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21. April 2012

 

 

I am really enjoying the PS Suite and compared to the Android emulator, the PlayStation Suite Simulator is extremely fast, but also extremely limited.  Perhaps most annoying, the joystick is actually handled using the keyboard.  I had sort of pictured being able to plug in a joystick on my development PC, but sadly this isn’t true.  Hopefully this is a feature they will add soon.

 

 

So, long story short, I went out today and picked up a PS Vita, so expect to see a series of tutorials after all! Winking smile

 

 

First thing I encountered was the process of getting debugging working on device.  It’s not actually that difficult, just a bit non-intuitive, so I figured I would document the process here.

 

 

First I assume you have installed the PlayStation Suite Studio already.  Be sure that you install the USB driver at the end of the install process.

 

 

Now on your Vita, open Browser and navigate to http://www.playstation.com/pss/developer/openbeta/index_e.html and click the PlayStation Suite Development Assistant download link like such:

 

2012-04-21-143816

 

 

You will now be redirected to the PS Store.  What is extremely odd, I went to the PlayStation Store and did a search for “Development Assistant” and found nothing!  It appears you really do need to click the link above using your browser.  Odd. Click download again:

 

 

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If everything went correctly, you will now have an icon for PS Suite Dev.  Click it

 

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Now we have to fire up PlayStation Suite Studio, load your project, or a one of the demos ( which are located at “C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pss\sample” on my PC).  Make sure your Vita is connected to your PC via USB cable.  One thing to note here, I had it connected initially to a USB3 port and it didn’t work correctly until I switched to a standard USB2 port.

 

 

Now that Studio is loaded and your Vita is connected with PS Suite Dev is running on it, navigate to Project Menu in Studio and select PlayStation Suite Device Target –> Your Device, like this:

 

 

image

 

 

If your Vita doesn’t show up, try unplugging and plugging back in the USB cable.  Now to actually run your application, if you want to debug simply choose Run->“Start Debugging” or hit F5.  If you want to start without the debugger, choose Run->Run With->Your Vita, like this:

 

 

image

 

 

 

And voila, your application running on your device!

 

 

 

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At this point, you can ( if you chose Start Debugging or hit F5 ) now debug like normal, set breakpoints, etc… just like running on the simulator.  I have to say, debugging on the device is very smooth; much nicer than many other environments I have worked with.

 

 

I have some code related tutorials coming soon.  Please let me know if there are specific things you are interested in me covering in the future.

General


20. April 2012

 

Ok, I really need to come up with a shorthand version for that!  PS SDK?

 

 

Anyways, right off the hop here are two problems people might run into.  If you start a new project, an app.cfg file is NOT created.  However, the emulator pss.exe will just sit there and spin using up 100% of one of your cores.  To fix it, in your Playstation Suite project, make sure you add an app.cfg, like the following:

 

 

memory: resource_heap_size : 16384 managed_heap_size : 16384 input: gamepad : false touch : false motion : false

 

 

Next, Playstation Suite Studio is based around MonoDevelop and seems to have some serious issues with auto completion.  If you add a reference to an assembly ( such as Sce.Pss.HighLevel.Model ) and aren’t getting auto-completion on it, save your project, close it and re-open and auto-completion will work for that assembly from now on.   Yes, this is a pain in the butt and if I come up with a better solution/fix in the future I will let you know.

 

Sony has a Visual Studio plugin in the works, which will be nice as intellisense generally works more or less flawlessly in Visual Studio.  Fingers crossed Visual Studio support comes soon, no offence to MonoDevelop.

Programming


20. April 2012

 

 

As you may have noticed, I am somewhat excited about the addition of BMesh into the main Blender trunk in the upcoming release.  What you may be wondering is why? In the past I explained what an ngon is, but without seeing them in action their benefit can be a bit hard to understand. 

 

So that is exactly what this post is going to cover, it will demonstrate the new functionality that will be available in Blender 2.63 once BMesh support is added.  Each animated image is actually 1080p in size, so click on it to see more details.  Some of these features, such as the bridge edge tool, aren’t specific to ngons specifically ( and could be accomplished without BMesh ), however the internal changes to support BMesh made adding these features more feasible.

 

 

 

 

 

Dissolving face/edges/vertices

 

Disolve

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

Coupled with the knife tool, this is easily the biggest feature of BMesh.  Instead of simply deleting faces, vertices and edges, you can now dissolve them, which effectively turns the selection into a single giant ngon.  Therefore you can add detail where you need it, or quickly remove it where you don’t.  With traditional triangles/quads, retooling a mesh was an arduous process of deleting faces/vertices then rebuilding them one quad/tri at a time.  Now with BMesh it’s a heck of a lot easier.  One word of warning though, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should! 

