Archive for the ‘Age of Conan’ Category

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Please don’t spoil my day, I’m miles away…

October 1, 2008

and after all I’m only sleeping….

 

Sorry I have been out. I *gasp* cancelled my AoC account for the time being because my little bro thoughtfully got me a copy of WAR and damn is it a fun game!

 

At least so far…

 

I said the same thing about AoC for quite some time so we’ll see.

 

As far as my Wiimote idea… well I have ported it to WAR and WoW and soon enough I’ll post the final version so all of you can give it a try. Unfortunately though it might actually require three wiimotes. This is because I use one in each hand, and then one in my pocket for jogging around (it really works!).

 

Humorously enough (and btw I am NOT going to include this in the final version) I found out that if you put a wiimote into a hat-like holder on your head, you could use it for mouse-look simply by nodding your head roughly in that direction. Unfortunately I feel like adding yet another wiimote would make the set-up uncannily ridiculous.

 

So feel free to stop by and check out my next update…which should be soon. I just need to post the script!

 

Cheers!

 

PS. I may come back to AoC if and only if  they deliver on the promises that the content that should’ve been there on relase is now there and then some. Seriously the game gets pretty boring shortly after you hit 80, and even raids don’t yield gear that you can even use to tank the mobs you get the gear from!

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Turning of the Tides in AoC?

September 17, 2008

A lot of gaming blogs are talking about it:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/86315-Funcom-Co-founder-Canned-Over-Age-of-Conan-Failures

 

Fired or resigned? What do you think? I can take a pretty good guess though…

The game it seems people love to hate to love to hate to love is supposedly ‘making a 180’ and putting out some major changes. Oh yeah, and today they finally implemented the fabled PVP Patch that they have been promising since, oh idunno JUNE! Not to reiterate what has already been thoroughly explained across the blogosphere, but:

hmm, ok nevermind I can’t seem to find what is in the patch, but apparently it’s the PVP update, some new quests, new zones, and fixes for the memory leak(?)

I’m sure I’ll be able to look it up when I get home. This is big big news!

 

Oh yes, and I went on a pretty huge rant on the AoC forums too, I’ll post a link to it when I find it tonight.

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What would you do, if I sang out of key?

September 16, 2008

So I was raiding last night, failing over and over again at Vistrix and getting extremely bored when I realized, “Why, I am going back to the same old thing I left!” I gave up on Everquest because raiding was starting to feel more like a job and less like a game. I mean, the fight is fun (assuming you win) but I’m not sure if I’m cut out for raiding in AoC yet, or raiding in any game. I enjoy being the sturdy dude that everyone relies on, and that’s what I remember about EQ.

My Shadowknight Thules in the world of EQ was a column of armored ogre that could take out anything dished to him. I would log on and feel almost ‘wanted’ in any group I could imagine. I led raids, or provided assistance to the raid leaders in accomplishing the goal of achieving “teh l00tz” by the end of the night. Humorously enough, raiding was more about providing others with a good time than making sure I was entertained. Not like I wouldn’t be able to do that in AoC, but last night I just couldn’t take it anymore. My friend called me, and instead of afk’ing I simply Alt+F4 and closed vent out.

 

I didn’t want to anymore, I couldn’t do it, and it’s been what… 2 weeks of raiding?

 

I think I need to take a step back, and work on this project instead of dividing my interests (or lack thereof). From here on in I’m going to focus on finishing this Wiimote for AoC thing, and then port it to WoW if at all possible. A friend of mine wants to casually level in WoW so we’re going to use that ‘Recruit a Friend’ program that everyone is talking about.

 

Now….how do I change my blog title? Hah!

 

No, just kidding yall. I’m still going to have AoC installed, but I am going to only be using my program for soloing and grouping at first. Taking such a complex form of interaction with my computer, and just plopping it on top of the hectic attitude of raiding is not going to go over well at all. Besides causing wipes, experimenting with this form of control during raids is not going to accomplish much.

 

Let’s start out with simple things, like jogging around Hyborea (or Azeroth)! Easy enough!

 

I have a busy afternoon today so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write anything or progress in my project. Although there is some good news: I ordered rechargeable batteries for my 3 Wiimotes I’m using, I also ordered a Wiimote screwdriver (you need a 3 pronged screwdriver to take apart your Wiimote), and my wooden Gladius came in the mail today! It looks like putting the Wiimote chip + buttons into the handle will be a daunting task involving some creative woodworking. Maybe it’s something I can start this weekend if I get the tool before then.

 

So that’s my latest, folks. I will leave you with some interesting links though!

 

http://www.wiipcscripts.fr.nf/

WindoWii Scripts Creator: GUI for simple Wiimote movements converted into keyboard/mouse commands.

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/WII-sword/

This made me lol. It’s good to see someone that is as bonkers as me. But I personally think that light-sabers are nerdier.

 

http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/Wiimote/

This guys project is much more extensive, but the results are amazing.

 

And with that, I’m out! Have a great Tuesday 😉

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Goodbye GlovePIE, Holla Java!

