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Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News

5 April 2004
Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
For editorial/subscription inquiries, send mailto:spectrum1@broadviewnet.net
Search the Spectrum archives at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum
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Today's Headlines (details below)

SPECTRUM SHOW REPORT
--GDC 2004 Report

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX
--Criterion to Update RenderWare Studio

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING
--Digital Element News
--StereoGraphics Enables Glasses-Free 3D Modeling

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER
--Book Reviews:
* Digital Photography: Expert Techniques
* Adobe Photoshop CS: one-on-one
--McGraw-Hill/Osborne New Titles

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
--Egyptian Prophecy Ships, Painkiller Ready

HAPPENINGS
--Web3D 2004 Set for Monterey
--Games & Mobile Forum Set for April 15 in Big Apple

F.Y.I.
--About Spectrum

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SPECTRUM SHOW REPORT

GDC 2004 Report
By David Duberman

I'm not a big-picture kinda guy, so I couldn't say what the overall theme of this year's Game Developers Conference was, if indeed there was one. I can tell you it was a great show, and I did see a few themes, but they were only consequences of similar ways of thinking among speakers at the sessions I attended. One important topic, related to 3D modeling and animation, was edge-loop modeling. This is the practice, popularized by Bay Raitt (about whom more shortly), of modeling in concentric loops that circle around areas that will need special attention in animation, such as eyes, the mouth, and joints such as the shoulder and elbow.

Also, designer/academic Ernest Adams gave his annual curmudgeonly, semi-coherent, and (dare I say it) earnest lecture ("no questions, please") about an issue he feels is being overlooked by game developers. This year the talk was entitled The Philosophical Roots of Computer Game Development. Coming as it did at the tail end of the conference, it's a good thing Adams kept his lecture relatively short and lightweight, although he did retain his usual quota of specious reasoning. For example, he cited as game-industry heroes technologists such as John Carmack and Chris Hecker, ignoring non-geeks like Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda), an even bigger hero. When I pointed out this out to him after the talk, he acknowledged the omission, but noted, correctly, that Miyamoto isn't much of a storyteller. Which brings me, somewhat belatedly, to Adams's main point: The game industry strives towards romantic ends via classical means, thus creating a confusion that prevents the "art" of game design from advancing. So what if the PS3 will be 1,000 times more powerful than its predecessor? If we can't create immersive experiences that move hearts and minds as well as trigger fingers, we'll be stuck in the same creative rut we've been in for decades. There was a good bit more, and it was pretty interesting: You can find Adams online at http://www.designersnotebook.com

.

Okay, back to the start. The first session I attended was an all-day tutorial on creating games with 3ds max by Derek Elliott (http://www.blackicegames.com/), a teacher of 3D graphics for games at an art school in Canada. He talked about Arrrgh!!, a project he's currently producing: it's a mod for Unreal Tournament, so there was lots of practical information. The first step is to plan everything: models, textures, color themes, and levels. To create the level, the team drew a big map to scale and placed cardboard cutouts to model buildings, where bottlenecks would occur, and so on. They created the models for objects and characters in 3ds max, but the terrain was build fully in Unreal Editor (UE), the free tool provided by Epic Games for creating UT mods.

Elliott talked up max's XRefs (external references), a feature that's useful when you have several different teams working on the same project. Five different groups worked on modeling different parts of the level, while the level designer would bring the latest versions of each's work in as an XRef'ed scene to see how they all fit and work together. Elliott's only complaint was that the XRef feature can't open multiple files at once. He also likes the Layers feature, which makes it easy to hide or freeze an entire section of a level at a time. In max, Elliott recommends modeling in units (the default measurement), because UE uses 16 units per foot. He noted that characters should use 32 units per foot, because UE scales characters by half when importing them; this allows the characters extra detail.

For modeling an in-game objects such as a gun, Elliott starts with a plane of about the right proportions, applies a drawing of the object to the plane, and then uses the UVW Mapping modifier with the Bitmap Fit feature to make sure the model's aspect ratio matches that of the drawing. He then starts modeling with a box positioned over the drawing, and sets it to see-through and visible edges. He increases the number of subdivisions in the box, collapses it to editable poly, and moves edges using the Ring feature. The three overall phases are: block out, add detail, and finalize. The model usually ends up with too many polys, so the next step is to remove extra ones. An audience member pointed out that some game engines see max's editable poly objects as having more polys than they really do, and Elliott recommended always exporting editable meshes instead. Related to this is the need to triangulate manually: If you let the game engine do it, you might end up with unwanted rendering artifacts.

