Here is a video of a couple bullet trains (shinkansen) passing by, while we waited in the station for our train:
I just discovered the Virtual CD Control Tool from Microsoft. It is a free tool that can be downloaded from the Microsoft webpage.
It is not a pretty application, but by following the README, you can easily mount an iso image without physically burning a CD.
- Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional
1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder.
2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
3. Click “Driver control”
4. If the “Install Driver” button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
5. Click “Start”
6. Click OK
7. Click “Add Drive” to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click “Add Drive” until an unused drive letter is available.
8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click “Mount”.
9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click “OK”. UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.
You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD-ROM device. When you are finished you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.
I was recently trying to use gcc from Terminal on my Mac. My path was set up properly, and I had used gcc before without any problems.
When I upgraded to Snow Leopard, apparently the upgraded developer tools were not installed. To solve the problem, I had to run Xcode.mpkg in the “Optional Installs” folder on the Snow Leopard installation cd.
Thanks to the following link for providing the solution: “Snow Leopards Ate My C Compiler”.
The DebugOverlay utility is a class that I’ve been using in my XNA projects for a while. It allows me to draw visualization objects from anywhere in my application – even in separate threads.
Some areas where I have used this utility are:
- The AI system can display a units’ velocity and position through Lines, Arrows, and Spheres. Use ScreenText to show the current state or goal hierarchy of a given unit.
- The Physics system can use bounding boxes and spheres to show collision volumes. Points can be used to show raycast intersections or points of impact.
- The Graphics system can use Spheres, Lines, and Arrows to show the position and direction of lights.
- The Editor (or other tools) can use Lines, Arrows, and Bounding Boxes for axis representation during translate/rotate/scale.
- Vertex Display – For a software-based skinning implementation, I used Points to visualize the locations of my vertices, and Spheres for the locations of the bones. It’s possible to use Spheres for everything, but thousands of Spheres can get a little expensive.
This utility is only meant for Debug purposes, and therefore uses the [Conditional("DEBUG")] tag on each of it’s exposed methods.
To use the DebugOverlay, create the object during Initialization:
new DebugOverlay(GraphicsDevice, Content);
Call the visualization functions from anywhere in your code:
1 2 3 4 5 6
void ScreenText(string text, Vector2 pos, Color c) void Line(Vector3 start, Vector3 end, Color color) void Arrow(Vector3 start, Vector3 end, float arrowSize, Color color) void BoundingBox(BoundingBox boundingBox, Color color) void Point(Vector3 pos, Color color) void Sphere(Vector3 pos, float radius, Color color)
In your Draw routine, call the DebugOverlay.Draw method, passing in the projection and view matrices:
I made a small sample application to show off the functionality. Below is a screenshot and the complete source code.
Download: source + demo
The article entitled Towards a Critical Aesthetic of Virtual-World Geographies, focuses on the first few years of EverQuest, when it was still a game very much oriented towards the hard-core player. It was an extremely dangerous world, with harsh and unforgiving penalties (corpse runs!). Without many of the forms of instant travel that appeared later in the development of EverQuest, the continuity and spatial layout of the world was preserved. It took a long time to get from point A to point B. Because of this, there were secluded areas that were hard to get to, and there was a real sense of a large, dynamic, and truly epic world. This brought rise to trade and economic systems that closely mimicked the real world.
In EverQuest and other online worlds, the game designer and the player indirectly work together to shape the geography of these virtual playgrounds. Geography, as described by Wikipedia, is split into two main branches: Physical Geography and Human Geography. In the case of EverQuest, the designers physically create the world, and are therefore responsible for the physical geography (walls, terrain, building placement, etc). The players are the inhabits of the world, and are responsible for the human geography (social, cultural, and economic aspects).
Through the course of the article’s analysis, I came to understand why players often established their own trading outposts in areas such as the East Commonlands Tunnel, Greater Faydark, and North Freeport. Although these locations may be very different from where the designers intended them to occur, they have a root cause that ties back to the original game design.
East Commonlands and Greater Faydark are both easily accessible via druid and wizard low level teleport spells. North Freeport is a little farther from it’s closest teleport location (West Commonlands), but it has a bank, and is easily accessible by both good and evil races (via the sewer system).
Although I am only pointing out a very specific example (ad-hoc market creation and trading in EverQuest), it sheds light on much broader concepts of migration and human interaction in the real world.
There is never any explicit consent or agreement from the players as to where to create these ‘hubs’ of interaction. Creation is driven unknowingly by the player and the player’s necessity. This creation process is guided (also sometimes unknowingly) by the rules that the game designer has created, and which are governing the world. These ingredients serve to create a truly living and dynamic virtual world.
I will end, in tribute, with an extremely nostalgic video – the original EverQuest intro video.
I learned of a new program today, called FreeMind. FreeMind is a cross-platform, open source, mind-mapping application. It looks like a great tool for both brainstorming and conceptually solidifying ideas. It also can be used as a convincing presentation tool, visually showing the flow of data and information to the audience.
This past week was Silver Week (シルバーウィーク) here in Japan. I visited the southern island of Shikoku (四国). While there, I made a trip to the city of Takamatsu (高松市), and a famous park within the city, called Ritsurin Park (栗林公園).