 

Dissolve can result in some really funky geometry, especially if what you are dissolving isn’t planar.  In the end, when it is sent to the renderer, it is still triangulated, so if you have dissolved into an impossible shape, you will get some weird artifacts.  That said, some time with the knife tool can quickly fix up most problems.  One thing to remember, BMesh does not replace the need for a good topology!  It may make things easier, but in the end the same basic modeling principles hold true.

 

One last note, dissolve works slightly different based on if you have edges, faces or vertices selected.

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, select your geometry.

Hit ‘x’.

Select dissolve.

 



Knife Tool

 

KnifeTool

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

The other major part of BMesh is the knife tool.  There is a knife tool in Blender 2.5x but it’s fairly awful.  First it has to tessellate as it goes because of the 3-4 vertices per face limit.  The new knife tool is much more capable and flexible and as you can see from the image above, can make pretty arbitrary cuts with ease.  Again though, good topology is still important, so use the knife with care!

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, press K.

A green dot will appear where the cut will appear.

Left click to make cut, move mouse and repeat.

Right click to complete.

 



CTRL + Knife Tool ( centered cut )

 

CTRLKnife

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

Quite often you want to cut at the halfway point, this is exactly what cutting with the Control key pressed down will do.  The green dot will snap to the halfway point between the two nearest vertices.

 

How do you do it?

 

Exact same process as the knife tool, just hold down CTRL to snap to midpoint.

 



Creating > 4 sided faces

 

CreateFace

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

On of the big pains of working with polygons in Blender before was manually recreating faces.  You had to select 3 or 4 vertices in order then hit the F key, repeating for every polygon you need to create.  Now, select the bordering edges or vertices, regardless to their count and it will create a single ngon, which can be extrudes, scaled, etc… like a normal face.  Just like dissolve though, it is quite easy to create “bad” geometry.

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, select bordering vertices or edges.

Press F to build ngon.

 



Bevel ( finally! )

 

Bevel

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

Blender 2.4x has a bevel, 2.5x replaced it with an awful modifier that I don’t think anyone was happy with.  Now, with BMesh, bevel is back!  It can be a bit buggy at times, especially with multiple edges selected and can result in some strange cornering geometry, but its really nice to see bevel back.   Bevel basically allows you to add more geometry evenly spaced and rounded, normally used for rounding corners.

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, select 2 or more consecutive vertices, or one or more edge or face.

Hit spacebar, type “Bevel”. Click Bevel in popup menu.

On the left hand Mesh Tools menu ( hit T if not open ), select percentage or recursion level.

Percentage determines how big bevel is ( relative to next closest edge/face/vertex )

Recursion level determines how many times the bevel will be performed ( number of edges created )

 



Inset/Outset face(s)

 

insetoutset

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

Inseting is basically identical to doing a zero distance extrude followed by a scale, but much easier.  Think of it kind like creating an edge loop, but instead its relative to the selected edges.  Inset causes the new geometry to be created within the selected geometry, while outset causes the geometry to be created surrounding selected value.  The above image illustrates an inset, followed by an outset.

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, select the face.

Hit spacebar, type “Inset face”, select menu item.

In the tools panel, thickness slider determines the amount it is offset.

Check outset if you wish to outset instead of inset.

 



Bridge Edge tools

 

bridge2

 

 

What are we seeing here?

 

This functionality was actually available via the loop tools plugin, but it’s nice to see it part of the main application.  Select two edge loops (within the same/connected mesh ) and it will create a “bridge” between those two points.  Sadly it doesn’t delete the interior face, so be sure to delete the face before bridging.

 

How do you do it?

 

In edit mode, select two edge loops.

Hit spacebar, type ‘Bridge Two Edge Loops.

Note! Both edge selections need to have the same number of edges.



19. April 2012

 

 

There is some question if the EULA even allows it, but I am wondering how many of you are interested in Playstation Suite specific content?  I am totally not looking for a reason to justify a Playstation Vita purchase, honest! Winking smile

 

 

Actually, it’s shiny and new and I am easily distracted.  I am quite impressed by what I have seen of the SDK so far, I like working with C# in general so I think I would enjoy writing about Playstation Suite SDK development… if only Sony will actually let me.

 

 

The question is, are the rest of you interested in the subject?

Totally Off Topic


19. April 2012

 

 

 

Just finished adding another book to the Unity Book round-up, this one being “Game UnityBook18Development for iOS with Unity.  As always the write-up includes book description, key links, the table of contents, etc.  The book is a few months from publication, here is the publisher description:

 

This hands-on guide delivers production-proven techniques and valuable tips and tricks needed to plan, build, test, and launch full 3D games for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad all the way to the Apple app store. It walks you through all the necessary procedures and features two iOS-ready games to explore, adapt, and play. The text presents all of the information necessary for beginning and intermediate users to build and publish iOS games using Unity Beginner. Topics covered include game design, 3D graphics, debugging, script optimization, and optimizing assets for file size and performance.

 

Full details in round-up here.

 

 

I intend to keep the book list as comprehensive as possible, so if you’ve written a book, or know one I’ve missed, let me know!

General


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