Sometimes I can't think of a good title.

Thu 08 December 2011 in Mixed. Tags: Blender, Jedi Academy, Jedi Academy: Renaissance, Modelling, Programming, University, Videogames, Trine 2, MD3View. By mrwonko.

What am I up to recently? Quite a lot, apparently, judging from my Github profile.

I wrote a console based Tetris in Pascal for Uni - that keeps me from having to do the programming lessons, which means free Mondays. No particularly big project, but probably the one with the most obvious effect.

Then there's some Jedi Academy stuff. The community may be dying, but it's not quite dead yet. Almost, but not quite. Won't keep me from working on it though. In particular I've been trying to model a sword in Blender 2.6a. I had to fix some bugs in an md3 exporter and md3view (whose sources I luckily acquired last year) first, but I did make it eventually.

The latter - md3view - is required for converting the md3 to a ghoul 2 model (.glm) as used by Raven's Quake 3 engine based games. It would be much simpler if you could directly export those from Blender, and I've been working on that as well. So far I can import the complete format but the exporter is a work in progress at best. I'm writing it with my Renaissance project in mind - it could be used to import a model, UV map it again (so there's no mirroring) and create a hipoly version for normal/height baking. Because I'd like to eventually add normal- and parallax occlusion mapping to my engine.

Once he heard I had compiled GTK Radiant 1.6, Darth-Arth requested I did some changes. We're still working on Spirits of the Sith, a Jedi Academy SP mod, after all. Actually, I'm hardly contributing at the moment, so anything coding related is the least I can do. (My ghoul 2 importer already was of use, too.) So I made some changes, and while I have no problem with making my sources available anyway I did not even have a choice here once I published binaries, it's GPL after all. So my changes are available on sourceforge. (I did not want to put such a huge project on Github, I think my space there is limited.)

The thing that's most important to me is me working on Jedi Academy: Renaissance again, though. I won't get this done if I don't work on it.

Well, I don't suppose working on a .ibi to lua converter is the correct way of getting it done when you don't even have a menu system yet, but I keep doing little things, tech demos pretty much, because those are more interesting than designing a menu system.

Luckily, I've just thought of an interesting "side project" that will actually be useful for creating the menu system - a new renderer. So far, I'm using SFML's graphic part, which has pretty nice 2D rendering features - sprites, including image loading, and texts are the things I need in my engine as well. I've already written my own font/text rendering using Jedi Academy's image + .fontdat format though (even if it currently is an extension to SFML, extending its classes and using its renderer) and I need multitexture fragment shaders - I'm not sure I can do that using SFML. Besides, I'd like to be able to use all that in GTK as well (writing e.g. a modelviewer using my renderer so it looks just like ingame).

So I'll be rewriting the rendering, mostly using pure OpenGL 2.0 with some GLU and GLEW mixed in. I'll start by trying to replicate Quake 3's "shaders" using fragment shaders, which should be both faster and more powerful. Since it'll probably take me over a week to get the renderer in a usable state, I'll need a backup of my engine in case I want to use it for Ludum Dare next weekend. That's right, there's another "make a game this weekend, here's the theme" contest incoming.

So I looked into git tagging and branching. I started by tagging the current version as the LD22Fallback, but then I found out I actually want branches. From what I learned so far, they're damn powerful, allowing you to change the state of your current working directory with a single command (git checkout <branchname>). So I'll be working in a new branch "renderer" while leaving the master branch untouched for Ludum Dare. Actually, I'll probably start a Ludum Dare branch. You can probably synchronize commits between changes, e.g. pulling a bugfix or new feature from the master branch to the renderer branch and in general this seems perfect for trying out different things in a safe environment.

Oh, and I got a Razer Hydra when they were on sale during the Black Friday weekend - I'll have to do some coding with them, too. Using them to play "ordinary" games works reasonably well, but games made for them is where they'll shine. (I'm using plural since there are two controllers.)

And I got myself Trine 2, which once again had beautiful music. To get it, I needed to first unpack the archive, then use two converters (ww2ogg and revorb) and batch rename the resulting files (*.ogg_conv.ogg) - the bash proved very useful for this. (I'm using the git bash on Windows - I have to fix my MBR and boot into Ubuntu to test my Engine there some time soon though.)

So that's what I've been up to. In the coming weeks I'll probably be working on Renaissance, the Ghoul 2 exporter for Blender and possibly some other Jedi Academy related tools

So long,



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