Trailer Screenshot

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Hello folks,

Everything’s going fine with the game, I’m not dead(yet). Just wanted to post this screenshot from the upcoming trailer real quick. It’s a bit dark but I like it that way.

Shadow of a Soul Trailer Screenshot


Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Silence! I kill you!!!

New Year’s resolution:


My old 3d showreel

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Here’s my old showreel. Good old days. I got way better at 3d stuff since then(2009). Must.Not.Tinker!!!!

Hope you folks like it. Don’t let me stop you if you want to tweet or like it.

And watch it full screen please(1280×720)..

Ferzan Showreel 2009

Creepy poems

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Today I’ve finalized about a third of the vegetation in the forest scene. I plan to finalize the remaining bits over the next few days (additional trees, grass and rocks). The polygon count for each tree is about 10k on average and they look really nice.

While working on the trees I was thinking about the gameplay teaser that I plan to make soon. I had this idea of using a voiceover of a creepy poem to go with the visuals. So I took a detour from working on the trees and went searching for some poems. I checked Edgar Allen Poe’s poems first (very original idea), then checked if there are copyright restrictions on them. Turns out they are public domain as I pretty much guessed. There is this really great site called Project Gutenberg that has 40.000 public domain ebooks. If you want to be 99% sure about copyright of something literary check that site out. If it’s in there you are pretty much good to go.

Unfortunately none of the Poe’s poems fit with what I’ve prepared so I moved on to other poets. After reading scary/horror themed poems for an hour I decided that it might be cheesy to do this kind unless I get Patrick Stewart to read the poem. However, I’ve found two poems that I like; hope you folks like them too.

Ghost in the Puddle by Richard Macwilliam

The ghost in the puddle looked out with dark eyes,
Its mouth shimmering, stretching, making small cries,
Faint, faint, like a sigh on a breeze
I heard its despair, its tormented pleas,
‘I’m trapped in this mirror, and only you see -
Dive in and help, won’t you please rescue me?’

Faint, faint, dark in its eyes,
I felt my feet fading,
Heard its thin cries,
Struggled to pull myself free from its grip,
Felt my mind shaking, felt my mind slip,
Faint, faint were the words in my head,
‘Do something now or your soul will be dead!’

Faint, faint, my mind in a whirl,
I heard in my head, ‘Get the water to swirl!’
But nothing would move, my limbs were like lead,
And I battled the ghost with my weak mind instead.

Faint, faint, the two of us fought,
My life in its grip, my feet in its court,
The splash of a puddle the ghost’s worldly domain,
A kingdom that neither of us wanted to gain.

Faint, faint, but the sun was now high,
My feet were transparent, the ground nearly dry,
Trapped! As the water shrank in to a dot -
I faded to nothing, right on the spot!

Darkness Comes by X.Athame.x

Crimson drops
A silver kiss
Darkness comes
Eternal bliss

Blood red rose
Thorns black
I am gone now
Not coming back

Death comes
On prancing steed
To take me away
As I slowly bleed

Galloping off
Into the night
Darkness comes
Erase my light

In sickness and in health

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Oh boy, it’s been a weird couple of weeks.

Shortly after my last post, I started my long overdue vacation. No emails, no internet, just cuddling up with a lot of novels for two weeks.

I’ve been reading a lot of novels because I’m more or less done with reading short horror stories. I think I’ve read 60 or 70 percent of the short horror story anthologies on the market and, according to their Amazon reviews, the remainder suck even worse than the ones I’ve read.

It’s a matter of personal taste but I feel like 80% of the short stories written after the 1950s are horrible. I’m a big fan of everything written from the 1880s to the 1930s. Those stories have great atmosphere, characterization and the kind of interesting plots that, in my opinion, contemporary stories lack most of the time.

Older stories are much more succinct when it comes to prose. The authors of those stories were clearly masters of their craft. In just a few words or sentences, they express the moods, thoughts and feelings of the characters, and the events of the story, to much greater effect than today’s authors with their wordy, almost deluded, writing.

I’ll talk more about the horror novels I read on my vacation at the end of this post. If you’re interested in reading horror novels check it out.

