Older blog entries for TheCorruptor (starting at number 349)


I've been working on an OpenGL water effect for a while. After talking to the coder on YaSS we've decided this might come in handy for lava in YaSS2, so it looks like I'll have to finish that off in the next week or so and get it compiled on linux. I'll head off to RH over the weekend and download some ISOs and cruxify the spare laptop...

I also noticed that one of the more frequently asked questions of late on the SDL list is how to fade to black. Considering how easy this is, I had the thought that it might be nice to make a thin library (well, four functions really! ;-) I could easily fade to black in 8,16,24,and 32bpp. Extending this to fade between arbitrary surfaces (ie: between pictures) wouldn't be a hard extension either. There's a couple of ways to do it that spring to mind...

Hmmm, food for thought, although I suspect someone's already done it by now...


Finished the partial mock for YaSS that I mentioned earlier. This sparked some discussion for Bosses and ships that the level could contain, so it looks like I've signed myself up for a monster boss at the end. Won't give much away, but it should be quite impressive... :)

Weekend is lined up for Civil stuff. I heard a call for finished artillery GFX so this needs to be done, and I might try and finish some buildings as well... You never know.


Looks like we've broke the 100k hits barrier and download numbers are going up (despite us not getting another release out in the past couple of months.) I'm impressed! Never thought our little game would get so much attention. Although, it's not exactly little anymore...

chakie, msa and co. have done some sterling work to get us this far...


It's been good to do some XSLT again and getting this interface complete for PDAs has been mildly interesting. Shame it's all so easy really (as are most XSLT apps). The only difficult bit has been remembering HTML markup that I've not used in years. God, I miss CSS2 ;-)

Looks like we'll also be getting deep into portlets and more server based Java code over the coming months. This is good as it piques my interest levels, but my CV is still out and about.

Might be nice to write a portlet that groks the stats/playlist from a ICE/Shoutcast server. I also fancy doing one for my ftp server...

Hmmm, setting them up as JSP elements might be the charm, and Kochanski is crying out for more load! ;-)

Panzers of Steel

Checked out chakie's tank game. As expected the auto* stuff didn't work out of the box on OS X (never seems to when I try it) so I'll probably throw the source in Project Builder and compile from there. I'm dying to see this in action for real. The screenshots have been too tempting...

Does highlight exactly how lame I am though. I hate going through the automake, ./configure, make path now. Some projects (normally *BSD) work a treat on OS X but Linux applications always need handraulic control. Even Civil gets on my tits when I have to make the install prior to building the OS X package. This is pretty sad isn't it?! I was going to force myself to use the CLI for building my own source, but PB makes it so easy that I've resorted to making projects for everything I want to port over.

I should go on a diet...


Spent most of last night working on some background mocks and ship sprites for YaSS2. Very exciting to see how it's shaping up. Looks pretty nice IMO. Plus, I'm a complete sucker for shoot-em-ups. First game I ever did GFX for was a shooter...


Started doing some buildings (again) for Civil. Couldn't seem to find the ones I was working on ages ago, but as they were crap anyway I figured I might as well start again. Might get time to do these over the weekend. Depends on my other chores...


Note to self: please finish getting the A1200 back on the network!

Sorry, but I need DPaint, and the machine keeps staring at me folornly...


Started playing with texture-coord effects in OpenGL. not sure if these will be any use, but it's worth looking at. Once done I'll probably begin doing a simple particle class that I'll use to handle the blood effects I want in Seal Basher.

Guess I should finish off the toys and start working on the engine.


Things are very mobile here atm. We have JavaMidlets on Nokia 9210s, XDAs and Palm Pilots (very cool), Marketing movies running on Nokias and a new interface for webservices that works on PocketPCs. Fairly cool, except for working with Microsoft's PDA "operating system", which I have to say is the worst experience of my life so far. One of the PDAs here has enough spec to run full blown NT (64MB Ram, 300Mhz processor) but PocketPC (or winCE, whatever you want to call it today) is unreliable, prone to crashing and above all *slow*. Would love to cruxify it and install Linux instead, but my hands are tied. (I'd love to see how fast it ran!)

There's a reason PDAs are a minority market IMO; things haven't moved on since Palm Pilots. In fact, I'm more curious than ever to see what Palm 6 brings to the party. If it's good and the hardware's fast I don't see why they shouldn't reclaim market share from M$. Certainly PocketPC is worse than useless, and no where near "Prime time".

