Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Day152 Tomb Raider, Ruby in Sketchup and more

Tomb Raider Anniversary
Purchased Tomb Raider Anniversary (http://www.tombraider.com/anniversary/) straight out steam today. I last covered this baby back on Day95 (http://3doinkfrog.blogspot.com/2007/04/day95-wow-and-more.html) and the lure is too great now that it is here. I have fond memories of the game from many many moons ago and the graphic splendour of the new engine bring Lara and her expliots into the new era. Things have come a long way since 1996 and the new game shows off these advances - even the delivery method (through a STEAM download for me) shows how far we have come.

[screenshots from tombraiderchronicles.com - I think they weren't all from here]
I played for a few hours already but am still trying to work my way through the Manor. The puzzles are tough - wish I knew where the sneaky grappling hook was hiding. The live graphics arent bad - some very nice bits and a few bits where her interaction with things could be nicer. I would still like to have a 'walk backwards' ability - but that doesnt stop me. She is a very athletic creature and leaps all over the place with ease. I am going to have many hours of fun and frustration ahead...
oh and for the modding has begun (of outfits at least): http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=68346
Ruby on Rails and Sketchup
Sketchup scripting is done with Ruby (http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/) which I dont know alot about - but it does seem to be quite nifty. I ran through the Try Ruby in-browser (http://tryruby.hobix.com/) and not only is Ruby sane enough (with a few quirks) but the browser tute is very nicely made and a great way to get your feet wet.

[ruby logo from the Ruby site]
Ruby on Rails (rails being the library extension) is something I hear around the traps - and these vids show off some of its power while inspiring at the same time(http://rubyonrails.org/screencasts). The Flickr on Rails vid shows off some very sexy interactions between applications in the browser using Ruby and her friend Rails. I certainly dont get all that was done - but in 5 mins it is very nifty and all on the Mac with Ajax. The blog vid is even more beyond me - particularly as there is alot of library work going on behind the scenes - but the power is obvious.

The more I look, the more I like about Ruby, it surely is more than just a basic scripting language - it is capable of writing full applications and doing all manner of wonders. No doubt the perl and python folk (let alone the 'real' language users) think their language of choice has advantages - but it looks like they all have merit = minefield. Maya has just introduced Python as their scripting language - and with Sketchup going Ruby - the market is wide and varied as always.
3D App Comparisons
In looking around I found this (http://wiki.cgsociety.org/index.php/Comparison_of_3d_tools) handy comparison of many of the 3D apps we know and love on CGSociety. It has pricing and feature sets and gets into some nice detail in some areas plus links off to more info for each.
Lydia's Game Site and some Crysis fun

[Lydia's site banner]
I liked this little site (http://www.funkylydia.com/) - It provided info on a bunch of games of serious interest to me. There is good depth to the info and a real enthusiasm for finding new stuff and letting us all know.
There is plenty of Crysis info and pics here to look through as well - good stuff Lydia - check out the concept art (http://www.funkylydia.com/crysis/concept.html) gorgeous:

[just a concept art teaser of what awaits on Lydias site for Crysis]

I am not sure where she found it - but this image showing real life photos in comparison with the Crysis versions of similar things really does drive home just how good the CryEngine2 stuff is. I (along with many many others) just cant wait to experience Crysis in all its imersive glory. Her screenshots page (http://www.funkylydia.com/crysis/screenshots.html) is stuffed with amazing visuals.

[image from Lydia's site of Crysis vs real life imagery - amazing]
Spore Vids
Spore (http://www.spore.com/) is one of those games that nobody should be able to wait for - the scope and ingenuity is beyond the scope of pretty much anything we have today. I last looked at this on Day70 (http://3doinkfrog.blogspot.com/2007/03/day70-presentations-and-wow.html) and things havent really come that far since - but there are some youtube vids that show things off and just make the wait ever so much harder - check the link below.

The long video shows all the phases of the entire game, from the cellular lifeforms to sandboxing in the entire galaxy - epic in scope. The fluidity of the variations and the clever interplay when decisions are made are a joy to watch in a way that feels like the Sims, SimCity, Civilisation, Populous, Majesty, Google Earth and a Nature Doco all munged together would be like. My favourite bit was when he made some nice flying machines for his peaceful civ - they took to the sky and flew away to leave their city at the mercy of the tanky things approaching.
I love the way that DESIGN will be integral to playing the game for yourself and others.
Watch! - that is an order:
(note that in the demos they are using Dell XPS laptops - groovy)

Oh and just a screenshot to remind us all what Spore is all about or check out SporeWiki (http://www.sporewiki.com/Main_Page):

[screenshot from Sporewiki of Spore]

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