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Topics - Wedge

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Forum Games / LET'S PLAY: OREGON TRAIL (starts on page 2)
« on: January 20, 2013, 12:56:54 AM »

Obligatory console prompt:


Modification Help / Working on a bunch of decals
« on: July 08, 2012, 03:21:52 AM »
These aren't final versions of the decals. I'm posting work in progress artwork for feedback. I'm trying to make a couple of packs of LEGO style decals (without being exact copies of them). I'm not taking requests but if there's soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning you think should be made go ahead and suggest it.

Draft Decals:

brown circle thing is not supposed to be a recycling decal (although I'm making one) - it's a logo for a waste management company.

Work in progress components:

General Discussion / Wedge's Brick Party (BYOB) [Arcologies]
« on: June 23, 2012, 12:01:40 AM »

Wedge's Brick Party (BYOB)
Current Theme: Arcologies


Welcome to Wedge's Brick Party. WBP is unique in that it's a community run dedicated server. Each week we run a free build with a different theme. The server themes are nominated and voted on by the community. At the end of each week we vote on next week's theme and show off our favorite builds from the week. Sometimes we host building contests with small prizes.

We don't just do free builds though. Every weekend there is some kind of special programming. It could be a cooperative community build where everyone works on a single project one week, a classic team deathmatch the next, and then a race track the next week. The weekend programming is planned and organized by community members.

You don't have to just sit around though. Do you have a great idea for our server? Are you interested planning our next big event? Get involved! Join the steam group and attend our weekly roundtable discussion. Feel free to contact me personally. Finally we always welcome your comments and ideas here in this thread!


The server only has three rules:
  • Be decent to people.
  • Don't be an idiot.
  • Whatever the admins say goes.
A copy of the rule enforcement policy is available here.

News and Updates
Back to Top

Server News

This week's freebuild is up and running. The theme is the future.

Server is officially launched! Week's 1 theme is Build your own Island! Don't forget to vote on next week's theme and get nominate themes you would like to see for future servers! There are two more announcements. First, we're looking for people interested in producing mods for the server. Second, SECC is going to meet sometime this week to plan and setup this weekend's event.

The server is now open!

The server will be open in an hour or two.

Server is running fine and I've sent out the first admin requests. I'm going to bed now, I'll start the event tomorrow when I wake up. Anybody who has accepted my invitation to be on the server staff is also encouraged, but not required, to join in.

Finishing some administrative tasks and fixing some stuff on the build. Public launch will be in a couple of hours.

Hey everyone! I decided to purchase a dedicated server similar to Badspot's dedicated and open it up for community use. I'd like to experiment in making it a community run server.

This weekend's program is a community build! The theme will be ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian. Minimal add-ons will be enabled and admins will be enforcing build quality. Builds will either be duplicated over or you will be invited to build in the construction zone. Free build is still open everywhere else.

Initial server test, open discussion, and say hi to the staff! We'll be running a preview of week 1's theme "Build your own island." The server free build will officially start on Sunday the 24th at 10PM central time and run until next Sunday. Next week's theme will be determined by popular vote! Nominations for week 3's theme will begin shortly. Theme votes always start on Friday and end of Sunday. Since we don't have a contest vote this week, this week's theme votes will run from now until next Sunday.
Mod Changes

If you'd like to download the server mods we are running ahead of time, we've got the map Nova, and Packer's Tunnel and Hover Scout vehicles. We also have a couple of extra special mods being beta tested on the server right now. First up is Marcem's safe brick, which is eventually going to be part of the maibox system. Sumz has also created a new alternative to JVS doors called Simple Doors. These will be updated over the course of the week.

Mods added: Biplane, Window Bricks, Fence Bricks, Goblet, Mug. Server updates include moderator plugin, admin/mod shields, and autosaver.
Staff Changes

Welcome our new administrator Ronin! Also our new moderators Pload, Onyx, and Lalam! If you feel you are being mistreated by a member of the server staff please post in the thread or send me a private message and I will take care of it right away.

