Archive for April, 2011

The sun is shining, the weather is fine…

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Woop woop! My mind is currently running a few volts above normal. Possibly because it’s now 2 days after Saturday night and I’m no longer hungover. Possibly because the milk in my Earl Grey has nearly turned and taken on a slight hallucinogenic property. Actually no, I’m not hallucinating, sadly, so that’s not it. It could well be the effect of all the sunshine pouring in through the windows…

It’s now mid-April, Easter is nearly upon us, and we’re expecting temperatures between 20 and 24 Celcius here in London all week. That’s ten degrees above ‘average’ for the time of year, although anyone else who lives here can tell you we’ve had a heatwave almost every April without fail since the start of the 21st century. And that’s like a century ago, space people! Sorry, just popped a capacitor.

The temptation to sit in the park and gawp at the pretty joggers (and laugh maniacally at the other ones) followed by sitting in the local beer gardens gawping at the office worker refugees (you follow the pattern here) is damn near overwhelming. However, software doesn’t get written by worshipping the sun, and unwritten software doesn’t pay for alcoholic lubrication. I must resist!

Right. Software. I’ve gone a bit OCD on the Unity mesh tools recently. I really, really, really must finish these soon and get them released so that I can concentrate on making games again. Especially as I keep coming up with more and more awesome ideas for both existing projects (or nearly existing projects) and completely new ones. And not least because I probably can’t make any serious money from them. At least not enough to pay the rent, and that’s a relatively serious concern.

On the plus side, I’ve added some awesome functionality to my set of mesh tools. I’ve got a cool lathe / extrude function. I’ve got a twist and a bend function. I’ve implemented a pretty solid undo / redo feature into my editable mesh class, and I’m toying with a paste / brush style level building tool that’s a little bit of a nod to the Unreal editor.

Ooh, ooh – (there goes another capacitor) – and talking of Unreal, I’ve made a rather funky step / staircase builder which is one of the rather useful functions in their CSG toolset and very useful for people sketching out level designs in the editor that don’t want to keep popping in and out of their 3D modelling packages all the time just to add another step, etc.

One cool thing I realised while making this is that although I just implemented the straight and spiral style staircases where Unreal also offers curved, you can turn my straight staircases into Unreal-style curved ones using my bend function. Yeeeeah, that probably sounds mental to most of you doesn’t it?! Nevermind…

Fortunately I’m nearly finished with all this stuff. (I hope. I really hope!)
I’ve got a few more minor functions to add or finish off, and possibly a slightly complicated merge function to write, when I’m in a suitably adventurous mood, and then some tidying up, polishing and thorough testing to do. And a manual to write. In fact, I’m hoping to put the manual online before release, to get feedback from the community.

I’m also thinking it might be time to invest in a Mac, for cross-platform testing and development purposes. In the long run it will be worth it. In the short term it’s hard to justify the gross expense of it (damn you Apple!) so I might well be trying to rent or borrow one off someone.

Hmmm, it’s past 5pm, maybe I’ll just go and cool my overheating capacitors in a nice cool vat of beer, and with any luck some hopelessly inebriated office working refugee will leave their shiny new untracable-and-insured-by-the-company Macbook behind. Obviously I’d try my very best to reunite them with it first, a postit note in the corner of the pub window should suffice…

…meh, it’d never happen, and I’d be daft enough to hand it to the barstaff, who’ll probably just hock it on ebay within 24hrs, pffft!