Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Better Game Sound Engine For AnyKey tojam#4

Today I had a thought about something quite interesting leading up to our game competition. Since none of us are music experts and all music loops are quite short and designed to be connected to each other I'm proposing a very interesting change to our game music engine.

Our original music engine was monolithic as in it only played one massive track.

< Level >
[Songfile]

We could in simple terms switch to a basic shuffle system

< Level >
[songfile1][songfile2][songfile3][songfile4][songfile5]


But then I thought of a much better idea which I hope to be able to be able to implement today or tomorrow. Each song data will consist of 2 parts the track itself and a linked list reference to another part. Music then becomes a sort of directed graph with cycles. Edges then can be taken randomly. This kind of thing is better explained with a picture.

 

Sound Engine

The advantage to using this system is that we can prevent one obvious section from continuously looping and we can enforce tracks that sound better after each other to happen. The end result is a pseudo-random music that will make the listener think it's more intelligent than it is.

Auto-generated in game music

Today I had a thought about something quite interesting leading up to our game competition. Since none of us are music experts and all music loops are quite short and designed to be connected to each other I'm proposing a very interesting change to our game music engine.

Our original music engine was monolithic as in it only played one massive track.


< Level >
[Songfile]


We could in simple terms switch to a basic shuffle system


< Level >
[songfile1][songfile2][songfile3][songfile4][songfile5]


But then I thought of a much better idea which I hope to be able to be able to implement today or tomorrow. Each song data will consist of 2 parts the track itself and a linked list reference to another part. Music then becomes a sort of directed graph with cycles. Edges then can be taken randomly

ToJam 09 (pre-event info)

ToJam #4 is taking place this weekend from Friday to Sunday. I always enjoy this event but there are currently a few lingering issues:

1. The organizers via twitter have already stated that there is no wired internet and there might not be wireless.

When someone says might not be wireless, what they mean is some fool forgot to secure their open wi-fi and it's now going to be bombarded by 100 participants of the event. The organizers are looking into tethering but I doubt one device will be able to support the rates required for things like downloading art assets or free soundtracks.

For that reason our team is considering also having a tethered option for this event.

I'd personally imagine teams by now will have their game idea done, and I'm hoping there won't be any of that "tape giant sound blaster posters on the sun facing window" fiasco we had last year.

Hopefully mickey the mouse was cleaned up too.

At the same time team Any Key this year will probably not bring a mountain of snacks making us by far the snack team.

Currently I'm debating if I should bring my linux box to the event with it's sole purpose to act as a GIT repo

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pork + Apples

Today I tried an amazing recipe (which was franken adjusted to my tastes)

 

Take pork chop steaks boneless butterfly it, then take dill apple and onion chopped with a little butter for good measure and stuff the steaks in it. Finally finish with a dash of pepper.

 

When cooking the steaks in the oven be sure to add 1/2 cup of apple juice to the bottom of the cooking sheet to keep everything moist.

 

It's delicious!

food

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dell Laptop Owner's Beware

If you have an Inspirion 9400/e1605 chances are you video has went on you. It's not new news anyone with an nVidia card either be Go 7800 or 7900 GS will fail. The 7900GS has a far higher failure rate with most of these cards dying from artifacts that look like lines going up and down the screen.

If Dell offers to extend your warranty DO IT! I'm already on my 4th card.

My first card was a Go 7800 by far this card lasted the longest as it worked fine in my system for the first 2 years.

Upon failing the Dell service depot did not have any of the parts in stock, so they substituted it with a Go 7900GS video card. I was happy that I got a free upgrade to a slightly faster card but unfortunately after 2 months this card failed.

The third replacement was again a 7900GS this by far was the shortest lifespan as within 1 month and 1 week it also died (you can confirm this by searching the archives).

Now I'm on my 4th card, I'm a bit disappointed that Dell replaced my last fancy Go 7900GS with the older Go 7800 which generates a lot more heat and performs weaker. That said after contacting Dell several times to get this remedied I just decided it was too much hassle and most likely this Go 7800 judging from how much heat it generates will just go up in smoke before the 1 year warranty is up anyways.

Video cards for the dell Inspiron 9400/e1705 are becoming ridiculously expensive on ebay now with prices now well into the $400 CDN range. If you were to upgrade to a 7900 GTX or a 2500M be prepared to shell out at least $500 now. That said I've heard that the 7900 GTX has much better cooling and will not go up in smoke like the Go 7800 and 7900GS.

For those that are interested I'll be sure to update the blog the next time this video card goes up in smoke, I'd also like to hear any horror stories you might have had as this is very a very common design flaw. Maybe if anyone has a solution to this it would be nice as well.

Right now I just needed to get this down for those of you wondering if you just got a lemon of a laptop. Let's just say all Inspiron 9400/e1705 are like this and you should expect to have to have your video card swapped out regularly.

Long Weekend

Back in Toronto for the long weekend. Not much to do, had a chance to give the car a quick clean and wax for today while the weather was slightly nice. Still very chilly though.

1. Clean (with mitt)
2. Initial wax layer applied with orbital buffer <-- step just applied today
3. Inspection (will be done tomorrow not enough light today)
4. Post-inspection touch up (re-wax missed areas and non glossy areas)
5. Interior recoat (F303 aerospace protectant)
6. Glass recoat (Rain-X)
7. Glass final spotless clean (with Stoner's Invisible glass)

(obsessive much?)