For character modeling, Elliott recommends the aforementioned edge-loop method, as detailed on Bay Raitt's highly informative Spiraloid Website (http://cube.phlatt.net/forums/spiraloid/index.php). Basically, you avoid straight lines, modeling according to how the body will deform when animating. Use quads as much as possible, but if you do need to use triangles, put them "where they won't hurt you" (that is, where they don't move around too much). Use MeshSmooth to subdivide the mesh; this makes it easier to see the flow. Most important: Practice, practice, practice.

That wasn't all by a long shot, but I'll spare you the remaining gory details, except for one curiosity: When talking about using max's Unwrap UVW tool, which he recommends highly, Elliott mentioned but didn't describe a method for spreading out a character head mesh using reactor, max's physics-simulation toolset based on the Havok dynamics engine. When I asked him about it afterward, he said he'd seen it done but hadn't tried it himself, and I certainly haven't, so this description might not be entirely accurate: You split the head mesh up the back, and then, in a reactor simulation, set it as a cloth object and drop it onto a planar surface. Still in the simulation, you then pull verts to "spread out" the cloth, pick it up and drop it again, and repeat as necessary. Pretty clever. I also enjoyed Elliot's presentation of the subtractive Unreal Editor, in which you carve the game space out of "solid matter," and his demonstration of the iterative process in using UE and max to scale a building properly.

Hal Barwood, a former screenwriter, ex-designer at LucasArts (he left last fall), and now a freelance designer, gave a talk on avoiding cognitive dissonance in games. He discussed how dialog can work against player immersion, and cited the classic PS2 title Ico as a good example of using dialog that's expressive but doesn't have a literal meaning. Game worlds have limits, but with good design they can seem infinite, or at least larger; for example, the Spyro designers put an obstacle in the middle of the box (level), thus creating a track that the player can move around. Barwood also advises designers not to make players game the game: Failure of immersion looms when the players purpose is to outwit the game, not the opponents. And if you've ever gotten bored waiting for a game to load a new level (it's still very common), you should know that Barwood claims that, with good programming, such delays are avoidable.

The aforementioned Bay Raitt is one of the 3D world's top modelers; proof of this is that he was hired to create the CG Gollum character for the recent Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He gave a fascinating talk on his experiences working in New Zealand; for example, he spent a year and a half working on the facial system. The face was modeled by vertices; the body by edges. When Andy Serkis won the part of Gollum, his audition tape "scared the hell out of" the modeling team; they realized they would need much more facial animation than they'd planned for. Serkis was originally supposed to do only a few weeks of voice-over work; he ended up spending years acting out every aspect of the Gollum character.

Raitt, not a technologist initially, ended up inventing an ingenious new system for creating facial animation, which involved over 900 morph targets. Part of this was a facial iconographic system that let him use visual shorthand to plan animations. He made the facial animation system as interactive as possible to encourage the artists to be more adventuresome. The body was modeled with NURBS tubes, and its animation required a great deal of switching between keyframing and motion capture.

On the slightly silly side, a packed morning session was the result of a challenge to three of the gaming world's top designers to create a game about love. Raph Koster, a designer of massively multiplayer online games, copped out (in my opinion) by opting for a design based on Harlequin romances, called Passion's Tender Embrace. He readily admitted that the design had little control for the player, and its greatest potential was in merchandising. His presentation was amusing, however.

The winning design came from Will Wright (The Sims, Sim City, Sim etc.), who came up with a clever idea of love during wartime. Entitled Collateral Romance, the game takes place in the world of the online title Battlefield 1942. As other players attempt to kill anything that moves, our lovers are placed at random points on the map and must seek each other out while avoiding bullets. When they find each other, they have to collaborate to reach a second point. Then they can just sit and chat; a classic Will Wright open-ended design.

Lastly, Warren Spector (Ultima Underworld, Deus Ex), who tried but failed to come up with a specific game, nonetheless gave an interesting talk on his thought processes during the ultimately fruitless search for a design. The game should focus on the pursuit and the lessons of love, not the feeling. The player should guide the character, not be the character. The designer can play with elements under his or her control: rendering, audio, and special effects.

The session was mostly in fun, but it led to an interesting, if brief, discussion of how to bring love (real emotion) to gaming. Until we have convincing facial animation (the next frontier), it's easier to do facial expressions with iconic representation. And taking risks gets the nervous system primed for making a social connection.

