Saturday, December 29, 2012

Community Creationism - or "Can I be a knight of Mars? With... you guys? Maybe get me one of them... bats?"

I'm going to coin a term here and I have no idea how accurate it will be. Community creationism. After being exposed to lots of different types of media and communities in the last few years, I have discovered what I think may be a human trait. It goes something like this:

As you are exposed more regularly to a media form, situation, thought process, community or other concept involving social interaction, no matter your initial thoughts on the concept, you will form an affinity for it. This affinity grows into a desire to contribute, and thus you become a community creationist. I'll explain with examples from my own life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I fucking hate apple

I need a way to express how much I fucking hate apple and their fucked up interface.

I have just spent the last week trying to upload my app to the app store. The main concern being that I don't own an apple computer. This makes it very close to impossible to effectively work on an iPhone app.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finding an ideal directory structure

My recent forays into coding have left me with some pretty confusing directory structures. I tend to break up my directories thusly: (I'm talking about web dev for the time being)

[myProj] - project
    [scr] - scripts
        [php and javascript files that store functionality]
    [mod] - modules
        [php scripts that will be include()d and rendered on the page]
    [img] - images
        [pictures and such]
    [css] - style
        [css files]

An avid onlooker would notice that where I can, I name my folders a three letter abbreviation of their full name. This is because I am lazy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When I hire someone

Eventually, I'm going to hire someone.

I can only get so far by myself. I am about three years off going into fulltime game development (unless something big happens either way) and even with all 24 hours of a day devoted to it, progress will be slow. So I'm going to eventually bring someone on board.

But I don't want just anyone. In fact, I want a very specific person. And it's kind of counter-intuitive.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How NOT to design a messageboard

Goddammit, everything about MySQL sucks serious sackage. Have you ever googled for a MySQL issue and clicked a link for anything related to The whole site is designed to be incredibly painful and user-hostile.

Nice messageboard, MySQL.
Nice documentation, MySQL
Nice Homepage, MySQL.
Nice forums, MySQL.


Seriously, just because things exist (forums, docs etc) doesn't mean they need to be changed.

Holy fucking shit MySQL, look at what SQLite did! An easy to read flowchart! Clear documentation! Who'da thunk it.

I fucking hate MySQL.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Awesome uploading gif generator!

I don't spruik much but I just found this and it's awesome

Loading GIF generator

I am always trying to find decent free loading gifs and that has a selection of pretty much all the ones you ever see on the net. I thought it worth noting down in case I am looking for it again later.

Lazy mysql

I fucking hate MySQL.

is it just me or do the letters 'sql' take far too long to type? They are in complete opposite ends of the keyboard and chafe my ass. Add in 'my' and you now have a word that requires you visit all compass points of your keyboard to type it. What's worse, every mysql function in php has "mysql" at the start of it!

Because I am a lazy bastard I made a little function that eases my pain.

function fetch($str){
    $q = mysql_query($str);
    $a = mysql_fetch_assoc($q);
         echo 'e: Fetch() returned an error! '.mysql_error();
         return false;
    else return $a;

Now I can just call fetch("SELECT * FROM `my_ass` WHERE `mysql` = 'shit'"); whenever I require an array from a mysql string. I don't have to type "mysql" once!

Seriously, try typing mysql ten times fast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I wish I had been told about objects

You can read this in a nice wiki format here

When looking at tutorials and tips, you'll hear phrases like "the objects 'x' method" and "returns an 'x' object". If you're not sure what this means, it definitely helps to get a grasp of the concept of objects when you are programming.

A big problem I had when I first learned about Object Oriented Programming was that tutorials all needed to be so damn correct. Since I was only a noob this lead to confusion and frustration.

This post is not entirely correct, and in some ways just flat wrong. But it serves to bridge the gap between procedural programming and OOP for the newbie. If you continue down the golden path of OOP you'll find that a lot of the stuff I said here was fallacious, but it was a means to an end.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Prototype is so handy

I have been javascripting like a madman recently. I now have quite a bit of experience in the language. Here's a few fiddles I did to get my head around stuff like objects, dragging stuff and AJAX calls:

My JsFiddles directory

Try the cards program, you can upload a picture and give it a name/description. It's supposed to be a jumping off point for making online card games like magic the gathering or w/e.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ravaged Beta!

2Dawn finally did it!

Ravaged beta is here! Have a look! Everyone loves a good beta! Getting stuck in walls, no tutorials, crazy shit happening, it's great!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Look what I just bought

Holy shit this better be worth it, I literally can't buy food this week


It's times like these I'm glad I know how to make bread, and have 20kg of flour in my cupboard. On a side note, does anyone want my old laptop?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Look what I can do.

I am currently on my fried laptop. Blue lines cascade down my screen like merry digital waterfalls, the gfx card hums like an engine with no oil, chugging towards its inevitable demise, my time is short and blender is far, far out of the question. So I decided to use this time effectively. I am learning Java. And that right there is my first program. And I am proud of it. If you look closely you can see that I fucked it up the first time, but such disappointments make the successes all the sweeter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

uTower - My UDK project

This isn't an announcement so much as it is a cave in of needing somewhere to post about this. I don't want to generate hype about it, but I feel the need to chronicle my progress somewhat.


Is the working name for the tower defense game I have been mulling over since about christmas-ish. You can read the concept doc here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

An invigorating job offer

I think I may have peed my pants a little

When my mate John Hannagan told me that Immersive Technologies were looking for modellers. So when I sent them my resume and portfolio, and they rang back for a video conference interview, I puked rainbows into the sky, where they exploded into a million pieces and formed the stars. It's one thing to get compliments from fellow modellers, but when a professional modelling firm looks at my portfolio and is still interested in hiring me, it makes my head expand to nigh-critical mass dimensions. That day, my ego blocked out the sun.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Blackford Stormington's Canine Pedestrial Assistolumundus!