As my vacation neared its end, I started packing my things and getting ready to leave my parents summer home because I didn’t want to spend another cold winter shivering while working. Preparing all my food myself, living alone at the top of a tiny mountain all alone, experiencing occasional 16 -hour blackouts and paying $100 for 16GB 3G internet connection also affected my decision.

Amidst all the chaos caused by trying to box up shit loads of stuff(including 10 computers) I got sick. It wasn’t that bad at first but I got really tired from lifting/carrying stuff and then making the 8-9 hour drive; so I was pretty fucked up by the time I got back to Istanbul. As a result, I spent the next 10 days trying to get back on my feet. It was bad, but I caught up on a lot of TV shows that I’d missed this season. On a side note, I think the quality of the writing of many TV shows far surpasses that of feature films. A single episode of Dexter, Good Wife(seriously, nobody is watching this show but it’s awesome), and lately Walking Dead, gets me 10 times more excited than the $200 million blockbuster(*cough*Battleshit(p)*cough*).

Anyway, I decided to do something different for the first time in my life and got myself a tiny office(15 minutes’ drive from home). I’ve been working from home all these years; Never ever worked in any sort of office, punching in and punching out. This is new ground for me, and for the past couple of days I’ve been enjoying myself. However, I didn’t enjoy setting this place up. Problems with the phone and internet connection took almost two weeks to resolve. Nevertheless, I find the overall experience pleasing. It’s nice to have a physical separation from your workplace.

For reasons too numerous to mention, I was checking all my cell phone email from the past month. I had setup a Hotmail address and arranged for all my emails to be forwarded there. 8-9 days ago I got an email accusing me of running a scam site and threatening to tell the whole world of my fraudulent ways if I didn’t refund a pre-order. I was like, WTF! Turns out, Hotmail’s anti-spam filter is an overly excited piece of software. When I looked into the junk folder I found that there were 30 emails, 20 of them legit. After two very polite emails asking for a refund, this customer got rightfully angry and fired a third one which Hotmail, in its wisdom, thankfully decided not to block. Moral of the story: Hotmail’s spam filter sucks. At least for me. Gmail’s spam filter is much better(I’m sure most of you are saying DUH! at this point).

I’ve had a grand total of two refund requests – including the customer above – which I think is nice.

Ivy Generator 2012, my tiny contribution to the 3d community, was downloaded by 4000+ people and got very positive reactions from various 3d community forums. No bugs reported, which is nice, considering how tricky multi-core programming can be.

I’m working on another application in my spare time. This one’s for the gaming community. I’ve completed quite a bit of it but haven’t really glued all the parts together yet. It addresses a very specific problem that I’ve had playing various multiplayer games. It probably won’t be ready for another 3 months because I’m also working weekends(as usual) to catch up on time I lost while sick. Hopefully, some people will find it useful. No details yet as to what it is.

The thing I absolutely love about getting back to civilization? Not having to cook my own meals! It definitely saves a huge amount of time/energy for me. Nothing sucks more than getting hungry after working 4-5 hours straight only to find that the fridge is empty and you have to cook something. Not anymore. Yay! Ordering out rules.

On the game side, I’m testing to see if baking culling(occlusion, frustum, back-face and portal) data is worth the extra hassle on a forest scene that I have which, I suspect, contains way too many polygons. If you’re curious about occlusion culling – or graphics programming in general – you can read about it at this link.

I was going to write a lot more but this post is already at 1000+ words. So here are a few reviews of some of the books I read during my vacation.

Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons – The book centers around a small group of “mind vampires” who can subjugate other people to their wills, read their minds, and experience through their senses.

I read about 450+ pages of the 700 page book then gave up. Boring characters and boring events make for a boring novel. It would have been more interesting if Dan Simmons had edited the book down to 350 pages. Not recommended.

The Bad Place by Dean Koontz – I honestly don’t know what this book’s about. The Amazon page says: Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning when he awakes, he discovers something strange–like blood on his hands–a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person–a young man with Down’s Syndrome–can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever returns..

Didn’t quite make it there either. Gave up on page 50. This book is plain bad; One of the worst I’ve read actually. Stay away from this book. Definitely not recommended.

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons – It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic middle-childhood. But amid the sundrenched cornfields their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days…

This was a good read. Very interesting and creepy in places. No willpower used while reading. But honestly didn’t like the ending very much. Still recommended.

