Blogs from friends
a blog, of sorts

The Escapist

The Escapist Forums : Threads
  • Gear VR amazing but muted response

    I had no idea that this existed nor that it had come out. Were there advertisements for this somewhere? How exactly was I supposed to be made aware of it?

  • 9gag

    onion panzer:

    V da Mighty Taco:

    I can only call things as I have seen them, and I've seen the hyper-abrasive, overly-hostile, meanspirited culture extend to /v/, /mlp/, /h/, and more. /pol/ and /b/ may be the absolute kingpins of that kind of culture and attitude, but such things still seem to be fairly prevalent in other boards as well. You are right bout the rules against trolling outside of /b/ and I'll concede that to some extent, but the rest of my points still stand. 4chan is the kind of place where asking a question or trying to have a friendly chat will often lead to a large portion of the people in the thread telling you to suck a dick, hang yourself, get off of the site / board, and / or something similar unless you're already very familiar with the individual culture of that board (yep, personal experience kicking in here) with all of that being considered par for the course on any board. It's how I learned about the "lurk moar" attitude, after all.

    I mean no offense to you by any of this, of course. But what I've seen on 4chan myself, including my very rare posts on there and how those played out, tells a very different story on how non-/b/ non-/pol/ 4chan operates than what you've expressed here.

    have you tried /co/, I'm pretty sure you'll fit in well there.

    I'm curious, what did you say that got such a vitriolic reaction.

    The last time I posted there was quite a while ago, so I may have forgotten something. Anyways, I asked /mlp/ to post Celestia pics, I mentioned being new, and was hoping the board wasn't like /b/ or something like that. Needless to say, I didn't get many Cele pics that day. :(

    Haven't been to /co/, admittedly. It seems nice at a quick glance, though I remain skeptical as always.

  • 5 War Movies that Make Guys Cry

    The single most effective war movie I've watched so far was Stalingrad (1993). A look at the 'rat war' from the German perspective had the best ending illustrating the futility of war as a means of making 'a man' out of anyone. There was no glory for anyone in that city, the hunger, cold and bullets almost claimed every character you see during the run time.

    Yep, that movie was fantastic.

    If you want great war movies outside the usual US-centric perspectives, you've got The 317th Platoon or Dien-Bien-Phu, from Schœndœrffer. No need for monumental special effects to show the reality of war. And if you want to talk about US war movies, there are "Flag of our Fathers" and "Red Sun, Black Sand"/"Letters from Iwo Jima", which are just orders of magnitude more terrifying and traumatising that the ones in this list.

    As for personal taste... "Is Paris Burning?". The Liberation of Paris was a chaotic stuff, with many people doing what they could, what they thought was right for themselves, for their countries (both German, French and other Allies). One of those movies that shows the small people doing what they can more than the badass soldiers winning the day. Everyone wasn't heroic, some did deeply wrong choices, but these people still existed and should not be forgotten.

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