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Everything posted by MemoryLeak

  1. Quick question, I tried to search but it seems to be offline at the moment... Did Wipeout2097 ever appear on PSN? It was rumoured last year, but I can't find any confirmation on google, or the PSN pages on the Sony website.
  2. Yup, its always the same bloke. Half naked and head lolling around. Never one of the other bad guys with guns. If its the level I'm thinking, when it says he's released, look over to the left across the water instead of heading right/straight on as the level flows.
  3. I guess the original point of the question was to identify "turning points" in game tech. So vehicles in Halo or Tribes don't really count. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean they're not important, but they're important from a gameplay point of view, there wasn't a sudden change in tech which made them work. Someone just took a 3D engine and refined what it means to control a vehicle model to make it fun. e.g. When Doom came out I thought videogames were 2D platformers (the most common game type on the consoles my mates had) and I had a spectrum, so 8bit speccy games. Doom was simply "What. The. Fuck". I hadn't even considered that games could be in first person in a 3D world at that point. Admittedly there had been 3D games before, but Doom was texture mapped, colourful, almost real, and ran really fast. Similarly I remember seeing Daytona and Sega Rally in the arcades, and being completely blown away. There have been a few mentions of "firsts", like "first scrolling 2D game", and I guess that's what I meant. Either the first, or the definitive version, perhaps refining the "first" and bringing it to the masses.
  4. I've always been intrigued by the tech behind video games, especially seeing Doom run for the first time in the mid 90s. I thought it might be interesting to write an article on how the Doom engine works, in case anyone else is interested. This then got me thinking what other games throughout history were technical landmarks? There's the obvious likes of Doom/Quake/Unreal on PC, but what about earlier? Elite was pretty special. Sonic blew me away with smooth 2D sprite goodness. Mode7 stuff on the SNES. Outcast on PC. Gran Turismo on PS1. GT3 on PS2. What crazy hardware/software combos changed how things worked in the arcades?
  5. I'm pretty sure there's a bucket load of MSG in there somewhere as well. Ingredients probably something like: buttermilk oil flour or (probably) breadcrumbs salt (horrendous amounts) MSG (ditto) maybe egg or something emulsifying black and white pepper and nutmeg/mace get you pretty close to the 11 herbs and spices
  6. I'd love to make this (or, more realistically get someone to make it for me): http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database...tto_87369.shtml lolz that at the top that the preparation time is "more than 2 hours" or something, considering it looks like it would take the best part of a week... From a more useful point of view, remember that a risotto is about rice and stock, everything else is trimmings. Hence, for a really good risotto, you need a really good stock. I go to the butchers and pick up about 3-4 chicken carcasses for free, make a pan full of stock, then reduce down by half. I can't describe the wonder of the chickeniness.
  7. It also depends on which character you've got, some are pretty weak and aren't much use in melee, others you can wander round just clocking people in the face and watching them drop. Glad to see some people enjoying themselves though
  8. Yeah, fair point, I was trying to get something that goes with the other courses, rather than thinking seasonally...
  9. Burger and chocolate cake are pretty heavy, so something light. Homemade tomato soup, perhaps a little bit peppery/spicy to keep the theme with the spicy burger. Maybe gazpacho? Or how about something along the lines of prawn cocktail, anywhere from little shrimps in mayo and ketchup on iceberg (70s style, in a glass), through to big fancy king prawns with aioli and watercress/rocket etc. salad. Overall, I'd go with gazpacho. Its also a piece of piss to make (put ingredients in blender: blend, garnish).
  10. MemoryLeak


    It depends on what exactly you're after, but its all down to chemistry. There are different proteins in meat which cook at different speeds, and at different temperatures. When first heated they tighten, and go tough, and then after several hours they start to disintegrate and unwind, and everything goes nice and soft. The best way to slow cook, is to very quickly colour the outside, for flavour (look up maillard reaction for science goodness), then cook very slowly at a low temperature. This means the proteins can unwind without first tightening up and squeezing all the moisture out. A minimum amount of liquid can be good just to keep any juices concentrated for flavour. Alternatively, after cooking, concentrate the sauce by slowly boiling off excess water (remove meat first). If you get really into this, it is possible (although fiddly) to cook "tough" meat and still have it pink like a steak. I did a leg of mutton for 36 hours at 60 degrees once, and it was as soft and pink (oo-er) as quick roast lamb on the inside, but tasted rich like mutton. Aces. Downside: house smelt like a sheep had died in it. Until I did a quick browning at the end.
  11. MemoryLeak


