http://asawicki.info/ Graphics programming, game programming, C++, games, Windows, Internet and more...
All blog entries, ordered from most recent. Entry count: 953.
Silly Venture 2013 - My Photos
8-11 November 2013 there was another edition of Atari demoscene party - Silly Venture 2013. Click on the image to see my photos from this event (quite big gallery this time :)
If I had to summarize the party in just one sentence, I'd say that even if you - just like me - have nothing to do with Atari computers and just like demoscene, it's definitely worth visiting Gdańsk in November to go to this party. This scene is big. There were total 113 compo entries this year! (graphics + music + intro + demo + game + wild, in many different categories, for different Atari platforms).
There is also:
(PL) Targi Kariera Programisty
Targi Kariera Programisty to wydarzenie odbywające się w różnych miastach Polski, podczas którego profesjonaliści mogą skontaktować się z firmami poszukującymi pracowników. Udział jest bezpłatny, ale wymaga wcześniejszej rejestracji.
Edycja w Gdańsku odbędzie się 14 grudnia 2013. Będzie tam można m.in. posłuchać mojej prezentacji, która nosi tytuł:
"Pisząc kod natywny C/C++, czyli nie taki diabeł straszny"
Na podstawie swojego doświadczenia zawodowego opowiem, jaki charakter ma praca programisty piszącego kod natywny w C/C++, w jakich zastosowaniach używa się takich języków oraz z jakimi problemami trzeba się tam zmierzyć. Postaram się pokazać, że warto wybrać tę ścieżkę kariery oraz że nie jest ona taka trudna, jak mogłoby się wydawać. Zapraszam serdecznie :)
PGA & ZTG 2013 - Review and Photos
Or if you just want a quick summary: It's an interesting event. Not that technical or programming-oriented like IGK or WGK conference, but worth attending. Especially if you are interested in game design or feel some connection with indie games community.
Time Measurement in Game Programming - My Article in ProgramistaMag
In new issue 9/2013 (16) of Programista magazine there is my next article (in Polish) - "Pomiar czasu w programowaniu gier" (Time Measurement in Game Programming). This is an article about very specific subject, important in game development, as well as programming other real-time systems. Most books about game development mention the subject of time measurement, but usually go quickly to higher level like creating some timer class etc. This article focuses on lower level and gives solid theoretical background. It covers:
Plus some other information... You can find the magazine e.g. in Empik stores, as well as subscribe for electronic or paper version.
Rhipsalis - a Fractal Plant
Fractals appear in nature. Probably the most spectacular example is Romanesco Broccoli. But there is also an interesting plant that looks like very regular L-system. I was wondering what is it since I first saw it in my friend's house. Now I know it's called Rhipsalis and it's a kind of cactus. Here is my small one:
DirectX 11.1 Game Programming - Contest Winners
Congratulations to lightning, WhiteLightning and Francis.C for winning digital copies of "DirectX 11.1 Game Programming", the book I had recently reviewed.
After WeCan 2013
Last weekend I've been in Łódź at WeCan - multiplatform demoparty. It was great! - well organized, full of interesting stuff to watch and participate, as well as many nice people and of course a lot of beer :) Here is my small photo gallery from the event. On the first, as well as second day in the evening there were some concerts with various music (metal, drum'n'bass). ARM - one of the sponsors, delivered a talk about their mobile processors and GPU-s. They talked about tools they provide for game developers on their platform, like the one for performance profiling or offline shader compiler. On Saturday there were competitions in different categories: music (chip, tracker, streaming), game, wild/anim, gfx (oldschool, newschool), game, intro (256B, 1k/4k/64k any platform) and of course demo (any platform - there were demos for PC, Android, but the winning one was for Amiga!) I think the full compo results and prods will soon be published on WeCan 2013 :: pouet.net.
