Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Odd and Ends

We have been meaning to post for a while but just didn't get around to it, we have progress in multiple directions. In the Project Wonderland space we are reaping the benefits of the dedicated time we spent towards refactoring the entire avatar system. We got our internally developed collision solution integrated into our branch for 0.5. We load in our own custom environments and modestly begin designing the GUI\HUD of our implementation. Performance, download and load times are improving. We are in close contact with the team at Sun and we appreciate their plans to perform "feature freeze" and focus on stabilizing the overall system. We have found a need for a quick machine compatibility test application to help in the QA effort, before even considering the use of a certain machine in the studio for QA we make sure that machine passes the test - loading a smiling avatar via web start app.

On another front we have successfully developed a tool for soft body physics editing for 3D models. The output of that tool is exported into an iphone friendly format that is then loaded on the iphone and runs in an app developed by Kyle Roucis - one of our interns. We are experimenting various usages for this tech, it could possibly serve as a solid base for a heavily multi-threaded physics system that is based on verlet integration. I love verlet systems, it's lots of fun!

(This picture is outdated but it shows a verlet structure)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Developing a "Best Fit" view model

To followup with improvements and fixes to Wonderland0.5, we created an option in the context menu that attempts to position a camera on a cell of interest containing an X11 app; to allow the user the "best view" possible upon interaction.

This context option currently switches the user camera to a First Person Camera (FPS Camera), and based on the transform of the cell of interest, attempts to calculate the best position to place the camera so the user gets the best view of the cell. When the user wishes to go back to the avatar view mode, selecting the "Best Fit" in the context window will return the user to a third person camera. This mode will undoubtedly make interactions and/or viewing X11 apps easier.

Due to current refactoring of the Wonderland0.5 code, the "Best Fit" context mode will be available in about a week. The code has been submitted to the Wonderland Team to be integrated in with the refactoring. Expect more cool things like the Chase Cam and the Best Fit view mode as wonderland evolves and matures.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chase Camera Model

Hello All!

As of Wonderland 0.5 revision 2844, a chase camera behavior is available. The default camera behavior in Wonderland needed a bit of love and attention so we integrated a camera model of ours. The behavior is a third person perspective camera that uses springs to smooth out changes in the desired position and desired look at target. The position that the camera seeks to, relative to the avatar, is configurable to allow for zooming, rotation about the avatar, etc. Go get the latest version of the trunk and check it out! In the client, use the "Tools" -> "Use Chase Cam" menu item. I've posted screen shots, but you REALLY need to see it in action to appreciate it.
Default Hard Attach Cam

Chase Cam

Thursday, July 09, 2009

API Refactoring now in Wonderland 0.5 trunk!

Hello again Cosmic Game Engine followers!

As of revision 2833, the refactoring we mentioned in the previous post has been merged and integrated with the Wonderland 0.5 trunk. The major thing that will show up visibly is a better selection of random avatars. Grab the latest revision and check it out!


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Description Update

So now that we are underway in our new development with Cosmic, I thought I should update the blog description to better reflection the current activities. For posterity's sake I will copy the old description here as it may still give some context to the older posts as well as maintain that small bit of history, may Java3D rest in peace.

The Cosmic game engine is a Java and Java3D based game engine in development at Immediate Mode Interactive. It is named after the game lead character and universe of "Cosmic Birdie", which is the game in production using the Cosmic engine. This is my developer journal of that activity as it closes in on release.