    Hmm. Good point. Not sure. I think its used more in the context where you're frying something quickly to brown it, where cooking isn't really the issue. Or beard.
  12. MemoryLeak


    Time. Think closer the 3 hour mark. Or longer. Also, for extra goodness, fry off the steak, then the onions, then deglaze the frying pan with wine/stock/water and add that to your dish. Brown = flavour
  13. I'd be surprised if they did drop it. Isn't the whole point of the core pack for the later part of the cycle, where you minaiturise all the electronics, bung them on one chip, chuck it in a small box and sell it cheap as chips? Ala PS1 and 2. You then drive up your user base as everyone buys GTA5 to run on a £89 console.
  14. "Of course, longtime PGR fans know that Saint Petersburg, with its high speed and incredibly wide streets, is actually a returning track from PGR2." Actually, longtime PGR fans will know that its not Moscow anyone?
  15. This whole DX10 vs DX9 thing drives me nuts, they're just graphics APIs. They have no effect on how many trees can fall physically correctly, or anything gameplay related. The main things they provide are: 1. Geometry shaders: this lets us create geometry on the fly, which is particularly useful for particle effects. 2. Less draw call overhead: we can draw more individual batches of polygons, so theoretically won't have to batch things up as much. 1. could be done on a PS2. And definitely on 360 and PS3. In fact the PS3 will be awesome at it. 2. is vastly lower on consoles anyway. This will be handy on PC though, and make it less CPU dependant. So they allow some behaviour which was already doable on last gen consoles. Thats it, the rest is marketing nonsense, which nvidia, MS, ATI, and the devs who are pushing it are all colluding in to push a "new" generation of graphics. <conspiracy theory.jpg> etc.
  16. PGR3 does this. Playtime mode.
  17. C is interesting, but I would recommend learning C++ instead. You can still go as low level as you can in C, but it supports lots of higher level concepts as well. Obviously the big thing is you have to do your own memory allocation, but I honestly think you need to at least understand how memory is allocated as a programmer. Note, I don't think its always essential, and there's nothing wrong with Java, C#, python or the million other languages without it, but I think you're really missing something if you don't understand what's involved. In my job its actually too high level to work in C++ using the default memory allocators, and we have a variety of different ones for different scenarios, our own heaps, pools etc. In fact a tool I wrote last year spent 90% of its time in allocation routines until I rewrote it with specifically tailored memory management. Just changing the memory allocation behaviour caused a 10x speedup, not insignificant... I really love C++, and could ramble on about it for hours Give it a go and see what you think.
  18. I don't see why not. I suspect all the screens and stuff we've seen so far is running on god's own PC, but its essentially high res, nicely antialiased normal game graphics. Honestly, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be done on the consoles. Crytek have made a lot of very good design decisions, both from an art and code point of view, but there's nothing magical going on. If it does remain PC only, its nothing to do with DX10. I still see no compelling argument why it couldn't run on a DX9 card on PC for that matter. Apologies if I missed them explaining why, but all I've heard so far is "DX10 is so amazing nothing else would be powerful enough" kind of marketing arguments.
  19. Bollocks. Don't believe all the DX10 hype, there's nothing you couldn't do on either PS3 or 360, or find an effective workaroud.
  20. I suspect what Mr Carmack means is nothing to do with middleware, complexity of the hardware (well he mentions an assymetrical CPU as a bad decision, maybe), how clever the programmers are or whether they're japanese/american/lazy... Its about how easy the machine is to work with day to day: do the tools crash? Can you debug it easily? Do the APIs keep changing so your code breaks every couple of weeks? These things are important to productivity, which knocks on to cost and release dates, so is very important to devs and publishers, even if its not to consumers directly. I suppose an analogy would be to writing a book on a word processor vs a typewriter. They have no impact on the story, characterisation etc. but if you spend half your day changing ribbons, un jamming machinery, fiddling with tippex etc. its a pain in the arse.
  21. Not sure about books, but check the managed directx samples (I presume there are some) in the DirectX sdk. C# is great, and since MS put the managed directx framework in there its really useful for games. You can even knock up some really impressive graphics stuff cause the main cpu language is pretty much irrelevant to the gpu which runs shaders. C# is pretty similar in syntax to C++ so it'd be easy to learn later on. The biggest single issue is that C++ uses manually allocated memory and pointers, whereas C# uses a garbage collector, meaning you don't need to worry as much about freeing memory you don't need anymore. Note, just because you can learn C++ quickly that doesn't mean instantly faster code (it might even be slower), there is a huge gap between C#/Simple C++ and high performance C++. As for XNA, I think it means whatever MS intend it to mean that month they happen to announce something vaguely games dev related. At the moment it seems to be a C#/Managed DX framework for cross platform PC and 360 development. I'd ignore it for now and just use the DX sdk's managed DX for C#, with the usual C# .NET libraries.
  22. Erm, with simple geometric shapes and glow effect, and a sort of grid behind it all. I don't know, looks good and everything, but I just have a nagging feeling its been done before...
  23. MemoryLeak


