For my game asteroid wars I had written my own basic physics engine for the server that knew about acceleration, torque lateral velocity, lateral momentum, angular velocity and angular momentum and did both Axis Aligned and Object Orientated collision using the main quad-tree that everything else used for broad phase.
Then I decided that it would be better to use the PhysX library as it should be both faster and more accurate…
Of course it used floats and I am using doubles everywhere else in the server code so I had to create a grid of simulation scenes and pass objects between them to get anything like the same map size I had with my old system, and after all that it ran marginally slower (since most of my objects are in constant motion with changing velocities but rarely collide), this is when I started to think that a full blown physics engine like PhysX was in fact over-kill for what I wanted.
And it was quite messy to get it in there (used the PhysX Candy Wrapper with my custom math library) but the PhysX binaries didn’t want to seem to play ball running on Linux under mono (where as my custom managed library did obviously)
So now I have striped it all out and put back all my stuff and I am back to running upto 8,000 mobile objects in the same scene/thread using double precision. (So I should still have some gains to go yet when I multi-thread the physics later)
Anyway, that seemed like a huge waste of time, but at-least I am more familiar with the PhysX API and its limitations now.
I need to continue my port of the ‘AI Steer’ library now…
Or maybe I should start making it look more like a game, I can never tell when to stop building architecture and when to start filling in content.
Ok have’t posted on here for ages…
First thing is that I quite like Googles new app inventor… I know the whole graphical logic builder / code generator approach is not new, infact knowing the amount of work Microsoft have put in to this kind of thing in the past, I wouldn’t put it past them to come up with something similar for their windows 7 phones.
Anyway, as it currently stands disappointingly you can’t do much with it… The first thing I wanted to try was to create some struts, save and load info into a MySql database to then display it as a list or grid in the same way you would build a web app but you can’t do either of those at the moment. You can’t even draw text on the canvas to try and take charge of the rending yourself and make your own controls.
Speed wise its quicker to type rather than drag each block out and click it into place…. and on top of that anything that is not super simple quickly starts looking super complex as you run out of space to spread all your blocks out.
But I can see the huge potential in this kind of technology especially in being an on-line graphical drag and drop development solution for a mobile OS. It in theory makes it possible to actually write android apps on an android tablet quite easily.
The other thing I have been doing this week was messing around with DBLinq which is now part of mono. I love the simplicity of LINQ and having just designed most of the schema for Asteroid Wars, I have been thinking on the business model for it and the website that would need.
Figuring I would stick to Linux hosting as its cheaper and I already rent two Ubuntu 10.04 servers, yet wanting to see if i could keep everything in C# (failing that I really want to learn Ruby for Ruby on Rails) I thought I would test out the new features of Mono 2.8 and XPS2 (a lightweight ASP.Net server running on mono)
I thought If this ever gets of the ground, a free 2 play model would work best and then charge for all the extra features where people can choose if its worth it to them or not… for example the Enhanced AI that will take me ages to write and use lots of server resources… Some people may not want the AI doing so much for them (or can’t be fussed with setting it up) and prefer to issue manual commands when and where needed, So the people with the money and that thing something is a worthwhile feature will buy it the rest won’t… where a lot of people buy the same features will just highlight areas potentially fit for future development and expansion.
This should maximise any changes of getting a suitably large player base (for a small indie game) yet still provide a means to pay for all the infrastructure and hosting.
Also this works quite well to open this up to allow other people to write content for the game, new ship models etc, and then take a cut of the profit for that feature.
philhellenes is one of my favourite youtubers
Edit: To be fair if I am going to link to philhellenes this video deserves a watch too.
I walked right around the Island of Guernsey, which was about 45 miles using the cliff paths. Though I walked further than that in total, what with getting lost and walking to and from the bus stops for the start and end of each leg.
I might edit this post later on with some links to pictures I took, but for now I just wanted to post that I did it. I had to go all out on the 5th and 6th days to get all the way around in time, the main difficulty was all the steps, especially around the south coast, hundreds of them and made progress slow.
I have been home a day now and the blisters on my feet are starting to go down and I am pleased its something I have done.
LoL I lost 7 subs from posting about going on holiday to Guernsey… ok its not technical or development based but… ahh well anyway I am gonna post about it again now anyway.
So after day two I just walked 8.75 miles bringing the total upto 15.44 miles, after that my feet were sore so I went to dunk them in the pool but ended up doing 20 lengths and I haven’t gone swimming in about 14 years, I don’t live near the coast and being overweight could do without all the embarrassment and screaming kids of public pools. So I was amazed that I could swim just fine, its obviously one of those things like riding a bike that you just don’t forget.
And with blisters on my toes already tomorrow is the harder part as its lots of narrow cliff paths and steep hills, so it may have to be less miles. I plan to get to at least jerbourg (another 7 miles) which will be a little short of half-way and with another 3 days to go after that to walk the other half of the island.
I guess the whole thing will be about 45/50 miles, so its a good thing I gave myself 7 days to do it in.