Thursday, December 24, 2009


This is the first Christmas I can think of where we had carolers. This year, our drunken neighbor who yells obscenities at 3am, blessed us with his take on an old Christmas classic. I awoke to "Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell cock," being screamed from next door. This went on for a good 3 mins or so. The best part was the 6 or 7 second pause towards the end where he stopped to think of a rhyme for "ball sack."

I know I just started writing again, but I took a break already. Not because I'm tired of it, but because I wanted to make some headway on learning to program. I started using a rendering engine called Irrlicht. I like it so far. To make games for a big company one day, I'm still going to have to learn how to load up models into an engine using OpenGL and DirectX, but for now, Irrlicht is a crutch that does that stuff for me so I can focus on easier things.

But first, I needed something to render. I'm not much of a modeler. Most models I have are high polygon stuff--great for web animations(or movies, if I ever got into that). But terrible for games were rendering and motion have to happen in real time. I thought an obvious choice would be to extract World of Warcraft models and use them. Turns out, this is pretty easy to do, only, Blizzard uses a custom file format and the animation and rigging for their models are harder to get at. I tried a bunch of different plugins and exporters I found through Googling, but only found a bunch of outdated and bug infested code. So I've taught myself how to rig and animate WoW models in 3ds Max. It's fairly time consuming, especially when I'm not that interested in doing game art--I want to be a programmer!

One thing that's a little satisfying is I can remodel WoW figures to look more proportioned how I'd rather see them. Like less freakishly huge muscles on the males, no slopping foreheads and brow ridges on females, etc. I'm thinking about re-proportioning the dwarves to make them look like humans just to see how that would look. I'm not an experienced programmer yet, though I'm driven. It would be nice to meet up with a modeler and animation artist that would collaborate with me on making games for the learning experience of it all. I have no illusions that I'm going to be making great games... yet. Though I certainly have a wealth of ideas.

I guess everyone has ideas. Ideas are the easy part. It's having the skill to make ideas happen that's the trick. Anyways, back to work.

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