Archive for 2005


Happy new Year!

I’d like to write down what the year 2005 meant for my game and what I plan to do in the future.

Mixed offerings

First of all, merry christmas to all who read this. If you do not celebrate christmas, just have a nice day. That was not my reason to post this, but if I already post something today, I might just as well include it.

Programming not quite done yet

A long time ago I wrote that I was finished with programming, at least for the first version. From then on, I would only create content and then do a release. You didn’t take this seriously, did you?

Problems with text display

I have had a display for frames per second, passed checkpoints and so on for quite some time now. It does work as it should, but I’ve got a small performance problem.

Snow is back!

Some time ago I wrote about my snow system which gave me falling snow. For some reason, it vanished. I don’t know when or where, but you’ll notice that the snow is gone from quite a lot of my later screenshots. Now it’s back again!


Not for people who think VW makes beautiful cars


iMac G5

I’ve just got a new iMac G5 with 2.1 Ghz, 20” LCD screen and ATI Radeon X600XT - a huge improvement over my old iBook G4 1 GHz with 12” screen and ATI Radeon 9200, which will now only be used for work on the road (Ironic part: I am more of an nVidia fan because of the lots of documentation for developers they provide). This thing is so cool that I won’t even try to describe it here. Besides, you’d be bored.


One thing I’d like to mention first: A lot of people tell me that they read my page. Please, if you do, write something in the comments! I always get the impression that nobody is reading what I write anyway.

Death to all Reset-Buttons!

You wanna hear news about my game? No? Good, because there aren’t any. I would have posted something, but unfortunately, I was confused and pressed the Reset-Button. What guy ever invented this thing? Who ever said “Good that I can erase all I just typed with just one click!”?

Björn has a new HP!

Björn Gernert, best known for his pictures of houses (more info) and primary reason why I now post in german as well, has put a new design on his homepage. This is quite a big event, because his old site combined lack of ideas with bad design. Of course, he did not manage this as good as some other people I know…

Two languages are better than one

I had a problem for a very long time: Apparently, english speaking people visited this site every now and then. For them, I had to write in englisch. OK with me, but I have some friends who are very bad at english and they always requested that I write in german.

It's winter

Today we had the first snow around here. Unfortunately, it’s all gone now. However, I believe it’s gonna snow again, and then I’ll have my camera and take some pictures to use as textures in my game.

What the hell is an EMD SD40-2?

My current messenger status is EMD SD40-2 in progress, and since I also have this as autoreply, a lot of people have asked me what that might be. I think the best guess so far was that it was some formula developed by Einstein. Sorry, but no.

Programming finished

I believe I’ve written too many posts without screenshots lately, so before anything else, here is one:

Setting up GNUstep

Everything is kinda horrible, but not horrible enough to be actually horrible. Except for my english, of course, which is definitily horrible.

OT: Windows port?

A lot of people, I think about five, have asked me to create a Windows port of my game. This is not as easy as it sounds, because I use Cocoa, and people say “Cocoa stands for Can only compile on Apple”, which means that it is hard to port Cocoa code to anywhere else. So for a long time I said “I’ll think about it” while secretly thinking “go to hell”.

Nearing first beta release

Just a short update: I wanted to say that the programming part for the first beta release is nearly done. There are just two more functions I want to make, and maybe I’ll tweak a few other parameters, but that’s it. Then, I’ll start creating a map and once I have that, I will release the game.


Point of View

I’ve wanted to create a true third person cam, that was attached to my snowcat, for some time. Finally, I’ve done it, so the first beta release of my game can’t be far away anymore :-).

Light at the end of the tunnel

I didn’t work on the oil depot shown earlier, but rather tried something new, tunnels. These were not there yet, as normal heightmaps do not support tunnels at all. There are two different possible ways to build tunnels with heightmaps. The first one is reating a static object that looks like mountain on top and putting it in a valley. This will always work, but it requires you to create practically a new static object for every single tunnel if it should look right.

Work in Progress

Just for your information: Here is an image of the static model I’m currently working on.

Static Objects Working!

This is a large update today, and it doesn’t even include all the cool things that I plan to do later today and tomorrow, but I just had to many screenshots sitting on my desktop so I had to post now.

Roll On 28-Wheeler

Everything back to normal over here (except for the texture), my strange snow-thingy has now wheels again instead of rotating wings.

Short update on object loading

So it turns out the problem was that I forgot to supply the file extension, which was legal with my old code (it assumed that it was always .obj), but not with my new code (using URLs to access everything). Then I found out that I used the wrong stride on texture coordinates (I think I’ll switch to 3D textures default just to get rid of this issue) and finally ended up with this:

Too Clever

I’ve did some work again on my snow game project. On the one hand, sorry for the long delay, on the other hand, who is reading this anyway?

Only german

Björns Haus

If you’re english and don’t understand a word, don’t worry, you won’t miss anything.

Lego Digital Designer

Some people know that I’m a fan of Lego. Some people believe that I used to be a fan of Lego, but that’s not true, I still am, I just stopped wearing Lego T-shirts. If you don’t know me and think I’m very strange know, you’re right.