The Séance by John Harwood – Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside, has a sinister reputation. Once, a family disappeared there. And now Constance Langton has inherited this dark place as well as the mysteries surrounding it.

As I’ve said 100 times before, I’m a sucker for Victorian ghost stories. This was a great little book. Even the cover is great! The author captured the tone of those Victorian era stories 100%. Recommended.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub – For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

Although I had great expectations for this book, it ultimately failed to deliver on every count. 1 or 2 characters are mildly interesting. Others are just plain boring. Very predictable. Waste of time. Not recommended.

Phantoms by Dean Koontz – They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing…

This was my first Koontz book. I read this book before the awful The Bad Place. I really, really liked this book. Why? Because this one has what most books, or even TV shows, don’t have: characters that actually talk to each other! 90% of all the fiction characters are über annoying like this:

Oh my god! I think I saw a 2 -meter -long monster with razor sharp claws, pointy teeth and black eyes smirking at me from the shadows. I’d better keep this to myself and not tell anyone!! I don’t want them to think that I’m insane after all. Yes, I should probably keep this to myself, unless of course 5 people from our group disappear. Then I’ll tell everyone that I saw a big ugly monster.

Not a second before that…

No such thing in this book. Highly recommended.

I’ve read a LOT of books over the past 15 years, and somewhere along the way I’ve abandoned the attitude of reading books from cover-to-cover. Life is short. There is no point in using willpower to read a work of fiction. It’s supposed to be entertainment after all, not torture.

3D Ivy Generator 2012

Hello folks,

I’ve been wanting to do something for the 3d community for a long time now. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough free time to create anything useful from scratch. I was working with Thomas Luft’s Ivy Generator for some scenes and even though it’s awesome, it was pretty slow to create ivies (it was using a single core). He was kind enough to provide the source of the program so I decided to take a shot at accelerating it.

Ivy generator is now fully multi-core optimized. It is 2.5X faster on a single core and an order of magnitude faster on 4 cores. As far as I can tell it is very stable. I’ve also updated the Qt and OpenGL libraries.

I want to thank Thomas Luft for creating this very useful tool, all the credit belongs to him. He has a donation page here. If you find the program useful, please consider donating.

Win32 Download

There won’t be a Mac or Linux release
Triangulate meshes before importing them into the app

Image Copyright Grunio

Latest updates

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

It’s been a busy couple of days. Here’s a bullet-point list of the stuff I did:

- Re-encoded some of the videos. File sizes changed from 70MB to 20MB with no noticeable loss of quality with 3 pass encoding. It’s pretty easy to overdo quality and bitrate settings it seems. Needs lots of iterations. Videos on the blog should load much faster now.

- Updated the release date on the various documents and the trailer.

- Lost half a day of work when Windows 7 boot manager decided to corrupt itself. Lesson learned: keep a copy of Windows 7 on an USB stick.

-Researched into how other companies write release date postponement press releases (it seems games that are released on time are a rarity). Wrote my own. And sent it to various *free* press release sites. I won’t be spending $400-$500 on a single press release ever again., go fuck yourself! If I wanted to be on Congo Times I could have send them an email myself!!!

- Caught up with my emails. I think I’ve answered all of them but if you didn’t receive a reply from me, please send your email again.

- Learned that raytracer based renderers are better at handling instanced geometry (more than a billion) with regard to memory (5GB vs 16+swapping) than a renderman complaint renderer that shall remain nameless. Although there is a great chance that raytracers fuck up pretty bad when it comes to enabling motion blur in the scene, which usually adds anywhere between 50% to 100% to both the render times and the memory requirements. Still 3d motion blur looks much better than post-production 2d motion blur.

- I’ll soon be releasing a multi-core ivy generator as a tiny contribution to the 3d community. More details follow soon.

- Added some new pictures of Bobo to this post and posted them to Reddit’s aww section.

- Learned a new English word: indelible.

- I’ve talked about myself in the third person and addressed myself as CEO. God I truly hate writing press releases.

