Blogus Maximus

Rubbing people the wrong way since 1970...

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July 2005 Entries

Meltdown is over, but the comic sale continues... In an effort to completely simplify my life, I've decided to part with my comic book collection entirely. Initially I was selling it off in pieces to raise some Meltdown money. Well, Meltdown is over... and I don't really feel like fooling with it anymore. I'm entirely too busy to bother with it (to be completely honest) and I haven't bought any new comics in years anyway. So I've decided to just sell the whole collection as one big lot. Here's the ......

Saw The Island recently, and overall it's a pretty darn good movie. Ewan McGregor does an excellent job, as always, along with Scarlett Johansson (who I've liked ever since Ghost World.) Steve Buscemi plays, well, pretty much the same role he plays in every film he's in. Also noteworthy was a brief appearance by Michael Clarke Duncan. Ethan Phillips (think Neelix from ST:Voyager) was also terrific in his role, while not especially likeable. There were a number of other familiar faces in the movie, ......

While I was giving my talk on creature AI at the Portland Code Camp, I mentioned not overcoding your AI and how (unless you are deliberately making an AI simulator) you should only code what your players will be able to notice. At that point, Andy Dunn mentioned a paper by the Halo guys where they talk about how they did AI in Halo. Here's the link: Halo AI paper And here's the page where they talk about how nobody noticed some of the very subtle AI they put in: subtlety Thank you Andy for sending ......

UT2K7!! http://www.epicgames.com/ http://www.unrealtechnology... Especially interesting is this quote: We are authoring most character and world normal maps and texture maps at 2048x2048 resolution. We feel this is a good target for games running on mid-range PC's in the 2006 timeframe. Ohhh mama... job listings ......

Vacation is over, time for life to resume. The Portland CodeCamp was fun, and Meltdown was a blast but I've been neglectful of other projects while tromping all over the Pacific NorthWest. The Jacksonville Code Camp is coming up in a few weeks... The next release of HA! is scheduled for end of August. that is followed by Dragon*Con and then the Charleston Code Camp (both in September) I also have to get back in the habit of writing each night since I have chapters due before too long. David Weller ......

Hit the Portland Code Camp this past weekend, which was a great event. 2 days full of excellent sessions. The game dev track went especially well and I feel like my talk was well received aside from a few minor demo problems. This week, I've been up in Seattle for Microsoft Meltdown, which ends today. It's been a great time and I've had a lot of fun while learning a lot. Met some terrific people and caught up with some friends. Tomorrow I fly back to South Carolina, then back to work on Friday. I'm ......

Instead of talking my friends into moving east... maybe I'm the one that should be moving!!

The Indie Games Con is October 7-9, 2005 in Eugene OR.

Hey Jason... where is Eugene? Is that reasonably close to you? (I'm geography impaired.)


Looks interesting...

It's a week after the Portland Code Camp, and just a few days after Microsoft Meltdown. If you're in the Portland area and interested in game development, why not check this out?

The Christian Game Developer Conference - July 28th - July 30th, 2005

It's a shame all the Game Dev conferences are out west... Maybe Jason can go check it out?


This news is a couple days old, but I hadn't seen anyone else talking about it, so... Marvel MMO to be on XBox 360 This news is a little older, but still interesting: Sony Online has recently announced that it will be creating a DC Comics-based MMO, targeting a fourth-quarter 2007 release for the PC and unnamed next generation consoles, which would likely not include a Microsoft platform release. Thus, although far away, the stage seems to be set for a Marvel versus DC massively multiplayer game ......

If you're into game development...  You don't want to miss Microsoft Meltdown

There's only 5 days left, but my trip begins a lot sooner than that. I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow to head to the Portland Code Camp this weekend, then driving up to Seattle on Monday.

I can't wait! It's also my first trip out west. (note to self: bring a camera!)


Jason has pushed out the latest version of his MDX opus... Tanks! Source and Binaries available here:

Right Here!

I definitely need to check this out sometime soon, maybe while I'm on the plane.


Jason Olson and I get interviewed on the latest GeeksWithBlogs Podcast Studio The Podcast I had a great time talking with John and Jeff and Jason of course. My audio is a little low, but that may have been my crappy cordless phone. All in all, I think Jeff and John did a great job! Way to go guys! I'm looking forward to hearing many more podcasts. Keep me in mind when you start hosting other folks podcasts ......

