(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-02 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
It gives a lovely, ethereal effect, doesn't it?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-02 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
it lets the light flow between the camera and the lens reducing contrast and changing colors. in bright light, as in the second photo, you can see individual rays.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-02 08:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
I can't see individual rays, as such. Or do you mean just sometimes, as apposed to in that particular picture?

Oh, and do you know how ray-tracing works? It's a method of producing photo-realistic computer-generated scenes. The concept is the cool thing, in that the program imagines a ray of light (per pixel in the image that's being created) leaving the camera lens, not arriving at it. Now the ray refracts through or reflects off the objects in the 3D scene until it hits a light or leaves the scene, it's travels being used determine the colour of the pixel.

The reason for this approach is only a ray per pixel needs to be plotted. It's still very slow though, and it used to take hours or days to generate a picture on my Amiga in the mid 80s.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-02 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
this is not the cleanest example of individual rays, but i think there are some in the top right of this picture
Image
that's interesting, about ray-tracing.
did you actually use an Amiga in the mid 80s to create photo-realistic scenes?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-02 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
I bought my first Amiga in 1989 (I think), and while programming it would've been the natural progression for me, I found most of the programming languages available for it wanting, or too expensive. C for the Amiga then would've cost NZ$1000. (If my memory serves me right - it may not...)

Anyway, deciding to do something different, I instead bought Turbo Silver, (now morphed into Imagine (http://www.imaginefa.com/)), (NZ$252 - I still have the box), and so learnt how to ray-trace. The only example of my ray-traces on the net I know of is Snow Garden, found here...

http://www.hi-toro.com/shareworld/archives/shareworld.html

Which was done in a hurry, given I was burnt out from producing magazines by then, let alone having to create the 'covers' as well. It was produce with Turbo Silver too, so created with 9 years old software then. Turbo Silver certainly could produce photo-realistic pictures, (to varying degrees of realistic, depending on the scene you were trying to create), but the edit/wait-hours-or-days/edit loop was a bit of a restriction.

Oh yes, and modeling was all done in wire-frame, looking much like this...

http://www.imaginefa.com/gfx/newmode.gif

Click on a point in the net and move it...

But despite the time required, I also did animations with it, not that I'm thinking about it! There's a windmill somewhere, plus a futuristic car race.

I should find my old scenes, stick an Amiga emulator on my PC and render them at the best resolution possible. Which I thing is 800x600, but it's possible it's a bit bigger than that. This could take weeks though, given they're stored among 100s of floppies, which only can be read by my Amiga. Hopefully...

Sigh - the good old days...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-04 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
i never knew programming langueges cost anything, unless they were programming environments like visual studio et cetera. times were hard in the 80th obviously.
i wasn't anywhere near computers back in the early 90th. though, wait. my friend built a BK computer with the help of his father and we played some cool character graphics games on it! and then he bought a more advanced computer with cooler games, my favorite was called 'night creatures' i think - but what i find in google is a different vintage game. and there was a game where you assembled robots and sent them to fight other robots! there are a few games that made a great impression on me in my life, like the 'broken sword', but nothing compares with those few early games.
why don't you try programming games for the pc?
ps. if that's the sort of woods you have, i envy you

Image

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-04 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
Programming languages can still cost you. ie: http://www.blitzbasic.com/ (Which I see from the FAQ is now an Auckland company again. They moved to the UK for a while. I think...)

Oh, and this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_ZX81) was my first computer. And the first million-selling computer, too. Yeah, great times... (http://www2.b3ta.com/heyhey16k/)

Yes, the early games were cool, due in part I think to them being assembled by a small team and with little history of how games should be to restrict them.

Oh, and did you ever play text adventures? I've just noticed the Infocom games are now online (using Java)...

http://www.xs4all.nl/~pot/infocom/

If you've never tried one, Zork 1 is probably as good a place to start. Infocom were considered the top adventure-game house.

If I wrote a game today it'd be an online one. The browser's the platform now.

Yes, that's our 'bush'. Though I assume that's a pic from Fiordland (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Fiordland&sll=-44.855869,167.926025&sspn=3.325706,9.09668&ie=UTF8&ll=-45.21125,166.907172&spn=0.01291,0.035534&t=h&z=15)?

