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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

OpenGL dumb mistakes: the mysterious Perfect Circular Hole

I've got a long-running project around rendering 3D Earth in interesting ways. It's being used in a game project, and some non-game stuff too. Here's a recent screenshot: I added a particle system that uses Vector Fields to move the particles based on arbitrary incoming data, and then wraps it round a globe. Yay!: (click […]

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Advocacy / Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

How to become a Graphics Programmer in the games industry

As we were recently hiring a new Graphics Programmer at work I had to identify what kind of technical knowledge and skills we would expect from a potential candidate. Although this definition will be somewhat specific to what we look for in a candidate, it might still be of interest to other coders trying to […]

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Advocacy / Business /

#gamedev Lead Quick Start Guide

Congratulations! You’re a lead. Now what? In general, whatever skills you’ve demonstrated that got you to this point aren’t the same things you’ll be doing from here on out (or at least not as much.) Not everyone is suited to a lead role or would be happy in one. Trust I believe you have every […]

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Advocacy / Business /

You have failed

This appears also on c0de517e. Today i was watching Mike Acton's talk at SIEGE 2013 on leadership, and it prompted me to stop the article I was working on to start drafting this. I recommend watching his talk, it's quite good and it talks about the key to leadership: responsibility. Indeed, leading is about accepting […]

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Technology/ Code /

Easy Collaboration with Object URLs

At DROOL, we've recently started using URL "links" to our game objects that we can easily share via e-mail.  It's simple and probably not a unique solution.  But it's been useful and feels like a feature every engine should have.   It was quick and easy to implement, but the most time was spent working around […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

iOS Open GL ES 2: Multiple objects at once

Recap: Part 1 - Overview of GLKit Part 2 - Drawcalls, and how OpenGL code is architected Part 3 - Vertices, Shaders and Geometry Part 4 - (additions to Part 3); preparing for Textures ...but looking back, I'm really unhappy with Part 4. Xcode5 invalidates almost 30% of it, and the remainder wasn't practical - […]

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Game Design /

Honor Thy Player's Time

It’s a glorious Sunday morning. You stir and stretch in your bed, a mess of wonderfully soft sheets and covers. The whole day is open. Will you laze around for a bit more? Get up and go for a walk, or to the gym? Make plans to meet up with friends? Whatever you decide, this […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

OpenGL ES 2: debugging, and improvements to VAO, VBO

UPDATE: This post sucks; it has some useful bits about setting up a breakpoint in the Xcode debugger - but apart from that: I recommend skipping it and going straight to Part 4b instead, which explains things much better. This is Part 4, and explains how to debug in OpenGL, as well as improving some […]

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Technology/ Code /

Simplex Update #2: Unit-Testing

NOTE: If you want to read this post with syntax highlight I strongly suggest you read it on my blog: http://simplex-engine.com/2013/09/23/simplex-update-2-unit-testing/ It's been almost a month since the first update, and I'm not entirely happy with this, but here I am with some news. In this post I'll be talking about how I implemented Unit-Testing in […]

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Advocacy / Game Design / Technology/ Code /

What's so great about Oculus Rift?

Over the last few months, alongside the Xbox One and PS4 PR trains, articles on Oculus Rift have been gaining more and more traction. I've been in the category of keeping an eye on its progress, but not with any impression of it having much of an effect on my day to day life. Like […]

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Technology/ Code /

Wolfram's Mathematica 101

This will appear in a longer, more rambling form, on C0de517e. It's main section is inspired by LearnXinYminutes Introduction Games and rendering are becoming increasingly "data driven", in a sense that we use big amounts of "offline" data, either through acquisition or simulation, that we have to fit into our games via forms of approximation. […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

OpenGL ES 2: Vertices, Shaders, and Geometry

(this is Part 3; Part 1 has an index of all the posts) We finished Part 2 with the most basic drawing of all: we filled the screen with a background colour (pink/magenta), but no 3D objects. NB: if you're reading this on AltDevBlog, the code-formatter is currently broken on the server. Until the ADB […]

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Business / Production /

How to Survive Working with Remote Collaborators

Photo: Laptop For many game developers, the appeal of working with remote collaborators is hard to pass up. If you’re an indie, cutting out office space costs and commuting time is a no-brainer. If you’re an established studio, being able to work with employees and contractors in remote locations grants you access to a far greater […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

Accurate Collision Zoom for Cameras

Here's the takeaway of this whole post: For camera collision zoom, don't cast a ray. Don't cast a sphere. Cast the near face of the view frustum. Now, let's start from the beginning. Consider the typical third-person camera: a lookat target (often the player character) and an offset to the camera. We never want to […]

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Technology/ Code /

Fixing the DirectX D3D debug layer

If you've ever done any serious Direct10/11 work, then you'll know how invaluable the  Direct 3D debug layer can be when you're having problems. When it is set running you get a stream of informational messages, warnings and errors telling you where you were going wrong. Previously this was invaluable when tracking down bugs in […]

