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Irrlicht Engine Wiki Spammed

The Irrlicht Engine Wiki is now filled with content, thanks to all people helping with this. The development team is also using the wiki a bit for communication and planning, so it is a very helpful tool. Unfortunately, now also spammers start to like it, so I password protected the wiki. The password is written on the bottom of first page of the wiki anyway, but I think currently we are only struggling with spam bots. If the password doesn't help, I'm going to add a Captcha or similar later.



Sony Rootkits, Bioshock Protection

From time to time I read the weblog of f-secure, the anti virus company. The blog is always very interesting and keeps you up to date with the latest development in the malware area. This week, for example, they wrote about a new sony rootkit they discovered, wow. Interesting is also that before blogging about this, they say they contacted Sony, but did not get a reply from them. Doesn't look like Sony will every learn.
They also shortly mention Bioshock, confirming that that game doesn't include a rootkit, it only includes the already known restrictive copyright protection software. Which is the reason why I won't buy that game, btw, HL2 already teached me: I'm not going to spend money for a product which I don't have control over where and when I want to install or play it. Not even if the developer says the restriction will reduced maybe somewhere in the future.
Now, I'm going to play some Progress Quest again instead. :)



irrEdit as Logo Tool

Did you notice the new banner on top of this blog? It was time again to change it, because I couldn't see the old ugly one anymore. The new image shows a 3D scene made orginally by RABCAT Computer Graphics (already blogged about it, a scene which I use for some Irrlicht work), with some added signpost model, created by me using anim8or, both placed together and lightmapped using irrEdit. Here is the proof:


See the yellow background of the lightmap selected in the property window? Obviously I used the debug version of irrEdit to calculate the lighting, irrEdit uses yellow there instead of a black as background to be able to test the lightmap placement more easily. And I was already wondering why the editor needed more than 10 seconds to light that scene. In release mode, it would only take one or two seconds.



Video of AMELIA in action

For those who didn't notice: Quantum_Leap posted a link to a video of AMELIA in action. AMELIA is the Atlas Detector of CERN project which uses Irrlicht and irrKlang, about which I blogged last time. The video is quite big in size, but shows the cool GUI and the impressive detector.



Republic of Ideas

Just discovered in Republic of Ideas, a website which will launch in about a week. There is a nice mysterious intro video available, though. They are also listed in the Museum of Modern Betas, a nice idea: Listing upcoming web 2.0 / social networking / ajax / whatever betas. :)



Irrlicht, irrKlang and Particle Physics

Amelia (ATLAS Multimedia Educational Lab for Interactive Analysis) is a project for High-Energy physics featuring the ATLAS detector at CERN, the world's largest particle physics lab. The application looks like this:

Using the Irrlicht engine and irrKlang, AMELIA integrates event analysis and contextual media in a 3D interface. The project is open source and IMO one of the more impressive (maybe also because I have don't know anything about those physics ;)) non-game projects made with these libraries.



Sensobots

Sensobots is a GPL linux arcade shooter by Andreas Sensen. Do I have to mention that it uses Irrlicht for graphics and irrKlang for sound output? :)
The gameplay looks like a game which I liked to play a lot back in the times when LAN was cool. Unfortunately I had no time to try it out myself yet. Too much work, deadlines too close. That's also the reason why this blog entry is so short. Sorry. :)



Google Adsense for Video Games

Sounds like a very interesting future for indie game developers, IMO: Google Adsense for Video Games. They are planning this for flash games first, but want to move this to real (sic) games later. Just like anyone with a small webpage can earn money using adsense now, maybe any hobbyist or professional game developer can do this with their games too, soon.
(via devbump)



Ambiera censored

Somebody told me that the website of my company, ambiera.com, seems to be blocked by the china government censor system. If this is true, can anybody confirm this?
If so, I wonder why they did this. It's just a harmless website of a company, with game development and Irrlicht related software. Strange.



Galactic Dream: Rage of War Released

Galactic Dream: Rage of War has just been released, a commercial realtime strategy space game using Irrlicht. I already blogged once about this game, but now it is finished and looks even a bit better than before:

Nice work, guys.



Thieves! Blog Thieves!

I just spotted a blog (softwaregamesnews dot blogspot dotcom) which simply copies posts of other blogs including this one, adds a lot of goggle ads and tries to earn money from this. I think it works because people are getting there using search engines, and click on the ads then. The author or bot tries to get away with this by adding a link back to the original blog.