Welcome our new administrators entrepreneur in, Rotondo and Swholli! Also our new moderators Otis Da Houskat, SegFault314, StoreClerk, Thar, and Whermacht!

Welcome our new administrators KINEX, Nitramtj, and Facechild! Also our first every moderator SlickSilver555!

Welcome our new administrators Barnabas, Bisjac, Ephialtes, LoserHero, Marcem, SeventhSandwich, and Sumz! The second batch of admin invitations will be going out shortly.

The first batch of administrator requests has been sent out.

The first batch of administrator requests will be sent shortly. If you're interested in becoming a moderate for WBP, please respond to the PM.

Back to Top

There are currently 2 ongoing contests.

Build an Info Station!
Build an information station like to use in future servers! It can be any theme you want. It must fit on a 32x32 plate, and include tip, contact, theme vote, and suggestion terminals, as well as a compass. It must be clearly marked as an information station so that people joining the server know what it is. If you build your station in my server, please mark your station with a sign or soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning including your name and a note that this is not a real information station.

PM a screenshot of your info station to me and it might be featured on a future server! You will be credited in the main post and on the server.

Player's Choice Contest
The player's choice contest will use an in-game voting feature to determine the best builds of the week. The player's choice contest is not currently operational. In the mean time, please enjoy the weekly server highlights.

Back to Top

Barnabas Bisjac Ephialtes Facechild KINEX LoserHero Marcem Nitramtj entrepreneur in Ronin Rotondo SeventhSandwich Snackbar Sumz Swholli
Bacon BLOODBATH Lalam Onyx Otis Da Houskat Pload SegFault314 StoreClerk Thar Wehrmact
Content Contributers
Nullable Marcem Rotondo SlickSilver555 Sumz Trey
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Send me a private message on the forums.
Send me an instant message on Steam.
Send me an email.

Forum Games / Blockland Writes a Choose your Own Adventure Novel
« on: June 06, 2012, 07:34:44 PM »
Ever wanted to be a published author? Well now you can!

Twine is a tool for writing hyperlink based adventure stories. It's really easy to use and runs on Windows and Mac.

How to Participate
The story will be passed from person to person to edit. If you would like a chance to add soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning to the story, post here and let me know and I'll add you to the end of list. It will be on a first come, first served basis, and once we reach the end of the list we'll cycle back to the first person.

When you receive the story, you'll have a day to make changes and upload it to the next person. If you don't your copy within 24 hours, your turn is skipped and the next person gets to go. No exceptions. I'll keep the player list updated here so people know who is playing, but other than that, this should basically run itself.

You may go as soon as the person before you uploads the story. If they upload it 2 hours after getting it, you can take your turn immediately or wait for their turn to end first.

The story will be written in Twine. If you want to read the documentation, here it is. I had no trouble using it without reading it though, it's pretty straightforward once you figure it out.

Turn Order

1. Wedge
2. Ninja guy < it's this guy's turn
3. SirLancelot7
4. Fireboy
5. masterockets
6. LOL:D
7. Cybertails1998

I only have a couple of rules:
  • Anything goes. The story doesn't need to make sense logically, although the story should remain continuous. You're welcome to walk down the street on one page and fly through space on the next as long as you provide some means for it to happen. You can breathe water, walk up walls, fly through the air, or spontaneously turn into a rubber tree. It's up to you.
  • Write in the second person.
  • Check your spelling.
  • Don't write over other peoples' work if you can help it. Ask them first if you want to add soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning to it.
  • Follow the forum rules. Here they are, reproduced for your convenience:

1. Do not post ambiguous topics. 
2. Do not post adult content.
3. No warez.
4. Use the Search feature before posting a question.
5. Do not plea for sympathy.
6. Think before you post.
7. Do not flame.
8. Do not cross post.
9. Do not advertise other forums.
10. No pyramid/referral schemes.
11. No chain-letter style spam.

