Friday, October 28, 2005

Snippets.

Ok...hmmm....haven't been posting as much as usual, partly because I've been too busy, partly because I've been too lazy. So since my last post what have I been getting up to I hear you cry...well:

• I've been messing around on MySpace
• I've started projects, worked for a couple of hours and then done nothing more on them (typical of me at the moment)
• I've played a demo of Call of Duty 2
• And I've been amazed at how good it looks, can't wait till it comes out...yes I'm a geek, so sue me
• I've watched 'Advent Children' - an absolutely gorgeous CG film - and I've had to keep re-watching parts because I couldn't read the English subtitles quick enough
• I've listened to the same song by Explosions in the sky on repeat for the last three days

What am I getting up to in the near future?

In 5 days we are hoping to reach the first milestone with Absence - we're aiming to have a character walking around a test level and being able to interact with an object, so I should get on and do some work for that.

Tomorrow I'm emailing three artists who work in the games industry because they very kindly agreed to help me in my research for my dissertation. I'm looking at how advancing technology has affected and changed video game art, and also the role of the video game artist.

In a couple of hours I'm walking down into Brighouse to meet up with my friends. It's Connie's 18th birthday today and they are all having a meal tonight. I'm walking down with Phill, meeting them outside the restaurant then we are going to a club. I expect to be quite drunk and to dance like a fool.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Pressies :)

I'm sat in Liam's room, we've just been playing Halo 2. Paul arrives from work, and the lads tell me to pause the game a minute. I turn around and they tell me it's time to give me my present.

It's taken out from under Liam's bed, I can tell instantly that it's a skateboard deck - you don't use something nearly daily for 7 years or so without recognizing the shape! It's wrapped up in newspaper, Liam says it's more punk rock that way, plus the sheets of normal wrapping paper weren't big enough. Newspaper is pretty punk rock though :D

Paul and Tom had gone over to Huddersfield and bought a skateboard, then they took the trucks and wheels off, and sanded all the paint off by hand! They said it took the two of them hours to get the board back to the bare wood. Then they went around and got everyone in 'the team' to sign it and write me a little message.

A couple of years ago we used to have quite a big group. I was close to every single person in that group. They are all fantastic people, and you know that they would do anything for you, from watching your back, to helping you out anyway they could. True friends. As time went by people kind of drifted away. Moving houses and getting jobs and a load of other stuff means that everyone doesn't hang out as much these days. But it's good to know you all still care :)

So thanks to Liam for coming up with the idea (it was a well good idea mate) and for wrapping it up in punk rock paper.

Thanks to Paul and Tom for going over and buying it, taking it apart, sanding it down (bet that was a bugger eh?) and for taking it around Hove Edge/ Brighouse and persuading everyone to sign it. Paul - cheers for riding around on a scooter with it between your legs ;) Tom - thanks for sticking up your coat when I drove past that time so I didn't see it :)

Finally, thanks to everyone who signed it.

Stef - long time no see, I will text you sometime, promise. Thanks for everything, especially for listening to me this time last year. I had so much stuff going on, and you listened to it all. Thankyou.

Paul (Calhoon) - those were a lot of kisses man! Cheers for everything mate, I won't forget about owing you a video camera don't worry! Thanks man.

(Mr) Tom - what you on about, you don't get abuse! Lol, seriously, thanks for everything, I reckon you're right, I won't go far wrong if I stick with you, so looks like you're stuck with me mate. Thankyou.

Liam - I doubt anyone will ever be as pretty as you! Although who knows, another 21 years and I might be (you cheeky bugger!). Cheers for being a proper stylie guy, and for thinking up this present. Like I say, you're in charge of all the presents from now on!

Ked - you are an absolute legend fella! You always manage to make me laugh, and that's rocking. You have THE best phrases, and I still want to record you on CD so I can have a giggle when I'm stuck in traffic on the motorway. Cheers.

Conny - hasn't been such a long time, but it's good to have met you too. The day of the nice guy will come sometime. I'll see you for your bday drinks :). Thankyou.

Scott (Scotty Boy) - Thanks mate, hope things are rocking with you. You need to play out more, aint seen you for a fair while! Cheers for everything.

Phill - 13 years is a long time man - here's to another 13 eh? Thanks for being a mate, an influence, and a generally rocking guy. Some of my best memories are from all those summers spent skating. Thanks for being part of that and for everything you've ever done for me. Cheers mate.

Neil - thankyou for having a rocking sense of humor and making me laugh so much. It was good to see your name on there man, means a lot to me to have all the team's names on there. Thanks for being a rocker.

And guest feature signature - Mr Dave Miller - can't believe you got him to sign it Paul. Thanks to you both!