- The only game I’m playing is Left 4 Dead 2. Some people turn into monsters when they’re driving. I turn into a despicable horrendous monster of a pitiful human being when I’m playing L4D2. “Fuckin noob”, “WTF!”, “Get the fuck out you noob”, “ffs fucking move!” are pretty much what I always write to other people on a daily basis. Can’t help myself. I got so mad at “noobs” that I got myself a VPS in Germany and opened my own dedicated server (a 512MB server is more than enough) just so that I can kick them without wasting any time. Turns out there are gazillion of empty L4D2 servers out there, mine included. So much for the ego boost.


Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Hello folks,

I’ve got a lot of stuff to say about both the game and other things. Here we go.

I decided to postpone the release of the game to May 2013. Why? Shortest answer is: the game’s not ready yet. There are levels left to be done, some character work still needs to be done, and I haven’t even touched the sound part, which is arguably one of the most important parts of a horror game. There were money problems that prevented me from outsourcing some of the work which would have really taken a great load off my shoulders. Those problems are solved now though. Everything’s fine. And, for the record, I’m not talking about your pre-orders solving the money problems. That money is in the PayPal account, and stays there, untouched.

I honestly feel really bad about delaying the game. I feel pretty bad for those people who pre-ordered the game months ago, trusting the release date, and for those who pre-ordered recently, believing they’d be playing the game in a month or two. I’m truly sorry. Because of this, I’ve set up a page for you to request your money back in the quickest and most painless way. Just enter your PayPal email address, nothing more, and I’ll refund your money. No hard feeling whatsoever. Here’s the link.

So, what have I been doing for the past couple of months? I’ve been working on the game pretty much 24/7. Software development is hard, things have a way of getting very complicated, leaving all the plans moot. Art stuff is no different. There are no hidden traps or unexpected complications on the art side (except for the goddamned buggy 3d software packages) but there’s always the problem of getting things just right. Not OK, not this’ll have to do, but just right. And that requires lots and lots of iterations. There is also the overhead of context switching. Working on the multi-threading, in memory databases, 3d math to do this and that on the code side, debugging and then all of a sudden switching to animation, texturing and UV mapping, creating/tweaking puzzles etc. is a little bit disorienting considering the fact that I’m not very bright.

There’s one thing I can honestly say about the game though, I love my story. And what I’ve done so far (in terms of assets and code) is good stuff. I just need more time to make more good stuff.

Another thing that really bothered me during these last couple of months is my “extreme* 1billion“ amount of procrastination. If it wasn’t 100% game-related, it didn’t get done. Whether it was shaving, showering, paying taxes, replying to wedding invitations, making or returning phone calls or answering emails, none of it got done. I was feeling so incredibly overwhelmed during this time by the sheer amount of work left to do, I couldn’t find any willpower to do anything besides working on the game – including the simplest things that would have taken me a minute or two to finish.

But most of all I’m extremely sorry about not answering your emails. There is no excuse for it.

So what happens now? First I need to answer all my emails, then write and send a press release about the game’s delayed release date, which I’ll also modify on the trailer and SoaS page in a day or two.

In terms of my well being, I’ve decided to take some time off, probably two or three weeks, and read some novels, workout and enjoy the last days of sunshine. I’m not remotely burned-out, working on both technical and art stuff is highly stimulating. I’m simply very tired that’s all. Nothing dramatic.

In terms of the game, I decided to stick with my gut and started working on the cancelled second trailer now that I’ve got money and some additional time on my hands. Just search for the keyword trailer if you want to know more about it. Here’s a WIP (work in progress) screenshot from the second trailer. If it’s too dark for your monitor, this one is a brightened version.

Here’s another screenshot from one of the game’s environments.

And here’s another screenshot taken straight from the game. What you are seeing is the woman who’ll haunt your dreams (hopefully!). I’ve just darkened and cropped the image in Photoshop in order not to reveal too much.

And on to the pet news. You can stop reading if you don’t like pets. I love pets and I post pictures/videos of our little ones on this blog all the time. These videos are 1280×720 so you can watch them full-screen. They have no sound; I couldn’t find any music that would go with them because most of my music library is death/heavy metal stuff.

I mentioned this little lady(I call her Rat) months ago in this blog post. She was found near the road in horrible condition. I’ve made a before and after extreme makeover video of her. She has a disease called Leishmania. It’s an ugly disease but we’ve got it under control now. No need to go into any more detail other than to say that she is probably healthier than I am (knock on wood).

