Monday, 6 August 2007

Download

Now the thing is out - we ended up in 4th place - yay! :)

You can now download the XNA Creators Club version (to run on your Xbox360 if you have a CC license) or the video capture made by the Assembly compo crew (note that the capture it is slightly off-sync).

We hope you enjoy it! A final (and hopefully a Win32-build) will come as soon as we feel like it. :) There are a lot of things we want to finish, to make the demo more like we really wanted (but couldn't, because of time restraints).

Off to sleep now!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

It is done

The demo has been delivered. Finally we can get some rest and enjoy the rest of Assembly 2007. It has been a long and hard road, but the demo is now delivered and it is up to you to tell us what you think about it. :)

There are some parts that could have needed much more work, and there are others that we are really satisfied with, but all in all -- we are happy! :)

This has been our first Xbox360 demo project and if you have read our blog earlier you probably know that it hasn't been all roses and champagne (far from it, in fact), but it was still a pretty cool experience. Thanks to the guys at MS (you know who you are :) who set up the compo in cooperation with Assembly -- it was cool to participate in it.

There will most definitively be a final version of the demo out some day, but right now, we most of all want to get back to our daily lives and have a normal routine again. No more crappy food and zero sleep.

PS! We hear that there are only four Xbox360-demos at Assembly, even though ten groups where invited to join (and to get a free box). That is rather sad, but hey; it worked out for us. A good learning experience for all of us, and a pretty great ride as well. :)

We will update the blog with links when the video capture of the demo is released by Assembly. If it doesn't happen quickly after the compo, we'll make one ourselves. :)

Take care! Time to mingle with the other sceners! :)

OH! If you are into demos, be sure to check out the demo competition streamed live from Assembly 2007 in just a few hours - you can see it here: http://www.assemblytv.net/2007/stream-en

Deadlines are for suckers

A deadline is one thing. An "update deadline", on the other hand, is a completely different beast. The time is now 05:42 on saturday morning, and in a few hours (12:00 Finnish time), we have to deliver the demo for the jury showing. That means that it will have to be enjoyable (and runnable!) by that time.

Neither of us slept this passing evening, and we are all feeling rather tired.

Yesterday we moved our gear out of the main hall and into som vacant places in the "Pro-gamer Area". Why? Because it is almost silent here, and we can have our computers on all the time (read: no need to turn them off during compo showings).

I guess we a little worried about the update/jury deadline.. gotta get back to work now.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Arrived at Assembly

After a day of travelling, we finally arrived at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, where Assembly 2007 is being held. We have been trying to code at the airport in Oslo, at several eating establishments in Stockholm and at the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki.

Garble and Concrete working on their mobile demo.

The latter proved to be a bit of a challenge, since finnish people apparently love their karaoke (and booze) -- even though the ones we had to put up with had no singing voice what so ever.

The trials we have to endure to get this demo done. :)

The whole gang working, while the finns sang their karaoke from hell.

Kmk and Svok at Assembly - note the ├╝berleet Excess-banner in the background. :)

Sunday, 29 July 2007

CPU and GPU

Well, the xbox 360 gpu is pretty fast. Good.
But the cpu is incredibly slow! That's really frustrating.
We should probably have multithreaded everything and used shaders with vertex textures etc. Unfortunately we haven't had any luck with threading, and we've had some problems setting up vertex textures, it's too time-consuming to code the effects that way.

That's all we have time to write at the moment! We're really behind schedule.
Good luck to the other groups working on their entries.

kmk & svok

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Things we've learned (the hard way)

The deadline (3rd of August) is approaching a bit too fast for our liking. We have to admit that we thought this would be easier than it turned out to be. For other people looking into doing XNA stuff we have learned a few things with regards to the loading (and animation) of 3D objects, so here is a short list of the things we've learned so far:
  • When using Maya, all joints of a skeleton/rig needs to have a root node/joint
  • Weights seem to work fine
  • Constraints are a little iffy, but a possible workaround is to skin multiple objects to the same node/joint. This works, even though we get a warning when exporting :)
  • Every time you add such a 3D file to the project, set the content loader to "Skinnedmodel"
  • When exporting, choose "Bake complex animation"
  • Remember to take a peek at the filesize of the .FBX-files once in a while :)
That was that for this post - we hope this is useful for other people than ourselves. We might be back with some more posts as the crunchtime approaches.

Signed,
Svok & Am

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Crunch session - Part II

We are now several hours into our weekend-demomaking-hoopla, and things are moving along. IT DOESN'T CRASH ANY MORE! Yay. :) Some optimizing has been done, but content-wise things are still in pieces. Some effects here, some basecode here. Nothing is put together yet, and it will be a long time coming too. Oh, and some other news; Snarling came along and joined in our Xbox360-demo quest as well, and his help is very much appreciated.. oh, and also; our mystery coder is joining us in Svoks appartment in about an hour as well. As the chefs say - now we're cooking with gas!

Concrete joined our crunch session to work on the mobile demo.

Concrete came to join us for our session. More coders are always welcome! He is working on a mobile demo, also for Assembly 2007, and will travel with us to the party as well. Right now, the challenge is sound playback -- it may sound boring, but it is good for us musicians to see that the coders care about this as well. :) Hopefully no bleep-sounds this year!

Concrete watches "Chaos Theory" by Conspiracy on his laptop. Yes, it runs upside down for some reason.

Oh, now the food has arrived, gotta run!

Signed,
Gloom