Neil also kept a drunken Leeds Festival promise and bought me a laser aka mini Leeds Festival in a ball. Cheers man, my life is so much better now.

Thanks for being such a rocking set of friends.

xxxx

Thursday, October 20, 2005

21

1pm, Saturday 20th October 1984 - Thursday 20th October 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Crashing cars.

The other night (they'd just finished doing a late shift at work) two of my friends where driving back home. They live about 10 minutes drive from the hotel where they work. They pulled up to some traffic lights, and seeing as the light was red, they sat and waited. The light turns to green, and my friend pulls away from the lights.

It's a cross roads. They are heading straight forward. As they start pulling away from the lights a car speeds past heading 'across' the cross roads. This car had jumped the red light, but luckily it missed my friend's car....just, but it missed. Then SMASH. A second car speeds into my friend's, sending them spinning, and leaving their car pointing in the direction they had just come.

The car that crashed into them had 3 people in it, they all got out, and without even checking on my friends they just ran off towards the first speeding car, got in, and were gone. Yup, the two cars had been stolen by joy riders, and they were racing each other in the early hours, both skipped the red light. Like I said, luckily the first one missed, but the second one totally wrote off the car my friends were travelling in.

The photo shows how the front of the car is pretty much totally gone. If they had left work 30 seconds earlier, or if they had driven at 2mph quicker, then chances are the stolen car would of hit right on the driver's door. Thinking about it like that, I'm really lucky that I still have two of my friends. I can't get my head around how the car thieves could of killed them, yet they didn't even care to check they were alright before running away. YOU MOTHERF*CKING COWARDS. F*CK YOU.

Anyways, I reckon Tom only wrote off his car, cos I did the same to mine a couple of years ago with the help of a Volvo, a lamp-post, and a dry-stone wall. Either way, I'm just glad that they are ok, and that the walked away un-harmed, and that they will be with me on Friday to help me celebrate.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Ca**abis Club Sud.

I think I've just managed to get the normal maps behaving themselves properly, so I'm relaxing with a nice beer:

Yummy.

Memo to self.

Ok, this won't be too interesting for you, this is more for my own benefit.

After 2 and a half hours of messing around with .tga's, compilers, google and other such geeky stuff I finally managed to get alpha maps into the Source (HalfLife 2) engine. This is good, because by Wednesday I need to have made a model that uses alpha maps, and normal maps. This is bad, because I haven't managed to figure out how to get normal maps in there yet.

Anyway, my methodology: use the fourth channel of the .tga as the alpha channel and save out as 32 bit. Compile the material, and in the .vmt file edit it to look like this:

"VertexLitGeneric"
{
"$baseTexture" "models\alpha"....stick texture name here "$translucent" 1...makes it see through ala glass...."$alpha" 1 works better for the stuff I need to do on further testing it looks like translucent works best "$nocull" 1...1=2 sided material, 0=1 sided material
}

Define: geek
"Traditionally a term of derision, geek has come to have a more positive connotation in this computer age. Technically adept people now frequently refer to themselves as geeks, in a mixture of self-deprecation and pride."

[You may have noticed I've played around with some colours, some fonts, some dashed lines and other things. Thumbs up, or thumbs down?]

Friday, October 14, 2005

The strongest of the strange.

The strongest of the strange - Bukowski

"you won't see them often
for whatever the crowd is
they
are not.

these odd ones, not
many
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books
and other
works.

and from the
best of the
strange ones
perhaps
nothing.

they are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.

sometimes I think see
them--say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way.

or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile

or
there's a certain motion
of the hands
of the bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.

sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time--
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.

sometimes
you will only note
their
existence
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.

I remember
such a
one--
20 years old
drunk at
10 a.m.
staring into
a cracked
New Orleans
mirror.

face dreaming
against the
walls of
the world.

where
did I
go?"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Does your uni have a sense of humour?

Because mine sure does. Some institutions may give rooms a number, for example HT217. But that sounds so impersonal, some may even give names related to purpose, for example Product Design Seminar Room...but again, it just lacks personality.

Thankfully they have good naming conventions at my uni. :)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Comfort.

Thought it was about time that I treated myself, and seeing as I do a hell of a lot of work on the computer now, it seemed like the perfect timing. Headed down to *office supply store* and purchased a high back leather faced executive armchair. It's heaven!! Especially after the years I've coped on a normal swivel chair. My back is fully supported, my ass is all nice and cushioned, and I can tilt back...now all I need is a big cigar :D

The car shop got back to me about the website, they are very happy with it, just need a few details adding, and then they'll take delivery of it, and I get my free parts. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to get more cheap bits from here, which is always good seeing as the student loan doesn't go too far in these days of high beer and petrol prices.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ked's Birthday.