    Ditto for the manchester gig last night. Amazing. Nearly fucked it all up by turning up last night with tickets for friday though Totally misread the date and no one on the door was having any of it, so I bought new tickets: best decision I've made in a long time that! We were sat in the lower tier, just off the side of the stage. Weird, but very good view. There was a 4 year old (with earplugs in) in front of me, he just danced on his chair, air drummed and clapped for a solid 2 hours
  24. Code looks OK: tidy, readable etc. I must admit I don't know the language though. I'd definitely echo those saying learn another language, it was the point for me where I really "got" programming, having to relearn a lot of familiar concepts in a new syntax. More than that though was realising the different concepts that different languages allow. Starting with Basic on a calculator (and a zx81 many years ago) provided the idea of variables and functions. C extended this with structures, pointers (and massively important: memory management) and stricter types. C++ brought object orientation, more consideration of user defined types and templates (or generics, code that can be run on arbitrary types), more advanced data structures as part of the stl. C# is a good starting point these days I think. Its a very elegant language, and the libraries are fantastic, especially since they moved to 2.0 and got generics. Python is tidy, lua has a fantastic native data structure called tables, which are sort of arbitraryly keyed arrays (like maps in the stl in C++, and dictionary in C#). Java is OK too, very similar to C#, or vice versa. I do love C++ though. I know some people consider it a broken mess, but I think there are so many compromises to achieve the level of flexibility it offers, it just can't be perfectly elegant. Another plus point that I have to mention is tools support: a good debugger is absolutely invaluable regardless of the language, and MSVC is amazing. I write a lot of MEL script (Alias Maya's own language) and really miss being able to debug with more than just print statements.
  25. You don't really need to worry about the OS or any other program taking up memory while you're running a game, as pointed out earlier, there is a fantastic system called virtual memory which will page out anything not being used to disk. So your game starts up, requests a load of memory and if it runs out the OS just starts chucking stuff to disk. Admittedly this means it will take longer to start up and shut down, but shouldn't affect actually playing a game. Also, these days you can turn off what you aren't interested in (i.e. you can make XP look like 2000 in a few button clicks). There are some pretty interesting things in Vista which will make games a LOT faster. Ignoring the whizzy new features in DX10 like geometry shaders (I intend to write a really cool particle system using these asap though) MS have massively reduced some of the CPU overhead related to drawing graphics. This is a very good thing. As for OpenGL, I hope it does die, its a god awful outdated excuse for an API. Believe it or not I don't work for MS, but I think they are making some extremely good decisions from the tech standpoint of making games these days. It all makes my life easier
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