Looks kind of samey from up above!

And there's more signs of habitation at the other end of NZ... (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=bay+of+islands+nz&sll=22.281472,114.084091&sspn=0.271304,0.568542&ie=UTF8&ll=-35.252173,174.189134&spn=0.014964,0.035534&t=h&z=15)

So, where on the map is a good place to look at in Russia? And have you tried Google Earth yet, now you've broadband?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-05 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
the name of the game i mentioned must have been 'nightshade', on a spectrum computer. funny that watching a video of that game on youtube didn't ring any bells! i don't remember much from it except those spiral monsters - but in my head that game has a completely different feel.
anyway, there was another game on spectrum or an early pc platform where you constructed robots choosing the various parts and then sending them to fight other robots. you could either let them fight or interfere and control a robot yourself. i'd like to see a video of that game too, but i don't remember the name.
i tried zork now and it feels good, very visual, but the text is truncated in my window, both in firefox and ie.
anyway, that made me think. how cool would it be to create a text game now using all the new text parsing capabilities and performance advantages! so that there were no words the game doesn't know. it would be interesting to create a big text-based world with detailed descriptions of places and things, adding to it for years or even decades. and then maybe use it as a framework to create individual adventure games within it.
what sort of a game you have in mind, i mean browser based? would it be an adventure? an interesting fact: emma_loy is an adventure game pioneer of sorts in russia - she wrote reviews for the adventure section of one of the earliest russian gaming magazines.
i found that photo in some russian photographer's journal, all i know it's from somewhere in nz. looks outstanding! we don't have anything like that here.
yeah, that's my balashikha. and this is the fox mountain: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=balashikha+russia&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=55.784996,37.950726&spn=0.007794,0.020084&z=16&iwloc=addr
too bad they don't update often: the market by the road that was demolished like two or three years ago is still on the map

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-06 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
it would be interesting to create a big text-based world with detailed descriptions of places and things, adding to it for years or even decades. and then maybe use it as a framework to create individual adventure games within it.

If run online, the adding to it could also be done by the players, perhaps as rewards for completing sections of the game.

But, who would play a text adventure these days? It'd be fun to program due to the natural language processing that's needed, and fun writing the descriptions, but wouldn't it sink like a stone in the popularity stakes, whether free or otherwise?

Of course, it could be made multi-player if online, which might be a bit more attractive, and being text-based, it could double as chat rooms. That would up the complexity level though, from a programming POV.

My vague ideas for an online (multi-player) game is based around simulations, (not first-person shooters or anything remotely like that), the idea being to create a game where you can drop in at your leisure to tweak whatever you have control over in the game, it just continuing on whether you're there or not. Slightly like the robot game you mentioned, I guess.

she wrote reviews for the adventure section of one of the earliest russian gaming magazines.

Really? That is interesting. When would that have been? I'm curious to know when home computing started to take off in Russia. In the 80s I devoured most of the computer magazines I could get my hands on, and there was a huge range to choose from. I even got 'Computer & Video Games' by airmail for a while so I'd get it a couple of months earlier than it'd appear in the shops. Why I thought that was worth the extra $10 or whatever I don't know, but there you go. And I played a huge number of games too, by hiring them. Programmers though have a slightly different attitude to games than non-programmers, they always thinking of how they would've done it differently, or absorbing the ideas in the game for later use... ;-) To me it was partly education.

and this is the fox mountain

And it's obvious where the foxes are kept! And your suburbs are starting to look very much like ours. (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=k&ll=55.842308,37.958364&spn=0.002572,0.008883&z=17) Though big sections in comparison to our new ones. And where's the golf course!?

But at least you have forests close by. This (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=-39.515,176.83428&spn=0.001767,0.004442&z=18) looks to be our closest one. And much neater than yours, I think you'll agree!

But you probably prefer Fiordland...

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Fiordland+forest&m=text

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-08 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
*If run online, the adding to it could also be done by the players, perhaps as rewards for completing sections of the game.*

no - it should be very well written!