And this little gentleman(Snotty) is the latest addition to our family.

Here’s a video of him and Bobo.

That’s about it! I’ll probably start blogging more often after my little vacation with more news from the development hell.


105 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Hello folks,

Sorry about the lack of updates. I’ve been away because of some sad stuff that happened in the family which I won’t go into in detail. I was unable to check my emails, the site, etc. I came back and resumed my no phone, no internet and no email life and I’ve been working 16-hour days for the past ten days or so. I want to thank all of you folks who got concerned about me. I’m officially back to the online world and I’m trying to catch up on my emails.

I’ve decided to end writing daily blog posts because it takes me a long time to write even the shortest of them, and lately I just don’t have the willpower to write these things before going to bed. Plus all the high level stuff, be it planning, designing, programming, marketing an indie game, is in the blog written in various levels of detail and lately all my daily activity is dedicated to the nitty-gritty of making the game, which is much less interesting even for this blog.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be posting updates about the game but I’d rather write them in an unscheduled manner.

I had promised a friend that worked as an editor for an indie gaming site that I’d send the first screenshots of the game to him but I don’t think he’ll mind if I release just one in this blog. Besides, not a lot of people read the blog. It’ll be our secret.

128 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I’ve struggled with rendering/network problems all day. I came across this article about VFX of Transformers 3 couple minutes ago, it put a smile on my face.

For a last push on the final weekend of work, ILM’s entire render farm was used for Transformers 3. ILM calculates that that added up to more than 200,000 rendering hours per day — or the equivalent of 22.8 years of render time in a 24-hour period.

129 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Debuged code all day. Damn bugs. I think every programmer should read this quote by Dijkstra.

The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague. In the case of a well-known conversational programming language I have been told from various sides that as soon as a programming community is equipped with a terminal for it, a specific phenomenon occurs that even has a well-established name: it is called “the one-liners”. It takes one of two different forms: one programmer places a one-line program on the desk of another and either he proudly tells what it does and adds the question “Can you code this in less symbols?” —as if this were of any conceptual relevance!— or he just asks “Guess what it does!”. From this observation we must conclude that this language as a tool is an open invitation for clever tricks; and while exactly this may be the explanation for some of its appeal, viz. to those who like to show how clever they are, I am sorry, but I must regard this as one of the most damning things that can be said about a programming language.

130 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I was reading Programming Game AI by Example and found the following paragraphs really interesting, even though they don’t really apply to Shadow of a Soul.

But what is this mysterious thing we call artificial intelligence? With regard to game AI I am firmly of the opinion that if the player believes the agent he’s playing against is intelligent, then it is intelligent. It’s that simple. Our goal is to design agents that provide the illusion of intelligence, nothing more.

Because the illusion of intelligence is subjective, sometimes this takes very little effort at all. The designers of the AI for Halo, for instance, discovered their playtesters could be fooled into thinking the AI agents were more intelligent simply by increasing the number of hit points required to kill them. For one test session they allowed the agents to die really easily (low hit points); the result was that 36 percent of the testers thought the AI was too easy and 8 percent thought the AI were very intelligent. For the next test session the agents were made harder to kill (higher hit points). After just this small change 0 percent of the testers thought the AI was too easy and 43 percent thought the AI was very intelligent! This is an astonishing result and clearly shows the importance of playtesting throughout the game development cycle.

131 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

Everything’s going great with the game, albeit a little bit slower than I’d like.

One of the things that I was working on today was laying down my own CAT5 network cables for changing the location of my tiny computing farm. I bought a 100 meter cable because readymade ones are a pain in the ass and expensive. Turns out, cutting your own cables is a pain in the ass too, but I think I got the hang of it after some Googling and testing (read: wasting cables).

Quite a few of the 2d and 3d applications that I’m proficient on make use of third party plug-ins. And sometimes plug-ins are almost as expensive as their host applications. Today I bought myself a $500 plug-in (after a LOT of deliberation) for one of the applications that I’m using. After the purchase I realized that I’d bought a 3d character animation and rendering program called Messiah two years ago for $450! A whole app with shitloads of features. What has the world come down to?