There were blogs like this before, but usually most people copied content from this blog as service for their users. If they did it in a copy'n'past mode, without adding some own informations or value, I asked them to stop doing this, and they usually understood and stopped. But it seems this one is really on the same level as spammers. Or did I misunderstand something? Anyway, I really don't want to create a copyright infringment nofitication. Hope someone does this before me.

Update: As rainer pointed out in the comments, now even this blog post has been published there. Woha. :)



PacAnd

PacAnd is a PacMan clone in 3D. With rockets. Created by Andrew Price, made using Irrlicht. It features dynamic lighting and very creative music and sound effects, played back by my favourite audio library. :)
It also seems to use a path finding library, but it's new to me. If anybody is interested, Andrew is willing to upload the source of the game as well.



Back From the Desert

Finally I'm back from holidays, and ineffective Irrlicht promotion tour - unfortunately, the grains of sand weren't that interested in my brand new Irrlicht shirt:


But at least it attracted the attention of a few younger hotel guests - I guess because it looks like a web 2.0 logo. (It's actually a bit shinier than looking on that picture, lots of people already asked me if they can get one for free after seeing me wearing it) :)
Now I have to work down the mountain of mail waiting in my inbox and read the news, blogs and forums - as I've heard for example DirectX 10 has become obsolete already during my holiday. :)



Blog Silence

This blog will be a bit more silent next week, because I'm on vacation starting with tomorrow. Also I'm probably not able to answer mails until then. Happy next week :)



New Irrlicht Test Data Source

Although Irrlicht now supports the direct import of about 15 3D file formats, one of the problems for Irrlicht users is to choose the right one for them. This week, I started to do something about this, and the first step was to get some test data. Fortunately, I've a new source for realistic real world 3D test data. Details will be announced in the near future, they've been kindly provided by RABCAT Computer Graphics with cool looking game resources.
The original mesh data wasn't in an Irrlicht Engine supported format, so I had to write an importer for this. I quickly hacked down an irrEdit plugin to import it, and this took me only about 15 minutes.

The lighting and shadows were calculated by irrEdit's built-in lightmapper afterwards. The scene contains about 100 different materials and a huge amount of polygons, but irrEdit was able light this within just a few seconds, nice.

I'm not an artist, but I really like the result. More about this soon, but unfortunately not too soon: See next blog post.



CAPTCHA for Java Programmers

The IKVM blog has a very efficient CAPTCHA. If you want to post a comment, you'll have to answer this question first:

What method on java.lang.System returns an object's original hashcode (i.e. the one that would be returned by java.lang.Object.hashCode() if it wasn't overridden)? (case is significant)

Maybe we should add something like this here too? Like "How many constant registers has Pixel Shader Version 1.2?" :) But until now, it works well without CAPTCHAs here :)



There is no Win32 API function to create a blue screen

This cannot be said often enough: There is no Win32 API function to create a Blue Screen of Death. And if there is one, we are not using it. What I am talking about here:
The problem is that some people with special hardware or drivers, playing 3D games or using 3D engines such as Irrlicht sometimes discover unusual behavior of their system: freezes, blue screens or resets. Sometimes it's a bit better, for example the Irrlicht application slowing incredibly down when drawing graphics in D3D mode or using a special feature. And it's not the fault of the game, not the fault of Irrlicht, and in most cases not the fault of your hardware. The reason for this is usually a badly written video driver. A normal program such as a game or an Irrlicht application is not able to cause bad failures such as system freezes. Only the driver can do this. The guys at NVidia or ATI just did a mistake when writing their driver. The only thing you can do about this is report the bug to ATI or NVidia, and update or downgrade to another driver version.
This is a problem that every game using graphics, every 3D engine, and of course also Irrlicht has to struggle with. I had some more questions like this one in my inbox recently, so I thought it would be a good idea to write about this again. I've heard with the new driver model of Vista the part with the freezes and resets has become better, but I don't have any first hand exprience with this yet.



Some unrelated video link

Just to fill the summer blog hole (I know, bad translation. What is better? 'summer news vacuum'?):
Maybe you know, if you mix Mentos and Coke, you'll get a fountain. But if you do the same with Carlsberg and Mentos, something completely different will happen.