Okay, so maybe this isn’t much to you, BUT…

O MAI GAH–!

I’ve never, EVER had ANYTHING that I’ve created on a list that has a header reading "Top Rated" before. Open-mouthed It feels so good… people actually LIKE what I’m doing! Open-mouthed Sure, I knew that some of my mates liked my game way before now, and that’s awesome, too! Smile But these are just random people somewhere on the Interwebs. It’s different… cuz… y’know… they don’t know me?

Yeah, I know, I’m probably over-reacting. This is a small site, and even though I’m on the Top Rated list, I still only have a small amount of favourites. But hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere. Wink

Anyhoo, now that I’ve got MMF2 working again, I’m making a little bit of progress every now and then on ULSG. I’ve still got quite a few Challenges to make, still got a load of Achievements to think of, still got Two Player mode to update, and I’ve still got Multiplayer to create. And Duel mode to finish. And 2 more Drones to think of. (the D.E.V.E.L.O.P.E.R Drone and the P.I.N.G.A.S Drone are coming soon! Smile) So yeah… quite a lot to do.

I’ve also got some ideas for V14, incredibly. Open-mouthed The primary idea is a new menu system, which will be quite ace. Open-mouthed I’m gonna leave it to V14, cuz I’ve already made a new menu system for V13. Besides, I don’t want to pile much more into V13 – if I added ALL my newest ideas into V13, it’d take forever to make. Besides… there’d be no more updates after that, and I want to keep this game going. Open-mouthed

Anyhoo, I’m heading back to update some more Challenges. See yas later! Smile

UPDATE!!

Oh yeah, and by the way…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGsf2mhTJmo

Volvic Reviiiiiiive!!! Open-mouthed

Advertisements

THIS ENTRY CONTAINS CONTENT.

Yo thar. Smile A few things to waffle about this time, and I’ll start with… STREETS OF GOONG. Open-mouthed

Yesz, Streets of Goong had its epic finale a week ago. Yes, it WAS epic. Go see for yourself! Now includes more Haddaway!

Next, I’ve FINALLY managed to install custom firmware onto my PSP. The hardest part was just untangling the mess of info that the Internets hold, and trying to figure out what you actually need to do to get it working. So, yep, I can play anything on it now. Even emulators for the PSP, and PS1 games! Open-mouthed Dark Alex, dude, you’re a freakin’ genius. Open-mouthed

Also, I’ve been messing around with DAZ Studio a bit recently, trying to fix the preset material settings and updating my character presets. I fixed Shadow up today, and decided to make a render with him, because he looks so friggin’ awesome.

It was a bit tough at first, because the render engine thought it was funny to destroy my bumpmaps unless I got REALLY close, which isn’t really where I wanted to be. So, I poked the render engine’s settings for a while, and OWNED it, eventually. If there’s anyone out there who want detailed objects even when rendering from far away, DECREASE the Shading Rate. Yeah, I don’t get it, but it works. Tongue out

Anyway, the finished image. But be careful, if you’re sensitive to WIN, you may want to watch THIS first. The FAIL will defend you from overexposure to WIN, trust me. Tongue out

In my opinion… Shadow (the dragon, not the hedgehog Tongue out) is officially more badass than Chuck Norris. And Shadow could probably kick the shit out of him, too. Tongue out


(Right click on the image and choose "View Image", if you’re using Firefox. You’ll get the full resolution version. Open-mouthed)

Seriously. You can’t say that’s not good. Tongue out He’s a little dark on my monitor, but hell, he’s SUPPOSED to be nearly invisible at night. That’s the brightest I want to make him, really, otherwise he’ll start to look grey. Tongue out

Any thoughts, or comments? I may be a programmer mostly, but I like to hear feedback on everything I do. Wink

And… finally, I think… I’ve half-finished a pretty neat piece of remixing. I got some voice clips from the Volvic adverts (as some YouTube Poopers do), and weaved them into MAGIX Music Maker, learning how to use the Vocoder tool along the way. I’ll post a YouTube vid of it tomorrow, because I’m pretty proud of it. Open-mouthed

Right, I think that’s all for now. See yas later. Open-mouthed

IT’S FREAKIN’ HERE! :D

Streets of Goong Stage 7 is LIVE. Open-mouthed If you’re a Streets of Rage fan, a martial arts fan, a Tony Jaa fan, a fan of The Protector/Tom Yum Goong, a comedy fan, or just generally a PERSON, you should check it out. Open-mouthed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoN8Bx8_CvU

Tell your friends, your friends’ friends, your parents, that guy on the street, EVERYONE. Open-mouthed And if you haven’t already, you oughta watch Stages 1 through 6, probably before you watch Stage 7.

