May 6, 2009

Shamus Young's PixelCity Screensaver

I'm a big fan of Shamus Young's Twenty Sided Tale blog. It is very well written, generally very interesting, has geeky computer stuff, fun game-related stuff, DRM related ranting, and generally is just a very interesting blog. I don't really know how Shamus does it; it looks like he is married and has N kids where there is an N that exists such that N >= 1, writes funny stuff for his blog, and has very high quality posts overall. I've been trying to make my blog a bit better by emulating some of Shamus' posts: write clearly, use pictures whenever possible, and try to pick interesting topics.

I generally am only able to use pictures, and only then infrequently. But I'm trying. For some really interesting and funny stuff, see the DM of the Rings, an exploration of what Lord of the Rings would look like if it was a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Very tongue-in-cheek humor.

What I'm interested in publicizing this time though is a very interesting programming project that Shamus took on in the completely unflattering light of the public. Programming is a lot of fun, but you certainly have to be of a certain mindset to enjoy it. In a way, programming is like building a city from the ground up: you have to start out planning the zoning, the roads, the infrastructure, utilities, then the kinds of buildings you need, how to build them, how to manage them, etc. It is even more like building a city from the ground up when you are writing a program about building a city from the ground up, which is exactly what Shamus did. His series on PixelCity starts out with a simple goal: automatically build a city completely algorithmically. Wait, actually that isn't really such a simple goal.

Anyway, start with the link above and read through the whole series. By the time you get to the end you should have a good understanding (from a high level) of what programming projects are like. As a reward, you can download a Windows Screensaver that builds a city for you and then flies you around it. It is seriously cool. He has released the source code to the community, so I expect that a Mac and Linux version will show up soon. If not, that is something that I would be interested in looking into, but until I get my wedding planned and done, I don't have much time for those kinds of projects. I'm lucky to find the time to put out a half-coherent blog post every once in a while.

So, if you are interested in what it looks like, check out this very nice video Shamus posted on YouTube:




Comments

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Re: Shamus Young's PixelCity Screensaver
Sometime ago I made animation, it is very hard jobs...
Posted 8 years, 11 months ago by Intero • @wwwReply

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