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The Escapist

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  • Possible benefits of SEGA's current state

    As is common knowledge, SEGA is currently focusing a bit more on mobile and PC games. Considering that Valkyria Chronicles apparently sold more on Steam than Assassin's Creed Unity (granted, partly because AC:U was a buggy piece of crap, but still), and that, logically speaking, porting a game shouldn't cost as much as making one wholecloth, does that mean that SEGA might port some of it's other IPs to PC? If so, which ones would you guys wish would get on Steam?

    Personally, if I could do so, I'd get them to port the Xbox 360 release of Bayonetta (I'm not going to say Bayo 2, because Nintendo funding it means exclusivity, same for the superior Wii U release of the first game), as well as Skies of Arcadia (specifically, the Legends remake) just to see if it's fame is well-deserved as it apparently is.

  • 8 Videogame Villains Who Steal the Show

    Some other ones:

    Luca Blight from Suikoden 2: A fascinating mad man. You just can't pull your eyes away from the guy when he's on screen

    Dracula from Castlevania: Not exactly characterized deeply, but you're talking about a man who became immortal to spite God and kicked off a thousand-year feud between himself and the clan of his best friend. Add in the fact that his backyard is the coolest castle ever to grace videogames and we see how this guy is the quintessential vampire.

    Yuuki Terumi aka Hazam from Blazblue: The God of Trolls certainly earns his name.

    Ganondorf: Say what you will, when he's on screen, YOU WILL FUCKING PAY ATTENTION.

  • Poll: Poll of the Day #21: Worst Frozen Song?

    "Marry the Mole."

    Yes, I've seen Frozen. I remember all the songs. But "Marry the Mole" from Thumbelina was so horrible that it's the worst song in every movie.

Voronoi tiling art PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 20:23

These tessellations have all been generated by a very simple FreeBASIC program that I wrote.

I stumbled upon this algorithm while searching for a way to generate stochastic terrain heightmaps for a 3D strategy game, and realised that it could be made to produce pretty 2D pictures.

See: Voronoi diagram at Wikipedia.

The algorithm is as follows: start by placing a number of control points in random positions in the image, and assign each one a primary colour. Then for each pixel of the image, the colour of that pixel is set to the colour of its nearest control point, and the brightness of the pixel is set to the difference between the distance from the pixel to its nearest control point and the distance from the pixel to its next nearest control point.

Numerous variations on the algorithm exist: instead of using control points, other geometric objects can be used such as line segments or circles, which both result in curved edges. Also, instead of using Pythagoras to compute the distances, other methods can be used such as the Manhattan metric or the chessboard metric, and these result in more right angles.

It is possible to achieve a finer granularity in the spectrum of colours used, by mixing together two or more layers of tilings with various weights and numbers of control points.

Tiling Tiling Tiling
Tiling Tiling Tiling
Tiling Tiling Tiling

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2009 20:12
Place features PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Saturday, 17 January 2009 02:42
Current features of Place:
  • Free software, professionally finished;
  • No restrictions on licensing of your game;
  • Most of the work done for you, just tell Place where you want to place your entities and how you want them to react;
  • Movable entities automatically negotiate obstacles using shortest-path algorithm;
  • A bare minimum of scripting experience required of game designers;
  • Advanced features available to those who want to dig deeper;
  • Helpful debugging system enables rapid testing and makes it easy to find mistakes;
  • Prototyping system to reduce the amount of tediously repetitive work involved in development;
  • Free, extensible toolkit: add new features if you wish;
  • Uses a well-established, popular general-purpose scripting language with vast amounts of documentation, so there's no need to learn some adolescent, obscure single-purpose language just for scripting games;
  • Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac and various other platforms;
  • Games get an extensive menu system for making and loading savegames and configuring all of their settings;
  • Use any graphics resolution you wish; player can choose their own and your graphics will be rescaled, preserving the aspect ratio if desired;
  • Entities can automatically scale down as they move further away to give the appearance of perspective;
  • Simple yet powerful conversation system;
  • Link subtitles with the voice audio files that go with them, if you want voice acting;
  • Multi-threaded caching system pre-loads resources before they are needed, for improved responsiveness;
  • Internationalization/localization: easily support translations of a game into foreign languages;
  • Support for cut-scenes, using either the pre-existing system of rooms and entities, or MPEG format videos;
  • Extensive tutorials to get you started.

Features planned for the future:

  • Auto-package games into a Windows .exe installer, .pkg file for Macs or .deb, .rpm or .tgz package for Linux;
  • WYSIWYG game creation and editing studio, integrated with the Gimp professional, open-source image manipulation suite and featuring a text editor for scripting with syntax highlighting, auto-completion and debugging facilities;
  • Parallax scrolling background scenes;
  • Ability to use 3D models for entities instead of flat sprites;
  • Simplify programming interface further still and extend to Java, Python, Lua and Ruby;
  • More speed improvements;
  • Native support for Nintendo's DS and Wii consoles and SymbianOS (for recent phones by Nokia and others).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 20:50
About Place PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mat   
Saturday, 17 January 2009 02:38
Place is a collection of modules for the programming language Perl, intended to enable non-programmers to fairly easily develop 2D point-and-click adventure games that can run on Windows, Linux and Mac. It is free software, distributed under the GNU GPL license, but that does not mean that the games that use it need to be under that license also; games developed using Place may be released under any license that their author wishes, so long as Place itself remains under the GPL.
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 January 2009 01:07