Off the scanner…

I’ve been out of action for the past few weeks – Real Life has been a bit of a trial with the return of my mystery illness, even taking me out of Work Life (which is so rare an event it’s remarkable in itself – contractors don’t get sick pay!).

This past week I’m into ‘recuperation’ – in other words coming off the pain meds, and dealing with the consequences, being a mental ‘fog’ which has been driving me nuts. I can’t concentrate, can’t focus, and have the attentions span of a May fly on Speed.

So – no Dom dev for three weeks ๐Ÿ™ But plenty of ‘mental dev’ ๐Ÿ™‚ as I lay incumbent.

Yesterday and today my heads been clearing, and my fingers have been itching to get back to the keyboard, so I’m breaking my brain back into ‘developer mode’ in preparation for a return to work next week. I’m glad I took this week out because I wouldn’t pay me for the slow productivity!

Anyway – over the past few days I’ve managed to address a couple of dumb-stoopid bugs, then turn to getting shadow mapping into Dom (instead of just the model viewer).

One major achievement I made was to finally track down and nail the shadow caster matrix issue I left lying around. As a recap, I was having to compute this matrix on the GPU in the vertex shader for every vertex in the model being rendered, purely because ‘the same matrix math’ on CPU in my own code was producing lots of horse crap. This matrix only needs computing once per model, and then handing it to the GPU shader. So, this ‘bug’ meant a bucket-load of extra workload on the GPU for no good reason. By methodically reverse engineering it on the CPU side, I finally tracked down what was going wrong. My matrix multiplication order is theย reverse of the OpenGL matrix multiplication order. As matrix multiplication is non-commutative (A x B != B x A), even though my code read identical to the code running in the shader, my code was producing the completely wrong result. So, fix = goodness.

I also added a check to the scanner so it can identify planets with ring systems – which now get a diagonal yellow line through them once scanned. This made testing the planetary / ring system shadow mapping a tad easier (as I kept forgetting which planets had ring systems and kept jumping about trying to find one) but also lead to a ‘nice-to-have’ feature for the player in the UI!

So – notย much dev there (about 3 hours of normal-speed dev I’d say, but over nearly 3 days!) – butย good dev never-the-less. I need to pick up my pace before next week!

In other news, Chapter 5 of Insurmountable Odds is back from proofing – and I’ve begun rolling the edits in. Only 9 more chapters to proof! After mulling over Wendy’s (my proof reader – editorgirl0 “at”ย suggestion for some considerable time, I am going to take her advice and break the chapters up into much smaller chapters once it’s all done. As long as I can preserve the pacing (and she’s made a number of good calls on where to break) then I’m happy. Hopefully you will be too ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say at this pace it’ll be the latter half of 2015 before I e-publish, but we’ll see.

Right, signing off, brain out of gear, and tomorrow I intend to hit the Dev PC a bit harder and sort out all aspects of shadow mapping in Dom (dedicated maps for Stations, and maps for near/mid/far objects in local space).


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Author: Mak View all posts by

4 Comments on "Off the scanner…"

  1. Alex November 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm -

    Glad to hear you’re making a recovery! I was worried when I’d not heard from you in so long.

  2. Mak November 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm -

    Cheers Alex ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was well and truly ‘out’ and off the grid. Now slowly getting my sh*z together…

  3. Cornflakes_91 December 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm -

    yep, matrix multiplication is a nasty thing ๐Ÿ˜›

    glad you are back on course (but i didnt recognise it because im too seldom here… :blush: )

    eager to read the book ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Mak December 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm -

    Hey no worries ๐Ÿ™‚ based on the past month or so, I’m here even less! ๐Ÿ˜ Slowly recovering, but with Xmas looming, time is precious – plus I can’t carry my laptop on the commute yet, so no regular micro-dev’ing going on ๐Ÿ™

    Cheers for the support – as ever ๐Ÿ˜‰

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