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9th GamesDay

by Andy on May.31, 2011, under General

And there it comes again: The next Games Day is over. It was a very interesting evening, with a large collection of less technical topics for a change. One can easily get lost in all the matrix multiplications and game object architectures and miss the most important aspects of game development (and perhaps development in general): The customers. Or as gaming calls them: The Community.

As promised, the slides can be found in the download section, Enjoy!

//edit: The gamesday vids – in german – can be found here.

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Winter Games University 2011 Finished

by Andy on Mar.08, 2011, under General

“What’s done is done”. Aye, the WGU2011 was an interessting event and we (including myself) learned a lot from the discussions. The event was themed around Artificial Intelligence for Games and took two days (the SGU2011 will probably be a four-day-event again).

If you want to take a look at the slides or the video recording, it’s both up now on the
Winter Games University 2011 page.

See You next time!

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Psychopathic AIs

by Andy on Feb.22, 2011, under General

The 21st century is the golden age of information technology – and probably bio-technology, but that’s another topic. We are accumulating, processing and abusing information at an impressive rate, increasing day by day. Where might this journey lead us?

(continue reading…)

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Winter Games University 2011

by Andy on Feb.07, 2011, under General

Succeeding the Summer Games University 2010, I’m happy to announce the next Games University event at the Stuttgart Media University. The core topic – at least for the first day – will be Artificial Intelligence this time, something we had to skip due to pure time reasons at the SGU2010.

I put a small portal together to mange upcoming events. It’s missing a lot of eye candy, but should serve its purpose. More information should arrive in the next days.
Game Universities

Winter Games University 2011

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8th GamesDay

by Andy on Jan.27, 2011, under General

My slides from the 8th GamesDay at the Stuttgart Media University are now available in the download section. The stream is currenlty.. well.. suffering from some file system issues. Should be up soon.

//Edit:
Its up again:
gamesday.mi.hdm-stuttgart.de

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Summer Games University 2010 Finished

by Andy on Aug.03, 2010, under General

The first SGU 2010 is over! It was indeed a very interesting event. Well, at least for me. I hope the participants enjoyed it just as much as i did. We will continue to plan similar events in the not-so-distant-future (that’s another very important term if making game-related announcements). Stay tuned!

For those of you who missed the event, or who want to read through the slides again, you may now find the stream and Slides for download on the SGU Subpage .

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Summer Games University 2010

by Andy on Jul.14, 2010, under General

I spent the bast weeks to organize and prepare for the Summer Games University at Stuttgart. We will talk about game development, architecture and many other fields. The slides will be published here shortly. Enjoy!

SGU Subpage

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Why? Just why?

by Andy on May.14, 2010, under General

As I’m currently working on designing the interface specification to connect an artificial intelligence to a game engine, I had to think a lot about causality. And damn it, it’s a complex topic! Perhaps the most defining question in our whole life. We all start as children on the backseat of our dad’s car, permanently asking “Why is sky blue?”, “Why is the car driving?” or simply, but not less difficult to answer “Why does it take so long to arrive at the zoo?”. While those questions, or at least most of them, are rather philosophic or scientific, our early days are usually followed by a much less world-shaking period with questions like “Why did she break up with me?” or “Why the hell do I have to learn all that shit for a stupid exam?”. Following that little downtime, we usually start to ask us more general questions again, but they will now depend on our experiences in the past, as our brain will try to answer those nasty “Why”s based on our collected knowledge. Sadly, that also denies many ways of thinking to us. Those we never collected experience for.

Nonetheless, the “Why” accompanies us through our whole life. That’s quite remarkable if you ask me. But what do those “Why” questions really ask for? In the most general case, they ask for a causal relation, trying to identify the trigger of an action we just witnessed or heard of. But why should we want to know? Haha, there it was again. Nope but honestly, we should try to get a feeling for our need to asking the “Why” question, as the “Why of Whys” can teach us much of our way, and the techniques, we tend to use to solve those questions. This knowledge might open our view to new ways of thinking.

(continue reading…)

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.Net 4.0 and you

by Andy on May.03, 2010, under General

The recently released Visual Studio 2010 includes the new .Net runtime 4.0 with a hand full of new features, including the official release of F#, our new functional .Net friend! Finally! Besides that, the new Visual Studio got a new, much better layout and few new options, like code metrics, a nice achievement system for the MMO-developer. Being a Visual Basic Developer of the first hour (okay not the first I must admit, but for quite some time now) I’m especially happy about some pure syntax improvements, like getting rid of that ugly “_” char for splitting lines.

Okay now let’s start with the fun. Opening up the first Visual Studio 2008 solution will show us a small converting box, but all goes well. The problems start once you click on the compile button. You will probably either get compile errors, runtime exceptions or a hanging application if using a library which was not compiled against the new CLR v4. Like Managed DirectX in my case.

That’s because of the side-by-side feature of the new CLR, allowing multiple runtimes in one app. Something the older runtimes can’t handle. Lucky, there is a switch with the elegant name of useLegacyV2RuntimeActivationPolicy that should allow your older dlls to load fine. But be aware that it also disables the side-by-side feature for those legacy libraries. Don’t turn it on ‘just in case’! Try to avoid it and upgrade your libraries if possible.

It’s too early for me to write a complete review for Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4.0, but I will post here if I should stumble across something. Happy coding!

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Damn, it’s about time!

by Andy on Apr.30, 2010, under General

Yea, it has been quite some time since the opening of this blog, but life gets busy from time to time..

Time is an interesting concept either way! You always happen to have far to much of it, while having no idea what to do. On the other hand, it’s always short if a deadline comes close. That’s probably not a scientific discovery, but just the result of my bad planning. Either way, time is a very interesting topic we rarely think about, yet it surrounds us ‘all the time’.

The first question that jumps into my mind when thinking about the universe is ‘when did it start?’. What a nasty question! If we consider time being part of our universe (and why shouldn’t we consider that) the question includes ‘when did time start?’. And that’s where the trouble starts! To define a certain point in time (that’s what ‘when did time start?’ should return) we require something to measure it. A clock like in the lower right of your desktop won’t do, as our clocks count time distances from a certain start. We could try to do that backwards.. so lets t_start be the first moment in history, aka the first moment our universe did ever had. Then t_kickoff would be the moment where time started.. the moment before the first moment.. wait a minute!

(continue reading…)

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