I put a lot of work into these, and I freakin’ enjoy doing them – hope ya enjoy watching ’em, too. Open-mouthed

Game developers, are you watching Infinity Ward?

WARNING: Please don’t read this entry if you haven’t finished CoD MW2’s campaign yet, or if you’re ever planning to get the game. It WILL ruin the ending for you. Tongue out

Alright, so yeah… in case you didn’t notice, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out a few days ago, and made a freakin’ massive noise. A bit hard NOT to notice it, it sort of WAS going for the highest number of sales of all time in its first week, and the Xbox 360 version got a 95/100 average score on Metacritic. So, yeah, IT DID GOOD. Open-mouthed

Campaign, admittedly, IS a bit short in terms of gameplay hours, but I honestly don’t mind that, because I’m not an idiot and didn’t blaze through it from the very second it was released – I took my time and made it last. I also wasn’t an idiot and didn’t pre-order it for an over-inflated £45 – I waited two days and found it for £26 at Sainsbury’s. Don’t blame Infinity Ward for the high price, THEY don’t determine how much game stores sell it for. The game stores priced it that high BECAUSE THEY CAN. Tongue out

I also didn’t mind the length of the campaign because of it’s DAMNED FREAKIN’ EPIC ENDING. The first game had an amazing ending, cuz it felt like I DID IT, I was the hero, I owned that terrorist asshole and his two bodyguards whilst I was on the ground with a PISTOL. It was well worth my time and money to work towards that ending.

The second one, though, is probably even BETTER. Open-mouthed Here’s the main gist of it:

You’re chasing after the bad guy in a speedboat, dodging helicopters and RPG’s. Then you go into some rapids and chase him down there. Then, just as the bad guy jumps onto a chopper, Captain Price (the guy who you’re with) goes for a sniper shot, and you’ve gotta keep the boat steady. He shoots down the chopper just as your speedboat goes down a waterfall.

You survive, and you’ve gotta limp over to the chopper and find the bad guy, who’s limping off. He stops to rest, cuz he thinks no-one’s following him, and you’ve gotta knife him. When you do, though, he stops you, and knifes YOU.

I thought that was the end, but nope, you’re JUST hanging on. The bad guy goes to shoot you in the face with a revolver, but Captain Price tackles him down, making him drop the revolver. Then you’ve gotta press LT and RT alternately to crawl over to the revolver, but JUST as you get to it, the bad guy stops you, and stomps you in the head. Owch. Confused

I thought THAT was the end, but nope… you’re alright… sort of… not really. Tongue out The bad guy and Captain Price keep fighting, and as that’s happening, you look to the right, and see the knife that’s stuck into you. THEN, you’ve gotta tap X quickly to pull it out… and it takes about 40 seconds or so to pull it out. It actually LOOKS painful and had a weird, tingly, phantom-like effect on me, which is pretty rare. Once the knife’s out, and the bad dude’s dishing out some bigass ground ‘n’ pound to Captain Price, you’ve got one chance to throw the knife at the bad dude. Results may vary, but quite frankly, my throw was SHIT epic – slow motion… straight in the EYE. Open-mouthed

Captain Price manages to get up, and another of your allies (A Russian dude, I forget his name) arrives in a chopper. They carry you to the chopper (while saying stuff, too, can’t remember it all), and then the credits roll.

THAT WAS WORTH EVERY SECOND OF MY TIME. Open-mouthed The ending made me feel like I WON, I DID IT, I OWNED that guy while half-dead on the ground, and I did it with the bad dude’s OWN KNIFE, thrown straight into his EYE. Open-mouthed A really awesome part of it is that I SURVIVED, I’m not just some dead hero that’s now part of history. The BEST thing about it, though, is that the whole game made me feel like I was actually IN the game, and that I was a seriously significant part of the story, and that it couldn’t have been done without me. It can’t possibly get any better than that, quite frankly. Open-mouthed

Awesome experience. Just… awesome, from start to finish. Open-mouthed All other game developers, you should look at Infinity Ward, and take some damned notes. And for God’s sake, ESPECIALLY improve your endings, because that’s like… usually the final reward for the player, so it should be worth it? I don’t like playing through 10-odd hours of game just to get an ending that makes me say "Oh." or "Meh." or "What? That’s it?".

