Thursday, January 24, 2013

Michael - Intro

Hello! I'm Michael Mara, a computer graphics researcher currently contracted with NVIDIA where I am continuing my undergraduate thesis work, and a research affiliate of Williams College, where I graduated earlier this year. I've been one of the main developers of the open-source G3D Innovation Engine along with Morgan and Corey over the last year or so.

I'm participating in this jam to experiment with some ideas I've had floating around in my head, to put G3D through a use-case test, to work around creative and/or motivated people of different skill sets, and mostly just to have a completed game (I haven't made a complete game by myself since back in high school when I made flash games while learning how to program).

I've spent a good portion of my coding time the last two week integrating Open Asset Import Library into G3D, implementing skeletal animation and rewriting large swaths of G3D's internal model structure to support the change, before realizing earlier this week that I'd still need a few weeks to prep assets for the couple of game ideas I had bouncing around in my head that would make use of skeletal animation. Luckily I was able to figure out a new idea today that plays off of something I've been meaning to code up for a while regarding non-Euclidean spaces for games (I'll have design docs tomorrow). Oh, there's about 8 hours of work left to get skeletal animation integrated with the main branch of G3D without regressing anything and I'll get a few hours done tomorrow before the jam, so if anyone's particularly masochistic or just really wants skeletal animation in G3D for the game jam, you can use my branch in the svn repository.

I'm doing the 48-hour format because I'm young and stupid enough to think I'll get more done that way. I hope to see everyone who can make it in the graphics lab this weekend making awesome games (and if you can't physically make it, G+ hangout with us!).


  1. Also check out Fez and Miegakure for two of the most impressive (of the many) games that play with projections. Playing with space is a great idea. Even the earliest games explored this, and it never gets old. Note that Asteroids and Space War were both in a closed (Euclidean) space: on the surface of a torus!

  2. I'd love to see ideas involving projection tricks (both physical and mental). I've tinkered with the idea for a couple now and then.