Games & Science : A misspent youth

 

Before I’d even considered a job in games (beyond an idle daydream), I’d been a huge games fan. Since early childhood I’d spent most of my spare time playing games. It was how I relaxed, learned stuff, hung out with friends. My parents had to hide cables to stop me playing when I’d not seen the sun for too long. When I wasn’t playing games I was hanging around talking about them with other like-minded people who also didn’t like sports. Continue reading

Wobbling Stuff With Maths Part 2: Taming the Maths

This is the second post in a series about a shader side project of mine, so make sure you’ve read the first one or this won’t make much sense!

In this post I want to talk about the script I use to interface with this weird vertex wobbling system I’ve made. Before I wrote this script, the shader on it’s own was unruly and impossible to get usable results out of unless you got very lucky with the parameters used. The brilliant thing about shaders is that they can do a lot of maths very quickly using your GPU. The not so brilliant thing is that it can be tricky passing information between shader programs and regular CPU scripts or programs. I have no idea if the way I do it is the best way to do it, but I’ve got some pretty good results with it so far.

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Wobbling Stuff With Maths – Part 1

This is the start of a series of blogs I intend to write about a fun little side project of mine. I’m kind of making this up as I go along so you’ll have to forgive any obvious mistakes! To understand this you’ll need a basic knowledge of what a mesh is, what vertices are, as well as some intermediate maths, although I’ll try to explain all the necessary stuff as I go along. For the mean time I’ve stripped out all the shader jargon in my code snippets so the maths is easier to read. (N.B. Please add comments if anything doesn’t make any sense and I’ll amend the blog)

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After Quitting the PhD – A Career Leap to Games Programming

It was a solid month after quitting my PhD before I really started to freak out about what to do with my life. For a while before deciding to quit I’d been convinced that it was a great idea to become some kind of amazing sci-fi author and live out a crazy, hermit-like existence. There’s even the opening chapter to novel kicking around somewhere that I was convinced was going to get finished. Whilst it certainly would’ve been interesting, I’m kinda glad I came to my senses and chose something sensible. Like a complete career shift to games programming.

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Let’s try blogging!

Hi Internet!

If you don’t know me, I’m a Physics graduate who’s been spending the last year teaching myself to code and trying to get into the games industry. So much has happened over this time that it’s going to be difficult to sum it all up in one post. The plan is publish a few posts on what I’ve been up to over the past year, including:

  • Quitting a PhD in Physics
  • Figuring out what to do with my life
  • Teaching myself to code
  • Making games
  • Travelling around the world
  • Trying to get into the games industry

After I’ve done all that I’ll move on to what I’m working on right now: Making a totally sweet first-person horror game and trying to get a job!

I’ll probably put all the travelling stuff in a separate sub-blog as it’s really it’s own thing. Most of these entries were written on the road while travelling around Asia in Spring of this year. I only managed to write up about two thirds of the trip as I got caught up in actually doing things rather than writing, but there is still a fair amount of material as I got quite carried away…

So yeah, that’s the plan. I’ll try and get a couple of posts out each week depending on how busy I am. In the mean time, here are some reviews of my travel writing:

“This is great! You should be a travel writer” – Mum

“Why are you writing this? Does anyone care enough to read all of that?” – Charles Clarkson

“It’s great and everything but it is starting to read like the diary of Anne Frank” – Mike Pettit