Let me just say this right off the bat: Shadowrun for Super Nintendo is my all-time favorite game. All time. It was great. Set in a future cyberpunk theme urban sprawl, you are basically a gun for hire. Or at least you were. You wake up in a morgue back from the dead with no memory of your life. You spend the rest of the game trying to discover what happened. It had RPG elements, action elements, adventure elements. You could hack computers and get money or steal information. You could go to a bar and hire guns to help out on your mission. ItRead More →

I went into this book not knowing much. Well I heard it was set in the future, and was recommended on some internet forums. So that was enough to pique my interest. After listening to the 14+ hours of the audio-book, I’m not sure I can say I know anymore. OK, I will be blunt. I don’t think I enjoyed this journey. It was not that it was badly written. Vernor Vinge seems like a competent writer. It’s just that the story did not grip me, nor were the characters particularly recognizable or likable. I mean, I was not expecting something on the level ofRead More →

Remember Me is an action-adventure title recently released by Capcom (developed by Dontnod). It is set in a futuristic Paris, and follows a “memory hunter” named Nilin. Basically, in the future people can erase (or alter) their memories, and there is a big evil corporation profiting off the situation. Nilin is part of the resistance, called Errorists, that fight the corporation.  Nilin starts the game with all her memories conveniently erased, and fights throughout the story to regain her past. An interesting premise, though you can tell the story borrows concepts from other popular science fiction. That said, it’s compelling enough to take you throughRead More →

Frank Luna’s DirectX series has been the go to book for DirectX development for many years. Although there are other great resources, Luna’s writing is both informative and approachable. The book also covers a broad range of topics from the basic lighting, texturing, and blending, to terrain rendering, normal and displacement mapping, geometry and compute shaders and more. He even tackles some tough topics like shadow mapping and ambient occlusion in a way that is understandable. Overall a lot of good material in a package that’s a bit under 900 pages. The book assumes you have some knowledge of graphics and C++ programming, though it doesRead More →

There is now another omni-directional treadmill project on Kickstarter, this one called the Wizdish. It’s a passive design, similar to the Omni, however it does not allow the user to lift their feet. It works by wearing special shoes with low-friction tiles on the bottom. This allows you to slide your feet back-and-forth easily without the need to pick up your feet. I actually got to try a prototype of this device, and it was certainly interesting. It did not blow me away, but seemed intriguing enough for me to want to get in on the Kickstarter. And this isn’t even that only other ODTRead More →

In preparation for my 3D game engine, I have been trying to read all I can on 3D engine design and architecture. Although there are some good books out there, it’s very difficult to find a text that will walk you through everything you need to know. That said, 3D Game Engine Architecture: Engineering Real-Time Applications with Wild Magic by David H. Eberly gives it a good attempt. The book covers the author’s Wild Magic engine, and discusses certain choices he made when developing the engine. It briefly touches on OpenGL, discusses abstracting away platform-specific details, 3D mathematics (and there is a lot of math in thisRead More →

Looks like there’s yet another virtual reality project on Kickstarter. Well, I guess this is not strictly a VR thing, but it certainly could be used as such. Basically the ARAIG is a vest that you wear while gaming, and it provides force-feedback when you are getting hit in the game. While it does include vibration (like current controllers), it also has direct stimulation with TENS, which could get pretty intense depending on how much power they are pumping through. I really think a vest like this can add a lot of immersion, specifically in first-person shooters. I backed the project at the $299 level,Read More →

  The above video is demonstrating a 4.5″ flex sensor made by Spectra Symbol that I got from Sparkfun. Hooked it up to an Arduino and had it print the values to the serial monitor. Since I don’t have a tripod, it was going to be difficult to demo with only one hand, so I ended up taping the sensor to my finger. Ghetto? Yes. But it actually was pretty fun, and gets me psyched up to buy a glove to mount this on. So far it seems to work good enough for my needs.Read More →

The Virtuix Omni Kickstarter campaign was fully funded within hours of the doors opening this morning. If you haven’t heard of this device before, it’s basically a passive treadmill. It allows you to walk in any direction inside a virtual world, without actually moving in the real world. At the time of writing, they are sitting on over $454,000 with 47 days left to go. An amazing achievement and testament to how popular virtual reality has become recently. I backed them for $399. Let’s hope they actually ship next January.Read More →

  For quite some time I have been waiting for a good data-glove to hit the market for use with virtual reality applications. So far the only consumer product that has come remotely close was the P5 glove, which was probably one of the biggest disappointments in my life. Although better data-gloves have existed since the 90’s, they have been so expensive to only be attainable by large corporations or the government. So with nothing really available off-the-shelf, I have decided to build my own. Virtual Reality cannot really be had using archaic input devices like the keyboard and the mouse. While fine for web-browsing,Read More →