Of course, I may be in the minority as many people seem to love their iPaqs. They're good for war-walking, but I'm struggling to think of much else... ;-)


Spent the weekend in Devon, partaking in a belated Halloween party a collegue of mine organised. Was a lot of fun, for all the obvious reasons. Photo's are up at the usual place


Z'Hadum finally kicked the bucket on Friday. I'd previously mentioned it's flaky nature, well, I tracked the problem down. The SCSI drive was failing slowly. By Friday evening it was terminal so I proceeded to install an OS on the spare IDE I'd left in there. This didn't work so I figured now was as good a time as any to get a new machine. I needed a bigger case to hold all the drives nicely anyway (my self-justification!)

I'm in the lucky position of being good friends with the gent that runs an indy computer store in the city, so a quick phone call later and he'd spec'ed up a nice machine for 300UKP, cash. 1.8 celeron, 256MB, nice Intel Mobo, chunky PSU and a case with 8 drive bays. Pretty sweet. The shocker came when I got it home and found a Radeon 7500 in there. Dual head with S-video output. Now, this is a real arse as A) the machine is a server and B) I don't have an Intel PC that I use or have located next to a TV. Real shame.

It took about 3 hours yesterday to install, configure, patch and harden the machine (Kochanski), then another hour to get the FTP server's paths and users reconfigured. I've still not setup the port-mapping between the router and Kochanski, but I have at least got all the services on her. Apache and Tomcat included.

This will be my new dev toy methinks...

I have to admit, given the money I'm tempted to get another one built a similar spec (more RAM, large LCD monitor) and have a permanent Linux dev machine. I'm just not sure I'd use it now OS X is doing everything I need. Still, might be nice for cross compiling my little Games. Hmmm...


Emily caught Tripix war-driving our network yesterday, so we set a nice trap and scared the pants off him. Consequently he was hanging around most of the afternoon, porting some of my SDL/OGL stuff to win32. He found some nice bugs that don't appear under OS X, but he couldn't get it running anywhere near as fast on windows as my TiBook seems to manage. Probably down to his GFX card...

Hopefully I'll be able to put up the win32 build and source on my website in the next few days.


I've been tasked with creating a front end for PocketPC enabled devices for work, and have been given an XDA to dev/test against. All well and good, except I've now had the pleasure of using Pocket Internet Explorer for the first time.

Call me stupid, but given the general ability of IE4, I was expecting something similar from Pocket IE; HTML 4 support, some CSS, maybe even XHTML support. Bear in mind there's 32MB min on this device and GPRS as standard...

Imagine my surprise to find an incomplete HTML3.2 implementation, some random XML support (it can load XML from SQLServer. Handy!) little or no DOM to speak of (innerHTML can be scripted) and possibly the most diabolical rendering of HTML to a small screen that I've seen. The "Fit to screen" functionality is a joke...

I'm shocked by all this. Given mobile 'net access is seriously byte critical (given the cost of GPRS connections) it's slightly annoying to realise that you can't just throw a super skinning [X]HTML file at Pocket IE and a single site-wide CSS file and have pages render. Oh no. You've got to embed all you font and colour information in every element that requires it. That's gonna make for some seriously large HTML files if you want things to look nice on such a small screen.

Seems like the next two weeks are going to be fun!

In general I'm not impressed with O2's GPRS network, PocketPC or the XDA. The device is nice enough, but it lacks Bluetooth, is quite slow, is unable to switch the phone on automatically when you try to connect, has a serious lag switching between apps, and the transfer rate over the GPRS connection is pretty comical. Especially when I run my t68i over Orange head-2-head.

Basically, it's just not worth the money. At all. In fact, I'm struggling to find any reason why an XDA is a better solution than my t68i. The t68i can't read xcel spreadsheets or word documents, but it's tasks and calendar work just as well as Microsoft's efforts, and I don't need to put my phone in a cradle to syncronise everything with iCal etc...

You pays your money, you makes your choice I guess... :)


My "Retro Cube" is nearly finished. Each face on the spinning cube is now a different "old skool" demo effect. I've got plasma, interference circles, 3D stars, roto-zoomer and unlimted sprites. Last face will be a sinus scroller.

The point? None really, but it does look very cool already. I'd like to extend it into a proper intro and commit to a compo for a laugh...


