Monday, 27 August 2012

90.5 Lapsed badly

Damn its amazing how quickly it creeps back up.

Though I have lapsed badly the last few weeks, especially while at the Unite2012 conference in Amsterdam where good food was available at the 4 star Movenpick hotel. (I even got an upgrade to a suite when I complained about being too close to the elevators).
I got a chance to have a delicious 2008 Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape at 70euros a bottle...yes I know, but how often do I get the chance??  Of course I won't be claming that on the expenses sheet :) It was delicous though.

I also took a bit of time on the final morning to rent a bike and cycle around Amsterdam, something I have wanted to do for a while since walking never seems to take you past the seedy areas.  The bike lets you go much further and see a much nicer and upbeat side to Amsterdam which I want to explore a bit more in future. I found an especially cool blues bar called Bourbon Street (aren't they all called that?) in an area I can't recall the name of just now but where we all had an excellent sushi meal the night before.

Cycling however has proven to me that pedestrians in Amsterdam, most likely tourists are batshit crazy mofo's who have lost the ability to look left and right when stepping onto the lanes...I lost count of the number of times I had to break hard or ding the bell to get people to notice me...I mean in a city famous for its cycles you'd think the peds would be a bit more careful.

I know I keep saying it...but its Gym time...perhaps when I get that 1st visit over I'll be able to get over my distaste for the place. But I have been paying for it for 8 months now I suppose I should make use of it.

Work wise I am very busy this week, my freelance program is being re-worked to be more flexible ready to plug in maps from the client, and to aid in that I'm busy doing a map editor for it, but thats just evenings, daytime we're back to work, teaching next week so am prepping all my lessons wayyyy in advance so that I don't have to stress out too much on work days and can fit in a good amount of freelance work.

So busy busy week, having to learn lots of new things too, Unity in particular is starting to make sense to me, our students are going to be using it for GameLab and I need to be able to help them.

I'm also going to try to get out more, so I'm not at home drinking wine every night (not good for the weight)...I'll go out and drink with freinds...oh wait...something wrong with that plan, can't quite figure it out.

Music also is changing, I am hoping to join another band, a group of collegues from another dept in NHTV are after a bass/guitar player...I doubt my bass playing is up to it but hope my guitaring is.  I might be able to contribute a bit of bass sometimes. Its a more formal structured band than We're Still Shit. They gig from time to time which is what I want to get some experience of, so I hope to get in there and be more focused on my playing. The music is ok, not quite my style, but nothing I hate, it'll be a great learning process.

We're Still Shit will continue of course, and I'm hoping we can formalise our practice and style a bit more too, which will allow us to gig. We're having a formal band meeting this week to lay down some ground rules which I'm going to try to manage. I'll mean splitting time with two bands...but what else do I  have to do eh?

Right...back to course plotting, map editor, and unity.

what an exciting life I lead!!


Sunday, 19 August 2012 damn hot

Flaming typical, after a pretty awful summer holiday weather wise and my summer holiday and only real chance to top up on Vit D,  effectively lost after the split I have been avoiding rain and miserable weather for the whole 5 weeks or so.

But now, here we are at my last weekend and the sun is belting down, the whole county is basking in it, and I am sat here semi naked to keep cool in front of a compter screen hoping I can finish a delivery today so I can spend 10 mins to turn lobster read.

There is no justice.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Last Weekend

keep forgetting to weigh myself, but I know I'm not losing any more, nor gaining, so Gym has to be started.....

Its now our last holiday weekend, I'm back to "work" on Monday, I say "work" cause I will be checking into a 4 start Amsterdam hotel for 4 or 5 days as I attend the Unite Conference to get better aquainted with Unity Engine which we will be teaching next block...Fun fun fun.

The Crazy in Love recording session has been was biting off too much more than I can chew...coupled with lack of time for something so intense as I do my coding job. I need to stick to simpler things and will try to do something this weekend.

The PSM project is going very well now, I have most of the main game mechanics done and working well, though we have to get the actual mechanics of the gameplay fixed this weekend. I delivered almost everything I had to today except for some menus which try as I might the Sony Supplied font code kept throwing errors...I couldn't find out why. I'll try again over the weekend since I need to have a bit of a break and enjoy my last free Friday night.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

3 o'clock in the morning

well strictly speaking its 4 in the morning but BB didn't sing it that way.

