Archive for April, 2008

The basket ball test

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

The brain works in mysterious ways…

Go to the following page and watch the video. There are two teams, with black or white t-shirts. They are throwing a basket-ball at each other. Can you count how many times the white team throws the ball? Count one each time the ball goes from somebody’s hands to somebody else’s hands.

Got the right number? Check the answer here


I have the feeling the same thing sometimes happens when we’re debugging. The bug is obvious, litteraly in front of our eyes, but we don’t see it because we’re focused on other parts of the code, which we think must be the problem. I guess it’s +1 for pair programming.

And yes, that video fooled me big time :)

Konoko’s new face

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Somebody on the Oni forums posted a new texture for Konoko’s face. I quickly tried it in KP:

Pic 1

Pic 2Â

Oldies but goodies

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I was looking at old backup CDs when I found this again. It’s old but it still make me laugh a lot :)

Barrett enumeration

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

A cute trick from the Molly Rocket forums:

Un mirador de luxe

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Celui-ci est pour Lionel C: tu ne quitteras jamais Barcelone, ils ont des “miradors de luxe” pour t’empêcher de partir! :)

Mirador de luxe


Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Ok, I gave up and joined Facebook. If I know you and we’re not connected yet, poke me!

(”Poke”? … sounds like BASIC. Oh dear I’m such a geek.)

El Glop

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Just found this interesting place in Barcelona… Dedicated to Benoît M. ! :)

SAP code small update

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Some people have had troubles with the previously posted SAP code, claiming that it was crashing when deleting objects. As it turned out, they were incorrectly using the library. So I updated the small test coming with the lib. The new version is here. If you define TEST_REMOVAL in the main source file, objects will be removed as soon as they collide.

Note that the SAP code didn’t change a bit - just the test case using the library. If you didn’t have troubles using the library before, there’s no need to download this new archive.

I kept both archives: the old one uses VC7, this one VC8.

Still chewing…

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

EDIT: I just fixed a crash & some bugs and re-uploaded the file below. You may want to download it again if you grabbed the previous version.


Here’s a quick Konoko Payne update. This thing has no end and I may have bitten off more than I can chew. But I’m still chewing.

Notable fixes for this release, for what it’s worth:

  • lasers can now break glass windows (previously they couldn’t)
  • the character controller has been optimized (a lot)
  • I switched to a new version of FMOD
  • there was a very painful lag on some machines, that should have been removed. In any case the mouse motion should feel smoother now.
  • a whole bunch of minor fixes…

Other than that, I worked a bit on a state machine editor. There’s a first version available, you can access it this way:

  • enter the developer mode (type “developer” in the console)
  • press one of the function keys (say F5) to free the mouse and access the menu
  • select “Scene->Character Editor”

You can then select a character, edit its “motion cells”, and the “transitions” between them. There are a lot of parameters, and each character has hundreds of motions and thousands of transitions. I was previously editing this manually in the compiler’s IDE… It worked up to a point, but it became increasingly painful over the years. So I finally decided to bite the bullet, and then started a small editor for this. To be honest I’m not sure I will actually use it. So far it looks like directly editing a text file is just as fast. I’m not sure how people deal with that in “real” companies. I’ve seen some of them using text / XML files, either edited by animators or by gameplay programmers (I think it’s an animator’s job rather than a gameplay programmer’s job, but some animators are very reluctant when it comes to defining those transitions). I also saw a couple of other companies using home-made editors, visual or not. I’m not sure what the usual packages like Granny provide here. It seems a bit difficult to use a middleware to define those transitions and blending parameters, since a lot of things not directly related to character animation, like sound and visual effects, should also be linked to specific animation or transition frames - and hence, ideally edited in the same tool as the motion’s blends. A generic trigger mechanism (user callbacks) might help, but then the middleware’s editor can only edit those generic, blind triggers - without giving a proper pre-visualization of the result, since it doesn’t know anything about the engine’s special effects those triggers are linked to.

Anyway, my next immediate problem is the throw system, which uses the same animation & transitions as normal moves, but also requires extra parameters - currently not supported by the editor. So the state machine exported by the editor currently lacks this information.

Better, later…

Link: the fallacy of premature optimization

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Kind of old but I feel like posting it anyway. cialis