But in my opinion, most interesting from the whole party was the real-time coding competition. There were 3 stages. In each stage, pairs of programmers had to write a GLSL fragment shader in a special environment similar to Shadertoy. They could use some predefined input - several textures and constants, including data calculated real-time from music played by a DJ during the contest (array with FFT). Time was limited to 10-30 minutes for each stage. The goal was to generate some good looking graphics and animation. Who had louder applause at the end was the winner and advanced to next stage, where he could continue to improve his code. I didn't pass to the second stage, but anyway it was fun to participate in this compo.
Just as one could expect by looking at what is now state-of-the-art in 4k intros, winning strategy was to implement sphere tracing or something like that. Even if someone had just one sphere displayed on the screen after the first stage, from there he could easily make some amazing effects with interesting shapes, lighting, reflections etc. So it's not suprising many participants took this strategy. The winner was w23 from Russia.
I think that this real-time coding compo was an amazing idea. I've never seen anything like this before. Now I think that such competition is much better - more exciting and less time-consuming than any 8-hour long game development compo, which is traditional on Polish gamedev conferences. Of course that's just different thing. Not every game developer is a shader programmer. But on this year's WeCan, even those who don't code at all told me that the compo about real-time shader programming was very fun to watch.
Book Review: DirectX 11.1 Game Programming
"DirectX 11.1 Game Programming" is a new book published by Packt Publishing, written by Pooya Eimandar. It introduces new features of DirectX 11.1 and some other technologies available for game developers when writing Metro-style apps for Windows 8. The book uses C++/CX - a new language based on C++, with the syntax somewhat similar to C++/CLI (the language is extended by managed pointer operator ^). But while C++/CLI is a .NET language (like C#), C++/CX is compiled to native code and the ^ pointer is just a convenient syntax for reference-counting smart pointer to a COM object. Math is done with DirectXMath library (the successor of XNA Math).
Each of the chapters describes several loosely coupled topics. Their flattened list looks like this:
I have mixed feelings about this book. Contrary to what title suggests and what the author claims inside ("By the end of this chapter, we are going to have a multithreaded game engine"), you obviously cannot learn game programming by reading just 146 pages. Especially as the book covers so many different topics. It looks like the author wanted to include everything what's fresh and sexy in Microsoft Windows 8 API-s. As a result, each example is kind of "Hello World" - the simplest possible application of the described technology.
But at the same time, the book is also not teaching 3D games programming from the start. It explains some selected basic concepts in more details (e.g. describes what vertex shader does, shows how rotation matrices look like, how to use constant, vertex and index buffer or shows a diagram of the graphics pipeline - 3 times actually :) but generally you should already know C++ and preferably DirectX 10/11 to make use of the knowledge from this book. It is more like an overview of "What's New" in Windows 8, DirectX 11-11.1 and new Visual Studio.
I think the biggest value of this book is the attached source code. Each chapter is accompanied by a complete C++/CX project that shows an application of the described technology and the text in the book is an overview of this code. So if you already know some game programming in C++ and DirectX 10/11, this book can be a good tutorial which will help you to start using latest Microsoft technologies and develop Windows 8 Metro-style games. Preface says "This book will help you easily create your own framework and build your first game for Metro Style all by yourself in order to publish it on the Windows Store." and that is true.
But whether this is worth doing, that's another question. Surely you can use DX 11 on 9- or 10-compatible hardware, using Feature Level, but you cannot use most of what this book describes below Windows 8, and many of these things also without buying Visual Studio Professional or higher. According to Steam Hardware & Software Survey: Auguest 2013, while 64.78% of gamers already have DirectX 11 capable system and GPU, only 15.41% of them have Windows 8 installed (and it's already a year since its release).
Now it's time for a contest. Packt has proposed to offer 3 digital copies of the book. All you need to do is head on over to the book page, look through the product description of the book and then drop a line via the comments below this post to let us know what interests you the most about this book. 3 best comments win!!! Deadline: The contest will close in 1 weeks time. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to use your real email address when you comment.