Category Archives: Reviews

3D movies, kid? Pfft, try 4D! (A review)

4dx

So I got a chance to experience “4DX” Spider Man 2 at our local movie theatre.

Despite buying tickets online weeks in advance, I still got a horrible seat. (front, far left)  Sadly, this sort of makes the 3D effect worse and introduces eye strain.

So what does paying extra for the “4DX” experience get you?  What do these fancy electronic chairs do?

Well, they mostly kick your chair throughout the movie, punctuated by an occasionally spitting on you.

Shoot, back in Salem, Oregon, you got this for free.

Every time a “chair effect” kicked in, I was mentally pulled away from the film, it actually detracted from the movie.

I realize theatres need to add value to remain relevant but..  I don’t think this is working.

What I’d like is a seat perfectly in the middle, be able to pause to use the restroom, and eat and drink anything I want.  No commercials or waiting.  So yes, I want my living room.

Book Review: Irrlicht 1.7 Realtime 3D Engine Beginner’s Guide

Hey look a new book on Irrlicht!

What it covers:
  • Detailed information on setting up your dev environment (covers Windows, linux and OSX)
  • Basic overview of the engine accompanied by some simple example code.  I don’t think the longest code example is more than two pages.
  • Using sprite sheets
  • Using CopperTube to export a scene with lighting
  • Using ScapeMaker (I’d never even heard of that tool before)  to generate a terrain and how to render it
  • Quick if a bit shallow tutorials on getting things like particles, mesh loading, etc

Ha, it mentions Ludumdare in passing, one of the examples require a sprite sheet image from “A Practical Survival Guide for Robots” and gives an LD url to get it.

What it doesn’t cover:
  • Any hard/tricky stuff
  • Dynamically doing stuff like shooting bullets and making real-time changes to the scenegraph
  • Advanced collision or advanced anything
  • Bringing it all together in a simple game like pong or something
  • Detailed info and gotchas

So there you have it, it does what it says on the tin: a no-nonsense, well illustrated, beginner’s guide.  Only useful for those absolutely new to Irrlicht – very quickly you’d want to switch to the real tutorials to go deeper.

The thing is, if you really have the required skills to develop a 3d game with Irrlicht, you probably aren’t going to be hung up on issues like understanding model formats or adding library paths to MSVC++.  Now where is the advanced book…

Seth’s rating: [3.5/5] duck heads

Disclosure: Packt Publishing sent me this book for review

Irrlicht 1.7 Realtime 3D Engine Beginner’s Guide
Paperback :
272 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date :
October 2011
ISBN : 1849513988
Author(s) : Johannes Stein, Aung Sithu Kyaw