Aside 50: Out of Touch

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I need to come to terms with my growing irrelevance.

Everyone else is obsessed with smartphones while I just don’t care. I love to play singleplayer games while the world wants 4-player co-op. I want a DVD with a printed manual in a box when the masses want digital downloads and always-online storefronts. I want a desk with a keyboard shelf.

Do you know how bloody hard it was to find a desk with a keyboard shelf, let alone one big enough for an adult? You don’t, market forces say, even have a keyboard anymore. You’ve got a laptop, at best. Even then, you don’t really want a desk, you want a feature piece for the corner of your living room that needs to look pretty rather than actually get used.

I don’t think this universe has a place for me anymore.

Blog 602: You’re Not the Boss of Me

Well, I couldn’t exactly play the ill-advised prequel without going on to cleanse my palate with the real deal. While floating around the grungy millenial streets of Deus Ex, I got to thinking about one feature that was particularly controversial about its prequel: boss fights. Because the original Deus Ex doesn’t actually have a final boss… Or does it?

Beware of spoilers.

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Bob Mooches Around the Free Fringe

Rao Dao Zao:

I was going to do a fringe write-up but SOMEBODY beat me to it. Ah well.

Originally posted on Bob Writes Stuff:

I love the Edinburgh Fringe. Sometimes.

Last weekend I made the arduous journey northwards through the signal-less wastes of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders to visit one of my favourite cities. I adore Edinburgh; it’s the nearest major city to the town I grew up in, so I have a lot of fond childhood and teenage memories of visiting the place. Oddly though, we never used to go to the Fringe. I really don’t enjoy crowds, the last bus home was too early, and I wasn’t really into stand-up comedy before starting uni. These days though I seem to end up in Edinburgh about once a month visiting one of my best friends (Jono – more on that mess later), and I’ve started a bit of an annual tradition of popping up for a weekend and going to free fringe shows with my good friend Robbie.

This year I decided…

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Aside 49: Feature Creep

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As I progress with No Excuses, I realise that I’m pretty much implementing a top-down singleplayer Unreal Tournament. I’m actually okay with this, but I do wonder how much of a contortionist you’ll have to be to press all these buttons at the same time when I add the four five active abilities on top of these extra movement keys.

I finally added strafing the other week (after fixing the last of the animation bugs). Strafing was never in the original brief — Nox didn’t have strafing and that’s my baseline for combat and navigation. Nox also did not have dodge-jumping, which I intend to add soon enough to round out the strafing ability. I am probably going to throw on backpedalling for good measure too.

Gosh, programming AI behaviour around this is going to be a riot…

Blog 601: Mecanim

Ah, I often moan about things in Unity being too difficult or weird for my brain and then struggle free in barely an evening. I stand by previous comments about how delightfully quick Unity is to get to grips with, even after lengthy off-periods playing through ill-advised prequels.

Today, then, let’s talk about animation systems.

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Blog 599: Lightning Never Talks Twice

I recently did something called a Lightning Talk to my work colleagues about the ultimate basics of procedural level generation. I’m scared of, and terrible at, doing presentations, so I volunteered because I need to learn to face my fears. (Be bold, etc.)

A Lightning Talk is when three or four people do very short, five-minute presentations about Something Cool — so I figured that, since I kind of care about this stuff, at least my enthusiasm would shine through if my tongue refused to cooperate (it did).

This was written as an introduction for absolute beginners, because nobody at work gives two figs about game technology (except me), so it should be interesting enough for mildly technical people with a passing interest in the area.

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