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Business / Game Design / Marketing /

The Jones On Fire Postmortem: A Game In Five Acts

Author's Note: I should mention that Michael Nielsen was with me on Jones On Fire from the very beginning - he did the music for it during Blaze Jam, and stayed on from there. Nathan Madsen was brought on shortly after, to round out the music and handle sound effects. Folmer was brought on toward […]

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Technology/ Code /

Scripted Network Debugging

Debugging network problems is horrible. Everything is asynchronous. Messages can get lost, scrambled or delivered out-of-order. The system is full of third-party black boxes: external transport layers (PSN, Steam, etc), routers, firewalls and ineptly written packet intercepting anti-virus programs. (I've got my eye on you!) Reproducing a problem requires setting up multiple machines that are […]

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Production /

Horrible Hansoft

I've used Hansoft for 5 years across 2 jobs. Over that time, I've had more arguments about Hansoft than I wish to remember. In this post, I'm going to present a dialogue between Socrates, a software development, and Phonion, a Project Manager (Producer, Product Owner, Product Manager, whatever) about use of Hansoft. I'm not going to […]

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Advocacy / Business / Game Design / Production /

The Karaoke Rules of Game Development

The act of going to a karaoke bar is filled with more dramatic tension than you might think. The sheer amount of questions in play at any given time is intense: What will the next person sing? Will they do a good job? Will they be ungodly terrible? Does this place have songs I want […]

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Audio /

The Morality of Library Sound Design

Some sound designers have a serious hair up their butts when it comes to using commercial sound libraries for sound design. If you're a sound designer, especially a budding one just starting to claw your way into the industry, you may be in for some pretty severe judgments if it is found out that you're […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

OpenGL ES 2: How does it draw?

UPDATED 24/09/13: Added some essential details to the class files at end of post, and corrected typos UPDATED 24/09/13: Added Github project with full source from this article December 2013: I've converted the sample code from these articles into a standalone library on GitHub, with the code from the articles as a Demo app. It […]

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Business / Technology/ Code /

The technical interview

This post will appear (slightly lenghtier) also on my personal blog, c0de517e.blogspot.com Introduction I've had in my career the pleasure of working with a few different studios, seeing a few others at work and talking with people from many more. Of course after a while of this experience you start wondering what's "best", or at least, what's […]

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Technology/ Code /

Git Off My Lawn - Large and Unmergable Assets

I posted up the Git talk myself and Andrew Fray did at Develop 2013 and mentioned I'd have a few follow up posts going into more detail where I thought it was probably needed (since you often can't get much from a slide deck and no-one recorded the talk). One of the most asked questions […]

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Advocacy / Business /

Accidental Journalism: Tracking Game Industry Layoffs with GameJobWatch.com

As in any industry, layoffs in the games business are an accepted reality. Anyone working in development or production today is acutely aware of the tumultuous state of games as the dominance of consoles gives way to a touchscreen-driven order, as the costs to produce triple-A titles climb higher into the stratosphere, and as the […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

GLKit to the max: OpenGL ES 2.0 for iOS - Part 1: GLKit Features

Apple uses OpenGL extensively - their 2D desktop libraries (Quartz, CoreAnimation) are OpenGL-based, and iOS has inherited that link (along with some funky tricks you can pull). December 2013: I've converted the sample code from these articles into a standalone library on GitHub, with the code from the articles as a Demo app. It uses […]

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Advocacy / Technology/ Code /

Code Build Optimisation Part 4a - fatal error LNK1170

If you previously followed Code Build Opt Part 4 then you have yourself a fantastic project that incrementally links and everyone is happy... there is a gremlin in this machine however. Before we continue I should note, this primarily affects Microsofts link.exe (and thus lib.exe) but has also been seen in other commandline archive apps that […]

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Technology/ Code / Visual Arts /

The main loop in Devil's Attorney on Android

Abstract Android OS is filled with undocumented behavior and quirks that are taught the hard way; by discovery and by experience. Once you start playing around with the NDK, OpenGL and Android lifecycle events in multiple threads, things can become real hairy. In this post, I'm going to list a number of things that I […]

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Technology/ Code /

An introduction to: Go[lang]

I think it's valuable for game developers to know of a broad range of programming techniques and tools, and programming languages are one of our fundamental tools that strongly dictate how we phrase answers to the problems that we're solving. With this in mind, I'd like to introduce Go, a language created by Google mainly […]

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Technology/ Code /

Simplex Update #1: Extreme modularization with CMake and Git

This is the first update on my Simplex Engine Journey. The first topic I want to talk about is modularization. Motivations One of the most important aspects of my engine's design is modularization. Engines are usually big in terms of classes, dependencies and systems; that's why a modular approach made sense for me. From my previous […]

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Technology/ Code /

Finding nearby stuff

A problem that crops up quite often in game programming is the need to find stuff that is "close to" other stuff. For example, you may want to find all enemies close to the player, all treasures close to a goblin, etc. Most recently, I ran into this problem when I added support for merging […]

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