expecting the poor bedroom programmer to understand them? Programming is hard enough without threatening lawyers letters from the chief innovation-destroyer!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I may well have been the last person in the world to discover this little gem, but discover it I have. It's a 3D Engine that sits on top of LWJGL or JOGL to make a lot of OpenGL (especially the more complex bits, like lighting) much easier. I'm currently changing Passenger to use it. That should make it look a lot more realistic, and I should hopefully be able to add more interesting scenery, like neon lights.