Monday, July 26, 2010


Friday, April 2, 2010

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Every game needs motion blur

I’m not sure why, but for some reason or another I have this fascination with the motion blur effect used in video games. I’m not sure what it is that attracts my eye to this effect. A couple of days ago I decided that I would finally finish playing Shadow of the Colossus. One of the noticeable aspects of the game is its use of motion blur among many other special effects. Eventually getting inspiration from reading The Making of “Shadow of the Colossus” and just thinking about the use of motion blur in general, I figured I would try to implement it into my current project.
Now before I talk about adding the effect, I want to give a little background on my current project. The most basic description I can give about it is that it is a simple shmup. The game started out on the PSP and was intended to be a quick project. Pretty soon after it was started it was ported to the PC since debugging it on the PSP proved to be a pain. I may eventually port it back to the PSP when completed. The game mixes old and new ideas so it somewhat feels like an old 80’s arcade shooter with it’s wave based design, while making use of newer game play mechanics. One negative aspect of the project so far is that progress has been extremely slow. In what should have taken 3 to 4 months to complete has taken well over a year. To add to that the game is still far from finished. This has mostly been the result of me not working on it for months at a time and when I do get a chance to work on it, it is not for very long. However, I am not going to rush this game. I have taken a “I won’t release it till it’s finished” approach with it as opposed to the “Eh, whatever. It’s done enough” approach I took with the rush job that is Soldexus.
Now for implementing the effect in the game I wasn’t sure if it would work out. I had it worked out in my head how I would accomplish the effect but it was going to require alpha blending. Normally this would be a non-issue due to 3D acceleration, but I was using SDL’s blitter for rendering sprites and I figured alpha blending would be too expensive to justify using it so I never bothered with the effect until now. I did a small test to see if the effect was worth trying to implement and was pleased enough with the result to give it a try. The first thing that I had to do was write a function to apply motion blur to the background since that had been my intention for using the effect. As the game progresses the background scrolls faster and faster. The use of motion blur, I felt, would help convey the immense sense of speed that the player is traveling. After slapping together a function that would apply the effect I tested it out and I was somewhat right as the frame rate took somewhat of a hit. It was even worse when run in double resolution, but neither set up was “Oh shit” unplayable. Initially, background blurring came in 2 flavors, but was later adjusted so that it blurred more according to the speed it was scrolling.
And that was that. “Misshun comprete” right? All I had really wanted was for blurring to occur when the background sped up. Then you could say I got greedy, for lack of a better description. I started to wonder, “What if I add the effect to objects”? I started thinking about it throughout the day and how I would get it to work. I then came to a conclusion and that was “I want it”! However, adding the effect to objects would be a different beast altogether. Unlike the background, the movement of objects is more dynamic. It could change speeds at any time and could move at any angle while doing so. These had to be taken into account and handled accordingly. So I went to work on that and after a while I figured I had something that I might be able to use. I tested it out and was glad to see that it hadn’t turned out to be a horrible mess. It handled angles correctly most of the time and the intensity of the blurring differed depending on speed. It wasn’t perfect and didn’t take the camera into account when blurring, but it worked. So there it was, an effect I would never have thought of using, in my game. While not as pretty as it’s 3D counterpart, I can’t complain. Also, I like cheesecake.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Better late than never.

About two weeks ago I finally decided to get a current gen console. With the recent price drop and the new Jasper revisions starting to show up I finally got around to getting an Xbox 360. So far I have to say it is really nice. Over the course of a week I managed to get a few extra games for it so here are some random thoughts on what I got.

Sega Superstars Tennis(came with the system):
This is pretty meh.

Xbox live arcade(came with the system):
Pac-Man CE and Luxor 2 are fun to mess around with. Although the Marble Blast Ultra Demo makes me wish it was the full game.

Dead Rising:
This game is a blast to play whether it's suplexing a zombie or driving over them with a lawn mower. The save system is not as bad as I thought it was going to be and there are times when there is some command overlap. For example, when trying to make a quick escape up the elevator Frank has the habit of dropping a perfectly good katana and picking up a hand a zombie dropped instead of pushing the elevator button. Also, Otis needs to die in a fire.

The Orange Box:
Having never finished Half-Life 2 on the PC I decided to get this so I could finish it and also play episodes 1 & 2 as well as Portal. There is fun to be had here.

Dead Space:
Game is fun and it is pretty atomspheric. Playing around with kinesis is fun also.

Lost Planet:
I haven't gotten very far in it yet, but the grappling hook mechanic makes me want to play the new Bionic Commando game coming out.

Gears of War:
It has pretty graphics and Bender from Futurama as the main character.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Running and stuff

Walk through part 1
Part 2

Although 2 years late, I've decided to put together a walkthrough for Soldexus. It will mostly cover where you need to go and not other things such as where attack or defense pickups are at. If I get around to it will I probably talk about whatever projects I'm working on/ not working on.

Friday, September 7, 2007


The President has been kidnapped by ninjas.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?

Friday, June 22, 2007

It begins?

I'm not too sure how much I'll update this, being busy with school and all, but I'll try to throwdown a post or two whenever the time may present itself. I'll mostly cover topics on games, game design, and whatever projects I may be working on. Hopefully some interesting discussion can be generated in the process.