Sporisms - Advanced Creator Techniques.

Posted 11 September 2008, 16:33 | by | | Perma-link

Some of these I'd found myself, but the rest are too good not to pass on, gleaned from the new Creator Tutorial Videos (Vehicles, Buildings and Painting), within Spore's Creator tools, there are a number of keyboard based tools and toggles that you can use.

Creation Tools

 The following modifier keys work in build mode

 Ctrl+z  Don't use - causes Spore to crash, use the Undo/Redo buttons instead
Tab When you mouse over a part, this will bring up more morph rings, that either allow you to rotate that part around all three axes, or effect the parts appearence along that axis.
Ctrl When you are moving a part, this will allow you to move the part vertically, regardless of the parts it is attached to.
Shift When you are moving a part, this will allow you to move the part horizontally , again, regardless of whether that part remains attached to the rest of the building.
Alt This will allow you to copy a part, and all parts attached to that part (obviously you are charged the full price.
Mouse Scroll Scrolling the mouse wheel when the pointer is over a part will uniformly resize it.

 Painting Tools

The following modifier keys work in paint mode

Alt Puts the cursor into Eyedropper mode, to pick a swatch from one area to use elsewhere.
Ctrl This will allow you to paint all the models of the same type, for example all identical windows.
Shift This will allow you to paint an entire unit (e.g. a whole block, door, window) in one click, instead of having to click on each area of the item (e.g. two wall blocks and their trim).

Before pressing Alt, toggle one of the following modes:

3 The eyedropper only picks up colours - select the texture first, then use the eyedropper to load that texture with the colour in use on the building.
4 The eyedropper only picks up textures - the order is less important here, as changing the colours doesn't effect the texture selected.
5 Default - This will put the eyedropper back into texture and colour picking mode.

Before pressing Ctrl, toggle one of the following modes:

1 This will allow you paint, for example, ALL windows, or ALL trim throughout the model.
2 Default - This will put the modifier back into single type mode.

I hope you find those as useful as I do.

Filed under: Games

Spore Creature Creator

Posted 18 June 2008, 21:40 | by | | Perma-link

Yes, Spore's Creature Creator is here...

Gracarks - Save this image, and drag into Creature Creator to have your own

Meet the Gracarks

Scrabbling around the tundra, looking for whatever it can find to eat, the hoarse bellow of the Gracarks mating call can be heard for miles around.
View on Sporepedia

Filed under: Games

World of Warcraft

Posted 16 November 2005, 21:43 | by | | Perma-link

So, the release notes for "minor update" patch 1.8.3 say:

New Blizzard Launcher
In some regions this will scan for some viruses and third-party cheat apps.
General
AddOn button should show on character selection screen for players using custom interfaces.

WHY DOES IT NEED TO UPDATE 14,720 FILES?

That's right, 14,720 of the damn things. For a "minor update"…

Filed under: Games

Two annoying things I've fixed…

Posted 09 June 2005, 11:29 | by | | Perma-link

Ok, well, I got a new PC last month, and very nice it is too. I bought a couple of new games to play on it (Lego® Star Wars™: The Game - very cool and The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ also very cool).

After I'd installed various other bits and pieces and basically got my machine all set up as I liked it, I found that 2 things were broken.

The following details the symptoms and fixes I've put in place:

LotR:BfMe would no longer run

The initial splash screen would appear, then disappear, and the secondary screen would not appear - it just hung. Looking in Task Manager revealed the three processes involved just sitting there (lotrbfme.exe, game.dat and ~e5.0001) but nothing happening with any of them - no new CPU time, no increase in memory nothing.

I finally tracked the problem down to my mouse settings (not drivers) - I've got a five button MS intellimouse, and prefer to have the side buttons set to Shift and Ctrl and the middle button as "middle button" rather than their defaults of Back, Forward and "Next Window" - I use Mouse Gestures in FireFox, so don't need buttons, and I find that Ctrl and Shift are more use in 3ds max and windows than those - however LotR:BfMe doens't like me doing that and won't run. Checking the "Enable program-specific settings" and browsing to lotrbfme.exe and telling the drivers to do their default thing when it's running seems to have fixed it.

Installing DirectX SDK Update (June 2005) breaks Tom Miller's Beginning 3D Game Programming code

Ok, this one's even more involved.

