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Irrlicht 1.6 Released!

Irrlicht 1.6 is out now. New Features:

Happy downloading!



Some thoughts on JavaScript 2.0

I've been using JavaScript before quite a lot when creating websites and flash games and whatnot, but usually these were just simple, short scripts, and most of the time they even were so small that they were embedded directly into the HTML.

But recently, I had to dig a little bit deeper and came across the real beauty of JavaScript and realized some of its big features: Only doubles as primitive types, no ints, no floats, no bytes or similar. No classes, no real types, no OOP, but of course, you can build your own ugly class/inheritage system using prototypes and functions. If it is true, and the future really is web apps, then I pity the future software developers who have to write software based on this language.

But at least, there is light at the end of the tunnel, the next version of JavaScript, ECMAScript 4 / Harmony or better known as JavaScript 2.0, featuring classes and static typing. I hope this language will be finished and implemented soon, because this would mean the real fun with client side web apps can finally begin.



Sunsets always look nice

For debugging a new feature, I had to create a simple 3D scene. It's very simple, but somehow, I like it. Posting it here for your entertainment, it doesn't show a cool feature unfortunately:



Created with CopperCube 1.0.6. Controls: Mouse and Cursor keys or W+A+S+D.

Happy weekend!



Fuck you, GIS. Fuck you.

Somebody ringing you out of your bed, threatening you to enter and inspect your apartment tomorrow together with the public authorities and against your will can really destroy the fun of your remaining whole day.
Happened to me this morning. It was a guy from the Austrian GIS (people from the public television and radio fee collecting company demanding money from you for owning a TV or radio) and he didn't like that I refused to let him take look into my apartment. Then he came up with this 'I'm going to bring a charge against you and raid your apartment together with the financial agency'-thing I've never heard of before. And after studying his pre-printed forms, it looked like he really meant it. After discussing a bit with him he explained to me that the ORF (austrian public service broadcaster) desparately needs money and now started doing stuff like this. Incredible.



Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo: schizophrenic?

When I tried the Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo, I liked the game. But what I didn't like was the demo itself. It seems the developers packaged it quite a bit under stress because of all the bugs in it. Not in the game itself but in the menu, installer and intro:
Maybe I've overlooked something, but this was a weired experience. Making it hard to start the game and after you finally managed to start it anyway making it hard to exit it again appears a bit schizophrenic to me. But at least it fits the setting of that game :)



Looking for a programming language

About 10 years ago I promised myself to learn one new programming language every year. Until now, I did this, and even more: Sometimes it was 2 or even 3 new languages per year. It was quite interesting and I can recommend other programmers to do this as well. It's like learning another foreign language (which I try do as well from time to time): The more lanaguages you are able to speak or to know how program in, the easier it feels to use the other languages you already know.
But this year, I haven't learned any new programming language yet, so I'm looking for good suggestions. Maybe I should try Ruby? Or Lisp?



Playing around with the 3D capabilities of Flash 10

Today, CopperCube 1.0.6 has been released, and I quickly clicked together a small demo to show some of it's new features:


Controls: Mouse and Cursor keys or W+A+S+D.
When hitting the 'start 3d scene' button, you'll see some animated textures and the event system in action: When moving to the yellow thing, a sound will be played, when moving away from it, another sound will be played. Also, CopperCube is now using a new rendering pipeline using Flash 10's 3d capabilities, so it is much faster now.

If you don't know yet what CopperCube is: It's a 3D editor for creating interactive 3D scenes. the above scene was created without writing one single line of code. Download it for free and try it out if you like.



Irrlicht Nightly Builder updates

The Irrlicht Nightly builder, run by Marc Burns has been moved to a more reliable server, and Marc also added some new features to it:
Sounds very useful to me, especially since Marc is providing this service for free. Thanks!



Movie Recommendation: District 9

Yesterday I watched to movie District 9 which has been released some few days ago here in Austria. And I think, District 9 is one of the best movies I've watched during the last years.
Do you know the moment when you go out of the cinema and start short minireviews with your friends like "It was great, BUT..$thisPartWasUnrealistic$ / $thatCharacterSucked$ / $thatSceneWasBoring$ etc"? When we got to that point, we only stared at each other and said "Well.. it is difficult to find something about that movie which wasn't that good." :)
It felt a bit like a big Outer Limits episode with a lot of action. So watch it, especially if you like Science Fiction.



Designing a simple Event/Action system

To make it possible to create more interactive 3d scenes with this editor, I've been implementing an Event/Action system recently for CopperCube.
The basic idea is that it should be easily possible to add more interaction to a 3D scene without the need to program anything. Example: You want a sound to be played if someone clicks on an item in your 3d scene. Another example: If someone walks into the vicinity of a special 3d item in the scene, an info text will be shown.

To achieve this, CopperCube 1.0.6 will include some extensions to the behaviors of scene nodes (In Irrlicht, these are called 'Animators'). The editor for this will look like this:


The behaviors of a scene node. Define animations, events and actions.


I already implemented actions to make it possible to change the position of a scene node, to rotate and scale it, to make it visible and to change its texture, to play and stop sounds, open a website and to execute java script code. I guess with this first basic set of actions, it is possible to create a lot of interesting applications already.

I hope to release the next version of CopperCube with these actions and events within the next week, let's see. I'm open for suggestions and ideas until then :)



Back from the offline world

This blog was a bit quiet last week because I spent it lying on the beach of a small island in the Mediterranean Ocean. The only access to the Internet was available in a small 'Internet Cafe', 4 km away, which consisted of only one PC with an incredible slow dial-up connection, which only was available every second day. So it was quite relaxing and I had a lot of time to think about different things. And I feel pretty recharged now, so expect some new content on this blog soon again :)



Does not have to be games only

Here is a nice example of my audio library irrKlang being used by a non-game application: Vocaroo Express has just been released. It uses irrKlang's audio recodring functionality for sending voice messages using Outlook Express or Windows Mail.


Interesting. And quite colorful. :)
Update: it also uses Irrlicht for graphics, wow.



Opera 10 released

Opera 10 has been released, and it is great. It has some nice new features, I personally like the possibility to resize the tabs very much, which then include thumbnails of the website. Wondering when Firefox and IE will be copying this feature again. :)