Core Animation System Done

I have to be honest, a lot of this week has been combating my workstation.  I use a Fujitsu Lifebook U820, which is probably best known as being virtual uknown and a little less known as a machine with a lot of shortcomings graphically, due mostly to Intel and their unholy alliance for a short time with a company that really screwed the pooch.  I feel bad for Fujitsu, Sony and Acer; they all designed and released ultraportable machines around the same time thinking 'Oh, Intel's trustworthy, their chips are generally good and this GMA500 has pretty good specs!' only to not only be let down but THROWN down into a well.  Most of the machines sporting the GMA500 were quickly abandoned due to issues with Intel and their contractor, VFX Poopfaces or whatever they were called.  Needless to say, that plus virtually no support for any Windows system directly, and this week was a lot of work that had nothing to do with Etoys.

The good news is that work still got done.  Even spending 95% of my time getting this little guy to operate correctly (including awesome Windows 7 malfuctioning to add more fun to the mix), I still managed to get some work done on the demos.  You wouldn't believe how much pieces are ready to get organized into *something* at this point, but for now, just enjoy an object with which you can create an entire game today if you wanted to: this single object houses full animation matrix which is expandable, collapseable, mappable to your own AI or dpad, etc. (which the demo works as a player character).  That's the beauty of Etoys; once you make one useful thing, it's quite literally a job of copy paste (xeroxing, anyone?) and making minor modifications and letting everything roam free.  

On other news, I was involved with some bug fixing of the Etoys system itself.  Since the entire thing is open source that is literally running code you can edit and instantly add fixes into the system, you can both break and fix the system from within itself, both of which I got to do this week looking for a rendering bug.  Thanks to Squeakland mailing list, we got some workarounds going which can be shipped within projects themselves, and depending on how you enjoy etoys, can permanently include them in your own version if you like.

None of those fixes are in this project here, but likely after another week, we'll probably figure out a good way to solve the problem, which has mostly to do with rotation and scaling math offsetting graphics by a pixel or two unnecessarily.  While you can use Etoys for eons and never care about this, it does make itself really annoying when working on graphics design, so it's been a bit of a priority that also cut into time working on the actual content.  That's one thing that rather sucks about game dev: you can't *see* anything that happens with an engine unless there's a demo and even big things that have wide reaching consequences to the average person just don't 'look' like anything happened.  It's like telling someone you're organizing your hard drive...when you're done, what does it appear like you did?  A lot of work or simply sitting in front of a terminal clicking things for days with nothing much to show for it?  

The digital life...such a cruel joke sometimes.

Enjoy this etoys project.  It should be self explanatory. Demo graphics were from Arcade Game Studio demo game, a tool you should definitely check out as I do plan on lifting some ideas about AI programming from it's sequencer.  A really nice piece of software with an unfortunately terrible graphics hardware requirement for what it is; it looks especially bad or runs especially slow without the exact supported hardware.

Peace and see you next Saturday!

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