Git Roundup #1

There appears to be a lot of peo­ple that have trou­ble with Git, even going so far as to say that Git sucks. It may well be that only Linus is smart enough to use Git. Though I will not say that Git’s inter­face is by any means invit­ing for a new user, I fear that it suf­fers from the Para­dox of the Active User (Car­roll and Rossen, 1987).

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Eric Li

Eric Li is a devel­oper at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied com­puter graph­ics in school and spe­cial­izes in real­is­tic ren­der­ing tech­niques, but also has his hands in every­thing from net­work­ing to physics. When not wield­ing the pix­els, he is a foodie who enjoys trance and throw­ing Frisbees.

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A Small Shadow Map Improvement

Shad­ows are a great way to relay infor­ma­tion in a 3D ren­der­ing. They can help demon­strate dis­tances between two objects such as a bounc­ing ball and the ground. They also relay fur­ther infor­ma­tion to the struc­ture of an object as they give a sec­ond sil­hou­ette from the per­spec­tive of the light cast­ing the shadow. In this arti­cle, I will demon­strate a very small but impor­tant improve­ment for THREEjs’s shadow ren­der­ing, a one line change to the shader code.

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Z God­dard

Z, a fan of hats and danc­ing to bad music, devel­ops games and code in Unity3D and WebGL. Always look­ing at new tech­nolo­gies for games, he has big dreams for Go.

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Dealing with Modular Design

Our Demo­li­tion Derby game is mod­u­lar. Each mod­ule is a low poly­gon mesh, and a player assem­bles these mod­ules to cre­ate a wheel-based vehi­cle. These vehi­cles are then used to com­bat other play­ers’ vehi­cles in a sim­u­lated physics envi­ron­ment. Vic­tory is deter­mined by break­ing apart the mod­ules of the opponent’s vehi­cle before they yours.

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Mak Mendel­son

Mak is an artist at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied fine arts and then elec­tronic arts, focus­ing in char­ac­ter design. He really enjoys think­ing about var­i­ous game mechan­ics and how they work together, mix­ing and match­ing to cre­ate new ones that might one day end up in an actual game.

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Cutting Down Bandwidth with JSON Alternatives

Dou­glas Crock­ford wrote RFC 4627, describ­ing the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for JSON, a “text for­mat for seri­al­iza­tion of struc­tured data.” As a language-agnostic, human-readable open for­mat that has native sup­port for encoding/decoding in browsers, JSON has become the de facto stan­dard for data seri­al­iza­tion on the web. There are draw­backs to using JSON, which became evi­dent when we started to write a net­worked game using Web­Sock­ets. (Check out our pre-alpha teaser if you didn’t get a chance to see us at PAX!)

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Eric Li

Eric Li is a devel­oper at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied com­puter graph­ics in school and spe­cial­izes in real­is­tic ren­der­ing tech­niques, but also has his hands in every­thing from net­work­ing to physics. When not wield­ing the pix­els, he is a foodie who enjoys trance and throw­ing Frisbees.

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Simulating Network Lag for Testing Games

In devel­op­ing a net­worked game, some­times one needs to be able to test fea­tures run­ning over spe­cific net­work con­di­tions. How does the game hold up under high latency and/or packet loss? What about in cases of vary­ing net­work jit­ter, where the latency is ever-changing? Answer­ing these ques­tions is cru­cial to test­ing net­work code and mak­ing sure that it will per­form well against what­ever chaos the Inter­net might throw at you.

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Andrew Dolce

Andrew has a back­ground in com­puter graph­ics and aug­mented real­ity, and is excited about mak­ing games that look and feel awe­some. He also owns too many board games for his own good.

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Vehicle Editor Prototype

Tin­kerTech Derby can be summed from its two parts, an edi­tor and a game. For a look at the game check out our pre­vi­ous arti­cle. Since then, with the last two months we built a work­ing sys­tem that shows our main ideas for the editor.

Inspired by the voxel painter exam­ple for three.js, you click on parts to attach a new one to it. Since the car always starts out with one part, a Core, this works well. You can add and remove freely except for the Core which instead can be replaced with alternates.

Most cars can be made in a minute or two. Adding spe­cific body and color adds a few more min­utes. Every vehi­cle in the fol­low­ing sped-up video was made in three to five minutes.

Z God­dard

Z, a fan of hats and danc­ing to bad music, devel­ops games and code in Unity3D and WebGL. Always look­ing at new tech­nolo­gies for games, he has big dreams for Go.

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