Monday, September 28, 2015


.. is when you write a lot of code to solve a problem, and then find the cause of the problem.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Testing Unreal

It took me a while... actually,a  very long while, but I managed to run Unreal Engine 4.6 at home. The problem is that most of the dependencies are blocked for my country or simply quite large to download. Just judge by yourself: Unreal website itself doesnt allows me to register an account, FBX SDK is unreachable (I had to use a clever trick to upload it directly to my Dropbox), Visual Studio 2013 is required to develop with C++, yet, it required internet connection to activate, until Community Edition came out and it was a 7Gb download. The first time it was corrupted and took several days, I decided to try again and this time it was quick (4 days) and successful.

So, here is it. Now I can properly run Unreal Editor and play with it. Of course, as I know nothing about Unreal, all I could do was to play with the editor, use the third person template project, which has a quite complete third person camera system with mouse free look, like Mass Effect or The Witcher 3.

But playing with the editor is not my objective. I want to get into coding when I have some free time, well, lots of free time. It is the best engine in the world, or at least, the best engine that is widely available, deserves to spend some quality time with it. And I recommend that you try it too if you are a game developer.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yes, Im alive

But too busy working. I have to say that new Unity3d UI system has proven to be the most difficult to learn GUI I have used. Having a layout editor is not a big help, because of the way unity handles things that are meant to be reused. But things are slowly falling into place. In the last days I have coded a lot, learned a lot... which doesnt means Im closer to have something playable. The amount of missing details is simply hughe. Probably I will need 2 months to reach playable status.

Anyway, right now I have implemented a few things, like a working dialog system, with most features in place. The dialogs can assign or modify quests and give items, but I still have pending the dialog editor tool. I have been thinking if I should implement it as an editor extension, or if I should write an external Qt based tool. The dialog editor is a complex tool, because of the nature of the data it has to manipulate: displaying a tree, representing the relations among the leaves and their ancestors, the validations of each leave... I dont even want to think about it.

Anyway, the project is going very well. I wanted to have the alpha ready for release in december, but now I think that I should consider february or march as a more realistic date. This time there is going to be only one release, after that, the team will focus on producing something different.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Behold! The AMD Radeon Nano is here!

Yesterday quickly read Anandtech review of R9 Nano, which is already available (you can find it at Newegg, ranging from $649 to $669). This card seems to offer only good things: the perfomance of its elder sibling Fury X (shares the same specs, with a bit slower clock speed), low power requirement (only 175W), the new HBM memory, and small size. Because size does matters.

The price competes with Nvidia's GTX 980 Ti, which can be found (again, on Newegg) for $679-$689, although in perfomance terms, the green card keeps the lead in almost all tests, by 10 or more FPS. More or less, depends on the game. IMHO, the extra $10 (not the extra $20, that Zotac is way too expensive) are compensated by the perfomance gains, plus other factors like Nvidia cards having a nice VDPAU support under Linux. But do not underestimate the Nano, its perfomance, specially in 4K resolutions, are more than enough to hace a decent playing experience. Im just saying that if you can get 10-15 extra frames for $10 and cooling/space/power is not a concern, the 980 Ti is a better choice.

Would I buy this card? Well, yes, if I had the money, because my old R7 250 is asking for a replacement. But if you have a better card, like a 270 or superior, my advice is to wait for the next iteration and a more mature DirectX 12 support. If you are an Nvidia fan... well, I see no reason for you to switch sides now. Eventually you will also have HBM and small factor oriented cards.