Doomster-in-chief John Carmack of id Software gave his first-ever talk at GDC this year. Although it was the programming-track keynote, and it certainly was a technology-oriented speech, Carmack didn't talk coding, but rather concentrated on the future. He started out with a brief history, telling how modern personal computers are a million times more powerful than the Apple IIc he began programming on. We now have film-resolution displays and floating-point pixel resolution, resulting in images that are very close to the limits of human vision. But in terms of motion, the current limit of 80 million polys per second isn't close to what we can see. When we can render 100 times faster, we'll be able to have real clutter in our 3D game worlds, giving them a much more realistic look. Eventually, maybe in 10 years, computers will be able to render Lord of the Rings-quality graphics in real time.

According to Carmack, first-person games are harder to do than third-person titles, and will ultimately benefit from advances in input devices such as retinal scanning to give the player full control of the game camera. Physics simulation is still relatively easy to break and is used to accomplish primarily trivial tasks, but eventually games will be able to realistically simulate things like weather, liquids, and dust motes. The biggest remaining issue in making "real" worlds is artificial intelligence. The technical wherewithal to create convincing in-game characters isn't here yet, which is why Carmack prefers simply to completely avoid the issue, leaving character interaction out of his games.

Carmack also bemoaned the stretching of the game-development cycle, citing the unfortunate fact that his current title, Doom 3, is now in its fourth year of development. The latest technology (in id's case, display cards) is an ever-changing target, and it's very difficult to play the catch-up game. Similarly, level creation is much harder than before, and the company is finding it necessary to take man-months to create a level, whereas in previous titles it could be done in less than a day. Doom 3 is id's largest project by far, and Carmack, apparently something of a control freak, finds it "unnerving" that there are source files he's never opened. He closed on a positive note, predicting that we'll have render farms in a desktop computer quite soon; they won't be real-time, but they'll be "very, very fast."

Apparently, a lot of people want to start their own game-development studios, as evidenced by the well-attended panel on that topic. One panelist advised us to think really hard about how you're going to do it; not to think of yourself as a game developer, which could soon become a commodity, but as a maker of intellectual property ("build a bible"). Perhaps the panelist with the most cogent commentary was Alex Garden, CEO of Relic Entertainment (Homeworld). His advice is to figure out what you're good at, assume you're bad at everything else, hire people to do those things, and get out of their way. Focus all your efforts on finding the right people. On how to find the right people, Elixir honcho Demis Hassabis suggested providing employees with a dynamic, energetic environment, and giving them a chance to build something. The panelists were generally negative about the possibilities of creating a new game-development business in today's climate, saying "the window is closing."

Tim Schafer is a funny guy; he created a number of classic humorous adventure games for LucasArts, including Monkey Island, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. At GDC this year, he gave a well-received talk titled Adventures in Character Design. He started out by telling us that characterization and gameplay are friends. Characters should shape, inspire, and "uniquiefy" gameplay, and should provide fantasy fulfillment for the player. They increase player investment in the game, make the game meaningful and memorable, and create equity for the developer.

The designer should make the main character the coolest one on the game; give him or her the best lines and active roles, and have the other characters respond to his or her awesomeness. Ask yourself: Would an actor kill for this role? You should also make the player identify with the character's plight; its motivations should be simple, universal, and deeply felt. Characters should change and grow, but not in the abstract sense found in RPGs. Make your characters different from those in any other game, and avoid clichés, or have fun with clichés by (for example) standing them on their head. Don't be a sissy; players should be slightly uncomfortable with your ideas. And don't assume who the player is.

Supporting characters should be appealing; would you want to go on a road trip with them, or impress them? Don't make them irritating, but make them responsive to as many of the main character's actions as possible. This helps the immersion, but you can't respond to everything, so make a chart. Speaking of which, Schafer described an incident designing his game Psychonauts, currently in development, where he had a hard time figuring out the relationships among his supporting characters. In procrastinating, he started changing his personal details on Friendster (the online social-networking site), where he got the idea of using the site's format for setting up the relationships.

