Sunday, 29 July 2007


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.

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!


Crunch session - Part I

We are back from vacation and decided to have a demomaking "crunch session" (hello EA!) this weekend. Only a few weeks to go before Assembly is upon us and we are, to put it mildly, "a bit behind schedule".

It turns out that the CPU of the Xbox360 was slower than expected. A lot slower. It doesn't really have a lot of memory either, so we have to look into ways of getting around that. There were some CPU code that we thought we could easily move over to the GPU, but it turns out it wasn't easy at all. In fact it was so hard that we skipped the whole thing.

KMK and Svok coding while Gloom types up the demo plan on the Mac. Oh the irony.

While most of us are carrying on in Oslo, AM is in Stavanger and contributing via the internet (oh bless those wonderful tubes!). Our third coder might join us in a few hours as well, so we are hoping to kick it up a notch if he arrives. Music-wise, the basic structure and elements are in place, but the tune is a huge mess right now.

We've learned something else since last time, and that is that it is really annoying that you have to be online with the Xbox360 to start the "XNA Game Launcher". Now, this might not sound like a big deal, but it is when you are trying to run code on the box in a place with restricted internet access (like the University of Oslo).

Also; we find it quite funny that the place you run XNA software from is called "Demos and More". :) We will be back with more later on. Cheerioh!

All of us