Spent a fun productive slgihtly frustrating day tracking down some odd bugs, as always RTFM applies, the coord system of the PSM is different to what I am used to and a reversed y direction caused lots of odd problems.

in the end 1 line needed to be changed....1 line!! 1 fucking stupid line had to be reversed.

Ah well..I am delighted with the result now, the main gameplay feature of this game now works and can be expanded on to produce the final game.

I have a demo to produce on Thursday, so getting this fixed was a major thing...theres some issues with the way PSM does particles I have to fix but RTFM will probably sort that...trouble is the M is absolute pants...I need to work out a lot of it myself.

But now its time for bed...I can even close my eyes! To quote the great one!


Saturday, 11 August 2012


Still working on the Crazy in love thing...not a lot of time for that one right now, but here's something i did when reminded earlier today its just over a year since Amy Winehouse died.

Loved this song when I first heard it, and managed to work out a way I could play it.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mossies consider me a feast

This summer has been a right roayl feast time for the Mossies...which wouild be so bad if it didn't itch like mad and then swell up. I've got a tiny bite between my 2 small knuckles which has caused half my hand to swell up...really annoying.

work progresses a little slowly but it does progress...I'm making less mistakes but finding some things a pain to do....such is life I suppose.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

89.5 Display problems cracked

oh boy.....I got stuck for a while, trying to do what seemed to be a very simple thing...mixing small 3D models with 2D banner sprites...but try as I might the sprites didn't show.

I re-wrote, re-read the instructions, re-wrote, re-wrote, re-read again...but nothing! Tried another approach...still nothing, tried another.....still nothing...shouted at the screen...strangly didn't work...tried another approach.

doh..then it dawned on me...I made a simple error, 1 single missing line..which escaped me.

The sprite demo I based my sprite code on set up a vertice buffer on init, it was a 1 time set up in the demo so that works becuase it never prints anythng else, but since I was constantly updating the graphic types and putting in new buffers I needed to reset that buffer when it came time to render sprites.

add the line...boom..Sprites!


oh gave me something to do at 4am when I couldn't sleep after having a few too many drinks with Martin and getting my pre sleep hangover...I hate that, why can't I have normal pass out when drunk and wake up with hangover, like everyone else.

Onward an upward. With the display code issues resovled the rest of the coding is fairly easy maths and masking....should be very effective when I've finished it.


Monday, 6 August 2012


Ah finally, after a lot of stopping and starting and some very odd and unhelpful error messages, I am starting to get chunks of my own code functioning as I wanted it to..excellent

Lost a couple of days at least with strange errors, misunderstoof folder requirments, lack of documentation on addition of libs and plane old, this does not work as it should, type of errors but today I finally worked out how to get things to do what I wanted.

I had to mod an exisiting demo to do it but neverthe less ite bones of the old code have been removed and new code doing what I want is in place...thats a good good day

Should have most of teh hard techy bits done by tonight and ready to deliver to the client tomorrow

Ermm if I figure out how to actually deliver. I solved the coding issues, not the delivery issues...they can wait till I have things working as I want them

I was going to go out for a drink with Martin tonight but he cried off, for work reasons..oh well..just as well since we just had a MONSTER of a hail storm pass over looks like a cold winters day outside...very bizzare.


89.9 meh!!! Oh hang on wtf?

Weight seems to have levelled out at ther 90Kg region...not good enough, diet alone does not seem to be working so time to do the horrible bit and hit the gym....groan. I really really hate gyms

C# has also hit a bit of a plateau, messing with demos is all fine, but trying to start a new project and build up to use the libs has proven to be confusing and in the process wasting much time...In the sense that I struggle to get things to actually work. I'm sure there's a simple thing I am missing, but none of the tuts seem to explain things at a step by step level well enough.

There's a big jump from the simple putting an image on screen starter I was building on to including the 2D engine did you include that never said.

Like I say probably something very simple, but at the moment I'm missing that step, so having to resort to using a demo which has the lib I want to use and modifying it to suit.

But no probs, its all a learning process. I'm making notes of things that I find confusing, since these are exactly the things that will throw students.

