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The Escapist

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  • GamerGate Discussion, Debate, and Resources

    You know guys and gals...

    I am actually starting to feel bad for the journos in question...

    My sympathy for them dried up long ago. I can feel pity for them having world views shaken, but even that is largely muted. I don't see them being forced to deal with the real world as something to sympathize with, since it should never have been something they circumvented. They got lucky before and now that they are running out, I can't muster sympathy that those that would have ruled us like kings will now have to shuffle in the muck with the rest of us. Even in the idea that they are untrained for the real world just doesn't seem a point of sympathy as we were all untrained and it is only through making mistakes and learning that we grew and overcome.

    And all of this is before the amount of hate they displayed, destructive potential they carelessly handled around a beloved hobby, rampant Dunning-Kruger effect, and sheer audacity to refuse to address mistakes.

    I'm sorry, call me cold if you must, but I can't feel sorry for their privileged coming to an end and the fall being harder on them simply for the added height they never deserved or respected in the first place.

  • New SSD Can Be Destroyed via Code Word Text Message

    albino boo:

    Okay, that IS quite Mission Impossible gear indeed!

    Wonder how long till scientists crack the first one?
    No video of that self destruct feature in action? At least not on manufacturers site so far...

    Its already cracked, GSM encryption was broken as long ago as 2006. If you have physical access to the drive you can read the memory state off the drive with an electron microscope. Its well within the capability of criminals and police forces to read text messages. The data is recoverable even if fragmented by using an electron microscope.

    The data is recoverable with a super-expensive piece of equipment that average folks won't have access to and most police labs won't have either. *shrug*

    OT: Interesting, absolutely useless in regards to security IMO though. The only security procedures one can trust are ones that are self-developed that no one else knows about.

  • Cultural Appropriation

    Stephen St.:
    I can't exactly put my finger on it, either, but using an entire culture as a gimmick seems somewhat icky. Weirdly, I feel less so if we are talking about stereotypical depictions of say, Germans or Americans, because the underlying assumption is everyone will recognize these as parody. With for example Asian cultures, it feels different.

    Currently, though, Germans and Americans feel like "us". Immigrants from those countries aren't usually complained to be stealing our jobs, threatening our women, or ruining our culture and way of life. Even though you could make some sort of argument for the last one.

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