LiveJournal feed should work again

And now for something completely different: A while ago I wrote an article about how you could now find my site with LiveJournal. I still don’t know what the great thing about LiveJournal is, but I would want to have it working. For some reason, however, the feed would not update there. Now I finally realised what the problem was: I was using some special chars which I should have encoded but didn’t in the description of exactly the article about LiveJournal.

New Skybox, New Textures

I hated the screenshot of the last post and didn’t want to see it whenever I visited my own homepage, so I made a new one. Since my last post, I created a skybox with Terragen. I still don’t understand a lot of aspects about this program, but it was surprisingly easy to create a skybox which has no seams and looks nearly photo-realistic.


It took a lot more work than you might think, but I have a skybox and improved weather now. The skybox textures come from TuxRacer, but I’ll look for others soon. The snow flakes have been shrunk (they used to be between 1 and 2 metres, now they’re between 0.25 and 0.5 metres and look way better) and need a new texture. Distance fog is there, so everything is fine, or would be fine if the damn ground texture for my map wouldn’t suck as much as it does.

Reinventing the wheel

There are currently several tasks that I will do as soon as I want to, and most of them are quite difficult, requiring me to change large pieces of my code. I was too lazy to do this, so I decided to do something easier. The tracks of the vehicle now have wheels, as they should have had in the first place.

Video Capture

For Mac, there is no to capture videos from games. The only good app for this task is Snapz Pro X, but it’s expensive and I don’t like the name. So to show some videos of the now working movement code, I had to write my own video capture system for this game.

It's winter

So now I implemented all features I wanted to have for my particle system, including the randomness, and to celebrate this I made a little snow. The fascinating thing about this is that it worked without any problems. Performance is as nice as ever, so everything is cool.

Particle System working

This post was supposed to be longer, but I accidentally deleted my WIP-screenshots, thinking they were older ones. But who cares, the important thing is that I have a complete, working particle system.

Joints working

My current goal is to get that snow mobile working. On this way, there are several obstacles and I managed to get around one of them. My plan is to implement the tracks as conveyor belts as illustrated in the Newton Game Dynamics forum - where it didn’t work as expected, but I don’t understand any of the alternatives. To get this working, I needed to get joints working. And I got them working.


Back from Vacation

Anscheinend gab es doch jemanden, der dass hier auf Englisch liest.

Only german

Newton läuft!

German again because noone who talks english read this, apparently. If you did read this in english, please leave a comment!

Camera trouble

Yesterday, I got the camera working. That was much more difficult than I ever thought, so first of all the easy stuff. I realised that my code to generate normal vectors was wrong, it produced normal vectors at the wrong locations. The problem was that I accessed the array that contained these vectors to get them in a different fashion than when I made them. Now this is fixed, both versions access the array in the same way.

My Game

Snow mobile


Only german

Joystick für Cocoa

Wer schon mal versucht hat, unter Mac OS X ohne einen Framework von dritten, beispielsweise SDL, auf Joysticks zuzugreifen, wird begriffen haben, dass es wenig schlimmeres gibt. Gott sei dank gibt es aber von Apple selbst die HID Utilties, die den Zugriff stark vereinfachen. Um diese herum habe ich jetzt ein kleines bisschen Code geschrieben, der es einfach ermöglicht, beliebige Kontrollen beliebigen Methoden zuzuweisen. Es wird alles an Input unterstützt, was Mac OS X verarbeiten kann.

Only german

Linkaustausch mit Einntopf

Einntopf, den ich aus der Schule und von LANs kenne, hat einen Link auf meine Seite gesetzt. Dies erfreut mich sehr, und im Austausch setze ich hier auch einen Link auf seine Seite:


Only german

Phase 1 abgeschlossen

Es hat ein wenig gedauert, aber die Seite ist jetzt technisch komplett. Inhaltlich wird das ganze wohl noch etwas dauern, aber immerhin. Alle Seiten sind HTML 4.0 kompatibel, wie der nette Button unten sagt. Von allen Seiten können Firefox-User jetzt den RSS-Feed in ihre Lesenzeichen einbauen. Als treuer Benutzer von NetNewsWire Lite betrachte ich die RSS-Unterstützung von Firefox zwar als Schrott, aber das tut ja nichts zur Sache.

Only german

MacOSRumors hat Sinn für Humor

MacOSRumors, die originale Mac-Gerüchteseite, ist mal wieder aktiv geworden. Für alle nicht-Macianer: Apple veröffentlicht neue Produkte meist exakt dann, wenn sie lieferbar sind. Bis dahin müssen wir uns auf die Berichte schöner Seiten wie ThinkSecret, Apple Insider und eben MacOSRumors verlassen. MacOSRumors ist von allen die unzuverlässigste. Wenn sie etwas sagen, tritt es entweder nicht ein, wurde schon woanders berichtet, oder beides.

Only german

Skripte beginnen zu laufen

Mein News-Skript ist fast fertig (es fehlen noch ein Eingeben-Skript und der RSS-Feed). Ich bitte alle, die hier vorbeikommen, alle Features wie Kommentare und Trackback zu testen. Vielen Dank.