Back to it, have a deliverable to try to hit today....should get it if I can just work out how to make my linked list update and get rid of the very odd and unfamiliar errors that throw up randomly sometimes


Saturday, 4 August 2012

89.0 C# is cool

Even though I still find myself going...hmmmm I am finding C# to be quite a cool way to do things. I miss direct pointer access of course and some of the referencing is a bit befuddling but after a while it all starts to make sense, basically its about making sure you know what you are passing.

Still no joy on the Tablet, I will try that again after I've completed work on my demos. Get the code working 1st then try the mad hardware.

I've been told the Vita is the weak link in the PSM hardware family despite is awesome graphic and cpu power it lacks certain hyperthreading functions the android devices have so it might struggle a bit..I will probably have to buy one or get one bought for me to test this since the game is heavily depending on memory shifting around which is best doen with hyper threading (you can shift a bunch of memory while doing update code)

Off to Ikea in a bit with Jacks big bike with the rack ont eh front to buy a computer/printer unit since the work PC is proving to be a bit noisy, and I do want to get the printer down there.

Will see if they have a nice roastbeef potatoes salad dinner while I am there.


Friday, 3 August 2012

89.5 Trials and Tribulations of a Sony Tablet S

Barring any major issues of finance and timescales it seems the coding job is mine. Needless to say I can't say too much about it but I will outline a few things to form part of a doc that I will present to students as a guide on how (not) to do a project

Its a nice little game which I won't give details about so will limit myself to the fun getting used to a new bit of kit. In this case PlayStation Mobile (PSM). Essentially Android OS on specific Sony approved machines with graphic accelerators and written in C#.

Android is something I am just getting my teeth into at work, but C# is relatively new for me, though I have tinkered with it I've never done a full project

PSM SDK and IDE are freely available so I spent the last few days setting them up and working through the docs and tutorials, no real issues, aside from lack of familiaity with C#. But I've picked it up pretty quick in the last 2 days.

I do have a Playstaion Mobile certifed device, a Sony Tablet S, which I wanted to use as a dev target so I had an idea of hardware speed. Sadly hooking this up is not a simple case of plug and go, indeed plug, go, install, uninstall, plug, go, re-install, find udpates, uninstall, find different updates and so on has been a major waste of several hours research time, which still has not resulted in getting the machine accessable....oh well...The SDK comes with a perfectly usable simulator

The game reequires a few basic featires and 1 major feature which is a bit tricky to do, so I've spent a few days testng if the basics work..yup, no real issues there... But the major feature which involves accessing and modifying graphic data in game...proved a bit hard. There's many ways to do this in c++ but c# wasn't having it..It does not like its memory to be directly accessed...this requires a few work rounds.

The core API does allow for some ability to transfer buffers to VRAM, so using a sledgehammer approach I can impliment what I want...the question is how fast is it will I have enough memory to contain this heavy handed method....will it impact on gameplay?

At this point, hard to say, especially not being able to run on hardware at the moment, but I am setting up some tests to find out.

So far all so good...the weekend will tell if the game can be done then I can dump the tests and start the project proper.

I will need to have a bit of a break from the Sony Tablet though.....why is hardware always a pain!!!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Back in the saddle..yeahhawww

Well after a few years out of the commercial side of things, due to exhaustion, disillusion, family commitments, teaching  and plain old being seriously ill. I seem to have finally landed a commercial project.

I've been fishing about for a few weeks now, given my new single status I have time to spend on some smaller jobs. I had a couple of nibbles, but this week a perfect new project that will also help my "research" side of my school work has cropped up.

We've not signed anything yet but it seems to be on, given there's a tight deadline (as always) I need to make a start on it will we haggle over times/fees in the next few days but even so, I'm excited.

The new work only office is up nand running, though discovered last night I need to replace a memory module on the work Pc, but not a big issue.

A few days of research to get used to a new system then make a start on the proejct next week, hopefully contracts signed and kick off.

Money will be nice to have too, given the financial hit due to the seperation, this will even out the big dip I've had to take and get back to a nice level guitar buying normality.

Of course the nature of these things means I can't say a work about the project or platform for a while, but I will be keeping a record of the progress and publishing it when its possible. It'll provide some course material for teaching next year, and of course means I can put a more uptodate project on the CV.