11.17.2004

My Big Expensive Toy

If, like me, you have an inexplicable fascination with blinking lights, you can imagine the joy of working at my job. The photo to the right is my Dell rack with somwhere near 20Ghz of processing power at my fingertips. The white thing on top is a wireless access point, we put a hole in the roof and erected a big antenna and broadcast out free Internet access.

But it doesn't stop there. When I come home from work I fiddle with even more wires and buttons and shiny metal objects. I even do side jobs wiring together people's computers and home theater systems. I'm also a racing fanatic, not the NASCAR dad type though. There is something appealing to me about being in a position where there are major consequences for a mistake. It's a way of motivating myself and focusing. For instance, if I procrastinate at work it's a game of finding my limits. How long will it really take me to code this thing. Racing is about finding the limits of your car and your ability. Driving ability is based on reflexes but also on a knowledge of the car, anticipation. It absolutely saturates the senses like few things do. Even skydiving is a fairly thoughtless endeavour in comparison. So I'm taking the things I love and fusing them together. The driving simulator I'm working on draws on my knowledge from software, networking, home theater installs and cars. We're currently having a debate about the best way to optimize online racing. Here is some of the chat log in case you're wondering how games are made.

"

Kirkwe take different lines through turns but they're just about the same in terms of lap times

STenyaKor we can store the car format in a spacially special way, so that the car rolls out of the truck, with a side-view of it, as the mesh is loaded ;)

KirkHey, we can use haba's wireframe mode

Kirklike the ghost car in rbr

Hesonprogressive mesh, you start the race against a couplöe of shoe boxes and finish against super nice cars...

KirkI was thinking we should have a bandwidth LOD for online racing. You send more position data to the closest cars

STenyaKhmm nice idea

Hesoniteresting

STenyaKpossibly relative to distance and camera view angle

STenyaKcan't remember the technical name

STenyaKFOV

Hesonand more detailed(heavier) prediction on close cars, its not so important if the far cars warp etc.

STenyaKyeah. that's a really good idea, i like it :)

STenyaKmaybe we can extend it to other sytems..

STenyaKlike... err.. well, there isn't much left.AI and sound

STenyaKwe can also compress data of "groups of cars" and send just one position (for packs semi-distant cars in nascar for example)

HesonWhen trying to sleep yesterday I got an idea for a first generation online support for motrosport.

Hesonjust connect to irc and send coordinates to the chat

KirkNow there's an interesting proposition

STenyaKhow many commands would be needed for that?

STenyaKjoin - send messages - quit ?

STenyaKi don't know the irc protocol very well

Hesonnot much more

STenyaKdoes it use compression?

STenyaK(irc

Hesonno compression in irc

Hesonbut we can implement some if we need to send lots of data

STenyaKposition: 32x3, rotation 32x4

STenyaK(or 64 bits each

STenyaK224 bytes per car for upload

STenyaKplus synchronization

Hesonfor a first generation, that might look like the rbr one its enough

Hesonand we can extend it and test concepts,

STenyaKhmm what latency is there in irc, average?

STenyaKi mean, the added latency

Hesonwhen we need to lower latency we keep irc for lobby and move the rest to direct connections

Hesonthe added latency is abut doubled, i think.

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