Last but not least, British game developer David King gave a talk about creating game prototypes with 3ds max. King is obviously a bright young guy, and he's an absolute wiz with 3ds max, but he has a lot to learn about making an effective presentation. He goes too fast and doesn't describe his methods in enough detail, as evidenced by the fact that he finished his presentation over half an hour ahead of schedule. Basically he's showing off his skills, and letting you know about useful techniques that you might not be aware of, but not telling you how to accomplish them. He's also a tad obnoxious; for example, he started off his talk by stating, "People have no imagination; in fact, some people are complete idiots." The truth or falsity of this statement notwithstanding, King's point was that a prototype is better than words and pictures for describing a game to an interested party, but he could've expressed it more diplomatically.

King began the actual presentation by showing an impressive non-interactive prototype of a hack-and-slash-type game (think Diablo) that he created in three days. He didn't render the QuickTime movie, but rather used max's Animation Preview function, which simply captures a viewport image over time. It even included a primitive motion blur effect that King achieved by jittering the camera position. Besides using a prototype to get money from a potential investor or publisher, it helps you identify game engine requirements and show artists and programmers what you (the designer) want.

To model a character, King says you should use extra polys, and then reduce the mesh resolution on the editable poly object by selecting vertices and pressing Backspace. King recommends using Character Studio bipeds to animate characters, and suggests that you skin the character (attach it to the skeleton) on the run rather than using Figure mode. And you can save lots of time by using the Skin modifier's Mirror tool.

I did retain one specific technique for creating a quick-and-dirty inked-outline viewport effect that I'll now pass along to you: Clone your mesh, blow the clone up a bit with the Push modifier, flip the polys, apply a black material, and Bob's your uncle! [http://www.word-detective.com/back-f.html] Similarly, you can make an object flash, for example when damaged by a weapon, using the same method without flipping the polys, applying a white material, adding a visibility track to the clone, and wiring the visibility to a slider. King also showed a variety of other cool tricks, such as using Particle Flow for flying shuriken and spattered blood during a fight.

I attended as many sessions as I could at GDC, but there were many others I regretted having to miss. I was tempted to buy the audio recordings of the Visual Arts and Game Design tracks, but without visuals, and with the hit-and-miss sound quality at many sessions, I'm afraid I wouldn't get enough out of the rather expensive MP3 CDs. The only solution is to keep going back, year after year. GDC is an addiction, but for those of us in the gaming/interactive arena, it's a delectable one.

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DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Criterion to Update RenderWare Studio

Coming April 30 from Criterion Software, a U.K.-based provider of game-development solutions, is RenderWare Studio 2, the newest version of its game-authoring framework. This major software release offers advanced, customer-driven capabilities that assist Publishers and Game Developers in managing the complexities of next generation game production. To support the increasing commercial and technical need to rapidly prototype and iterate ideas, the new software includes the first RenderWare Studio Genre Pack. Developed for first-person-shooter games, the Genre Pack includes tools for prototyping an FPS, including a pre-built game engine; an FPS-customized game framework that provides core examples and services; playable game levels; and stand-in FPS art assets.

Additionally, RenderWare Studio 2 includes new tools such as the Universal Sequencer, which lets designers interactively build unique behaviors in their games without the need for custom coding. The Universal Sequencer's ability to fire events into the system means it is integrated with even the core gameplay mechanics, therefore giving designers direct control over their entire game. The same workflow can be used both to build both cut-scenes and in-game set pieces.

The new version also brings a new, customizable user interface, allowing teams to create custom GUIs that focus team specialists on specific areas of games authoring, e.g., soundscapes. As importantly, extraneous or non-essential tools can be removed, giving streamlined, focused interfaces.

Also announced recently and coming in Q4 '04 is new dynamics technology that will form part of the RenderWare 4 Physics, said to handle 10-20 times more objects, more accurately.

http://www.renderware.com

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GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Digital Element News

Digital Element, a developer/publisher of 3D software that simulates natural phenomena, recently released version 1.5 of its plant software Verdant. Verdant 1.5 now supports Photoshop CS and 16-bit color. It also supports Verdant Plant Mechanic plants, including flowers. 3D artists will soon be able to purchase the Verdant Plant Mechanic and design their own plants. Digital Element plans to open a forum to sell both its and third-party Verdant plants.

Aurora Water is an update for Digital Element's recently released Aurora Water for After Effects. Features include:

Coming in July is the $249 Verdant Plant Mechanic, which lets the user build 3D plants for Verdant. It includes several basic objects, but mainly its for designing new plants. The Plant Mechanic creates plants that export currently to its own proprietary format, as well as .3ds and .obj.

