Jul 21, 2014

Mini-ITX Computer: GeForce GTX 780, Intel Core i7-4790K, Gigabyte GA-Z97N, and Cooler Master Elite 130.

Over the past few years I have been using a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet and I have enjoyed the convertible form factor. The one issue with the the X230T is that lacks graphical power--gaming graphical power that is. Without a doubt there have been many graphical advancements in small-form factor systems but they are always behind desktop PCs. Since I desire to develop 3D content and currently cannot depend on any convertible tablet I have chosen to put together a good 3D developer machine.  This post has all the components of the system and could be a helpful guide for those with the thought of building a similar system.

Jul 20, 2014

Import TheGameCreators FPSC Pack Models Into Leadwerks Engine

Recorded with Nvidia ShadowPlay and best viewed at 1440p in full screen.

I have been playing around with Leadweks 3.1/3.2 engine and I'm happy about many things. For a game to exist there are a lot of tasks that need to get done; we need art work, programming, design, etc.  The indie developer that has an emphasis in programming... well your artwork is likely going to be quite bad -- after all, your strength is in programming.  However, the lazy programmer (the best type out there!) can look out for game assets that have been created already.  Of course though, the dream would be to simply drag and drop models and textures and simply focus on programming... but it's not always like that.  In the case of many available model packs we need to convert from one file format to another.  The above video shows the steps to convert TheGameCreators FPSC pack models into compatible Leadwerks assets.  Once converted, and the shaders corrected, the models look very good inside the game engine.

Below you can find a typed version of the tutorial, which also has links and code.

Jul 18, 2014

NEC EA 193Mi-BK - a 19-inch Landscape and Portrait Monitor for the Triple Monitor Setup

Gear: NEC EA 193Mi-BK, NEC LCD2090UXI-BK-1Dell UltraSharp U2412M, Portrait Monitors.

The NEC EA 193Mi-BK is a 19 inch monitor that has an aspect ratio 5:4, resolution of 1280x1024, and 178 degree horizontal/vertical viewing angles. These qualities can be very useful for the purpose of a secondary/side monitor. When in portrait mode, the 1024x1280 resolution and 4:5 aspect ratio should be sufficient for many documents.  Although, frankly a 1200x1600 resolution in a 20 inch monitor (such as the NEC LCD2090UXI-BK-1), and with aspect ratio of 3:4, would be even better.  Sadly though, you won't find too many monitors, at reasonable prices, in the market and the NEC EA 193Mi-BK is the next best option.  Of course there are a few extra features that make the EA 193Mi-BK a bit more attractive.  Images and details below.

Jul 17, 2014

Dell UltraSharp U2412M - Landscape and Portrait 24-inch Monitor, and BenQ RL2460HT Comparison

Update: July 22, 2014 - It seems that the Dell UltraSharp U2412M unit that I received does not cope well when it "heats up."  After a few minutes of doing 3D work, or 3D gaming, the monitor heats up and then begins doing some "flickering."  The flickering is quite annoying and makes it unusable for my purposes; this same flickering is not present when doing documents, web browsing, or video.  My older 30-inch monitor, a Dell U3011, does not have these same flickering issues.  Both of the monitors are utilizing DisplayPort, and the video card does not seem to be the culprit.  Because of the flickering I have chosen to return the U2412M--it's too bad because it looks great when combined with two portrait side monitors.

Gear: Dell UltraSharp U2412M, BenQ RL2460HT, Portrait Monitors.

While testing the BenQ RL2460HT I noticed that it was excellent for landscape mode, but it was not great at  portrait mode.  Since I desire to be able to switch from landscape to portrait mode I need a proper monitor for that task, and I believe the Dell UltraSharp U2412M is the better portrait mode 24 inch monitor.  Below are images of the box contents of the monitor, and there is also some comparison images.

Jul 16, 2014

BenQ RL2460HT - Low Blue Light Gaming Monitor

 Gear: BenQ RL2460HT, Dell UltraSharp U2412M, Portrait MonitorsDell U3011.

Today I'm testing the BenQ RL2460HT.  This monitor is packed with many features, but the highlights are: low blue light, gaming modes, pass through HDMI, adjustable stand with horizontal/landscape mode and vertical/portrait mode, no flicker, and ability to change the screen size and aspect ratio (which can be useful for developers with screen size requirements).  Below are the box contents and some thoughts on this monitor.