*But, who would play a text adventure these days? It'd be fun to program due to the natural language processing that's needed, and fun writing the descriptions, but wouldn't it sink like a stone in the popularity stakes, whether free or otherwise?*

it would probably never be popular, *but* it could create a cult following among the aesthetes

*Of course, it could be made multi-player if online, which might be a bit more attractive, and being text-based, it could double as chat rooms. *

that's interesting. bordering on crazy, but interesting.

*My vague ideas for an online (multi-player) game is based around simulations, (not first-person shooters or anything remotely like that), the idea being to create a game where you can drop in at your leisure to tweak whatever you have control over in the game, it just continuing on whether you're there or not. Slightly like the robot game you mentioned, I guess.*

maybe it takes a programmers mind to appreciate, but i never found self-sufficient games exciting. you can always increase the speed X10000 and see what happens instead of waiting.
though, a nice evolution simulator with allele distribution and stuff could be fun, i guess!

*When would that have been? I'm curious to know when home computing started to take off in Russia. *

the magazine was started in 1995. she joined early, but i can't say when.
i don't think we had any computer magazines in the 80s at all. it all started with the pc.

*looks to be our closest one*

i don't know how far that is from your home, but look, you've got some mountains there

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-09 11:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
*no - it should be very well written!*

Purist!

But well written extensions could also be rewarded, could they not? (Player-added sections would of course require a map-builder and other tools to create them.)

*it could create a cult following among the aesthetes*

Perhaps, but as sites like LJ demonstrate, some people like to hear their own voices as much as other people's, hence a user-added to game would have extra appeal compared to a standard single-player adventure game, not matter how advanced or well written.

That said, have a look at the 'hall of fame's here...

http://www.rinkworks.com/adventure/

They are still played it seems.

*that's interesting. bordering on crazy, but interesting.*

Nah - just a logical extension of the genre. But adding multi-player support makes it way more complex. Not because of the tracking of the extra players, (they being no more than trolls with their AI replaced by a real person - easier than writing the AI), but because of the need to handle what happens to their character when they're not at the keyboard, and whether they can be killed or not, and whether you log all the chat for ever and a day, and so on and on.

Did your early computer magazines have program listings in them - as in every month?

Yes, we have mountains, though not close. They're an hour or two's drive away. And I just looked at your Fox Mountain in Google Earth, which does show up in 3D, and I noticed one of your photos there. I take it you put it there?

Anyway, I'll email you over the weekend, since I've other stuff to say about this...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vriad-lee.livejournal.com
*have a look at the 'hall of fame's here...

http://www.rinkworks.com/adventure/*

i played the trainer, but the absence of free input makes it lose all appeal somehow. also, the background should be black.

* just a logical extension of the genre.*

well, multiplayer with chat support is a chat room! that can be more appealing or useful to the masses, but - beware! - it will never create a cult following.

*to handle what happens to their character when they're not at the keyboard*

they should die after a while, like tamagotchi

*Did your early computer magazines have program listings in them - as in every month?*

i'm not sure about the listings - they had reviews of individual games by genre, news about upcoming games, and solutions.

*I noticed one of your photos there. I take it you put it there?*

yes, i put it there when i explored GE for the first time - on dialup!
will write more a bit later

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-11 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
*i played the trainer, but the absence of free input makes it lose all appeal somehow.*

Old skool probably, in that it's no doubt restricted to mostly Verb-Noun couplets. ie 'get key' or 'hit troll' and so on. Infocom games weren't like that in the old days, which is why they were considered the top adventure-game software house.

I didn't mean chat support as such, but just the ability to 'talk' to the other players in the game. ie SAY "Hello!" or SAY TO VRIAD "Give me the key or I kill you!" Just a natural part of the game, but one that makes chatting possible.

*they should die after a while, like tamagotchi *

Not if they've paid for online time, they shouldn't! A fun examination of online game economics here... (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/20/second_life_analysis/)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-04 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillcarl.livejournal.com
Ah - your place (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&ll=55.814883,37.97081&spn=0.041185,0.142136&t=h&z=13)?

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