Not enough time in the day to take your best friend for a rigorous constitutional? Stresses of ultra-modern life weighing you down? Overweight and lazy? Then look no further than the latest in Assistolumundus™ technology!

From the brains behind the Terry Toilsworth Tarry-no-more and the Automatronic Runcible Spoon comes the finest in modern lifestyle-augmentation design! A brand new approach to canine walking, the CPA ensures that old Rover gets the exercise he needs. With the newest Assistolumundus apparatus you'll find more hours in the day for your scholarly pursuits! The finest machining guarantees longevity of service and minimal parts-replacment, as you can see in the following demonstratory motion image reel:

Order yours today!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The benefits of going to "work"

I work a job on a week on week off roster, which affords me the luxury of working fulltime on my models/games every second week. I treat this as an opportunity to "dip my toe" into the work-at-home-as-a-desperate-indie-dev lifestyle that I am clutching at strings to obtain. The problem is finding the line between leisure mentality and work mentality.

When working round the year and having only the weekends and after work to model, I would have to smash out my models at top speed just to keep up. This attitude translated fantastically to working with lots of time, oh man did I get some shit done, but lately I have noticed that with plenty of time to spare, I have more time to waste. It's hard to admit, but there are real downsides to fulltime home work, and subsequent upsides to what I call "work work".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blender to UDK: How I do it - Static Meshes

I have finally got a handle on making base-featured models. That is, a model with accurate collision and LOD data. When exporting from blender to UDK, you have a few options for format. I have been using the ASE exporter made by MCampagnini, one of the UDK community members, and up till today it had been going ok. My main issue with it was that the error messages were vague and unpredictable. In a fit of frustration today I decided to switch to the FBX exporter, which ships with blender 2.62. After a few hiccups here and there I found out how it works, and I gotta say I like it. However, it does have some very nearly fatal quirks for the uninitiated. Before I forget what they are, I thought I had better write them down.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Benchmarking Models

For a while I have been wondering how to find out just how resource-hungry any model is. Obviously the more details in a model the harder it will run the PC, but exactly how much, and what is the hungriest, is somewhat of a grey area for me. I was hoping that perhaps someone had made a program into which you could load a model and it would tell you how much cpu it takes to load, how much ram it requires, etc. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that this exists. This is understandable considering the different needs of engines, the different PC environments and I assume a whole range of other crap. But I still want to have something to benchmark my models against, dammit!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Australian food culture, or lack thereof

Australia is a young country

A part of that is that we never really had much time to set in a deep rooted culture like the more ancient civilisations have. As a people, we emigrated from European miscellany and tried our best to live in Australia as we had in Europe. This involved things like killing the native animals, people and trees, importing our own food stocks and generally doing our best to destroy the natural harmonious paradise that we had set our enterprising foot on. This approach not only irreparably destroyed much of our newfound utopia, but ensured that all the adventure of moving to a new country, a hitherto unknown landmass, was decidedly negated. So how has this affected our food, the most recognisable tangent of any culture? Do we actually have a food culture, and if so, where did it come from?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Metabolism changes

I have an awesome metabolism. I'm one of those people who can eat a whole pizza and not see a kilo gained. All my life I have been a heavy eater, I have gorged myself on whatever I could get my hands on, often taking pride in how much I could eat. All this time the most fat I put on was a little layer over my gut, the rest of the calories just dissipated. Fat people hate me.

I recently decided to see if I could take advantage of my metabolism to tone up and trim down a bit. Up until recently I had been training to maintain fitness, and dieting to drop a layer of fat. I watched what I ate closely and exercised every day. 5km runs and 15kg dumbbells were the order of the day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ambiguous Package Name error in UDK and how to fix it

So I've been playing with UDK

and I came across a shit. After compiling my scripts UDK would pop up with an ambiguous package name error on startup. After some googling I found that this is because I had been making my scripts in a folder with the same name as the package I was working on. Seems like a pretty standard idea to me, name all your stuff the same, but UDK doesn't like that. So here's how to fix it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quaternions? I know, quaternions?

My good friend Weetbix gave me some stellar advice tonight on quaternions. I can feel the heat coming from my ears now. I'll let steam do the talking:

Black_Stormy: so I'm trying to code a new camera mode into UDK
Black_Stormy: and I'm using vectors and rotators
Black_Stormy: and doing math between them with variables that I have no idea what they are doing
Black_Stormy: in over my head or what
Black_Stormy: quote from a forum: Conceptually, I'm trying to rotate a stacticMesh actor so that it's orientation matches to a vector tangent to a spherical surface.
Black_Stormy: I know what thet means!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New York Garbage Truck

So I'm pretty proud of this

Another model made for ModelsfortheMasses. This one is supposed to be for a L4D map so it had to have a bit of detail in the underside and man was it a mission.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The difference between Source and UDK communities

As my legions of avid fans and readers may be aware, I have started to fiddle with UDK. A big part of working in an engine is the support you get from its community. For Source I have been predominantly lurking and sometimes posting on and I have found the community to be open, honest and violently dedicated to mod/game dev. Since using UDK I have been lurking in the WIP section of the Epic Games forums. The community there is quite different.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I think I've figured out why marriage is such a bad decision

Relationships are great. They make you feel happy and sad, anxious and calm, elated and deflated, all the ingredients that make life worth living, up and down. But there is a very big mistake a lot of people make in their relationships which modern society is starting to have less and less support for. Marriage. This is an opinion piece inspired by recent happenings in my life, and years of thought and Louis C.K.