While on the subject of Messiah (and remotely connected to my rant about Diablo 3’s DRM), I’d like to say that Messiah uses a USB dongle protection which you won’t find in games and which I find very ugly and inconvenient because you have to insert the damned USB stick into your computer every time you want to use the app. Curiously, the cracked version has no dongle protection, thus no need for the USB stick. Guess which version I’m using!

Note: If you guessed the dongle protected one, you’re correct, because I looove inconvenient stuff and I’ve never used pirated software in my life. True story.

132 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I lost all my reference image folders when the motherboard went kaput last month so I had to search for reference images on the net again. Reference images help me to model assets and communicate ideas to freelancers that I work with.

This time, however, instead of using Google images I decided to search for a dedicated image search engine. I’ve tried most of them and most of them are pretty much horrible if you need to go over hundreds of images.

I measure the quality of image search engines by two things. One is the relevancy of results and the other – the most important – is the number of clicks required to download an image. Based on these criteria, I think Elzr is the best image search engine out there (and it’s not even in the top 20-30 Google listings) because instead of loading the page that the image comes from, it only loads the image, and it loads it on the same page as the search results, so everything is located on one page. All in all, Elzr plus Flicker pretty much cover all my image needs.

133 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

An early post, albeit a short one. I’ll be doing a lot of emailing today, mostly to freelancers that I should have contacted last week.

I’ve yet to touch any of the accounting stuff that I should have finished 5 days ago, so that’s going to be another important thing.

Plus I need to update some of the applications in the farm.

134 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I’ve finally updated the previous posts (some are still missing)! Victory!!!

135 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I’ve been really interested in GPU computing for the last year or so. I think it’s a fascinating area. What makes GPUs so good at computing is their massive ability to do parallel tasks. CPUs are still needed for conditional stuff such as if x is below 100, y is equal to 20. But any algorithm that can be run in parallel, in theory, could be computed much faster on a GPU. How much faster you might ask? About 10-20 times faster for most applications. That’s the main idea behind Nvidia’s push for GPU computing.

In order to get better speed when previewing my scenes I decided to take a look at new graphic cards on the market. I don’t really have time to explain all the stuff I learned (I’ll provide some links at the end of the post if you’re interested in details) so here’s the gist:

Nvidia made an awesome GPU called Geforce 680; however, they really really fucked its compute ability in order to promote their professional line up of cards such as Quadro and Tesla. The card seems to be great for gaming, based on the benchmarks that I read. But, unfortunately, it performs really poorly for GPU computing intensive tasks such as 3d image rendering. How poorly? Orders of magnitude poorly compared to the ATI 7970.

I’ve always bought Nvidia GPUs in the past and have been pretty happy with them, especially on the gaming side. ATI’s reputation among game developers is not too good (Rage and Skyrim anyone?), that much I know, but it seems that the 7970 is a really great card in all areas including GPU computing – an area that Nvidia pretty much single handedly dominated before.

So, based on my research, I’ll be getting an ATI 7970 (probably an Asus one) soon.

Here are a few interesting quotes from some of the articles/benchmarks I’ve read:


Regardless of the reason, it is becoming increasingly evident that NVIDIA has sacrificed compute performance to reach their efficiency targets for GK104, which is an interesting shift from a company that was so gung-ho about compute performance, and a slightly concerning sign that NVIDIA may have lost faith in the GPU Computing market for consumer applications.

Tom’s Hardware:

This time around, at the event introducing GeForce GTX 680 to press from around the world, the company refused to discuss compute, joking that it took a lot of heat for pushing the subject with Fermi and didn’t want to go there again.

The more complete story is that it doesn’t want to go there…yet. Sandra 2012 just showed us that the GeForce GTX 680 trails AMD’s Radeon HD 7900 cards in 32-bit math. And it gets absolutely decimated in 64-bit floating-point operations, as Nvidia purposely protects its profitable professional graphics business by artificially capping perfrmance.

The Inquirer:

Wow! The claim of beating the HD7970 goes right into the thin air, it seems. Nvidia’s new GPU is beaten by the Radeon HD 7970 by an order of magnitude here in double precision floating-point, as well as nearly twice in ordinary single precision floating point. One is speechless here. Even the Radeon HD 7870 with its restricted double precision floating-point still outperforms the GTX680 by a noticeable margin in this department, as you can see here. Only the Radeon HD 7850 is substantially slower.