I used to want to work for Epic. Screw them – I’d join Infinity Ward instead. It’s pretty rare that TWO games by the same company can have this kind of effect on me, especially two in succession. Open-mouthed But… that’s the exciting Modern Warfare series over now, though, I bet. We’ll probably be back to shitty World War II Call of Duty games in a couple years. Sad

Anyway, ignore what some Halo fanboys and plain idiots have said about it, and get it from Sainsbury’s/Tesco. Trust me – just take your time, and savour it.  Do a third one day, another third the next day, and then finish it off the day after that. It’s AWESOME. Open-mouthed And I haven’t even tried MULTIPLAYER yet. Open-mouthed

On another note, I have STARTED Streets of Goong Stage 7. Open-mouthed I’m quite surprised at the popularity of it, to be honest – all my episodes have had at least 500 views each. Open-mouthed I expected like… 100. Tongue out Stage 7 will be out soon, so stay tuned. Wink

I’ve also gotten Um Jammer Lammy to work on ePSXe, and quite frankly, it’s AMAZING. Open-mouthed I was expecting it to be a terrible spinoff of Parappa The Rapper, but nope. Open-mouthed If you want to know my plugin settings, just ask. Smile

Annnnd, I think that’s it. See yas later! Smile

Ooh, what’s this button do?

Niiice, I found a button that lets me import my blog entries into Facebook’s Notes with an RSS feed! Hellooo to all yous on Facebook! Open-mouthed Kinda irritating how it puts a line break every time I add a smiley, but whatever. Tongue out

If you’re new to my blogs, then all I do here is spam random crap about stuff that I find/figure out/do/hear/whatever. Some of it’s funny, some of it’s good, a lot of it is random! Hey, you’re on Facebook, you obviously haven’t got much else to do, so you may as well read ’em, eh? Wink

If you want to see these entries properly formatted and all, the full version’s here:

http://myworldallmine.spaces.live.com

…or you can click "View Original Post" at the bottom of a note. Nifty. Smile

Anyhoo… today, the topic is, "Why unmodified textures in DAZ Studio suck, and why their creators should be shot in the face!" Tongue out

Now, for those that don’t know, DAZ Studio is a free 3D rendering package. It lets you stick premade objects (like people, creatures and props) in a scene, move them around, pose them, and render them to make images that make people say "WHOOAHHAHOOOOAAA!!" Open-mouthed It attracted me in particular because of its ease of use, and because of the Millenium Dragon 2 object, which was used in some of my favourite desktop images. Smile I really wanted to make some of my own images with them – nothing emits as much awesomeness as a good dragon. Wink

I’ve left the Millenium Dragon 2 behind now, though, mainly because of his lack of expression, versatility, and because he just will NOT go into some poses. Trust me, trying to get a MilDragon2 to stand on his hind legs is like banging your head against a brick wall. Tongue out Since then, I’ve found the Millenium SubDragon. He’s called the "SUBDragon" because the model uses Subdivision, which most people probably don’t give a crap about. Tongue out If you DO give a crap, an explanation’ll be somewhere in another entry, or you can do a search on the Interwebs. Open-mouthed

The SubDragon, though, is just… perfect. He looks great, he’s easy to pose, he’s got plenty of character (he can be a freakin’ evil sum’bitch, a super-peaceful dragon, a pimp, anything you want) and he’s got awesome detail… that is… when you configure the textures to be awesome. Tongue out There’re a few images of the SubDragon somewhere in my other entries, but just in case you can’t be bothered, here:

(youlazyarse) *ahem*

Yeah, I’ve gotten into this program quite a bit, and I’ve been making some renders every so often when I’m bored or when I feel like it. A few of them have been "meh", but this one and this one are both pretty awesome. Especially the second. Smile

Okay, now, where was I? Oh ya, I was about to screw at the preset texture settings you get for the SubDragon. Open-mouthed