WorldBuilder 3.6 is a free upgrade for 3.5 users and includes the following new features:

WorldBuilder progress is coming along. Right now the team is working on two tasks: integrating the new Verdant technology, along with the ability to accept Plant Mechanic plants, and reworking the user interface to make it cleaner and easier to use.

http://digi-element.com

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StereoGraphics Enables Glasses-Free 3D Modeling

Digital ArtForms, a specialist in 3D interaction and immersion, has used StereoGraphics' SynthaGram Software Developer's Kit (SDK) to add support for SynthaGram Glasses-Free 3D monitors to its InDex immersive CAD package. The package is aimed at industrial designers, architects, game developers, and movie developers.

InDex is driven by a pair of hand-held controllers called SpaceGrips, (http://www.spacegrips.com/) rather than a mouse and keyboard. The user reaches directly into the scene using the position-tracked controllers to cut and stretch objects and space. It reportedly combines authoring and visualization environments into a single 3D workspace.

http://www.StereoGraphics.com/SynthaGram
http://www.dartforms.com/

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THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Book Review
Digital Photography: Expert Techniques

With the latest batch of 8-megapixel point-and-shoot digicams from manufacturers such as Konica and Olympus, digital photography is becoming more important than ever. And from personal experience, I can tell you that there's much about the field that's not intuitive; mastering digital photography takes considerably more work than does analog photography. Fortunately, we have folks around like Ken Milburn, who's spent years immersed in the area, and imparts his wisdom in this new book from O'Reilly.

Digital Photography: Expert Techniques doesn't come with a CD, but it uses color illustrations throughout. Milburn starts with a background chapter, where he discusses image sensors and resolution. He claims here that a 6-megapixel digicam has the same resolution as an ASA-200 35mm negative, which I would dispute (I think the negative has more). But he does give some valuable advice: Always use your camera's raw format to store images. This lets you process the original image in any way you want after the fact, and because Photoshop CS can import many popular raw image formats, conversion is no longer the hassle that it once was.

Following this is a chapter on preparing for digital photography, with valuable checklists, more info on the raw format, a discussion of storage options, and a number of detailed tips. Here, as throughout the book, Milburn imparts general-photography wisdom on topics such as framing, so the book serves the beginning photographer as well as those with analog experience.

The bulk of the remainder of the book deals with Photoshop, where you'll probably spend a good deal more time than actually shooting. Milburn provides a wealth of information on file management, layers, and the actual image-editing tools such as selection and filters. One of the best features of the book is the numerous side-by-side comparisons, often with relatively large images, so you can see exactly what he's talking about. If you're just getting started with a digicam, Digital Photography: Expert Techniques is a great way to learn the ropes.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/dphotohdbk/

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Book Review
Adobe Photoshop CS: one-on-one

Deke McClelland has written an incredible 20+ books on Photoshop, and his latest is Adobe Photoshop CS: one-on-one from O'Reilly. It includes a CD with two hours of video training, and is illustrated with color images. Rather than attempting to cover the full gamut of digital imaging, the book concentrates on a range of usages of Adobe's popular photo-editing software.

McClelland intends the book and CD to be used together, requiring a bit of installation, and imposes his working method on the reader to the extent of having you change Photoshop's color settings and keyboard shortcuts. Of course, if you're following along with the book and videos, this is probably for the best, and you can always go back afterwards.

Each video lesson, lasting from eight to 12 minutes, is intended to be played at the start of its corresponding chapter. The first chapter covers file management and navigation, and chapters two and three discuss brightness, contrast, and color adjustments. McLelland then moves on to discuss selection, cropping and transforming images, and painting and retouching. Further chapters cover masking functions, focus adjustments, image and text/shape layers, layer styles and adjustment layers, and printing with Photoshop. The copious screen shots ensure you won't get lost in Photoshop's UI, and McLelland provides plenty of explanation to help you understand what's going on as you follow his lessons. He also breaks up the lessons with tips, or "pearls of wisdom," that contain additional helpful information.

McLelland's knowledge of Photoshop is formidable and his ability to convey this in a helpful, informative way makes this book well worth buying.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/adobephoto/index.html

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McGraw-Hill/Osborne New Titles

Among the new titles to be released this month by publisher McGraw-Hill/Osborne are:

How to Do Everything with Digital Photography by Dave Huss, ISBN: 0-07-225435-1; 376 pages; $29.99: Veteran photographer Dave Huss discusses features to look for in a digital camera, the essentials of photography and composition, unique techniques for digital photography, photo editing, color printing, and much more. Readers also get insight from professional digital photographers throughout the book, and an eight-page gallery featuring illustrations and examples.

