Constructors, Avatars and Codecs

Redesigned the avatar which my friend Joey made for me a few years back. Cleaned up the edged, and changed the font.

While editing some videos last night, that I made of World of Warcraft last year (a 3-man Onyxia fight), I got thinking about designing a development codec. Since the files I recorded were at a stupidly high resolution of 1680×1050 at 30fps (about 30GB each), it was taking forever to do anything with them.

So I thought, how about a codec with the high quality bitstream data, but with a low quality editing stream to go with it. Big emphasis on random access and bidirectional seeking would be key to this my friend Gavin pointed out to me on IRC. Then when you’ve done editing using the low quality stream, it can be applied to the high quality when converting.

Would be nice if the C++ standard included constructors like PHP5 is introducing ( __construct() ), so whenever you change a class name, you don’t have to renamed the constructor(s) and destructor.

Guest Lecture: Thomas Hulvershorn from IPlay

Another guest lecture in Business of Computer Games today at the university.

So, apparently mobile game development is one of the fastest growing areas of the game industry, which quite frankley isn’t that impressive, it just means its starting up, other areas of the game industry won’t be growing that much when they’ve had 10-20 years to establish themselves.

I-Play is one of the companies out there developing for the mobile phone, using the “shotgun” technique (this meaning them release several games in the short space of time), which according to the lecturer, Thomas, 30 in the last two years.

The first part of the lecture was about developing for the mobile phone, something which interested me being a developer myself. When a game is decided to developed, the programmers are given a list of handsets that it must work on, and get to work on it. Whether or not they use the same source and just use precompiler states for different platforms wasn’t mentioned  though.

Thomas also pointed out the differences in mobile phone development, like the restrictions of memory, keypad size, screen size, etc, and how on some phones, music is limited to midi output, and all this must be taken into consideration. As well as what to do if there is a phone call, or the battery is getting low.

One thing I noticed when it came to the porting of games to different phones was that the same game was the same price even when it had worse graphics, which I suppose when I gets down to the cost of $5, I could let it fly as long as if I upgrade my phonem I have access to the other phone version as well.

The second part of the lecture was about the Quality Assurance (QA), Thomas’ specialist field, revealing to us some of the terms they use such as ‘black box’, which means testing a game to make sure if it says it has something, it is there. Or ‘white box’, the complete opposite, which is about checking the code rather than the functionality.

After the lecture I was kind of left with a sense of emptiness, when we were told to bring our mobile phones in I expected we might get a free game to try from them, or possible some kind of fun exercise to find a bug, or even maybe a sign up sheet for QA, but it seemed more like free market research.

However the lecture wasn’t a complete loss, there was a lot of information into the workings of the testing environment for mobile phones.

The main question now is whether or not we’ll get someone to talk to us about starting your own game company. I’ve heard rumors about there was supposed to be someone but they didn’t turn up, which would be nice.

It would also be nice to maybe get someone from Blizzard to talk about being a GM for their MMORPG World of Warcraft or game development for them.

World of Warcraft – Molten Core

World of Warcraft - Molten CoreA year or two ago, when playing World of Warcraft regularly, my guild went on a raid to Molten Core (the first on the alliance to do so on our server).

We finally got up to Golemagg, a classic moment ensued after this where we accidentally pulled him due to a stray shot, and pulled most of the rest of the instance with us.

This image was recently posted and so I decided to save it. It is one of those moments I wish I had kept the images of, like the great Ironforge raid by the Horde where they nearly killed the king there.

World of Warcraft: Skovmeister Addon

SkovmeisterThis addon was created at the request of the Guild Leader at the time, it gives information and rankings on people who have between summoned somewhere (I’m guessing its because a lot of people who were raiding didn’t turn up to entrances, instead requesting summons and depleting summoner shards).

The name was also suggested by the Guild Leader, and since I had nothing better than “Kaluriel’s Summon Counter”, I went with that.

Unfortunately it didn’t get used much by the Guild at the time since it disbanded shortly after and reformed, merging two Guilds into one.


Skovmeister (390 downloads)