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Googleshng - April 10 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Someone sends in a couple quickies, someone else reacts, I make a quick Bushido Blade joke, and all of the sudden I've got 20 people offering to be my minion and mentioning all the vaious weapons they're skilled with. The scary part is, between all of them, every single weapon in Bushido Blade is covered.

So anyway, since I seem to have all these minions at my disposal, I suppose I should have you all do something productive, like take over a chain of videogame stores or rid the world of the word "synergy" or something. Either of those would be fine really...

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I'm sorry but I found myself cringing at your description of bump mapping, texture mapping and cartoon rendering. While you are right about texture mapping, bump mapping is something else entirely. By having a grid of vectors (often called a normal map) and using the dot product of the vectors and the light direction as the light intensity, rather than using the normal vectors of the geometry itself, you can create the illusion of having a lot more geometry in the scene even when there are dynamic lights. Hardware support for bump mapping is refered to as dot3. Bump mapping can be done in software by drawing the object several times.

Cartoon rendering is another lighting effect. The usual way of lighting objects results in a smooth gradient from light to dark on the object depending on the location of the light source. With cartoon rendering the transition from light to dark areas is very pronouced. Many games (including Out of this World as you mentioned, and much more recently, Herdy Gerdy) use cartoony colors and don't do any lighting to get a cartoon like effect but are much eaiser for the hardware to deal with. This effect really falls apart when you look at the object from different angles and it always looks very bright. Cartoon rendering requires either a pixel shader or a vertex shader combined with multi-texturing. Neither of these are trivial. The limited number of colors is simply the desired effect and is not a limit of the engine.

Another effect that usually goes with cartoon rendering is silhouetting. Silhouetting adds black lines around the objects to make them look even more like traditional animation.

Cartoon rendering and silhouetting are both being used by the new Robotech game. It is looking really good and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of it. Have you seen the trailers/screenshots and what do you think of it? I think the work that Vicious Cycle (the developer) is doing looks a lot better than Auto Modellista or JSRF.


A few people pointed out the bump mapping thing to me. Glad to find out it isn't just an alternate term. As far as cel shading goes, I was describing the end result, not the method through which one reaches it. I still say there's something wrong with people devising all sorts of high tech tricks just to achieve the look of 10 year old games, particularly when you could get the same effect by using a really small palette.

Oh, and if that description of bump mappng confused you, here's a little visual aid someone else sent in:

Teikokukagekidan just rolls off the tongue, no?

Goog, questions:

1. What's your opinion of Sakura Wars? Looking at the pics in the news on the main page made me very jealous of the Japanese. Everyone loves a giant robot, as long as it doesn't have the term "zord" anywhere near it.

Sakura Wars is really... unique. Therefore I think it's great on principal. There is however the big downside of it being extremely easy. Not good in a TRPG.

2. Maybe this has been asked before, but not lately, to my knowledge: What pen and paper RPGs have you played? Which stand out as real inspiration for your game? Speaking of your game, where can I find it? The link to the Page of Rantings in your bio doesn't work...

While I haven't played every paper RPG out there, I HAVE at least made a character for every RPG anyone has ever actually heard of, that isn't by Whitewolf... and at that I have for quite a few of those.

That bio page is old enough for the link not to work? I'll have to fix it. In the meantime, here.

3. Not quite an RPG, but am I the only one who thinks Maniac Mansion needs a new installment?

And please accept my application as your halberd-wielding minion. It's like an axe, only you can stand farther back and wave it around.

Your halberd-wielding minion,

I'd buy it. I'm generally in favor of the creation of new adventure games... as long as they aren't Myst clones.

It's unofficially Music Week!

Joanne Hogg is the singer in an Irish Celtic/new age band called Iona. It's no secret tha Mitsuda has a penchant for Celtic music, so I would guess that it is through that interest that he came to know about her. Since there is no question here, I don't expect this to get posted; it's only a by the way e-mail. Have a splendid day/evening/night.

