NEW! Strat Wars 0.7.5B1 now availible for Mac OS X, Get the additional ships too!

NEW! Ship Editor Beta 14 now availible for Mac OS X

NEW! Scenario Editor now availible for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux

Strat Wars an OpenGL screensaver
Available in two flavors Windows and Mac OS X flavors. For more information check out the ReadMe.

Ok Check it out! new site new address... THIS one is going to be the last move for the forseeable future so come check it out! http://www.c-monkeys.com/

-SDZ

 

Well ok. What have I been doing? Being distracted mostly. So first there was this task to rewrite with Joe this one horrible section of code. Then after we got that to our liking, I noticed an odd thing on a couple of profiler traces. Its an old situation, something I'd done that made a lot of sense in the past now just causing trouble. What had happened was that with all the optimization and re-factoring of the code that has been going on, now the GPU is the chief bottleneck. And the damage/explosion effects are some of the least efficient in the codebase. Well I'd noticed that it was wasting a LOT of time on matrix multiplications for the particle effects. Hardware accelerated matrix multiplications are fast, but there were a lot of them, and to be honest they just weren't needed. So after some reorganization the particle system essentially needs one matrix multiplication per frame. The thing is still GPU bound, and the damage effects are still monstrously inefficient... but it's all better. The upshot of all this is now I can go back to finishing up the task I keep saying I'm doing and yet for some reason really don't seem to want to do. I've been talking about doing this task forever, and actually working on it for four months now. And its just not that big a task. And its already 4/5 done. Gah. So for the record I intend to finally finish restructuring the vertex data management, to support such neat-o-cool-o things as normal maps, morphing bodies, rotating subsections of ships, and possibly even skeletal animation. Ahh to dream. Though to be honest I'm only planning on implementing normal maps after I get the vertex management system done. Honestly it *should* only take a couple of days at this point. How long it *will* take is anybody's guess.

-SDZ

 

Well happy July 1>=x>=4 weekend to everyone in Canada and the US. Just want to give you all an update on how things are going. The answer is well. I know a lot of you have been asking how things are going for me at my new job, and I appreciate that. So I thought, among other things, I'd post here to let everyone know. The answer is well. I don't know what any of you have hear, but I've got to say in my experience so far, EA is a great place to work. Really, good people to work with interesting things to work on (mostly). Plus foosball. On the website front, we are nearing finding a more permanent home, and one where both Joe and I can post with reckless abandon. There are some issues right now keeping the two sites separate. Oh and I realized I don't think I ever commented on Star Wars Ep3 Revenge Of The Sith. I liked it. Was it everything I wanted or dreamed it could be? no. But ultimately I did enjoy it a lot, and I do think it leads us into the original trilogy. Feel free to disagree, but then I'll feel free to ignore you.
As to the saver, we are inching towards a new beta release. I know it won't look like much different from the last beta (at least not much considering how much time has passed) but under the hod the changes are substantial. Joe and I have managed to really tighten up the code a lot, he's good at that, and then there are the new features we're working on. Well between the changes to the codebase and the new stuff like sound, I'm going to take the responsibility right here and now and officially call it v0.8Beta1..coming soon.

-SDZ

 

So you've noticed the new digs... this may not be a permanent address, but its a definite improvement. Not much else to say right now. Joe is making great progress with sound and he's probably going to have a something very cool for the next beta... and I'm working on a thing or two for it as well. But all in good time.

-SDZ

 

Some news... I finally got the official word from work that it is completely alright for me to continue working on this project. So I can stay on and keep working on it with Joe. Also, Joe and I got the new and improved code base up and running yesterday. There's still a few glitches to work out but it is well on its way now and already the improvements are starting to show. It builds MUCH more cleanly, and I took the opportunity to add in some optimizations that improved load times significantly. I think Joe has already started in on new features again, and things are picking up momentum. Now this site is going away SOON. I can't exactly tell you where its going to. Still talking about that one with Joe, but as soon as that's figured you'll know. Hopefully have more to say soon.

-SDZ

 

<gasp> Ok I shouldn't go that long without internet access... and also WHAT the hell just happened?! Apple going x86?! I suppose this would be the other side of the coin, I mean when Microsoft started using PowerPC chips... Bizzaro world eh? I dunno. I can think of ways this could be a good thing, I can think of ways this could be a bad thing, but the only thing I'm certain of is that this is a very strange thing. I mean the PowerPC is a very slick architecture, I personally prefer it, but the bottom line is that x86 works! What I mean by that is that, my experience is that clock for clock the PowerPC outperforms a comparable x86... but the Intel/AMD seem pretty good at getting it to scale, cause I rarely see a comparably clocked x86s.... I mean the current top end PPC970 is nearly a thousand megahertz slower then the an equivalent P4. Just my opinion/experience but as creeped out by all of this as I am... it's probably a good idea. I would have preferred AMD, though I get some of the reasons why Intel makes a better choice right now. And a switch from Intel to AMD some time down the road would probably not be to big a transition anyway. but... no this is all just to much strangeness to get used to. In other news Vancouver totally rocks! I'm still waiting for a final word on if I'm allowed to continue with Strat Wars... but in the meantime I encourage you all to get to know Joe. Oh well, later. Oh and I'm about to change ISPs *again* so this address will go dark pretty soon... but I think I might have found a more permanent hosting solution. Hell I might even spring for a domain name!

-SDZ

 


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