Dreamweaver MX: A Beginner's Guide by Ray West & Tom Muck, ISBN: 0-07-222996-9; 544 pages; $29.99: Shows how to create dynamic Web sites and applications with Dreamweaver MX 2004. Web experts Tom Muck and Ray West explain Web site and application development using the tools and features in the new version of Dreamweaver. They also teach the basics of ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, and ColdFusion.

http://www.osborne.com

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GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Egyptian Prophecy Ships, Painkiller Ready

Toronto-based The Adventure Company, a division of DreamCatcher Interactive Inc., last week shipped The Egyptian Prophecy on PC-CD in North America.

The first-person adventure has a point-and-click interface with cinematics and integrated 3D real-time puzzles. The player embarks on a journey back in time to ancient Egypt as he attempts to uncover the hidden secrets behind a mystery. As the adventure unfolds, the player must solve an array of ancient riddles that will help a dying Pharaoh to survive and restore Egypt to glory.

Gamers traverse exotic locations and monuments of ancient Egypt such as the Nile, Pi-Ramses, Memphis, and the Labyrinth of Ptah. The in-game encyclopedia teaches players to perform sacred Egyptian rituals, concoct potions and conquer evil entities. Powerful gods and a cast of intriguing characters relay important clues helping to unlock this ancient mystery.

http://adventurecompanygames.com/egyptian_prophecy/index.html

Also, DreamCatcher Games' FPS, Painkiller, has reached gold master status for the PC. The game will be available April 12 at retailers in North America. Created by development team People Can Fly, Painkiller puts the player in the role of Daniel Garner, the unfortunate victim of a fatal car accident who finds himself trapped in a dark and unwelcoming world somewhere between heaven and hell. The key to salvation is to fight through more than 50 species of hell's wildest incarnations in an attempt to stop an imminent unholy war.

Offering an original storyline and physics-based gameplay using the Havok 2.0 engine, Painkiller offers 24 detailed single-player levels and seven multiplayer maps. The single-player demo can be found at http://www.painkillergame.com . A multiplayer demo will release soon after ship.

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HAPPENINGS

Web3D 2004 Set for Monterey

Thanks to Josh Duberman for passing along this item: The 9th International Conference on 3D Web technology will take place April 5-8, 2004 in Monterey, California. Issues addressed include:

Attendees share and explore methods of using, enhancing or creating new 3D Web technology such as X3D, VRML, MPEG4, OpenHSF, and Java3D.

Keynote speakers include:
Doug Twilleager, chief architect of the Game Technologies Group at Sun Microsystems, Inc. In addition to this role, Twilleager is also responsible for managing the 3D software technology as well as the graphic and media strategies for the Advanced Development group. He was one of the key architects of the Java 3D technology and also worked on programmable shading and advanced rendering techniques in the Graphics Research group at Sun. During his 15 years at Sun, Twilleager has worked on many technologies including the X11 window system, XGL, and OpenGL.

Capt. Chris Gunderson USN, Commanding Officer of Fleet Numerical Meteorological & Oceanographic Center (FNMOC), the U.S. Navy's high-performance computing center in Monterey for atmosphere/ocean modeling, predictions and world-wide data collection. https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil

Covering such topics as:

http://www.web3d.org/s2004/

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Games & Mobile Forum Set for April 15 in Big Apple

Games & Mobile Forum is a one-day executive forum that will take place in New York City on April 15, 2004. Now in its second year the industry conference focuses on online and mobile games on the east coast. Participants are executives from game and mobile companies, analysts, VCs, and investment bankers, including AOL Games, Ubisoft, Microsoft's Zone.com, Atari, Electronic Arts, Nokia, MSNC.com, MForma, Digital Chocolate, Sennari Mobile, GameSpot, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Turbine Entertainment, RBC Capital Markets, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, WildTangent, AT&T Wireless, Groove Alliance, Billboard Magazine, and Jupiter Research.

Confirmed speakers for the conference include:

This year's event will include two keynotes and six panels on mobile and online games and whitepaper presentations by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). In addition, drafts of the whitepapers, which include in-depth market analysis and executive interviews, will be made available to conference attendees. Discussion topics include:

http://www.gamesandmobile.com

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F.Y.I.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media/online-development tools and end product for review.

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