Saturday, January 15, 2011

So you want to be a vigilante?

If you want to fight bad guys sign up for the local police department. Then you actually get paid and won't be arrested.

That out of the way...

DISCLAIMER: This is meant for educational purposes only and the management does not accept responsibility for any actions taken with this information.

The problem with most bullet-proof vests is they will only stop handgun rounds. They won't stop knives, arrows, or any rifle rounds. I guess that's better than nothing, but still something to consider. They can be ordered online depending on where you live.

You need to work out. A lot.

There's a ton of running and jumping involved, and fighting. Make sure you're in shape and can hold your own in a brawl.

The most important part of your crime-fighting outfit is the SHOES. Most people focus on the aesthetics like the mask or the cape, but no, the SHOES are the most important. Think of all the running you'll do! You need to make sure your shoes and pants are comfortable and form fitting enough that you can comfortably run and jump over obstacles. Also speaking of capes, capes are actually counterproductive because it has a very high chance to snag on something, and not to mention gives the enemy something very easy to grab onto. Not good.

If you are going to wear a mask, make sure it's something that doesn't obscure your vision in any way. Soft rubber-like masks are probably best, as plastic might splinter and cause injuries to your face and eyes if someone hits you in the face. Again, avoid things that stick out. I am very sad that I had to omit my lengthy bunny ears from my costume, but otherwise it'd make it too easy for a bad guy to grapple me down.

The problem with being a vigilante is that you don't have the same legal freedoms a cop does; that means you need to restrict your arsenal to the least lethal means to avoid legal complications. It's a very unsettling thought to imagine people shooting you and you not being able to shoot back, but there are still options:
  • Short and Long range stun guns/tasers - this will be one of your best friends. The incapacitation lasts only as long as the device is on, so use it and quickly subdue the criminal. I advise using rope or handcuffs, the police will handle the rest.
  • Tranquilizer guns - An effect that lasts longer than a taser, however since it is harpooning a syringe at your target, you need to be very careful where you aim. Always aim center mass/torso, the sedative will quickly find its way through the blood stream.
  • "Tear Gas" - Useful as a distraction for either your entrance or your getaway

Do NOT use any blunt or sharp weapons such as: Baseball bats, knives, swords, chainsaws, sledgehammers, etc. These all inflict trauma that is potentially lethal, which would look bad for you legally. Plus they're cumbersome and leave a mess.

Do not use ANY firearms - even if it's loaded with beanbag or rubber bullets, within 20-50 yards or so, which will be your most common range of engagement vs the badguys, they still carry enough kinetic force to be lethal.

Tasers may not be legal everywhere, so you may have to improvise on finding one.

Make sure you have good health and personal item insurance.

Chances are, you'll get your hiney kicked now and then, maybe your car blown up, your house burned down, etc. Get it all insured! Shop around for the best rates, remember, don't reveal that you are a vigilante! Your monthly payments will skyrocket.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LittleBigPlanet 2 Beta servers are now offline. Bring on retail!

Well, that's it. That was pretty long for a pre-release, server stress test beta! So what did I do in the last hour? ... Well...

I've done my share to push the beta and squash bugs and I must say, I'm royally impressed with the game. The tools have so much more potential over the previous game. The first game warmed my heart instantly with its playful approach. It was very child-like in its approach and I felt some of this would be lost in LittleBigPlanet 2.  Not at all!

Although the new logic tools imply a sense of mechanical cerebrality, that couldn't be further from the truth. It is rare that a sequal absolutely improves on an original, especially when the original is something as unique as LittleBigPlanet, but this seems like it will be an astounding success.

I have been posting plenty of things on my blog about the game and will continue to, as well as discuss what I plan to do in retail.

I WILL make a full fledged version of my dungeon crawler, "Corridors of Madness" ... It will have better and more varied graphics, as well as much more varied gameplay.

I will continue the top down shooting series with improvements, since I've learned much since I made them.

Bunnies will make a return but in a way you might not expect. :)

The graphics are also greatly improved, the lighting engine is very welcome and easy on the eyes. I think my favorite features are the new logic tools and the holographic material. That of course includes the impact sensor.

Impact sensor + invisible hologram = super win!

I also promise a very in depth tutorial on creating the dungeon crawler after I create it in release. I promise - the techniques have been perfected and I'm saving it as a treat for you all. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More 3D android stuff - animated models

Ok I have barely been home in the past couple of weeks so couldn't work on this little android 3D engine side project much, but here's an example of my animation class so far:

Uses Hierarchy type animation, as opposed to the skeletal animation in the PC 3D stuff I've been doing. Imagine each section of the model being devoted to one and only one bone instead of 4 bone weights per vertex, I figure this is the lowest cost on the hardware since I'm not sure how much I can push the android. The next step I guess would be to either use softskinning via direct vertex pos interpolation between keyframes, or bones with 1 or 2 weights per vertex.

This is all done with OpenGL in Java.

Each little section of the model can also have a unique material property which I guess I'll have to showcase next, but I need to get my hands on a real android so I can take video that isn't so choppy. Emulation sucks.