Okay, the people who create these objects and textures are pros, right? Well, they should be called "pros", they do a freakin’ good job, and maximum respect to them. BUT, I give absolute ZERO respect for the settings they give you for the textures – they’re so freakin’ lazy, they must put in random settings that don’t even work, just to save them time. The bumpmaps are essentially OFF, making everything seem completely flat and crappy. Gloss is also essentially off on the scales, giving them no shine, and therefore there’s no eye-candy. Oh, and speaking of eyes, if you render the eyes with preset settings, they look lame. Look at the image above… do they LOOK like eyes? Sort of, yes, but there’s no shine or anything to indicate that they’re shining – they just look like flat… ovaly-type things. Tongue out

Here’s an example – this is a render done with the preset settings I’m given when I import a SubDragon and apply a texture set:

Urgghh… flatness. Okay, the dragon looks cool, but… he could be over 9000 times cooler. Smile
But then, after some pretty extensive tweaking… BEHOLD:

And that’s with default lighting, with the modifications done by, pretty much, a rookie. Open-mouthed Yes, I am a rookie. I don’t know jack about a load of the advanced stuff that the pros use… and quite frankly, I don’t care – I’m quite happy with my skill level ATM. Tongue out

So… for all those out there on the Interwebs who have DAZ Studio, and the SubDragon, feel free to use some of these settings to add awesomeness. Just remember to save it as a material preset somewhere, so you don’t have to keep entering all of it again and again. Tongue out

(PS: My Bump settings may be a little TOO powerful for really close-up renders. You may want to nudge the Strength down by 50% or something like that.)

1_Horns
Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%
Specular: Glossiness @ 90% (you can decrease this for shinier horns, just don’t go mental), Colour @ 255, 255, 255, Strength @ 100%, Multiply Through Opacity ON (even though it doesn’t matter, unless you do something crazy like glass horns or a ghost dragon or something.)
Ambient: Just make sure it’s at 0% strength and it’ll be fine, unless you’ve got some reason to change it.
Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.
Bump: Strength @ 200% + <Head_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.35, Positive @ 0.35
Displacement: Not really needed, but if you want to roughen up the horns a bit more, you can either mess with the bump settings, or poke the Displacement settings a little bit if you want.
Reflection: Strength @ 0%. If you’re making metallic horns, you’ll need to experiment with this one.
Refraction: Strength @ 0%. If you’re making glass/icy/transparent horns, you’ll want to mess with this.
Lighting Model: Plastic.

1_InnerMouth
Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%
Specular: You’ll need to experiment. It’s pretty hard to specularise the inside of the mouth without it looking like metal.
Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.
Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.
Bump: Strength @ 75% + <Head_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.10, Positive @ 0.10
Displacement: Not really
needed.
Reflection: Strength @ 0%.
Refraction: Strength @ 0%.
Lighting Model: Plastic or skin, take your pick.

1_SkinFace

Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 70%, Colour should be set to a very light shade of the dragon’s scale colour, Strength @ 58%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 100% + <Head_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.20, Positive @ 0.20

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%.

Lighting Model: Plastic or Skin. I recommend Skin, as it adds a slight tint of red to the dragon… for obvious reasons.

1_SkinJaw

Use the settings for 1_SkinFace.

1_Tongue

Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 70%, Colour @ 255, 255, 255, Strength @ 100%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 100% + <Head_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.10, Positive @ 0.10

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%.

Lighting Model: Plastic or Skin. I recommend Skin, as it adds a slight tint of red to the dragon… for obvious reasons.

2_Claws (I call them "talons", because they ARE.)

Diffuse: Colour @ whatever colour you want the talons to be + <an optional diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 75%, Colour should be set to a very light shade of the dragon’s talon colour, Strength @ 100%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 100% + <Body_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.20, Positive @ 0.20

Displacement: Not really
needed, and I wouldn’t reccommend using it. Bad things happen.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re making metallic talons. If so, you’ll need to experiment a bit.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re doing something like glass/icy talons. Again, experimenting is GOOD.

Lighting Model: Plastic.

2_SkinBody

Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 80%, Colour should be set to a very light shade of the dragon’s scale colour, Strength @ 58%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 135% + <Body_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.30, Positive @ 0.30

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re making a metallic dragon. If so, you’ll need to experiment a bit.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re doing something like a ghost/ice dragon. Good luck with that. 😉

Lighting Model: Plastic or Skin. I recommend Skin, as it adds a slight tint of red to the dragon… for obvious reasons.

2_SkinUnderbelly

Use the settings for 2_SkinBody.

2_Teeth

Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 55%, Colour @ 255, 255, 255 (unless your dragon has weirdly coloured teeth), Strength @ 100%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 100% + <Body_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.20, Positive @ 0.20

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%.