September 12, 2008

So, last night I rolled up a noob toon on Deathwhisper named Thules, just to test out my set up on Tortage.

 

Yeah…and… it actually worked! Minus a few bugs it was fairly successful. I ran around the island slicing left, right, down all the while bonking alligators with the giant broken oar I had. It didn’t quite get my heart pounding, but I can see a lot of potential for this.

 

If I can figure out a way to create a mechanism that makes your character jog when you jog, and turn right or left when you do (hehe, and jump when you jump!) it definitely would be better. And I know I am not going to accomplish this with the Dance Pad, so I’m going to have to retire it. But what would replace it?

I really wish the guys at http://virtualproductsllc.com/ would respond to the emails I send them, because that looks like something I could use. In the end I will probably do something like create a Wiimote/Nunchuck belt that responds to the up & down motion of jogging, and turning etc.

 

Even though I was able to use my rudimentary bonking and running abilities on Tortage, for some reason the IR mouse in my left hand was being stubborn, and none of the buttons on EITHER Wiimote were working properly. I think that my script is simply too complex for GlovePIE, or I am doing it wrong. Either way, I believe at this point it would be better to ‘borrow’ some projects done by others, and basically weave them together to make what I want. In that way, I would only have to learn a minimal amount of scripting/coding in Java instead of trying to start from scratch with GlovePIE. I’m going to use Java because theoretically it is a cross-platform language, and the gesture recognition library I want to use is written in Java as well.

 

So, looking at Java APIs for the Wiimote, I have these three so far:

 

WiiUseJ

A very simple Java based API for the Wiimote with a graphic UI that is fairly intuitive. It’s very similar to WiinRemote in that it can set commands for all the buttons, and do IR Mouse application. Aside from that, it doesn’t really support gesture recognition so I would have to figure out how to add WiiGee to it for swing recognition support.

 

Motej

“Motej is a slim Java library for Wiimote communication” according to their website.

It simply allows for Wiimote communication and the data from the Wiimote is as unchanged as possible. There seems to be several ‘packages’ that come with it that I don’t completely understand yet. Here are the features comprehensively listed though.

  • Discover and connect to Wiimote devices
  • Wiimote IR Camera in both basic and extended mode
  • Wiimote Accelerometer
  • Wiimote rumble feature
  • Wiimote player LEDs
  • Wiimote buttons
  • Read Wiimote EEPROM memory
  • Write Wiimote registers
  • Wiimote Status Information
  • Wiimote Calibration Data

So it definitely allows for comprehensive data gathering from a Wiimote. Now to interpret that data into actual key strokes might be a different monster all together.

 

Also, there is no graphic UI, so I might have to add that myself? (gulp) Although it provides several ‘demos’ with it.

 

Wiimote Simple

I’m not exactly sure how ‘Simple’ this API is. Although it claims to have “less functionality than WiiremoteJ” the features it lists are the same as Wiiremotej

The features listed are:

  • Read accelerometer data, useful for responding to dynamic swinging actions.
  • Read infrared camera data, useful for cursor pointing.
  • Respond to button pushes.
  • Vibrate Wiimote.
  • Set lights on the Wiimote
  •  

    The one thing that interests me is the “useful for responding to dynamic swinging actions” in that it mentions “swing” and not “flick” because so far the only action that I can read or interpret from the Wiimote is an almost-instantaneous flick action.

     

    In the end, I want to combine one of these API’s with the WiiGee Java-Based Recognition Library so that I can have button interpretation, an IR mouse, AND complex gesture recognition so that both Wiimotes will be able to properly & comprehensively communicate with AoC. So for now I’m dumping GlovePIE. It was great while it lasted, but unless I’m scripting retarded with it, I’m pretty sure that the language is a bit too limiting for what I want to do. Therefore, on to Java!

    I guess when I get home I’ll install Java and the Bluetooth Java Library etc and see how it all works. Maybe I know more about Java than I think I do.

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    The Script Version 1.0 (early Beta…or whatever)

    September 8, 2008

    My apologies for not posting in the past few days, alas I forgot my Flash memory at work so I didn’t have any copy of what I was writing for the weekend. Now that I have access again, I’ll post parts of my script and describe how each part functions. If you have any suggestions with how to add/change the script, I’m all ears:

     

     https://wiimoteaoc.wordpress.com/script-10/

     

    There ya go! 

    Ok, with that massive amount of crap being copy/pasted from my computer I will say this. It does not work yet!

     

    The swing script doesn’t work properly, the mouselook is really screwed up, and for some reason lost my ‘old’ dancepad script so I have to go back and look at which PPJoy Virtual Joystick Buttons represent the four corners of the Dance Pad so I can script those commands in.

     

    It doesn’t help that I joined a raiding guild on Thog now, and we did Vistrix last night (it was freaking AWESOME!) and we’re doing Kylikki (sp) and some wurm tonight. I’ll try to get some script fixed before raids start though. The whole thing is looking promising, and it is going to be funny once I actually get my bokken and gladius, which should be in the mail and arriving by the end of this week.

