Simul will be at Game Connection Europe, showing the next phase of our award-winning software. Contact us at email@example.com to reserve a meeting, or online at the Game Connection website.
Simul will be at E3 2011 in Los Angeles starting 6th June. To arrange an appointment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simul will be in San Francisco for this year’s GDC. If you want to talk to us, then please email email@example.com for an appointment, or stop by the UKTI Best of British Showcase, Stand BS236.
ADVANCED SKY SEQUENCING FEATURES
HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE CINEMATIC SKIES
Simul Weather v2.0: trueSKY, available now for evaluation & licensing, offers the following new features:
Simul announces the Sky Sequencer – a new tool for technical artists, animators and programmers. The Sky Sequencer edits a track of cloud and sky keyframes, so artists can plan out a series of weather and time-of-day events. The sequence can be played back in real- or accelerated time, to show the interplay of sky, clouds, atmospherics and weather effects.
A complete sequence, either one-shot or as a loop, can be saved and imported into any program that incorporates Simul Weather. To try out this powerful new tool, contact Simul on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top commercial simulation site, MODSIM.ORG has a review / product description up of Simul Weather (direct link). There’s some new video and screenshots, as well as some comparison shots of Simul’s time-of-day lighting with real photos.
If you are in business, you probably have a business card. If you have a business card, you should have a QR-code on it, so people can easily scan your details. The open-source ZXing project has a neat code generator, it can be found here. Use an app like Barcode Scanner on Android or iPhone to scan the data.
It’s not entirely clear what the name is for Windows’ batch file language – it might be called “Command Line”, or “MS-DOS”, or Batch. But this language is one of a class called “shells”. What distinguishes a shell language from a regular scripting language is that it is considered to be a “shell” around the OS kernel, with direct access to OS services like file and directory services.
Most shells operate with a current directory context. So the Windows shell input line tells you what directory you are in. It also has an environment variable context – it inherits whatever environment variables are permanently set in Windows, then others can be added. But when you exit from the shell, environment variables usually revert to the default setting.
Any program called from the shell or from a batch file will inherit its current environment variables. This means that you can set-up multiple environments for working on different projects in (say) Visual Studio. One trick we use is to never start Visual Studio directly, but always launch it from a batch file,
set VSDIR=%PROGRAM_FILES32%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8
call "%VSDIR%\VC\vcvarsall.bat" x86
start "Visual Studio 2005" "%VSDIR%\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /useenv
This sets up a few env variables – the INCLUDE and LIB variables are particularly useful because this is what Visual Studio uses to determine the default include and library directories for compiling. So with this batch, we make sure that the current DirectX can be found.
Then we launch the Visual Studio IDE, using not the usual “call”, but “start”. If we used call, the batch file window would remain open, waiting for Visual Studio to quit. But “start” means “launch and forget”, so as soon as Visual Studio has been launched, the batch window will end and close – much cleaner.
Head over to the Intel® stand, #1212 at the GDC 2010 Expo, from 2 till 6, to see Simul’s new tools and technology for dynamic skies and volumetric weather effects. Intel have kindly hosted Simul on their stand today, which features a selection of the best high-performance software for games, running on the latest multi-core Intel processors.
While I’m sure there’s a much cleverer way to do this involving Python, Lua, remote servers running Cruise Control and so on, at Simul we build using Batch files.
Basically, we use MS-DOS. It’s still called MS-DOS – that’s how it’s referred to in the latest Windows 7 help documentation. So yes, we’re using DOS to build our libraries, and have had to learn quite a lot about how DOS commands, or Command Prompt, or Batch – whatever it’s called – actually works.
Over the next couple of weeks, in between GDC sessions, I plan to summarize what we’ve learned.