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Urgent help request from aspiring coder

category: general [glöplog]
Hi guys I’m a student working on his final year project which I chose to be a demo ;) For years I wanted to start coding and I thought maybe this is a good opportunity to start with. I've also been to a demo party already (evoke 2009) but when I heard those guys discussing the perfect algorithms for coding ribbons I decided I'd rather get drunk :D

But now to the serious business: I have a lot of problems to find a starting point where I can focus on. Besides coding the demo I also need to document every freakin’ detail of the development process (including analysis of technologies, methods, patterns and so on) my lecturer and my tutor said there was someone last year who did the same, but they don’t give me any contact details -.- (the guy is Norwegian or Finnish or from somewhere up there and must have been at Southampton Solent Uni – if you recognize yourself please contact me!)

So what I need is information about the process, which tools you use and what else is important to know, e.g. procedural texturing, tools like “werkkzeug” and such.

I’m sure there’ve been tons of such requests like mine but I’m a bit harried working for 2 assignments which have to be handed in this Friday :S (one them is actually a report for my project – but I guess I’ll just make the most of it up :/ )

Just for you to know (so you don’t have to send me “Programming C for dummies”) I’m programming for 5 years and even worked a bit – so I know how to code ;) I started with C/C++ 1.5 years ago and OpenGL last summer/autumn (I’m not very deep into OpenGL though)

So any help you could provide me would be perfect.
Thx in advance!
added on the 2010-01-19 19:34:45 by cab cab
what, you have to hand in the report on friday and you don't even know how to get started yet?
added on the 2010-01-19 19:39:26 by skrebbel skrebbel
That would be me, I spent the last semester there studing Computer Game Development (which turned out to be a very good choice, as I'm now employed by a game company!) :)
added on the 2010-01-19 19:39:52 by visy visy
Visual C++ (Express) / DirectX SDK / OpenGL headers+libs are all you need.
added on the 2010-01-19 19:40:49 by Gargaj Gargaj
other than that,
every freakin’ detail of the development process

no democoder works like that (except fairlight people maybe, but they're scary that way). people just hack away. because of this, maybe it's better if you try asking more specific questions. and make up what you actually want to make. at least to some extent. something pretty? something technologically advanced? something with a message? something that makes me buy coca-cola? something arty-farty? and on which platform? it sounds like PC/windows, but you can never be sure. and what are you good at? are you expected to make all content too? are you good at that? did you ever do 3d, music, textures, etc? if not, how are you going to get help? are you allowed to?

stuff like that. your questions are so open that they cannot be adequately answered.
added on the 2010-01-19 19:43:36 by skrebbel skrebbel
Don't waste time with demo tools, if you can code. Find a way to load or create a 3d object (donut or chamfered cube are the best) and show it on the screen. Then add effects until it's interesting :)

Add some music playback (potentially with BASS or FMOD).

Add some sync if you've got time.

Voilà your first prod is done!

if you want it to really look like a demo, add more glow and ribbons, always more glow and ribbons.
added on the 2010-01-19 19:50:39 by BarZoule BarZoule
Download Watcom C++ and read 3DICA until you can make a rotating gouraud shaded donut.
added on the 2010-01-19 20:08:49 by kusma kusma
noone would want to use FMOD, really...
@skrebbel: well yes, I know I'm pretty late with that but I can hand it in later and get a 10% deduction on my mark which is okay if the report is good enough to get marked over 80%

and about the details: it doesn't need to be pretty or technologically advanced nor advertising anything. platform will be pc/win. well the thing with content, textures, music etc is that it doesn't necessarily have to be my own work but - of course I have to make clear which is not my work. But there's the point: I would like to know how to get the content stuff into the demo and so on. I know how to use 3dsMax and already did some work while I've been at school.

what I need most is:
how to shrink the exec. to 64k or so
maybe examples
referable literature

the thing is, I've never included music before and my 3d programming course is too general to learn something demo-related (well so far)

or do I misunderstand all the stuff behind demos? ... my head's about to explode...