     

    Yes, yes I know…”You’re gonna put yer eye out with that kid!” heh we’ll see!

     

    Oh yes, and if you shop at Game Stop, check this out.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/user/WhistleBlowerZero

     

    I watched all 90 minutes of it (like 3 episodes), and it cracked me up. Well done sir! (Even if it was a shameless copy of ZeroPunctuation’s Yahtzee)

     

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    Second Thoughts – Sore Arms and a Wider Topic Coverage?

    September 4, 2008

    Last night I joined a raiding guild in AoC, and it had something along the lines of 50 or 60 max-level people! Unfortunately, due to the raid number restrictions and me being new, I just sat outside with my mammoth sitting on top of the cave that was the instance (Pissing off members of another raiding guild whose T3 battlekeep we recently sacked.

     

    So I took some time to work on my code and get the PERFECT swing recognition code possible. Lo and Behold! I couldn’t get the reading of the damn accelerometers working correctly! Apparently, there is this law that for every force in the universe there is an equal an opposite force countering that…. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THAT BEFORE!!!! (jk)

     

    Well, I didn’t think about that at all when I was writing my script for GlovePIE, and so when I swing down, the accelerometers read negative gy (Y acceleration) and then positive gy at the end of it, because I’m slowing down my swing at the end. So I’m going to have to somehow make it time-based, and when my arm catches up to initial speed (for example: down) then it cuts off any reading for … 3 seconds or whatever.

     

    So I gave up last night after a few beers, and a very sore arm. I continue my scripting tonight or this weekend (or while I’m at work teehee!)

     

    I was reading West Karana and realized that maybe this blog shouldn’t be about simply creating a new immersive controller for AoC, but should touch on gaming immersion in general and how I’m simply sick of the mouse/keyboard set-up. I mean, there have to be other people interested in this idea (granted, I’m writing for the carthartic experience and to learn something new, not entertain others). Well, one step at a time, and once I get this AoC thing hammered out, I can start rambling on about different changes and add-ons from there (VR goggles anyone?)

     

    It’s just, Tipa from West Karana goes on to describe gaming and it’s many aspects like a philosophy. The fact that the new Wizard101 game allows for horizontal progression (in a way) is extremely interesting. I’m not a Conan fanboi (although I’m reading the short stories right now, and they’re good), but I simply really really like this game. Maybe it’s just the shiny graphics, and the combat system, I’m not sure. It’s enough to satisfy and at the same time ignore the godloads amount of bugs and missing content in the game that the developers are taking their sweet ol’ time to fix. Sorry, woops my bold key was accidentally pressed. Sorry, I digress.

     

    While game content, style, and play is extremely important, games like Rock Band proved that you can do something different with immersive controllers: thus explaining me ordering a Bokken, and wooden Gladius to try to mix up with my Wiimote for some real sword swingin! I feel like gaming is on the verge of something big, something that could transcend gaming into and past the realm of sports. Could we be seeing VR Fantasy battles on the television in the future? Damn right we could, if the gaming industry got off its ass and did something unique, innovative, and gutsy. Not the same ol’ same ol’ WoW-like copy after copy that truly began with Everquest, ok MAYbe Ultima Online, and now is split off into many iterations and specific niche groups aside from the Mammoth-like WoW stomping wherever it wants to.
    If you’re reading this game devs (I doubt so, since it’s new), I want a ‘Rock (Fantasy Warrior) Band’. Give me a sword with buttons that I can swing around and pretend like I’m a rockstar barbarian! I’m not exactly a cosplay nerd, or a LARP kid, but give me something to get my blood pumping and my ass off the couch!

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    Initial Glovepie Script Description

    September 3, 2008

    So the initial code I have been working on efficiently uses the buttons and motions available with each Wiimote. Here is the set up I have currently:

     

    Wiimote1:

    Dpad = Action keys 1,2,3,4 going clockwise from the far left

    A Button = Sheath/Unsheath weapon

    B Button = Alt key

    Minus Button = Prev Target

    Home Button = Nearest Target

    Plus Button = Next Target

    One Button = Sprint or Ctrl

    Two Button = Jump

     

    Wiimote2:

    Dpad = Action keys 5,6,7,8 going clockwise from the far left

    A Button = Mouse Right Click

    B Button = Shift

    Minus Button = Health Pot

    Home Button = Mouse Left Click

    Plus Button = Stam Pot

    One Button = Mouse Middle

    Two Button = Change Weapon

     

     

    And on the Dance pad, I have the front, AND back right & left buttons acting as Turning. While directly Left and Right strafes. Also, the select button is Rest, and Start is Horse (because you usually aren’t moving when you do these actions)

     

    The swings are trickier to describe without either scanning in my drawings or doing something retarded-looking in MS-Paint.

     

    Basically, you hold the Wiimote with the front facing yourself, and when you swing, the buttons will slowly face left, right, or down/left or down/right depending on which way you swing it. The Glovepie code detects whether the Pitch and Roll are below/above a certain amount while specific acceleration forces are active. This is as close to gesture recognition as I can get.