I just checked whether the star system I named for a kickstarter board game ever got in, and yes it did! Continue Reading »
So, I finished the 3d tech-demo nicknamed “Brandmateriel” nearly a year ago now, but for various reasons (mostly work related) neglected to post it. A screencast of the demo is shown below.
As always with these tech projects you learn a lot, and as is often the case you land somewhere with enough new ideas that you would rather start over than take it forward. All in all though I’m very happy with it: the controls are smooth, I like the looks and the particle effects, and from a technical perspective I really like how the shadow turned out in the end (‘cos in my primitive renderer that was a major head-ache!). The stuff I would improve are mostly to do with the lighting model. My model is too general for what I use it for, and I could possibly save a few million trigonometric calculations per second if I used that. The demo runs smoothly in up to 800×600 (actually, resolution isn’t much of an issue in this kind of renderer: it is mostly limited by polygon count, but I’ve limited the screencast to the lowest resolution to conserve bandwidth), but if I were to add more (and more complex) models in order to make an actual game out of it, I expect that this would be an issue before long.
To try the demo four yourself, it’s easiest to go to clone the repository. Since Gitorious is closing down (though it’s staying up as a museum of sorts) I’ve migrated it to GitLab. If I decide to work on it, I will probably do it there, or maybe I’ll move development to GitHub. Whichever way, since I consider the project finished enough both of these repositories should be equally up to date for the foreseeable future.
For more on my inspiration for this endeavour (and for a really inspiringh and awesome talk about the technical challenges of early realtime 3d and how it was overcome), see this great Classic Game Post-Mortem from GDC 2011 by none other than Elite’s and Zarch’s own David Braben!
Posted in Science Fiction, Video, Visual Crafts | Tagged 3D graphics, animation, Braben, brandmateriel, David Braben, demo, Elite, Game Developers Conference, GDC, GDC 2011, gif, Git, gitlab, Gitorious, image, Lander, post-mortem, pygame, python, Victory, Virus, Zarch | Leave a Comment »
As you may know, I love audio plays as a storytelling format. I have the good fortune of being acquainted with the magnificent Dirk Maggs, who is a real champion of audio plays, and has produced more than you can shake a stick at. Some high-lights include the tertiary through quintessential phases of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, adaptations of Adams’ Dirk Gently books, several DC superhero stories, a very entertaining UK version of the events in the film Independence Day (appropriate, since ID is a remake of War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, a story of great importance to audio play-history), and a an adaptation of Stephen Baxter‘s touching story of a mission to Mars; Voyage.
Last year, Maggs cooperated with Neil Gaiman to bring Gaiman’s Neverwhere to BBC Radio 4. Neverwhere actually started at the BBC, as mini-series on television, but in my opinion (and despite good performances by among others Peter Capaldi in the TV-version) the radioplay is much, much better. Apparently the collaboration was a success, and this year the two teamed up with Gaiman’s co-author Terry Pratchett, to work on a radio adaptation of their joint work Good Omens (which, by the way, I have a signed Swedish edition of!). All right, we’re getting there… To commemorate this, artist and cartoonist Ray Frisen drew a portrait of the production team as cartoon characters, which I thought prompted the need for a comic about the production. Two months (?) later I got around to making it. Hope you like it!
Posted in Stories, Visual Crafts | Tagged acorn, bbc, comic, DC, Dirk Gently, Dirk Maggs, Douglas Adams, Good Omens, H G Wells, Independence Day, Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere, pogo stick, radio 4, Ray Frisen, Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, turtle, Voyage, War of the Worlds | Leave a Comment »
A 42-cube, which reads 42 from three directions, a project I have wanted to realise for fifteen years, but until recently I thought it was impossible. Then I realised that given appropriate rotations combined with an appropriate font, it could be done.
Posted in Poetry, Science, Science Fiction, Video, Visual Crafts | Tagged 3D graphics, 42³, 6*9, art, Douglas Adams, Mayavi, numpy, python, Schneepflug, Science, science fiction, SciPy, The Answer, The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything | Leave a Comment »
Another political song, once again — surprise, surprise! — directed mainly against the People’s Party in Sweden (surprise, surprise! ^^ /skymandr). The leader of this party is currently in charge of educating our kids, and he hardly had time to put on his minister hat after the recent election before he started his campaign to make primary school education more similar to what it was when his ideology was really in vogue — the 19th century.
The melody is perhaps not as well known as the one in the previous songs. It is “Balladen om dagen efter” by Bengt Sändh, which I cannot find on YouTube, but there are CDs with this melody (I have one), so it is available.
Unlike the other songs, however, this is written together with S. I wrote one verse, and challenged him to write the next, and so on.
Continue Reading »
Scientists in virtually every field are repeatedly inundated by popular science. Continue Reading »
Posted in Dinosaurs, Photo session, Rantscript | Tagged Dilophosaurus, Dilophosaurus wetherelli, Dinosaurs, Exhibition, Lies to children, Mis-science, Nonsense, Universeum is a mis-science center, Universeum is propagating pseudo-science | Leave a Comment »
Lately I’ve been preoccupied with typography, which lead me back to cartography. I’ve been meaning to make touched up versions of the maps I made of Anarres and Urras last year, and so I started looking for tutorials for Inkscape and/or Gimp and came across the brilliant Cartographers’ Guild. More specifically, I came across a very nice tutorial (updated version here) by Rob Antoishen. The result, after an afternoon’s work, was this:
For several reasons, some of which are mentioned below, I’m not very fond of it, and therefore I’m putting a CC:By-NC-ND license on it: feel free to share it (mentioning me and Ursula K. Le Guin as the originators), but please don’t base any derivative works on this version of the map: use the versions from my previous post for that!
Posted in Cartography, Science Fiction, Visual Crafts | Tagged Anarres, Cartocopia, Cartographer's Guild, cartography, cgi, cognitive dissonance, compost, fan-cartography, GImp, inkscape, Le Guin, mülksüzler, obesuttna, planetary survey, Rob Antonishen, Shevek, Stellarium, Tau Ceti, The Dispossessed, typography, uncanny valley, Urras, Ursula K. Le Guin | Leave a Comment »