Tuesday, June 26, 2001

TreeGen Released!

I've just released TreeGen, an interactive 3d tree creation program!

I've been working with drawing plants, in one form or another, for the last couple of years. The first method I tried (back in 1999!) was a true L-system, where a list of drawing commands is generated and used to draw the tree. I've also explored using fractals, drawing the classic fern, among other shapes. The method I'm using now is recursively adjusting and drawing the tree, which might be considered a hard-coded L-system. In any case, I had a lot of fun writing and playing with this program and I hope you do too!

TreeGen v1.0 src + exe (about 165k)

Friday, June 1, 2001

E3 2K1

Lavish. Larger-than-life. Lots of booth babes.
These are words that do not describe this year's E3. There were plenty of games on display, but the overall visual atmosphere just wasn't exciting, compared to past years. Having said that, we had a really good time. It only took us a day to see everything, with a day left to play the games that the rest of the world will have to wait to play for months.

And now for a few quick reviews:

Warcraft III
Two words: Jaw-dropping beautiful. The art is incredible and the gameplay seems awesome! Even the menus are not just nice, but really beautiful. This is my favorite game of the show and I can't wait for it to come out.

Blizzard's cinematic division constantly amazes us, and this year was no exception. Their cinematics for Warcraft II and Diablo II Expansion were incredibly gorgeous. We actually had chills watching them.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Like many of the gamers out there, I grew up playing Wolfenstein 3D (partially because it was visually astounding and fun, and partially because my computer wasn't fast enough to run DooM.) In the latest version, all I can say is WOW! The AI for this game is really great. For a simple example, if you shoot an enemy, his friend will either come to check on him, or run and hide, searching for the safest way to get out of danger. You really have to see it in action to realize how cool it is. The game itself looks great, which includes my favorite weapon, the flamethrower, which looks incredibly good.

Soldier of Fortune 2
This game looks great, with all sorts of nice enhancements, more realistic weapons and gameplay, and really detailed graphics. One quick test level they showed us involved a mission that took us through the grass, over trip wires, to our final goal. The grass was billboarded and I couldn't help but think of the vines in Wolf3D, because there was a strong resemblance between the two. I'm not knocking it though, because the test level was created in a couple of hours for the show, but still it's interesting to see works in progress.
We were talking to the SoF2 developers and they're in a friendly competition with the RtW team on who can have the best AI. In fact, the SoF2 guys actually hired one of the AI developers from the RtW team.

And now, completely because we have the bragging rights, here are some of the other games and systems we played with:
  • XBOX
  • GameCube
  • Luigi's Mansion (GameCube)
  • Sigma (pc)
  • Halo (xbox)
  • Super Mario Advance (Mario2) (gba)
  • F-Zero Advance (gba)
  • Amped (xbox)
  • Project: Gotham (xbox)
  • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee (xbox)
  • and more!
Photos will be up as soon as I can get to them. Until then, check out our photos from past E3s in the gallery!