Between times full of study and work I found some time again to work on a few projects. But first I want to apologize to the people who commented on articles here in the period of about May – December 2009, due to the crapload of spam I recieved in the comments I wasn’t able to filter out spam from my readers. And have thus removed all the pending comments from that period. Now back to where I started, the projects I’m working on at the moment… Recently I made a mock up for a collaberative multi user chat/drawing application meant for sharing ideas, sketches, links and possibly files. Unfortunately I can’t share this with you now for technical and financial reasons. What I can share with you is the progress I made when I recently returned to my particle and constraint engine! Having learned a few more fundamental mathematical skills I found it worth looking at Thomas Jakobsen’s article ‘Advanced Character Physics’ again. And a few day’s later we have the beginnings of a very scalable and probably efficient physics engine (see it in action after the read more link). In the coming weeks I will refine the engine, rewrite ponstructor, release ponstructor and possibly the physics engine as well!
There were a few people impressed and interested in the 3D engine, currently it is not high on my to do-list since there are many better and more efficient offerings out there like Papervision 3D, Away 3D and Sandy. But as soon as I release Ponstructor and the physics engine I might find time to revisit the 3D engine since there is room for a lot of improvement and rewriting.
Wow, it’s been quite some time.. Just started studying again which was the primary focus for the past few months. Monday this idea and need came up to have some sort of basic and simple online paint, so quickly made a little prototype and expanded on it and voila a result, try it out tell me what you think in the comments.
Since the last post I’ve been quietly working on a real good version of the bridge builder game for flash. Take a look at the result after the ‘Continue Reading’ link and tell me what you think, (or if you spotted a bug) in the comments.
Some of you might remember a game called pontifex or bridge builder if you don’t; it’s a game in which you construct a bridge with beams and than let a train or car drive over it to see whether it holds. It is really fun and quite educational at the same time (equals morally appropriate right?). After some more research into rigid body constraints I found out that pontifex probably used the same stuff like I used in the 2D constraint based rope. So with some minor modifications it was easy to create a bridge simulator and with a littlebit more code even a bridge builder. It is still far from a game suitable for release and profit but it is definatly a playable minigame. Take a look at the working example by clicking the ‘Continue Reading’ link.
So I was looking into some cool stuff to do with my 3D engine when I came across this. I’ve always been a fan of physics simulation based realism so I began to work this out in 2D. The first demo was using elastic constraints between particles but that made a very instable system. It can be improved with better integrators like RK4 but that still didn’t result in the desired result. I might have other plans for these elastic constraints later though. You can read more about elastic constraints here [Gaffer's tutorial on spring physics] and here [Gamasutra's "Exploring spring models"]. So I went on with inelastic infinitely ’stiff’ constraints which were mentioned in this ["Advanced Character Physics" by Thomas Jakobsen] great resource on computer physics simulation. The result worked out pretty well and will be easy to port to 3D. Which will happen when I’m done with a little (very interesting) side project using the same code. More about that later… Check out the working demo after the ‘Continue Reading’ link.
Waves have always been really hard to code. But one day a smart guy called Ken Perlin figured out a kind of noise called ‘Perlin’ noise that could be mapped in a picture with smooth transitions. These pictures can easily serve as heightmaps. Using the brightness of a certain place on the image to determine the height of the surface on top of it. Check out the example behind the read more link:
Last week I watched this very interesting lecture from Randy Pausch about achieving your childhood dreams and those of others. After watching the lecture (which you should if you haven’t done so yet) I thought to myself what would I love to have done in my life… So I made myself a list:
- Fly a MiG-25 to space
What would be better than being in space or flying a jet? Doing both at the same time! There are multiple companies willing to bring you that delight with the Mikoyan-Gurevich 25, which packs 100.1 kN to thrust you right to the edge of space (~25.000 m up). All you have to do now is fork over $31,995. [link]
- (Accidentally) Drive a Caterpillar 797B over a car
The Caterpillar 797B is the biggest truck in the world. Hauling around 623,700 kg with 3550 horsepower is fun. And since a rally with these trucks will unlikely ever happen I’ll settle with driving over a car (accidentally). Check out the video here.
- Be 007
Everybody dreams of being 007! Driving your top of the line Aston Martin to the most luxurious and beautiful locations while saving the world from another villain with lots of tricked out gadgetry.
- Be a Mythbuster for a day
The mythbusters have the best job in the whole world. Finding out all the cool stuf in the name of science. But since they are not to eager to hire anymore people on their team which I completely understand… it ought to be fun for just one day. (Please? )
- Set foot on Mars
Don’t we miss those days of explorers pioneering new land? What about being the first person to set foot on Mars!
- Laugh to death
Obviously this should be the very last thing to do on our list… But is there anyone who could think of a better way to die?
- Do a monster truck rally/destruction derby with some friends
Pretty self explanatory…
- Drag a top fuel dragster
I bet most of your friends won’t top the experience of a nitromethane powered 8000 horsepower rocket that will blast you to 450 km/h in just 200 meters.
- Have some fun with a mini gun
Again this video probably says enough: [link]
- Think of your own! Tell us in the comments…
Made a few quick mock ups for simple graphing programs using my 3D engine in Flash. Currently there is still a lot of room for improvement in speed, light angles and (invisible) shadows are being calculated which is unnecessary. Check out the applications in realtime at the read link;
Made a great lot of very usefull changes in this version. First and most basic being the addition of line and dot primitives in the rewritten frame loop. This allows for some really cool stuff you will see soon (3D graphs!). And the rewriting of the frame loop added a lot more possibilities for the future as well, with respect to light, shadows and glows. Checkout a realtime demo of the action after the read link.
I always think this field has been overlooked way to long. Augmented reality is a technology in which virtual objects are inserted into reality, most commonly with video footage. This makes for very powerfull video games but for now there has been no game that made any significant impact with augmented reality. Let’s hope there will be one day that Starcraft 4 or Rise of Nations 3 creates an entire battlemap of my desk. In the meanwhile check out this really cool video from Georg Klein and David Murray of the Active Vision Laboratory of the University of Oxford.