Grrr... Spammers Are A Plague

Well, I left a door open and the jerks have found it. If you're one of the jerks, thanks for messing the place up. I really appreciate that.

...passive aggression session over.

Now, I've been planning on integrating this site with my main network of sites at www.NearlyEverything.com, but now I have more motivation. I had left a slot open for registered users to post stuff as "books", but now it's a mess and I doubt it's worth saving. I'll go through it as much as I can to see if there's anything valuable in there. If not, I'll scrap the whole thing and move this site into the main network.

I'm sorry I have neglected this site. I'll get back into posting very soon, as I've finally gotten towards the tail of development on another big project I've been working on. I still have a lot of work... well, everywhere, but I need to put some love into Game Dev School.

Stupid spammers. *sigh*

Caligari trueSpace Support Fading Fast

Roman Ormandy from Caligari has sent out this email to the registered users of trueSpace. Microsoft (who bought up Caligari recently and made trueSpace available for free) has been cutting back their projects and trueSpace is feeling the knife. Roman has posted some tips about the imminent doom and is urging people to get all their goods while the goods-getting is... good. <_<

If you haven't taken advantage of getting trueSpace 7.6 and a ton of great video tutorials and other resources, you ought to step to it right away. It's not clear exactly what will happen or when, but it looks like things could shut down on various levels. I'd guess Roman wouldn't be putting this info out if he didn't think something big was in the pipe, but I'm spectaculating here.

I'd be sorry to see trueSpace die off mostly since I have a long history with it, but considering Microsoft almost let SoftImage die a while back, I'd say they have a < stellar record with this sort of thing.

Anyway, on with the announcement:
-------------------------------

Dear Caligari customer,

You may have heard that Microsoft Corporation, reacting to difficult business conditions, has been evaluating many of the products it produces and making the difficult decision to reduce investment in certain areas.

It is with regret that I have to tell you that trueSpace is one of the products affected. As a consequence, you will see reduction or elimination of services offered for trueSpace. For example, there will be no phone or email support offered for trueSpace by Microsoft, and our web site may also be affected. While the dates are not absolutely fixed, some services and contacts may come to an end as early as Friday May 22nd 2009, while others will continue as long as possible with no firm cutoff date available yet.

While we are working to minimize negative impact for the community, here are some things you may want to plan for in near future:

  1. For those who have purchased and paid for Caligari products, download a copy of all purchased software from the repeat downloads area.
    Please log in with your username and password at:
    http://cart1.caligari.com/ebuy2/enterdownloads.asp
    If you have forgotten either your user name or password, please visit:
    http://cart1.caligari.com/forms/memberform.asp

    Ensure you keep the copies and information in a safe place, as they may not be available for download again. Be sure you also have a copy of all required serial numbers, as there will be no support staff to assist you after a certain date.

  2. For those who have downloaded trueSpace7.6 since it became free, if you do not already have a copy of the installer kept on your hard drive or on CD / DVD, you may wish to download the trueSpace7.6 installer and keep a copy in a safe place.
    Please log in with your username and password at:
    http://cart1.caligari.com/web/Truespacemainreg.aspx
    If you have forgotten either your user name or password, please visit:
    http://cart1.caligari.com/forms/tsmemberform.asp

  3. Download a copy of any training that you wish to keep from our main website.

  4. Download any useful plug-ins you wish to keep from the forums.

  5. Download any useful information, training, tips etc from the forums that you wish to keep.

  6. Contact any Caligari staff or forum users who you wish to keep in touch with, and arrange to have an alternative email address to contact them.

    As a community you may decide to set up a new forum or meeting place. Please use the existing forums to announce the location of that new meeting space, and we will also strive to put that information onto our main website. I personally plan to visit any such meeting place to keep in touch with you and hear about your new plans.

All of us here in the Caligari team would like to thank everyone in our community for your long-standing support of trueSpace and Caligari. Our community – that is, all of you – were truly one of our best assets, and you have created incredible work, and we hope you will continue on to do even more amazing things.

I personally want to thank all of the Caligari staff for their amazing contribution to development of trueSpace and building of this community. During 25 years of trueSpace history the product made a difference in lives of many people and the world is a better place for it.

Roman Ormandy,
Caligari Founder

Palm Pre on the Fast Track to Flash Player Support!

Oh, yummy. And the Palm Pre just took another leap up my "Do Want!" list. I really think this is turning into a must-get device for me. Check it out: "Palm Pre to Receive Flash Support in 2009".

Of course, I'm still likely to do some development on the iPhone, which I'll talk about some other time, but I'm currently on Sprint and I freakin' hate my old Treo 700wx by now. I was stoked with it a couple years ago, but I've come to loathe it, what with all the lockups and crappy Windows "features" and the terrible Internet Explorer browser. (And yes, I've tried running Opera Mobile and even MiniMO while it was still a living project, but Windows Mobile really doesn't seem to like other programs running without a fight... that's not an educated statement, but more of a "feeling" based on cynical grumpiness.)

Anyway... why haven't I posted around here more often??!? I'll remedy that.

Cheers,
Hoza

Caligari trueSpace 7.6 Released... Free?!?

