Eve DevBlog 10: Thanksgiving

Okay there’s a lot to go over here. First, the screenshot:

Right here I’m experimenting with adding some simple but processor-intensive screen post-processing effects and I’ve finally gone ahead and added support for a static background image to be used for each level. The blur-trail effect looks really heavy-handed in this example, but that’s actually a side-effect of the low frame rate it incurs. I’m looking into using 3d acceleration to drastically improve draw times, which should make the resulting effect a lot more subtle.

It turns out that adding a blur filter to a 1920×1080 image is a tad processor intensive. Who knew?

I’ve been studying using 3d in Flash/AIR and I’m honestly surprised at how bare-bones the implementation seems to be. I had expected something more like the display list but bumped up a dimension, at least as initial entry point, with lower-level ways of handling things for when efficiency is a priority (ala direct BitmapData and ByteArray access). It turns out that just in order to get the thing rendering in the first place you need to get some basic vertex and fragment shaders up and running, which isn’t something I’ve done before. Learning experience!

So that’s where I’m at now progress-wise.

Mentally, though, it’s hard to keep my head in this game right now. Travel has curious properties. It’s extremely useful as a catalyst for breaking one out of staid and stagnant thought patterns, but it can break good habits as easily as bad. On the rare and short-lived occasions when I start to take fitness seriously, it’s usually visiting someone out-of-town that breaks whatever routines I’ve fostered.

Basically, what I’m saying is that this season is kind of a dangerous one when it comes to projects like this, both game and blog, and I’m going to need to be cautious that I don’t let myself slack.

Which leads nicely into my next point: Things have been a bit strange on the blog for the past couple weeks. First, I wrote a couple of big 3000-word pieces that took a ton of time and effort to complete and left me pretty exhausted, then the following Monday-Tuesday I completely spaced on a scheduled Life in the Machine update until it was too late to write.

Missing an update like that is a big problem in a couple of ways. First, simple precedent makes it me much more likely to miss future updates. Second, particularly with bi-weekly articles like that, it confuses my schedule: Do I reschedule it for next week? Or do it the next day? Or just do the next one when it comes up?

So I’m going to be doing a new schedule for a while. In fact, this one is probably going to look pretty familiar since it’s basically the one I fell back on last time things got stressful: Doing two short (300-800) word essays a week, uploaded Saturday and Tuesday mornings at 10am.

So yeah. I’d go into more detail here but I’m pretty tired out by jet travel at this point, so hopefully I can follow up some of these thoughts on Saturday’s update. Thanks for reading!

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