Alexander Turda

A coder's blog.


So, how do you think my experience with Watch Dogs has been so far? Pleasant? NO! Before I start ranting, I”ll post my specs here:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • Quad Core 3.4Ghz AMD CPU
  • GTX 760 2 GB

Now thats far from a very high-end rig, but it should be able to play Watch Dogs decently on medium if not on High settings right? Well, lets just say I can’t even play on the lowest possible settings without getting frame drops when driving a car with high speed. And obviously, its not just me, the web is filled with people complaining about the disastrous release for PC. I haven’t managed to finish the game yet, played it only for about 1 hour, I had to get used to frame drops all the time, but since I have it, I will finish it this weekend probably.

The problem is, it seems it became a common practice to release unfinished games, and if idiots that support those games even though they’re in an alpha or beta state continue to do so, we’ll soon be getting Pre-Alpha games at full $60! Ubisoft’s excuse is that they had to make the game work on so many platforms, and its been so hard for them… but you know what? I don’t give a flying fuck about what you had to do, Ubisoft! If I go buy a new car, I expect it to fully work, I don’t expect it to work after a couple of months, because the creators had so much work to do!

Anyhow,  they announced a new patch is coming soon, so I hope that the new patch will actually improve the performance, but all I can say now is: I support the people who gave Watch Dogs such a low score on metacritic that it got to 4.4. Ubisoft deserves it for fucking with its PC customers.

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I’m not sure if I was the only one stupid enough to make this mistake, but I’m obviously writing this article hoping that no one that reads this will make the same mistake as me.

So you want to write your own game engine. You got a book or you found some online resources and you want to get to it, but I’m pretty sure you might be making a mistake most of the people make(or I do) when planning for something like this. Say you want to use the DirectX API, and you start designing your code, only to later realize that your entire engine is based on a specific API, maybe DirectX 11. But what happens if you ever want to support opengl, or to move to DirectX 12 which is coming next year? Well, you’ll probably have a big headache, and chances are, you might even end up rewriting the majority of your engine just to fit that new API you want to use.

So this article, is simply a suggestion: use an interface for communicating with the API, and avoid depending on a certain version of an API if you can. I know this is easier said than done, but you really have to keep it in mind while writing your code. Of course, this suggestion goes for anything you decide to use even libraries of course.

Its not a coincidence I’m writing this article, I did this mistake many times myself, mostly because debugging and coding just becomes simpler when writing very specific API code, but believe me, you WILL regret it in the long run.

So this is it, a simple advice I just wanted to share with anyone out there getting ready for a task like this. I might be publishing in the future other small simple articles like this one with stupid stuff I might’ve done when designing a game engine.

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I’m a big Wolfenstein fan, and I was quite excited when I heard a new one is coming out, mostly because the one released in 2009 was pretty much average. Not to mention the trailers released for Wolfenstein The New Order looked really good. All in all, after playing and finishing it, I was quite disappointed. Was the premise original? Yes. Was the execution great? No!  First, we’re in 2014, and we expect decent graphics for our games, but Wolfenstein is pretty far in that aspect. It does look good, but it certainly doesn’t look like a 2014 game. One of the most annoying things in this game are the cutscenes. It basically goes like this: cutscene-press left mouse button-cutscene. Who designed this?!

But hey, maybe the gameplay can save it, right? NO! The bots are really stupid, and changing the difficulty only gives their weapons a greater damage rate. I found myself shooting groups of inline nazzies, that did nothing to try to escape. Wolfenstein is also known for its boss fights, but this new title just doesn’t deliver in that aspect either. Yes there are some interesting bosses you will encounter, but defeating them won’t be fun, it won’t be hard, but it won’t be fun.

You can barely see Berlin, you never get out in the streets(maybe just once), an aspect which makes me very angry. Its known that the nazzies had a plan to make Berlin the capital of the world, and we don’t get to see it?! Aside from that, you are indoors 95% of the time, and you never get to experience “organic” environment, only concrete and steel. Also, the atmosphere itself doesn’t manage to get scary at all, like it did in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

Probably one of the best aspects of this game is the music. Yes, it has an amazing selection of soundtracks, and no one can say anything about that. Will there be a sequel to this game? I’m 100% positive. They did not end the war, and the hype managed to sell enough copies of this game, so yeah, there will be a sequel, I’m sure of that.

Overall, this game is as average as it gets. It started with an excellent concept: nazzies win the war, and it ended being nothing more than a game you’ll forget you ever played. This is a short review, so I’ll end it here, I give this game an overall 6/10. (Shame on you MACHINEGAMES!).

 

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Just a couple of days ago I was writing about how I was going to start on the PhysX series again, and I did post a new part. While I was working on the next one today, I realized that I am wasting important time, so I decided to allocate all my “coding time”, to research and actual game coding, but nothing else. The released parts will still be available, and I’m quite sure that this summer I will probably continue the PhysX series, but for now I have to focus on my actual work.

During these next days I might get the chance to get hired to work on a project with Unreal Engine 4, so yes, I’m really busy at this time. However, I decided to post more often here, so more articles should appear every week.

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Because I haven’t really coded in C# until now, and I haven’t used Unity, I had to create some kind of “Hello World” project to figure out how everything works in Unity, and I did. The scenario is: asteroids are heading to Earth. To destroy them, tap asteroids of the same colors, so they will collide, do that as fast as possible, and see how many you manage to destroy before Earth’s health reaches 0%.

I ended up with:

 

On PC, the game works well, however on my windows phone there are quite some bugs. Due to lack of time, I need  to abandon it, not that I was very excited to work on it anyway…

Now I’ll be messing around in Unity a little more, possibly get a few more simple games like this out…and not with so many bugs as this one.

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