Monday, May 2, 2011

Smoke them out

Bin Laden dead? C'mon, put your AK-47’s in the air, scream it out on the streets, and do a victory dance. Ok enough silliness, let's just return to work. Osama dead eeyh... Now what? Asides from Gadaffi, and Kim Yong Pangang Il Turbo, there are no charismatic badguys at the moment. And... is the dead of Osama a symbolic thing, or will it really change the world? Unlike Hitler who was the "end-boss" of the WOII game, Al-Qaeda and the likes are usually independent cells. Osama was/is more like an inspirator, a motivator, a pop idol. Dead or alive.

I guess panic for terrorism is still there, and the real hardcore terrorist probably knows how to hate & how to detonate a bomb, even without uncle Bins. Anyway, if this Osama person really did what we he did (I know, there a lot of theories about him), he deserves to be dead. Not just for 9/11 and putting the Western and Islamic world into a dirty cagefight. Also for terrorizing Afghan people by using religion as an excuse for the 8th century barbaric Taliban ideology. Downgrading women to R2D2 service robots and forbidding kiting for kids. So... have a nice time in heaven with 72 lovely virgin piglets.

Or... maybe he got his paycheck, shaved his beard, shaked hands with the Navy Seals, and drove off in his Ferrari with a smile after ~25 years of outstanding acting work. It would fit in the complot theories. Who shall say. The story that his body has been dumped in the sea right after he was killed is odd, the least to say. Out of respect for Islamic rules that state Muslims have to be buried within 24 hours. Could be me, but I never saw soldiers cleaning up body pieces of Taliban that have been hit with a .50 in the desert. The meanest of them all, the uber-bombastic terror maestro, would get a fancy sea burial (is that allowed for Muslims anyway?). Out of respect… yeah right. With all those complot theories about 9/11 being an inside job, you would expect the Americans to show Bin Laden’s last minutes in full HD to prove the contrary. Or even better, catch him alive and “bring him to justice” like they did with Saddam. I hate complot theories, but this story smells a bit... like an old wet beard.

Sorry, I just don't trust politicians that much. Well, hopefully things will get explained soon. I think the world owes that, after 10 years of war and getting my underpants frisked at the airport. But assuming they really got him, it has to be said that the Americans kept their word. You can say all kinds of things about them, but not that they don't have the balls to accomplish big things. Other than we Dutchmen(& European in general) who prefer to criticize from the sidelines (like I just did now). Hey, guys like Osama don’t get smoked out just by talking you know. Talking about mysterious deaths, where the hell is Hitlers body?


Here, an old pic rendered by the great grandpa of our current engine, at times Saddam Hussain was still alive! This engine used Lightmaps btw, and a very special "pee shader" for that orange tube. Hey, got to show something.

Ok, how's Tower22 going? No new pics lately huh? True. But cheer up, plenty of things are being done. It's just that I'm not busy with any graphical programming tasks at the moment. In fact, the game doesn't even start at the moment as I'm doing all kinds of upgrades. And one update on X initiates two other updates on YZ. And before you know it, the whole source-code is turned inside out for the 600th time. I know, leaving your game “un-executable” for too long can be a critical point in the design traject. It's like stop cooling the Fukushima core for too long. But the planning is to have it back online within a month. With:

- FMOD Sound DLL
- Input DLL
- Newton2 Physics DLL
- A new Entity system (the stuff I wrote about in the "Puppeteer" posts)
- Several new features in the engine like trigger volumes or moveable platforms like elevators.
- A new Object Editor

Initially I was only implementing those custom DLL's to control the behavior of objects. But while doing so, you walk into all kinds of outdated stuff that had to be upgraded sooner or later anyway. Physics too old. Object Editor messy. Animation system sucks. Blablabla. So before you know it, you have a whole dozen of tasks.

One of the more “catchy” upgrades at the moment might be the Object Editor. To clarify, an object in T22 is a 3D mesh that can be duplicated and placed everywhere. Like furniture, decorations, barrels or other junk. Objects usually make use of physics, can be destroyed sometimes, or can be picked up for usage. More advanced types of objects are the animated ones, or the "thinking" one (which simply make use of a more advanced DLL/script to control them).