Basically, I bought Tom Miller's Beginning 3D Game Programming a couple of months ago, and instead of installing the October or December SDK that came with it, I pulled down the April one and used that - I also used the April framework code instead of his - this obviously lead to some compile errors - mostly from a couple of methods that required an extra (null) parameter passed into them.

However, I've just installed the June SDK on the new PC, and things were even more broken - Microsoft have removed a couple of methods and interfaces from the framework - namely the Framework.SetMouseCallback and Framework.SetKeyboardCallback used in listing 4.1

These should be replaced with the following:

sampleFramework.Window.KeyDown += new KeyEventHandler(blockersEngine.OnKeyDown);
sampleFramework.Window.MouseMove += new MouseEventHandler(blockersEngine.OnMouseMove);
sampleFramework.Window.MouseDown += new MouseEventHandler(blockersEngine.OnMouseDown);

And moved below the line from listing 4.5 that reads:

sampleFramework.CreateWindow("Blockers - The Game");

You'll then need to modify your event handlers as follows:

/// <summary>
/// Hook the mouse moves.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="sender"></param>
/// <param name="e"></param>  
private void OnMouseMove (object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
{
  if (isMainMenuShowing)
  {
    mainScreen.OnMouseMove(e.X, e.Y);
  }
  else if (isSelectScreenShowing)
  {
    selectScreen.OnMouseMove(e.X, e.Y);
  }
}

/// <summary>
/// Handle mouse clicks
/// </summary>
/// <param name="sender"></param>
/// <param name="e"></param>
private void OnMouseDown (object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
{
  if (MouseButtons.Left == e.Button)
  {
    if (isMainMenuShowing)
    {
      mainScreen.OnMouseClick(e.X, e.Y);
    }
    else if (isSelectScreenShowing)
    {
      selectScreen.OnMouseClick(e.X, e.Y);
    }
  }
}

/// <summary>
/// Handle the keyboard strokes.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="sender"></param>
/// <param name="e"></param>
private void OnKeyDown(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.KeyEventArgs e)
{
  if (isMainMenuShowing)
  {
    mainScreen.OnKeyPress(e.KeyData);
  }
  else if (isSelectScreenShowing)
  {
    selectScreen.OnKeyPress(e.KeyData);
  }
}

Enjoy.

Filed under: 3D, Fixes, Games, Hardware

I'm Back

Posted 10 September 2004, 21:59 | by | | Perma-link

Yep, I'm back from a nice long break in Spain with my Dad. Check out the pictures in the gallery.

I've been spending too much time playing in The Kingdom of Loathing recently - it's very funny - well worth wasting half an hour a day in

Also, in tools news:

If you aren't already using it, go and get a copy of JetBrains ReSharper - while most of it's features are in VS 2005, it's a great stop gap until that's actually released and we're using it. It make maintaining and designing code so much easier

Filed under: Games, Personal, Tools

It's oh, so quiet

Posted 18 July 2003, 17:45 | by | | Perma-link

Hmm, it's all been a bit too quiet here… sorry about that.

Anyway, I really do need to get a new OS at home - still running 98SE %) on the home box - the latest patch for Unreal Tournament 2003 has gone and broken the tools again, and Epic aren't supporting 98 any more - fair enough really as MS has also killed off support for it…

So, off to somewhere next month to upgrade to XP… the final hurdle was removed a couple of months ago when Lego™ released a patch for the Studio/Mindstorms camera and I finally found and requested it… :D

I fear that Blogger may have become confused about a couple of posts - I can't seem to find them in the admin tools, so hopefully they won't disappear when I publish this one…

We'll have to see won't we…

Love spell checkers… :P

Filed under: Excuses, Games, Unreal

Unreal Tournament 2003: "Wow!"

Posted 08 October 2002, 21:20 | by | | Perma-link

Wow!

That's kind of all I can say about Unreal Tournament 2003, it's just beautiful… what a gorgeous piece of work… Ok, so all I need to do now is upgrade my OS from the old Win98 to an all new Windows XP and then I can use Maya PLE to recreate all my furniture… ah, but that won't work - then I won't be able to use Lego™ Studios… hmmm… we'll have to see about that…

More later…

Filed under: Games, Lego, Unreal

That was a large post

Posted 21 July 2001, 00:44 | by | | Perma-link

Whew, what a large post ;). Anyway, just to say, check out Habbo Hotel, a nice 3D flash chat room type thing… I'm occasionally about in there…

Enjoy.

Filed under: Games