Wednesday, November 22, 2006

[game] BubblePool

BubblePool is a small game prototype (no cool graphics, no sound, just pure gameplay). It is a pool-like game with strange rules :-) Download it from [removed].

Saturday, October 21, 2006

[tools] Adding cygwin to explorer context menu

Cygwin shells are a nice replacement for the standard Win32 console.
However, I had no convenient way of opening a Cygwin console at a given location, in the spirit of the 'Open Command Line Here' XP powertoy.
After playing with bash/rxvt I found a way to do this. Replace your C:\cygwin\cygwin.bat with the following lines:

@echo offC:\cygwin\bin\bash --login -i -c 'cd "`cygpath %1`";rxvt -title \"%1\" -fg white -bg black'
Then open an explorer window (assuming Windows XP), go into Tools -> Folder options, File types, select (NONE) Folder, click on 'Advanced', 'New', give an action name such as 'Open Cygwin shell here' and select C:\Cygwin\cygwin.bat as the program to be launched.

If everything went as planned, you should now have a working 'Open Cygwin shell here' line in your context menu for folders.

Note: I am using rxvt to enable support for escape codes. I am looking for a way to have working escape codes in a Win32 console. If you know how, please drop me an email :-)

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

[GPU/Cg] tips of the day

For those using Cg and D3D, there is a trap in the API.
Using the following Cg(Fx) code:
uniform sampler2D Tex = sampler_state {MinFilter = Linear;MipFilter = Linear;MagFilter = Linear;};

The Tex parameter must be set with cgD3D9SetTextureParameter and not with cgD3D9SetTexture, even though according to the current documentation cgD3D9SetTexture is the one to be used for samplers. When using it, Cg returns an error ...
Quick edit: cgD3D9SetupSampler can also be used. It does both cgD3D9SetTextureParameter and cgSetSamplerState.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

[game] The end of modding ?

The recent ESRB rating change of Oblivion sounds like a very bad news for the moddoing community. It seems the ESRB has decided to judge the rating of a game according to user-created content; a bit like judging whether your web browser is suitable for children based on content it could display.

While I agree that user-created content raises some questions about children protection, I don't see why Bethesda (or any other company making moddable games, for that matter) would be held responsible for this content. The content has first to be downloaded from somewhere: a web site. It is not available form the start. It is not distributed by the company (to my knowledge). So, it is very much like downloading mature content from the web: The browser software displaying it is not responsible for the content; whoever puts the content online is.

There is no difference between a moddable game and a video player or web browser: All are displaying content. Whether the downloaded content is suitable or not for children is not the responsability of the company making the software. While this is obvious for a video player, the bad understanding of what a game and a moddable software are just prevent most people to see this.

If things continue this way, I am afraid most game companies will start to remove modding tools -- And that will be a huge loss to the community (How many players started to learn coding by modding games ?).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

[tools] GroupBar

I like to open many windows at once. As a consequence my Desktop is often crowded and it might be difficult to navigate among this forest of windows. Fortunately, a group at Microsoft Research has worked on this problem and released the GroupBar (download from here).

You can group windows together, hide/show groups in one click, and even save groups across sessions. It's really simple to use and it is a great addition to the windows desktop!

Sunday, January 8, 2006

[game] MMORPG economy

It is quite fascinating to see how MMORPG player implement complex economic models in game. There is a very interesting asrticle on this subjet in The Escapist.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

[game] EVE online trailer

I just came accross the EVE online trailer:

It's all made of ingame graphics with a great music behind. Really nice!
Since Homeworld, I've always wanted to do a shader to generate these great space backgrounds - Well, I'll keep that in mind for after the Siggraph deadline ;)