This is gonna rock!! I can't wait. I definitely want to catch the Keynote (Blizzard!!) and I'm also really looking forward to catching the tracks on: Best Practices for Windows Development Speaker: Chuck Walbourn Developing games for the Windows platform means more than just using a few DirectX APIs. This talk covers a broad range of topics that game developers should take into account during design and implementation to ensure their titles work well on current and future versions of Windows. Optimization ......

Paul Vick (the almighty poobah of vb.net) recently mentioned me in his blog, Panopticon Central regarding this post I made not too long ago. It's pretty cool when someone like that has nice things to say about you (or even knows you exist). I quote: I was reminded of this when I read Chris Williams – someone who would not be described as a low-end VB programmer Sweet ......

Jay Miller recent blogged this post about using the Dungeon Mapper from HA! The really cool thing is that I've never met Jay or discussed HA! with him (as far as I can recall). He found the code on my site and managed to integrate into his game in about an hour... and his game isn't even in VB.NET, it's C#... As Jay says... "how cool is that?" I love .NET! His post absolutely made my day ......

I had never played The Game until seeing DanK's post last night. Once I read it, I was playing The Game (now you are too, by the way... to know of The Game is to play The Game). All was good, because I forgot all about it last night. Then this morning I saw his post again on the GWB main feed (so unfair Dan!!), and the rules state I have 30 minutes to forget about The Game. After the next 30 minutes, to think about The Game is to lose The Game. I need to find a different hobby ......

The things we love are a large part of who we are. This is who I am. Who are you? Top 10 favorite songs... in no order: - Hurt (Johnny Cash cover of NIN) - Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson versions) - My Immortal (Evanescence) - You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive) - Welcome Home Sanitarium (Metallica) - Baby One More Time (Britney Spears... don't even say it!) - anything by Gwen Stefani - Possession (Sarah Maclachlin) - Holiday (Green Day) - anything by Elvis Top 10 favorite movies ever... ......

The boardmembers of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) met earlier this week to discuss incorporating the group and becoming a 401(c)(3) nonprofit. After careful consideration and research, we have decided this is the best course of action. Today the board voted unanimously in favor of proceeding. I know this is a topic of interest to other user groups, so as we go through the process, I will be blogging about it here. Stay tuned... the first thing to do is the mountain of paperwork. ......


I can only hope this isn't true... or if it is true, that the person responsible was fired.

news story

Short version... Man robs bank with note passed via drive-thru teller.


The Charleston Code Camp site (http://gcnug.org/codecamp) has been updated with the track/session calendar and session descriptions. Registration is open, so grab a seat while they last.

Code Camp is September 17th in Charleston SC. Please visit the site for more info.

If you're interested in helping out, please contact me. Speaker Call is closed, but we can always use a couple more volunteers.

Thanks!


This one says I'm the INETA Grand Poobah of Code Camps! Ok, maybe not, but it's close... I'm on the INETA Community Events Committee, and I've recently (last night?) been appointed to the position of INETA Code Camp Liaison. A little history... INETA has never sponsored Code Camps before, and we're still in the planning stages, but good stuff is in the works. This is your chance to provide some input and tell us what kind of support you want/need from INETA. Realistically, there's just no way we ......

My trusted advisor Robin sent me this:

http://mcpmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=821

It's an interesting read about the changes Microsoft is making to the various certification programs. No more MCSD and MCAD certs, among other things.... Current MCSDs will need to pass two tests to convert to the new cert, MCADs will need to pass 1 to convert to their equivalent cert.


Inside the XBox 360

One of my biggest complaints about actually buying ebooks (aside from the fact that I could probably find them on a newsgroup if I looked hard enough) is that many companies try to charge the same amount for the ebook as for the hardcopy. They act as if they are doing you a favor by letting you download the ebook as a convenience, instead of having to wait for the hard copy to show up. Give me a break! If I buy an ebook, it should be significantly less than the cost of the hardcopy edition. Further, ......

Still raising money for my trip... just got a new star on ebay.

The Portland Code Camp is coming up in less than 2 weeks, and I'm pretty excited to be a part of it. Not only is it my first Code Camp that features a Game Development track, it's also my first trip "out west"... Yes folks, that's right... the mighty worldwide explorer (I sailed the Atlantic, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean & the Caribbean) has never set foot west of Texas... oh the shame! Anyway... these are a couple of the tracks I definitely want to hit... A Business Developer's Journey Into ......

My BlogMap shows a whopping 8 folks in my area. Pretty weak.

I know for a fact there are more bloggers than that around here.

If you blog, and live in the Charleston SC area, visit feedmap.net and add your blog.