Current Story Arcs
A list of the different "story arcs," basically mostly self-contained stories within the story. More will sprout up as people make their own additions, and this list will quickly grow out of date.

An Adventurer is You
An evil dragon is terrorizing the elves of Canada and it's up to you to put a stop to it. (starts at "go on an adventure")

Kroger Quest
You're a wizard just trying finish their grocery shopping when suddenly everything gets turned upside down. (starts at "go inside")

Theatrical Genius
You're a talented stage performer going on zany adventures with everyone's favorite British playwright. (starts at "theatrical genius")

Exit, Stage Right
You walk out of a bar only to discover that your life is some kind of Middle Age Truman Show. (starts at "exit, stage right")

Download the Story

I try and put the most current version of the story here, but it may be updated too quickly. Check the thread for a most recent version.

Download link:

Off Topic / Google's Story of Send - A look inside a data center
« on: May 15, 2012, 09:59:40 AM »
Google has produced this pretty cool interactive site that documents the travel of your email through a Google data center. They do focus pretty heavily on their own data centers. In fact, if you're actually wondering how emails are actually routed through the global network then you'll probably be disappointed. It's a good overview of the technology and work that goes into building and operating a high-end data center.

One innovation that I found particularly interesting was putting the UPS on the server board. I've seen large back-up power supplies for buildings before - one at a college and another at in Brooklyn - usually it's a huge room, sometimes more than one room, full of the enormous batteries. Sometimes they've got back-up diesel generators too, which are also huge. Seeing all of that compressed to provide power for a data center is pretty cool. I imagine they must still have back-up batteries on site for the security systems though.


Some members of community believe that this upcoming update as a death to mapping, but that's not the case. The new update will actually empower mappers!

It's true, interiors and terrain will be gone. This is hardly the death of maps though, map makers will just have to learn how to make bricks. I'd like to introduce a new kind of brick that I'm nicknaming set pieces for now. Set pieces are bricks - you can paint them, add events, lights, whatever. Unlike normal bricks though, they can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, they may or may not have studs on them, and you generally don't build stuff out of them but use them for decoration instead.

Set Pieces are Already Being Used!

Existing examples of set pieces are things like roads, trees, and terrain blocks. With this style of mapping though, we'll see a lot more set pieces, like street signs and lights, props like trash cans or dumpsters, new kinds of trees, giant rocks, mountains, volcanoes, mushrooms, basically whatever you could use as a decoration for a map. Note that the purpose of these is not to replace building, but rather, allow people to quickly construct a map setting which people can then build in.

How Things Work Now

This terrain uses the bricks that we got with the terrain block update. This sort of terrain is useful for a number of reasons. It's a simple modular design. You don't need to know how to use any fancy editors. You can easily modify the terrain, and dig out things like caves. However; it's also limiting in some ways. You can't really do curves very well and skiing or driving on them just sucks. For these tasks we have traditionally resorted to terrain and interior based maps. The do a pretty decent job, but they are being removed from the next version of Blockland. We need to come up with a new solution.

Introducing Set Pieces

This is where a new class of bricks come in. We'll call them "set pieces" to differentiate them from normal bricks. Set pieces can take on many arbitrary shapes, like curves and ramps. Suddenly skiing and driving just got a lot more fun. What was limited, box-like terrain is now totally awesome. So far I've just shown off some simple terrain bricks, but there's a lot more to set pieces then just terrain. For example, you could do buildings as well.

Set Pieces are not Restricted to Terrain

These have huge advantages to traditional interior based buildings. You can stack them, rotate them, paint them, and basically make arbitrarily shaped buildings out of them. So instead of modeling a hundred different boxes and slapping different textures on them and then individually detailing them, you'll model a couple of modular skyscraper pieces and then stack, paint, and rotate them to easily create all the buildings you could possibly want.

Set Pieces Work Together

Building set pieces integrate nicely with modular terrain. They come in the same standard sizes, so you'll never have to worry about them getting in the way of terrain vice versa.