Well surprise! Up it goes! I have so few non-minion applications today, and too many of those to post'em all, so in go the side notes!

Side notes and paper RP questions that is.

WAIT WAIT! I thought of a qwestion! Ok, here goes:

How in bloody hell does a diceless roleplaying game work? The whole point of dice is to simulate randomness. How do you replace that?????

Xarls Taunzund

Simple. You just remove all the random elements. They're pretty vestigial outside of combat to begin with, and with combat, well, if you have a good GM, it all boils down to having a better strategy than your opponent.

Hey! Questions!

Hey Goog,

I just finished surfing the EB website and I saw something really cool. Under some screen shots for Kingdom Hearts, there was one which depicted Sora, Donald and Goofy talking to a caped character in the Herculean Collesium. It was Cloud. Yes, Cloud. He's in Kingdom Hearts without any press release of his being there but this one screenshot gave it away. He's got his metal shoulder pad, his gauntlet and the blond hair. There's probably some die-hard fans out there who might want to know this so I thought I'd pass it along.

Anyway, for some questions:

1. Do you know if Grandia II is as mind-numbingly easy as the first installment?

That Cloud bit is actually really old news. Anyway though, as hard as it is to believe, I'm told Grandia 2 manages to be even EASIER than the original. Now, I went through the original Grandia without even taking any damage, so I just don't see how that's possible.

2. You ever wonder why Enix uses the same font all the time in games like Soulblazer and Illusion of Gaia? Also, I saw the same font used in some new game for GBA in the shots for it on the RPGamer home page. I think it's like Pokemon but with robots or something.

That game would be Robopon 2, and actually, it's made by the same people as those games. Which thankfully means it isn't by the same people who made the original Robopon.

3. Hey, do you remember way back when there were rumours circulating that there was going to be a cd-drive for the SNES? Whatever happened to that whole plan?

Well, Nintendo saw how the Sega-CD was dead in the water, so they ditched the idea, and then Sony made the Playstation instead of helping them with it.

4. how many hit points would you say you have? Most main characters have about 50 on level one, so using that as a reference, how many would YOU have, RIGHT NOW?

50 HP on level one? Usually it tends to be more like 10 or 200. Not that that matters, because I strongly believe that I am not the main character, nor am I currently on the main character's party at the moment, so all my stats would be based on my level, which would be based on his level when he met me.

5. I don't understand how games can have a bad translation. You'd think the translaters would realize that what they're typing in doesn't make any sense. Or, if it's the same translater, how can he spell the same word in 2 different ways???

Anyway, I'm off. Peace out Slimey.


Well, an awful lot of companies handle their translations like this: The Japanese company takes the script of the game, gives it a rough literal translation into English and throws it to the U.S. company. They take it, and fix the grammar and the typos. If they're any good at what they do, they will also reword all the horrible sentences that come from direct translations and put the proper emotions back behind all the dialog. Then they sent the localized script back to Japan to be put into the game by people who know no English, and that tends to be where the typos come in.

Now, before you ask why the English text isn't put into the games in the U.S. all the time, it's because A- the Japanese companies are paranoid, and B- U.S. based publishers are all shockingly small. How small you ask? To put it in perspective, RPGamer employees 2 or 3 times as many people as some big name U.S. companies.



Going To Apply,
Danh T.


Ellipses are depressing...


But all the coolest people use them all the time! Well, them and angsty teens, so I suppose you have a bit of a point.

FFXI is online!!! I cant afford this. Im fed up with this BS! How about u?

You know, a lot of people don't seem to realize this, but believe it or not, there is not in fact a law out there saying you have to buy every game that has Final Fantasy in the name. If you can't afford FF11, or think it will suck, spend your hard earned cash on something else, like one of the 50 or so great RPGs that don't have Final Fantasy in the name.

The Last Laugh:

I am totally unable to come up with a decent conclusion today for some reason.

Googleshng "Mint!"

Alas poor Hamlet, I knew him... dagnabit, I can't remember any other characters' names from that...

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