Why? I dunno... I guess I'm just OC like that.


Mykre at Inner Realm was kind enough to set me up with some forum space for HA! The new forums are located here: Heroic Adventure Forum Feel free to submit bug reports, suggestions or just stop by and talk about your experiences playing HA! so far. If you aren't familiar with Inner Realm, it's a cool site devoted to .NET Game Development and Managed DirectX. You should check it out. It's where all the cool kids are this summer ......

The latest build of HA! has just been uploaded. Two towns (Fincastle and Stonegate) are now available, although not currently populated. Lots of internal stuff added and/or modified.

Get it here... new build


The wikipedia defines refactoring as: part of code maintenance which doesn't fix bugs or add new functionality. Rather it is designed to improve the understandability of the code or change its structure and design, and remove dead code, to make it easier for human maintenance in the future. In particular, adding new behavior to a program might be difficult with the program's given structure, so a developer might refactor it first to make it easy, and then add the new behavior. Ok so... it turns out ......

It's not impossible, but it's probably a lot less likely than most folks realize. Certainly not as simple as downloading an XDK or paying a license fee. Ya know... it's hard to get experience developing for consoles if they expect you to have experience developing for consoles before you can participate in the program. From the Xbox site... Xbox Developer Programs We have created several programs to support the efforts of publishers, developers, tool makers, and hardware vendors who want to bring ......

A number of folks (especially recently) have asked me if I want to eventually get a job in the computer game industry. I always answer the same way... I'd rather be near the industry than in it. (Pretty much exactly where I am now... doing it because I love it, not because I have to) The answer doesn't always make sense to everyone, but I hope this does... EA: The Human Story I know many of you have read this already... but many more of you probably haven't. It's a good read ......

Inspired by Chris Sells post... here and Rory's post here. I had a string of truly horrible jobs in my youth. Fortunately my professional career hasn't been all that bad, with one shining exception... a certain company in Harahan, LA. I had been out of the Navy for about 3 months, and I only worked there for about a month and a half, and it was probably a month longer than I should have. These 2 chuckle-heads quit the (much larger) company they worked for, stole a bunch of their clients and started ......

Charleston Code Camp South Carolina's first Code Camp is now open for registration... http://msevents.microsoft.c... We have 150 seats available. Register now, today... before you forget! To find out who's coming, and what they're talking about, please visit our Code Camp page. (NOTE: If you've signed up as a volunteer, you don't need to register.) ......

Astrologer Sues NASA Over Comet Probe MOSCOW (July 5) - NASA's mission that sent a space probe smashing into a comet raised more than cosmic dust - it also brought a lawsuit from a Russian astrologer. Marina Bai has sued the U.S. space agency, claiming the Deep Impact probe that punched a crater into the comet Tempel 1 late Sunday "ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe," the newspaper Izvestia reported Tuesday. A Moscow court has postponed hearings on the case until late July, the paper ......

20 days remaining until Microsoft Meltdown!! w00t!

So... who all is going?

We need to all get together Monday night for a party. Place and Time: TBD

Reply to this post if you're interested...

edit: I am the uber-dork. The welcome reception is Monday night. For some reason I was thinking it was Tuesday night. So nevermind on the party... we're covered. So anyway... who all is coming?


If I were one of those Bud Light commercials... I'd be singing about Michael Earls, real american hero...

http://www.cerkit.com/cerkitBlog/Consultants+Dont+Usually+Come+Fresh+From+College.aspx

 


When you're creating terrain features (such as buildings), on a tile-based map, doing each tile manually is a royal pain and a waste of time. Here's an alternative.

New article:  http://geekswithblogs.net/cwilliams/articles/45539.aspx

 


For those of you interested in seeing what I've been doing with HA! lately (and don't want to wait until August 31), you can download the latest build of Heroic Adventure! 0.1.7 here: Latest Build Please keep in mind, this is NOT a release. It's a build. The very latest build. Things might not work as expected. Things may disappear from one build to the next. Things may not work at all. Repeat after me... it's a build, not a release, not even a release candidate. It's only a build. If you require ......

TRS-80 Color Computer I It was 1982, I was 12 years old, she was... oh I dunno? 1 year, maybe... Oh sure, I had seen other computers before then. Even played on a mainframe one summer at UVa. But this one was mine, all mine. I spent hours (possibly days) typing in code from Rainbow magazine. Mostly games, but sometimes utilities. I bought every conceivable expansion known to man. *sigh...* Good times. thank you Z-Man for this trip down memory lane ......