Feed43: Create RSS Feed for website that haven’t

Also 10 years later (Hey, I’m part of people who have seen Internet birth and I’m going to be deprecated…), I’m starting to use RSS feeds instead of the “visit many websites every day” old method, and I like it. Especially to read and synchronize them from anywhere: Google Reader at work, iPad at home (Hey, I’m not that deprecated finally), etc.
But although I’m a new user, I’m exigent and deplore to see some websites I like without any feed !

So I’m introducing Feed43, an online service to create a RSS feed from any website. This is not the only one and not the simplest I’ve tried (Feedity, Ponyfish, …) but it was the only one of them that allowed me to customize a lot of things for the feed search and presentation without having to pay for a membership.

The service can parse an HTML page with a chosen pattern. There is a tutorial sample on the website, but I give you another concrete example for the Digital Foundry articles from Eurogamer you can find on this blog’s links:

  • The item search pattern :
    <h2><a href=”{%}“>{%}</a>{*}</h2>{*}<p class=”date”>{%}</p>{*}<div class=”words”>{*}<div class=””>{*}<div class=”section”>{%}</div>{*}</div>{*}</div>{*}<p class=”entry-details”>
    This extract the absolute article link (%1), the title (%2), the date (%3), and the full article content (%4).
  • And the final result :
    http://feed43.com/digitalfoundry.xml

::Games:: Shift 2 Unleashed, so am I

I’ve crushed on the new Shift 2 Unleashed, the hidden and unrecognized son of Need for Speed series.
After lot of hours played, I’m convinced this is really the racing game I was looking for many years (since Project Gotham Racing 3 and Xbox 360 launch actually), perfectly balanced between Arcade & Simulation.

I like its cars physic. Slightly Mad Studios did a great job. The game progression is fluid and pleasant, I don’t feel obliged to participate to competitions with race mode I don’t care just to buy better vehicle like a lot other racing games do. Even basic cars are fun to play. “Fun”, that’s the final keyword.

The graphic realization is also wonderful. Developers have understood that the cars must not take all the polygons, details and effects of the frame, environments & circuits also needs them. I just wonder if the rendering pipeline technology is exclusively forward, fully deferred or light pre-pass and I hope to see one day some technical articles or presentations of their engine.

To close this post, you may have read that the developer is in trouble, I hope things will be ok so we could expect a great Shift 3 (cause the perfection could always be perfected ;) ). If EA have to choose another studio for the IP they created brilliantly, we may not expect so much…


::Tool:: introducing GPU observer gagdet

A windows Vista/7 gadget by orbmuk2 that can display various GPU informations in real-time, directly on your desktop, like occupied VRAM amount…very useful to detect when something goes wrong into you program, constantly allocating graphic memory ;-)

The gadget page: http://blog.orbmu2k.de/sidebar-gadgets/gpu-observer-sidebar-gadget
Direct download link (if you don’t understand deutch as me): http://download.orbmu2k.de/download.php?id=49


::Games:: Killzone 3, the casualized one

I’ve just finished Killzone 3 (PS3). I’ve bought it blindfolded as I really liked Killzone 2 (and actually, it was one of the reason that leaded me to buy a PS3)… but now I’m not that enthusiastic.

Aside from that the game is really awesome in some ways such as graphic realization, I’ve finished it after just a few hours (5 or 6 I think) without any real difficulty. I’m feeling like if I was just at half-progression, when things just begin to be harder.
No great battle, no final boss to beat, and no real ending at all…All that was in the previous Killzone 2

Maybe I’m right, the game is just the half of what It should be because of a too early deadline enforced by Sony.
Or maybe this recalibration of difficulty was to bring more casual gamers to the game franchise, as the Move (supported by the game) is also to bring more casual gamers to PS3.
Both are sad.

…Or maybe I’ve raised my FPS skills so much since last year that the game seems too easy to me, but I don’t think so B-)


::’Z’ Engine:: concept overview (I)

What I call ‘Z’ engine is my own game engine I’m implementing from scratch. As a personal project it is deserved to be in continuous evolution an refactoring, but here is a shot description (and non-exhaustive) of my key features :

  • Why ‘Z’: I really don’t know why, but if you have an idea…
  • Mobile platforms in mind: My first idea was to implement an engine for mobile platforms (handheld consoles, smartphones, …) especially iPhone. So the performances is a big topic.
  • Simplicity: Within my job, I worked with many 3D engine, libraries and production tools. From famous ones like Criterion’s Renderware or Sony’s PhyreEngine, to studio’s in-house. Generally, whatever they are rigorously structured or not, they all have a common characteristic: complexity. Of course I don’t pretend to be a better skilled nor better organized programmer and I’m totally aware of all an engine has to managed including some production constraints within a large team. But here is the key: it’s my own engine, not deserved to be used by someone else coder nor artist, not associated to a complex level editor, etc…
    So I can assume the user (me) know the engine and know what to do with to prevent errors, and it is implemented as a big sequencer. Each “sequence” could manage lot of things including low-level calls or other high-level sequences (and so be quite a sequencer itself). It’s a kind of hard-coded world -but with bounds- the oposite view of any regular team producted engine which needs to be robust.
  • Cross-platform at no-cost: As said before, my engine is first designed to allow me to play easily with iPhone SDK features. So the engine uses openGL API (I like directX but…) without a lot of abstraction within a high-level encapsulation (simplicty, you know).
    It could also be used on desktop Windows PC and Mac OS. The platform specific system stuff is kept to minimum, with no vitual-calls as I’m sure one and only one implementation is used at any time. I also use cross-platform libraries when possible (OpenAL, etc…)
    I’m not excluding possibility to later use other 3D API like the one in XNA framework (I’d like to play with Windows phone development too, or with consoles one day), but currently I like to implement my “sequences” draw without any astraction.
    The engine is implemented in C++. Objective-C is used only for specific iOS stuff (Cocoa, File loading, etc..) not because I dislike it, just because I love C++ and know him well for many years.

That’s all that currently come to min mind. Maybe I will give other fatures or detail this ones in another post.


10 years later…

Here we are, I’m finally opening a blog, 10 years after everyone else.

I’ll talk about games, development (so of course game development), and other pixel food.

I’m working as a game developer for more than 5 years, mainly on 3D rendering programming. This blog will be focused on my personal projects and personal engine.

As any developer and game fan, I have all these secret and terrific personal game projects in my head, that I will probably never finish one day.

To be continued…