Tuesday, May 31

Ion Drive

I've never found a window manager I've been 100% happy with - KDE and Gnome are far to slow to live on my old P600 Laptop, Afterstep, while asethetically pleasing, had too many menus, too many different feels and options and and I never could settle on a consistent set. Ratpoison was my most recent discovery, and while I liked it for it's simplicity, it was a bit too simple - it handled modal dialogs like mozillas download manager dialog badly - putting them in a whole window. At last I've discovered Ion - a tad more sophisticated than Ratpoison, but not much, so it still responds instantly on a clapped out laptop. It just handles dialogs much better, and works on the same principe - you should be able to treat your window manager in exactly the same way as you treat your text editor window - by having multiple windows and frames you can split, delete, create, and traverse between via simple keystrokes. If you dislike mice, it's worth giving it a try..

The only problem is -- there will never be a Windows version. It'd be interesting to see what a Mac user would make of it, though..

Sunday, May 15

And now colour it in..

Added coloured tris to my renderer yesterday - it's coming along nicely. Started out as a "learn lisp" exercise, but now it's taking on a life of it's own.

Monday, May 2

Dynamic game difficulty adjustment.

Some thoughts after reading The Psychology Behind Games by Anders Hejdenberg.

Should a game adjust it's difficulty level based on the players observed ability in the game? Possibly, but it's an artificial device. Response to changes in the players ability should probably err on the cautious side when making the game easy and on the converse side when making the game harder. It's important to have player profiles, too. Visual feedback of the current setting and a manual override would be nice, too. Some people don't want things to be too easy and for the game to "surrender", but other people would use such a mechanism to cheat, or just plain want to go through the game quickly.

Feedback and control are the watchwords, as ever.