@visy: can you contact me? nicabbo (at) gmail . com
added on the 2010-01-19 20:21:25 by cab cab
googling for executable packers might have been a better start..
added on the 2010-01-19 20:58:34 by psenough psenough
something that makes me buy coca-cola?

afri-cola !!!1
added on the 2010-01-19 21:49:51 by blala blala
but when I heard those guys discussing the perfect algorithms for coding ribbons I decided I'd rather get drunk :D

next time you'd better listen instead of getting drunk :x

demo first.
booze second.
added on the 2010-01-19 21:59:27 by supah supah
getting it under 64k:



just fill a texture with some sin/cos/tan-stuff...if it mustn´t be pretty at all, this gives fast results, and helps staying under 64k

you maybe can use some few low-poly-models...under directX f.e. you should convert/save em as .x ( file-format ! ) tho, as a 3ds-max-loader would be a lot of wasted space i guess !
theres the problem with having the model inside the .exe afterwards, eventho i think theres a way to have an .x-file as plain text...

fmod is a bit big but theres "minifmod" aswell !
same problem again, outside of the exe !

you could use V2 Synthesizer System ! making music with it is a bit hard tho !

even smaller, therefore lesser features ( as designed for 4Ks ) is 4Klang !

my 2 cents:
just make a demo, no need to use/learn all this new stuff first !
you can use fmod ( any mp3 or module you want ) and models from 3dsmax as many as you want and textures as many as you want !
in demoscene demos have a limit of 64mb, but you dont need to stay in this size as i see it, alltho 64mb is a lot of space anyway !

Wow, I didn't know you can propose to code a demo for a final thesis project..
added on the 2010-01-19 22:16:11 by Optimus Optimus
For music playback: use BASS (FMOD blows).
For syncing your demo: use GNU Rocket - the Patent Pending system guaranteed by Norwegian and Dutch Demoscene Scientists to make your demos Suck Less(tm).
added on the 2010-01-19 22:16:45 by gloom gloom
Further to gloom's suggestion, making something like GNU Rocket might actually make for a better project (or at least one easier to document).
hmm, atleast module-syncing is very easy with fmod and has no timing-probs as far as i experienced it so far, dunno about mp3 tho!

but as gloom is a musician and me not, better listen to him, as also he´s not the only one saying that BASS > fmod !
FMOD doesn't only blows because gloom says this as a musician, even programmers can tell you nightmares (like the fixed 43hz timer) about it.

  • process:

    1. pick an idea (or even write a concept/storyboard). should be sth manageble w/ your current skillset and resources in the given timeframe
    2. pick the tools which
    3. [list]
    4. are best suited for that idea
    5. you are most familiar with

  • write one or many fx :)
  • pick some music
  • arrange / parametrize / sequence / keyframe / animate the fx so they fit the music somehow

    • by using procedural envelopes (sin/cos/smoothstep/..)
    • by using hardcoded timelines ("if" "ladders"..)
    • by using realtime recorded kbd/mouse/joysticks/etc events
    • by using pattern data from modules (what hArDy. said!)
    • by analyzing the music sample output (FFT)
    • by polling sequence data from a networked "editor" server
    • by writing a special demo tool that can export these data or even the complete executable
    • ...

  • pack(age) and release it
  • ?
  • profit!

  • [/list]

    added on the 2010-01-19 22:50:43 by xyz xyz
    thank you guys! this helps me a lot!
    and you helped me not to think of magic code when I see a demo :)

    the music part is something I consider "optional" for my project. I'll implement it if there's enough time left

    I've bought some books for learning OpenGL and 3D effects
    do you know/think they're appropriate/good?
    OpenGL Rainbow books (all 3 of them)
    Shader X3 & X4
    Game Programming Gems 6
    and a German one about 3D Effekts - but DirectX related (and I'm going to it with OpenGL) called "3D Effekte für Spieleprogrammierer"
    added on the 2010-01-19 22:54:38 by cab cab
    you can always make a noise demo in 3 minutes and claim it's full of art!
    cab: in what university are you making your final projekt? Das würde ich auch gerne machen </german>
    added on the 2010-01-20 00:07:42 by xTr1m xTr1m
    Southampton Solent Uni


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