Lighting Model: Plastic.

3_WingsBottom

Diffuse: Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <your chosen diffuse map>, Strength @ 100%

Specular: Glossiness @ 70%, Colour should be set to a very light shade of the dragon’s wing colour, Strength @ 58%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 100% + <Wings_Bump> map, Negative @ -0.25, Positive @ 0.25

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re making a metallic dragon. If so, you’ll need to experiment a bit.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%, unless you’re doing something like a ghost/ice dragon. Good luck with that. 😉

Lighting Model: Plastic or Skin. I recommend Skin, as it adds a slight tint of red to the dragon… for obvious reasons.

3_WingsTop
Use the settings for 3_WingsBottom.

4_Eyes

Diffuse: You can set the eyes to whatever colour you want by using the <BlackEye_Color> map, and changing the Colour to whatever you want. If you want to go crazy, you could probably even set the Strength to 0% and replace the eyes with (fairly weak) point lights for glowing eyes!
If you do it normally, however, you’ll REALLY need the following settings:

Specular: Glossiness @ 60%, Colour @ 255, 255, 255 + <Eye_Specular> map, Strength @ 100%.

Ambient: 0% Strength, unless you’ve got a reason to change it.

Opacity: 100%, unless, again, you’ve got some reason to change it.

Bump: Strength @ 30% + <BlackEye_Color> map, Negative @ -0.10, Positive @ 0.10

Displacement: Not really
needed.

Reflection: Strength @ 0%.

Refraction: Strength @ 0%.

Lighting Model: Plastic.

Phew… okay, all those that use this info had better be grateful. Tongue out

Right, that’s all for now. See yas later! Open-mouthed

If you’ve got Windows Mobile 6.x on your phone/PDA…

…then you should listen up. Smile

I’m on my phone right now, browsing the web like I would do on a computer. Ya rly. I (somehow) found THE best phone web browser ever made.

It’s called Skyfire, and when I first read the description, I was interested, but pretty doubtful. How could a smartphone, using a mobile Internet connection, be able to browse the web like a PC can? Phones are much less powerful than PCs. Flash 9+ for phones doesn’t even exist yet, so it couldn’t browse Flash sites. And there are loads of other things that I (personally) have never seen done on a phone browser before, such as browsing technically complex sites like Facebook in full. Never used an iPhone before, though, so this may have already been done. Tongue out

I downloaded the CAB file, and installed it, firstly being surprised at how professional it looked. Usually freeware apps for WM devices are just thrown together and don’t work on some devices. Oh yeah, it’s freeware. Open-mouthed

Then I loaded up Facebook, and expected to see the mobile version of it. Yet… the full version of it appeared, like it would do on PC. And it loaded fast. AND I can navigate around it without much of a problem. And, when you go into full screen mode, it even has the Facebook toolbar thingymajig at the bottom of the screen which, admittedly, doesn’t work too well. The Facebook chat doesn’t work, either, but I reckon that simply LOADING the page was pretty damned good! Open-mouthed

And then the big "WTF HOW?!" moment came from when I actually managed to load the Cafe World app. I don’t know how the hell it did it, probably through some sort of black magic, but Skyfire managed to load a Flash 9+ app… without Flash installed. Confused I couldn’t do much in the game, though. I could serve dishes and clean stoves, but I couldn’t do anything else – trying to make a new dish would just send the app back to the loading screen. Sad But even still, again, simply LOADING the app was impressive enough for me. Tongue out

I don’t know how it works, but it is unbelievably good. If you’ve got a Windows Mobile phone or PDA that you use to browse the web on, for GOD’S SAKE, get Skyfire. Search for it on Google or whatever – you’ll find it. It’s over 9000 times better than Internet Explorer or Opera or whatever other browser comes pre-installed on your phone. Open-mouthed

Oh, by the way, if it doesn’t come pre-installed on your phone, Opera wants you to BUY their crappy mobile browser, which is slow, dumb, and can’t load pages properly at least 99% of the time, and takes several minutes to load some pages. Skyfire GIVES their awesome browser away, which can load pretty much every page properly, AND it can load complex pages within your lifetime. Hence, Skyfire beats the crap out of Opera on so many levels, and renders Opera obsolete. If every mobile user knew about Skyfire… Opera Mobile wouldn’t exist. Tongue out

Get usin’ it. Wink