A short mailout this month. Mainly because my usual mailout typing time at the end of this month has been spent writing an article for IEEE Computer Graphics. This month has been heavily concentrated on the 0.664 release and what will go into 0.665.


Version 0.664 was released on 22 September. This was a major release as it featured the new land format and a number of improvements to the Ocelot landscape engine. For those that haven't seen the new land format, the Simulation page;

and the Ocelot page;

show a couple of screen shots.

The new land format provides a much larger environment for the Simulation and fixes a number of the wrap-around paradoxes that existed with the previous versions of the Simulation. It is, in fact, one step closer to Planet Noble Ape as the land generation used for the new land format is identical to Planet Noble Ape.


With the larger land format, the existing weather model is in need of an overhaul. Regulars to Noble Ape will remember discussions in 2000 (and some discussion since then) on a weather simulator I wrote at the time.

This weather simulator will be completely rewritten and incorporated in the Simulation within the next two versions. The weather creates a high/low pressure model and adds clouds to this environment. The only concern is the speed effect of an additional layer to the Simulation.


One of the problems, in the past couple of months in particular, has been a number of external projects that have cut into my Noble Ape development time. Noble Ape developer, Mridul P, is currently experiencing the same situation. Fortunately after the launch of the IGDA Intellectual Property Rights White Paper on 10 October, I might get a month or two to work on Noble Ape solidly.

The plan for 0.665 is to include the vector-maths work from the Apple Distribution. This will require substantial reworking through most of the active source code. It may have to be spread over two version releases.

The file handling has been done in a relatively cludged manner for a number of releases. It works, but it could work neater without too much effort. Changing the file handling should be achieved in 0.665.

Hope all is well with you all,

Tom Barbalet, 29 September 2003.

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