I have been sitting here tinkering with the GameDevSchool.com site, and I got an email in my box: Caligari has made their newest version of their great 3D modeling/animation/simulation/content creation suite, trueSpace 7.6, available for download... for free! Wow! I've used trueSpace since way back around version 2, but I'm not doing as much 3D work as I used to -- well, almost none, tbh. At any rate, I've already downloaded this sucker! It's a really fun program to use, I always thought, so I'm stoked to play with it again! I've picked it up several times through upgrades, but since I don't work with it much, I stopped back around version 6 or so.

trueSpace is a very powerful set of tools. You can sign up and snag trueSpace 7.6 right now, along with some training videos, for no charge. Nice. Those training videos are an awesome resource for learning trueSpace, and were previously sold for something like $79 each.

This is a seriously great opportunity, I'd say. The program really is fantastic. For more information about the new version, as well as insight into reasons for releasing the application free of charge, you can read up on the announcement blog of the company's founder.

Cool stuff. :-)

GameDevSchool.com Being Upgraded

Heya folks,
Sorry for the mess, but I got completely sick of some bugs in the old site system. I'm upgrading the whole thing, but it's going to be messy as a result. Please excuse said mess. :P

I finally hit the "last straw" when I added yet another article that got lost due to a glitch. Of course, I hadn't learned this from many previously-botched posts, so I didn't have it backed up. Thus, I had to re-write it... well, instead of doing that to work around the system, I'm upgrading everything.

This will be good overall, but it's setting me back a bit for updates that are loooonge overdue.

Please hang in there and come back soon for some updates. I'll need to customize the theme and add things like menus and advertising, etc. back in. For now, though, I'm going to go have a beer with some friends. :)

Thanks a TON for visiting!

--Hoza

Embedding SWF content with Ruby on Rails

So, I've been working with Ruby on Rails lately -- which is another discussion entirely -- and I've come to the point where I want to figure out how to embed SWF games into a page.  This research led me to a great little article called "Embedding SWF content with Ruby on Rails " at EleventyTen (which is just a cool name, btw.)

I'm posting here as usual to give myself a future-note on the topic, but also to share a bit.  SWFObject is really sweet and is a MUCH nicer way to handle the ridiculous mess that is the embed-vs-object "thing" for putting SWF movies in your files.

So, consider this an introduction to SWF embeding in Rails, as well as a heads-up on SWFObject since you'll probably want to use that sucker no matter what you're using on the site dev backend!

You're welcome.  Tongue out

Scrum-trilescent Agile-ity

"A performance so scrumtrilescent, I can barely move."  -- Will Ferrell as James Lipton

This post has nothing to do with that quote, or that made-up word, for that matter.  However, it is my shallow attempt at humor so there you have it.  :P

Point is, I've been working on implementing Scrum and Agile software development goodies and I'm very much liking what I'm seeing. I have a lot to learn -- mostly through practice -- but I'm both inspired and motivated by this change in my processes.  It's a typical story heard amongst people getting into Scrum officially, where I'm sure I've done all this stuff before.  That's said to be due to the "common sense" nature of so much of this.

At any rate, I just had to post this note to get me thinking about posting more here about how my process is improving.  I'll work on documenting a lot of the core stuff I'm learning later, but I've gotta bail.  It's really late for me and sleep looms.

Cryptic Releases Free Animation Rig Tool

Cryptic (the folks behind City of Heroes and City of Villains) have released a pretty sweet tool for animation junkies.. the Cryptic AR (Cryptic Animation Rig) for 3D Studio Max 8 or higher. Their stated goal for doing this is to provide "the animation community with the ability to use professional quality animation tools free of charge. The rig's flexibility and ease of use allows users of all experience levels to create professional video game animations."

They've also put up a Cryptic AR community forum for new & experienced animators to discuss their craft, as well as getting tips about using the Cryptic AR.

I'm not much of an animator, but I'll have to give this puppy a run and see how it flies. Good Stuff, Cryptic! This is pretty cool.

Torque Constructor ships... and it's FREE!

Torque Constructor has been discussed here before, so maybe you remember it from my fingertips. The GG community is all buzzy about the release, since it marks the first official tool targeting the Torque art pipeline squarely in the chest. Previously (as mentioned in my earlier post) you had to use other tools to develop Torque interiors, so this is a pretty Big Deal to have a tool specifically designed for Torque development.

In a nutshell, in case you're not going to follow the link above, here's what you'll find in Torque Constructor:

Torque Constructor is a Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) WYSIWYG brush editor that supports export of buildings and structures to numerous industry-standard CSG model (.map) formats, or seamlessly exports directly into Torque Game Engine (TGE) or Torque Game Engine Advanced (TGEA).

Torque Constructor features the ability to modify and expand any of the basic scriptable functions with TorqueScript, from plugins, tools, and widgets to customization of the GUI.

Get a nice list of features by checking out the big announcement post at GG.com: Torque Constructor Now Available .

Career Discovery: Games event

I'm sorry to be so late on this announcement, but I'm struggling to keep up these days.  However TOMORROW is a very interesting event if you happen to be in the area of this event.  Career Discovery: Games is being held tomorrow, 3/24/07 in Belleview, WA.  It's looking to be a fantastic event for students or other folks interested in getting into the game development industry.  I'll work with them to get more advance notice of future events like this.
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