One might ask, why bother? Well, compute GPU performance can’t rely on tweaked drivers, application detection turnarounds and similar tricks as well as other such shortcuts. It is pure, raw processing ability that defines the GPU general purpose computing useability. After all, Nvidia created the GPGPU market and CUDA programming environment. This situation not only badly hurts its prestige in this area but also forces the need for a, say, GK110 ‘real Kepler high end’ follow-on to be delivered soon. Not to mention, Nvidia’s GPU compute optimised cards like Tesla sell for thousands apiece, even though they are based on essentially the same dies as high end consumer GPUs, therefore GPU compute is important.


Overall GPU Top 20 Complex Benchmark
Blender Benchmark(Cuda only)

136 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

I’ve got shit loads of files scattered all around my servers (thanks to last month’s workstation meltdown) making it hard to find anything quickly. I’ve searched for a decent file search utility that allows you to search network locations but couldn’t find anything that didn’t cost an arm and a leg (that is $50). Then I came across this tiny little program called Cathy and I must say it’s awesome. If you have your files scattered in various locations in your network, it’s a godsend. Plus it’s free. Here’s the link.

137 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

OK, I’ve finished Diablo 3. Played Nightmare till Act 2. All in all, I’ve spend 25 hours playing the game. My final verdict on the single player aspect? I don’t really like it. Honestly, it’s boring. Can’t really explain, maybe it’s an age(I’m 30) thing since it’s basically the same idea, click on monsters to kill them, get loot, sell it, rinse and repeat ad infinitum but I’ve had so much fun playing Diablo 2, Diablo 3 feels like a letdown. Especially coming from Blizzard. It seems, to me at least, they didn’t manage to replicate the success that they did with Starcraft 2. I’ve absolutely no doubt that I’ll be watching Starcraft 2 games in the years to come even though I’ve deleted the game in order not to destroy my monitor and keyboard. With Diablo 3, my feelings are like, meh. I don’t really care much.

A huge part of my dissatisfaction with Diablo 3 comes from the classes and spells. I find the classes and spells either boring/useless or plain lame. For example, I totally abhor the idea of a kung-fu guy in the game. My first reaction was WTF! And this guy has a spell that includes a church bell appearing out of nowhere that traps the monsters and he punches the church bell to kill them. At least that’s what I understood from the video that’s shown on the character selection screen.

Witch-Doctor is another lame character. I hate his design and skills. Guy throws frogs for fucks sake. Where’s the fun in that! Fucking frogs. Play for two hours and learn the ability to throw frogs. Fantastic.

I’ve got a level 40 wizard guy that looks like a girl with no tits. I like the wizard’s spells. Nothing lame there. But, even though the spell animations are nice, I find that I can’t play with the wizard without doing any kiting, which means attacking enemies then running away (at least that’s what I think kiting means). I’ve yet to get inside of a mob and blast the shit out of them.

I’ve got a level 10 demon-hunter. The spells didn’t really appeal to me.

I’ve yet to play with Barbarian but I’ve a feeling that I’ll like the Barbarian class.

I didn’t experience any network issues (and I live in the middle of nowhere and connect to the net with a 3g modem) but I fucking hate it when they take the servers down for maintenance for 5-8 hours at a time.

Maybe, the game really shines when played co-op with friends. We’ll see.

138 Days to go

Categories:Shadow of a Soul:Chapter I

There was a problem with the site that resulted in losing about 10-15 posts (I’m too lazy to count). Here’s what happened.

Couple of weeks ago I moved my DNS servers to Amazon’s Route 53 DNS hosting service and about two weeks ago my hosting company moved this site to another much more powerful server in another location unbeknownst to me. Since my DNS is hosted in another location, it continued to point to the old account for two weeks while the new one remained untouched. The hosting company then decided to turn off the old server leaving the site unreachable. It was at this point that I became aware of the issue and just how severe it was because I always edit my files on the server site in order not to FTP the files all the time, which meant that they were gone with the old server.

Couple of emails (including one from the CEO), online chats and a day later, I was able to get my files back.

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