Z'Hadum died last night. Looks terminal for one of the HDs in there. I didn't have time to check it this morning, but I suspect the SCSI drive (or card) has given up the ghost. Best case: quick reinstall to another drive. Worst case: try and cram another drive into moria.

To be honest, I'm inclined to look for a second hand PowerMac, slap OS X on it and bung all the big drives in there. For the first time in my life I'm actually desperate to get rid of machines. Consolidation is the way forward here...


Yes, I'm still having fun with OpenGL. Lighting and blending modes have been explored and I'm just trying to decide what I want to do next.

I think I'll write some more cheap 2D effects so I can have some textures to play with...


Just done another T-Shirt for the merchandise collection. Hopefully these will all go up pretty soon...


After much fannying around I've finally done a basic ship sprite that I'm happy with. Also done some tests for ground textures and lighting. CrashChaos seems happy enough, although I don't think he's going to have time to do much for a while. Which is good, I've got some more things for Civil that I'd like to do...


So, my adventures in OpenGL continue. Managed to get live SDL surfaces mapped onto a cube, although this took longer than I thought. Mainly because I was being thick, and not converting the surface to the correct pixel format prior to binding the texture. In the end I had to google the web to find out how to do it properly, and found some nice example conversion code which was OS and free for use, so I changed that about to suit my needs and everything fell into place...

Yet another example of why Open Source is good. You can learn from it!

The new code is up on my website for anyone that's interested. I have to say, texture mapping a cube with a plasma effect looks pretty cool :)


Upped the RAM in the TiBook to 768MB. The difference is only really apparent when I'm in Photoshop. Now I can have that, Illustrator and Project Builder all open on seperate displays with no lag. Damn nice as well ;-)

Says something about how well OS X 10.2 was handling my memory in the first place I guess...


Tonight I've finished a few more icons for Virusdot and done some more sprite work for YaSS2.

The first GFX I ever did were for a Shoot-em-up, in fact it's that project (Neutrino) that pulled me out of a life in Noisetracker and into DPaint. Man, things could have been different! Anyway, it's really nice to do sprite work for a shooter again. Brings back some old memories, and the problems haven't changed in 10 years. ;-) Animating ships is still a pain in the arse. I guess that's why most shoot-em-ups have rendered sprites instead.

Am I the only monkey that prefers hand-drawn sprites over rendered ones?!


Spent some time today playing with OpenGL and going throught NeHe's tutorials (again!). I found the SDL "Base" Code for the tutorials, which handles setting up a window, timing and event handling. As there was only a linux and win32 version of this (that I could see) I created an OS X PB project for it, made a few changes (and removed the win32 pragmas) so I have a nice framework for playing around in.

From there, I went through some of the examples and got the texture mapped cube up and running, making some changes to use SDL/SDL_Image to load the texture from a surface. All very easy admittedly, but I've not had the time to sit down and do this despite saying I would for ages. I'm also happy that I know what I'm doing (now) instead of stumbling around in the dark.

I'm surprised how nice it is to use SDL for events and surface mangling like this, not just because I know what I'm doing with SDL, but because of how easy it is to combine with OpenGL. Of course, the other benefit is taking some of my 2D pixel effects and bunging them on a texture each frame. The addition of linear filtering is gonna make some of those *very* nice when spun about and zoomed all over the place! ;-)

I think I'll have a play with this some more before I start using OpenGL to speed up my sprite work in Seal Basher...

26 Oct 2002 (updated 26 Oct 2002 at 19:30 UTC) »


More code today. Got the Interference Plasma routine I'd done in C working in Pygame and did a basic Shade Bob routine. Well, to be exact I mangled the video feedback effect already in the PCR and got something similar for little coding. Shade bobs should really be additive, where as I'm just blurring the surface feedback. Still, it looks the same... :)

I submitted the Interference Plasma to the PCR, but I doubt it's worth a new addition. It's identical to the circles version previously featured bar the use of a calculated surface instead of a bitmap, although it does look mighty different. I should probably just include that as a comment to the existing routine instead...


Ah, got my car back. Sounds as good as new although I've got to run it in for a hundred miles to let the cam-belt settle into the head. I did get shown the state of the old head and it wasn't pretty.

Anyway, 1200UKP dent in my wallet and I don't know if I should be happy or gutted. It was nice to drive again!

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