Seven Things for March 10, 2019

I haven’t done one of these for awhile – too busy with The Book (not That Book; the Other Book). Here’s a collection of stuff I’ve noticed the past few weeks.

  • GDC: hey, there’s a Shadertoy meetup. Me, I’ve been to GDC only once before, back in 2001, and look forward to going this year. Help me out: What should I know about and not miss?
  • If you’re in the Boston or London area in March (the 31st and 16th, respectively), go to BAHFest. I went last year for the first time, and it was pretty great. Here’s a winner from last year, how cats are behind crypto-currency fever.
  • Youtube recommended I watch this video, and they were right! Path tracing explained fairly well, in a wonderful hokey 50’s style. Andrew Glassner pointed out there’s another in a similar style, on snow simulation.
  • Clickbaity title, but I liked this article for its rundown of color blindness and a possible cure.
  • Also in Wired: Lena/Lenna is an iconic image, a symbol of objectification, and a point of pride to Lena herself. The world’s a fascinating place, which is one of the reasons I live here instead of on Mars.
  • Just so there’s some actual chewy technical content in this post, see this article on mesh simplification. It has a generally-applicable idea: you often don’t need an exact sort, just a rough one, e.g., for depths or sizes of objects. For that, a single-pass radix sort might be just the thing. BTW, there are a surprising number of odd videos on sorting: Radix sort (and different group, different song); bubble sort – I’m a sucker for Balkan music; and this 15-sorts one – no dancing, and sounds like a set of 8-bit game sounds run amok, but still interesting if you know the algorithms. I hadn’t heard of the cocktail shaker sort, and sadly the bogo sort is not played to completion…
  • Improved Kill/death ratio as a selling point. Admirably, they attempt to control for skill level, based on number of hours played as a proxy. Surprising conclusion: “the higher the skill level, the more that players are attuned to the game and can benefit from differences in hardware.” Also, 144+ FPS seems to be the current frame rate to aim for. Yes, I work for NVIDIA now, but I found it interesting and believable. If you’re in sales, you’d like the opposite to be true, “just buy new hardware and you casual players – the vast majority – will benefit the most.” (Thanks to Pete Shirley for pointing this one out.)