Harried At Best

Due to a little crisis last night, Wednesday Update is slightly delayed again. No worries. I consider Thursday morning to count.  Onward.

  • Last Week’s Demo
  • Dragon Quest IV
  • Gamebryo Feature Brainstorming
  • Scotch

So… Ah… It Was at 2PM

If you check last week’s update, you’ll notice that I mentioned a demo I was doing at 3PM last Sunday. It was really at 2PM. I hope I didn’t lead anyone astray.

In any case, it went off smashingly well, literally. I closed out the demo breaking a 10lb. chunk of ice which shattered nicely in front of the crowd. Prior to that, we had several really successful demos. Mr. Santos, who just started offering classes at our school, gave a demonstration of some Capoeira Angola techniques which was incredibly cool. I’m debating if I have time between everything else to take some classes with him on Wed. nights. We’ll see.

There are some pictures of the demo. However, the camera in question had to fly off to New England this week before I could lay my hands on the memory card. I’ll try to get them posted at some point.

Zen Gaming

It’s totally accidental that Sony tried to create Zen Gaming as a genre today. I swear I was thinking about this in the context of Dragon Quest IV last week. I was playing it on the DS the other night, and I was frustrated at how slow paced and boring it was. I figured I’d give it a couple of hours and give up. This odd sort of calm settled in after a while though. I developed a rhythm with the game. I’d wander for a while. Get in a random encounter. Analyze whether I should worry about the monsters. Set people to attack, and then zone out or talk with my wife. It became incredibly satisfying to play a game that was so familiar and understandable that I didn’t need to devote my whole attention. I can just flow through it. I’m now 15 hours into things and loving it. It’s a weird switch, and it made me wonder if perhaps that familiarity of design is what makes the Dragon Quest series so appealing.

The New Frontier

I had a really great meeting with the engineering team at Emergent last week. We talked about possible features for the next version of Gamebryo. (Note that this isn’t the one we’re currently working on, but the one after that.) There were some good themese that came up.

  • Continued investment in multithreaded techniques. This extended both to Floodgate as well as higher latency systems like …
  • Better large world streaming and LOD systems. e.g., shader LOD and separate mip chain streaming.
  • Animation system improvements. Better transitions, IK, etc.

There was a bunch of other stuff, but I figured it was worth posting the major themes here for two reasons. One, some readers may be Gamebryo users. I’d love to hear ideas from you. Post a comment. Are we thinking about the right stuff? Two, maybe you’re working on an engine of your own. You’re probably thinking about future versions. Are you looking at similar themes, or not? Maybe you’ve solved some of these problems, or maybe you’re really focusing on tessellation and D3D11.

Blended or No

I’ve really taken a liking to whiskeys of late. However, drinking single malt scotch is expensive, so I’m thinking of looking for a more affordable blend that I like. Any suggestions? I tend to prefer less peaty scotch whiskey.

Between whiskey and zen gaming, I’m pretty mellow now. dba.

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