LakeView - UDK Map

My 1st UDK Map - I call it LakeView. 
Here's a couple of videos.

Things I learnt :

1. Always, always block out the level first instead of going into details

2. Plan ahead if you are making multi-floor approach (like 2 floors or more)

3. Terrains are one-way objects.. means to say from below they are invisible

4. Design levels based on type of game. For something like Unreal Tournament don't waste time beautifying the level - players don't get a chance to enjoy them much, so focus more on elements that add up the fun.

5. If possible make copies of UDK assets in your custom package (don't edit the original)

6. Add bots and test out the level in the initial phase itself. You see, you can have this glorious imagination of bots acting like smartasses and doing cool things - but they don't.

7. Check out UDK documentation for path nodes and stuff. You can see the navigation map in the editor that shows connections and also color-codes the links. It's really helpful when bots don't use way points.

8. If you make a 3D editor - for fuck's sake don't use mouse right click for navigation.

9. Fog - very useful to blur out those distant objects. Use exponential height fog when possible

10. Never make a "forest" type of level for your first map. Foliages (grass, leaves, herbs etc) are hard to place - they can cause a hit on frame-rates. Experience will teach where to use and how much to use.

11. I use blender - use your scale properly. If the model is too small then even if you scale in editor, the lightmaps will still have issues. Also, if fbx is ASCII format - you can set default scale using notepad++ :P

12. These 3D level editors - any of them - be it UDK, Unity or CrySDK, they keep crashing. Always take backups of your files - multiple ones. Use them as check points. (For me, UDK removed a lot of foliages by itself and by the time I realized they were wrong I had made too many changes to just revert to old version)

NTFS: Recording game play, compressing and uploading videos is a fucking pain in the ass

Mecanim Tryout

Let's make Unity's Ethan shake hand with a very very hot invisible chick. Press 'X' to shake hands
Very simple state machine

Idle to Shake Transition

Shake To Idle Transition

Idle keeps looping
When "Shake" is set >> transition to Shake
Stay there until exit-time has occurred and Shake is set to false (It should be play once)

So we do need to write some code for this, Mecanim can't variables and stuff I think (not sure).

The trick for using "Boolean" trigger in Mecanim is -
Check if we are in proper state.
Set Flag
Next loop - Unset flag

Animation re-targeting is cool and all.. but I'm not so impressed with the design / architecture yet. Looks to me like it's gonna end up being a big pile of mess with lot of patch-works everywhere. Hope I'm wrong for my own sake..

A long time ago

A long time ago, I was a student. I was in my 12th (means final year of schooling, next up engineering). I had an exam the next day. Like always, I thought "let me study later, the day is still young and I have all night long to prepare."

So I started watching some highlights of a soccer game I had missed. Then came Dragonball Z. Then came something else, something else and so did the evening. It was sunset. Suddenly lights went out. But why? My dad had got an inverter installed an year back, I had UPS backup? It was then I realized there was a major power cut from morning and I had used up most of the battery.

WTF! My exams.. So while I was still like "Meh.." my parents freaked out, sometimes power never used to come back till next morning those days (actually sometimes even now). So we decided, we'll use the power judiciously.

So when I was studying, other than the one light in my room everything else was switched off. Then when my mom went to cook, only the kitchen light was on - and I waited. So using 1 light the whole night long, managed to pull it off without tripping the inverter.

You are probably thinking why I wrote this now?
Well... Unity just released a new version and you can have 1 dynamic light in the free version ^_^
Just saying... 1 light can make a big difference.

Also, a contest [See what I did there? O_o]

jQuery Accordion

Trying out jQuery - here's an Accordion in less than 10 lines of javascript!

You can also see the demo / code here. [in case the iframe gets blocked]

How it works

-- AccordionPage
-- AccordionPage

On-click of Header - hide all 'content' and display the 'content' which is a sibling of the header.


100 things you should know (game dev)

Found this excellent piece floating in my twitter stream - PDF. I feel it's not just for students.

Also, I learnt a new word today - HUBRIS

Are coders worth it?

This is a really well written article. Pretty impressed with his writing skills. 

Also comments are fun, reminded me about this joke - "Go away or I'll replace you with a very small shell script"

Language Trending

Was bored - thought I'll see how programming language are trending. Google Trends is a fun tool!

Popularity -


Ideas without action aren't ideas. They’re regrets.
Instead of acting, though, I let “idea” be a noun instead of a verb.

Source: LinkedIn

Fish-Bowl Theory of Universe

Heads up - I'm totally fucking drunk.. so don't read this if you're one of those crazy-always-serious piece of shit. Boozing alone in front of a god damned fish tank makes u think.. think a lot. So...

There's a fish tank (called Aquarium for all you glorified drama queens). I see 3 different species of fish.. all grouping themselves like they are some heavenly piece of shit. They are acting like they are too awesome to mingle with other cheap ass fishes... well little do they know - nobody gives a fuck about any of them.

I see two little fishes (looks like gold fishes). They seem happy playing around, one chasing the other all over the tank. Nice.. puts a smile on your face. But then there are grown ups - fucking morons. Looking at their own reflections and dancing and shit.. trying to make themselves feel better or something. From where I see - either they are completely engrossed in useless crap or they realize that life is just this - might as well enjoy it. Well.. who's a moron now?

Then there's an explorer fish. Doesn't seem to care about anyone else in the tank - does what it likes. Always swimming around the whole tank, like Indiana Jones trying to find treasure in remote parts of the tank. Probably is the coolest fish according to the ladies in the tank? Well from my point of view - all it succeeded in doing was picking out dust and shit from the floor. Full marks for trying though. Funny thing is - unless the guy who maintains the tank puts some 'treasure', it will never find anything. But what if he did? Well, all that hard work finally pays off eh?

There's another gold in the tank. It only dances when someone's close, like when they put their hand on the glass. I'm not even sure if it can see or sense this. But still, it's a different dance - almost like it's done to just to please the one who's looking. I was thinking, poor bastard thinks it'll get'll food if it pleases the all mighty on-looker. Then the bartender who came to refill my vodka tells me, "That's my favorite fish. I put extra food for it when it comes to the surface.". I asked him why and he says, "Cos it dances when it sees me." Well... fuck.

One last fish, the dark thingy with funny pattern just floating on the floor, doing nothing. It made a pretty good statement - "I don't give a fuck about anything." Pretty cool if you ask me.

Now in case you're wondering what the fuck this rant is all about - I'm just thinking.. what if this universe is just a fucking fish bowl to some higher existence? I'm not religious, neither an atheist, yet. I'm probably confused and I'm not offended by any of your view points. I don't intend to prove or disprove the existence of god. All I'm telling is - no matter how hard the fish tries, it'll still live and die in the tank (Well, except for Nemo 0_o).

What if the universe is just a lab experiment for someone? What if we are not even the 'fish' but just some microbes on the surface that nobody even gives a shit about? What if it's technologically impossible to to look or go outside the fish tank from the inside?

What to pursue?

Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried - 
Tim O'Reilly 

Two kinds of people

There are two kinds of people - People who like to play different games and people who like to play the same game in different ways - ME

NTFS: Comprehend the events that led to this philosophy!

Drawing Minnie Mouse

Hey Sam, this is how you draw Minnie.

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Looks like Mickey right? Let's make it girly!

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Did we miss anything Sam??? Hmmm.. bow!

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Keep practicing and coloring :)