So the other night, I think it was Tuesday, we all (Tom, Liam, Paul, Connie, Scott, and myself...and of course Ked)went out for my friend Ked's birthday. Nothing too fancy, just a few pints in a nice pub with the lads. Was a really good night, nice to have everyone together again, because lately it seems that we never see each other as much as we used to. Doesn't help with people moving away, working long hours etc.

I managed to win a game at killer darts, which put me £3 richer than I was before, apart from that it was a pretty quiet night. Well, I went to the bar to get another pint, and this random woman asked if I was a student, I replied 'Can you tell? Scruffy hair and baggy pants.'

'Nothing wrong with scruffy hair or baggy pants!' she replies. So I get talking to her - she's with her daughter and son (who had just spent 6 years in the army). I tell them all about uni and what I'm doing, turns out that they sometimes go to the pub just up the road from me, so I might bump into them again. Makes a really nice change to meet pleasant people on a night out. If only more people could be like that.

Near the end of the night Ked and Scott invite their girlfriend's up - so they kinda retreat to a corner to do the couple thing. We head off home, sit on the swings for a bit, then go ourseparatee ways. It was a really good night, and it was so good having everyone together again, even just for an evening.

Obligatory phone-camera-piccy:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thinking.

Free Vergara Paguia has got me thinking a lot recently about the things I do, and don't believe in...I thought it better to turn this into a post rather than a huge comment.

Ok, so am I a religious person? That all depends on how you define religion. I don't go to church every Sunday, in fact, I am only found in a church for either a wedding or a funeral. I don't read a Bible regularly, I think in the past six months I have read 1 extract from the Bible that was given to me by The Gideons International when I started high school. I have owned that book for 9 years now, and I have read something from it a grand total of 3 or 4 times that I can remember. The point that I'm making is, I'm not going to be seen as being religious by anyone.

However...I think I do have a religion. I have my own God, and my own set of rules that work for me. For me, traditional organized religion doesn't work; sure there are parts that I agree with, being kind to others, being faithful in marriage etc, however there are also parts that I am totally against. I like to know reasons for things, I like to know how things work, and I hate contradictions. In my opinion, blind faith is one of the worst things. I have no problem with anyone believing anything they like, but they should have a reason for that belief. Why believe something just for the sake of belief? Personally, I need some form of reason to believe things.

I'm still confused a lot by this kinda stuff. Part of me wants there to be a 'God' (or a spirit or whatever you want to call him/her/it)...I want my loved ones to be in some kind of heaven, and I guess I like the idea of the human race not being 'all alone' as it were.

The other half of me thinks that our planet is just a load of particles and atoms that just happen to have spawned life. It's no big deal, out of all the planets, in all the galaxies, the rule of probability says that there would be at least one somewhere that had life on it. It just so happened that life occurred on the third rock from the Sun, in the Milky Way. Humans don't have souls - the factors that determine what kind of person you are include: upbringing, past experiences, abilities, talents, environment you grew up in, environment you live in, things that have happened to you etc.

So, as you can see, there are two very conflicting arguments going on inside me.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Night at the zoo.

I leave the house to meet up with friends. Looking out of the window I could see it was raining slightly, but nothing to worry about. A minute after walking out my door and I'm absolutely soaked. One of my friends has long hair, it's completely sodden. We meet up and walk down to the local mini-supermarket/corner shop type shop. We get some lager (usually I don't drink lager too often) and some cheap wine. And my god I mean cheap, £2.99 for a 75cl bottle.....you just know it's going to taste like cheap p*ss.

Get back to my friends house, and all three of us are drenched. The term drowned rats springs to mind. I ask nicely if I can borrow a pair of jeans, seeing as my combats are going to take about 3 weeks to dry out. Phill being the mate he is throws me some Levi 501's, and a towel so that I can stop the water dripping off my hair and down my neck. Cheers mate.

So we sit and get fresh while watching skate vids. By the time we order a taxi I am definitely feeling the affects of my lager....goes straight to my head, I mean I'm pretty much a lightweight anyways, but on lager and cheap wine...well I don't last long lets put it that way.

Was fun to be back at the zoo, haven't been there for about a year or so, and they played some top notch musical treats. I remember there being 2 Brand New songs back to back. I was in the middle of the dance floor, hair flailing and screaming into a lager bottle. Was a good night.

That was last night, and to be honest I'm not hungover at all. Thirsty as hell, aching limbs from dancing, but not hungover. Pruv is gonna drink lager and cheap wine more often. I'm meant to be going into town with Phill later...wonder if I'll see any men in giant tomato suits this week? If I do, you'll be sure to find out.