These objects have to be made somehow, starting with a 3D mesh. All those raw Lightwave, Max, Blender or whatever program meshes & animations have to be imported into the game somehow. So far the Engine22 Editor already had tools for that, but a little bit outdated. So, since we are driving the touristic route already, a few more or less miles don't matter anyway. It would be a nice chance to update some of the object aspects, like synchronizing it's collision volumes with a ragdoll (or vice-versa), adding Inverse Kinematics, using those AI / behavior DLL's, ...uh … pretty much everything.

Another good reason to make some work of it, is because my fellow modelers still need a tool to see/test their own work. I can promise all kind of things, but seeing is believing. So far I could only send them screenshots of their productions after being imported into the game. Nice vacation pictures, but a real modeler wants to play around and tweak his work inside a real game environment of course. I could send them the Map Editor which has been used for everything so far, but it's too huge and buggy to share yet. Programming experience tells not to release your products to the public until a monkey can use it. Giving half-baked crap to your clients/users will give them a wrong impression and distrust of the product.

Then again, I can't let them wait forever. So, I'll focus my Super Sayan level 2 energy on releasing a stand-alone object editor first. But it makes use of the same engine modules, so it should come with two extremely nice features:
- Physics testing (throw around your object through a room)
- Full-shaded graphics. What you see is what you get

So it's not just an editor which allows to import some meshes, and tweak a script. It should also be able to play with your object in a test-map that actually uses the same graphics as the real game. Sure, it takes some energy to produce such a thing. But if I get happy modelers as a return, it will be worth it. Really, don't underestimate the effect of feedback. A modeler, mapper, sound engineer or whatever kind of member should be able to see, hear, play, read or experience his work back into "the product", otherwise the motivation to keep producing may drop to zero at some point. So before inviting all kinds of people on your project, make sure they can get the right tools to work with, and give them some options to see their work in action. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

For the same reason I’m a little bit quite last months. I guess most people who visit here just want to see pictures. But sorry, all the programming hours went into upgrading lot's of boring code modules and editors. And playing "Tower Defense" plus staring at the screen :). Well hopefully I can place some nice pictures of a test-map being used for that object editor soon! Since it should have a pool to test buoyancy graphics, I might just as well program some water-shaders as well...

Here, another prehistoric render. That was one of my last water-shaders, time for a boost! Oh, people who live in Oudenbosch, you may recognize that pool :)


  1. some days ago there run a 12h documentary about Hitlers death in german television :-)

    So just real short :D
    he shot him self(his wive took poisen) then both were burned.

    After a while the russions came a long, took all the ashes and bones which were left and burried them in a Russian militaria camp(in germany). After some decades the remaining bones of Hitler were brought to Russia were they remain until today in some archives(they have his lower yaw for example).

  2. They say so, but you'll have to believe the Russian on their innocent blue eyes on that. Not that I don't believe this story, but it's extremely sensitive for complot theories of course. Just like this whole Osama guys was, including his death.

    Although I just heard on the news people are pushing Obama to share the camera images the Seals took. Paris Hilton, caught again on tape with Bin Laden. But then some people think the moon landing was recorded in a studio as well. It's impossible to know the truth unless you were there. Thank God I wasn't :)

  3. not quite :-), the Russians let some years ago some scientist and a tv crew exam the lower jaw. And they compared the teeth to old papers from Hitlers dentist so^^

  4. 1-0 for you, can't argue with the facts :) Though it's not surprising all kind of crazy theories have been made in the many years before the Russians made this available.

    Big persons always come with mysterious deaths. Osama, Micheal Jackson, John F Kennedy, Jesus, ... Or at least people want to believe something special happened. A "normal" dead for a famous person, that doesn't match in our heads.

  5. Really liked your blog post, similar thoughts as I had when I heard about it.

    I think one should always challenge statements made in a politic context, especially when they are so dubiety and come from such a trust worthy source :-)

    For example why did they kill him now, to push popularity perhaps?

    I think we will have to wait at least 50-60 years until things come out what really happend in this hole "war on terror".

    btw heres some footage :-):

  6. There are plenty of good reasons to have Osama killed right now:
    - Upcoming President elections
    - The War on Terror needed some fresh success stories
    - Watch out people! Increased terror alert, buy gasmasks, listen to your government
    - Info of whereabouts came from Guantánamo Bay. Told you wake-boarding prisoners isn't so bad.
    - It's getting nice BBQ weather again

    But now I almost sound like Michael Moore... Perhaps they just really shot him and dumped his body in the sea on a beautifull random day. Just as random as getting hit by a car tomorrow, shit happens.

    As you say, we may need to be patient for another 30 to 60 years :)