Development Plans

Please note that these aren't official or anything like that. I don't personally have plans to work on them at the moment since I don't really know how to make bricks. These entirely theoretical.

These are definitely plausible though, and people have already created far more complicated bricks than those that I am proposing.

Possible Implementation

Alright, that's the end of my discussion on modular set pieces. As I produce more concept art I'll publish it in this thread. Now I'd like to discuss a possible implementation of maps. I want to separate this from the previous section because it's more speculative. The modular set pieces are absolutely possible, and could even be made right now, in this version of Blockland. This section is my personal suggestion on how maps could work in the future.
Editing Maps
Set pieces are, functionally speaking, bricks. So you can build a map piece by piece if you want. However, individually placing all the components of a map can be slow, so modular set pieces should be able to be placed in a painting mode. Basically, you get an isometric view of the slate. There's a transparent grid on the ground, and you can use the mouse to move and drop bricks on the map. This will let you build terrain extremely quickly. I would also suggest that some kind of terrain generator be implemented so that people can just choose to play on a random map without having to mess around with building anything.

Playing on Maps
This is where set pieces differ from normal bricks. Anybody should be able to build on set pieces. If you hit one with a hammer it shouldn't give you the "<user> doesn't trust you" text. Rather, nothing should happen, just like if you hit the bedroom or some grass with a hammer. Map bricks shouldn't be modifiable by anyone except the host and those the host gives permission to. You should be able to clear all users bricks from the map without removing set pieces.

Saving Maps
I'm not going to recommend any sort of file format, code, or anything like that since Badspot and Kompressor are infinitely more knowledgeable about the direction they want to take the game in and how it should work. However, it appears to me that if my suggestion as to how maps should work were to be implemented, there should be a way to save and load set pieces independantly of a build. This may needlessly complicate saving and loading of bricks, but it's just a though.

Off Topic / Blockland Recommends: Games (finalizing submissions!)
« on: January 17, 2012, 12:54:44 PM »
Blockland Recommends: Games
One Billion games to Play before you Die
(Also Blockland is already on the list, you don't need to keep submitting it.)

Voting is closed. Thank you for your interest.

So my goal with this thread is to create a comprehensive list of all of your favorite games. All it takes is one nomination to make it on the list. This thread is in the off-topic section because of the amount of site traffic there and this thread is also part of a series of threads that I'm planning on making.

Anybody can make a recommendation using the form above and there are no limits on how many games you can recommend. You don't need to be a member of the forum to vote, nor do you need to be logged in. So if you're a guest browsing the Internet, welcome to the forums and feel free to suggest a game. Submissions are anonymous (does that even matter?).

After submissions start to wind down (an arbitrary amount of time), I'll freeze the submissions and publish all the recommendations here on the forums. Then we'll have nominations and voting to figure out Blockland's top 10 favorite games.

If you're interested in looking at the data yourself, a summary of all submissions can be found here (updated instantaneously):

Well everyone, it looks like the dust has settled and the results are in. It's been a long election season, but Barack Obama has won the 2012 election and will finish up his second term as the 44th President of the United States.

So, who do you guys want to run in 2016?

Off Topic / Dolphins talk in pictures
« on: December 05, 2011, 11:24:09 AM »
Well it's a bit of an oversimplification but it's mostly right. This came up in my rss feeds and I had to share it, I'm sure some of you guys will find it interesting.

You may or may not have been aware that dolphins are an animal that uses echolocation to identify objects in their environment. Basically they emit a clicking sound. Based on the pitch of the sounds that bounce back off an object, they are able to "hear" pictures.

What you probably didn't know is that once they hear the response, they're able to replicate the pattern and send images to each other. There's also research being done into viewing these images the dolphins make, as well as actually communicating images with them.

Here is a link to the article.

If you look you can see that the image the dolphin generated of the flower pot contains remarkable detail - even the textured bands in the bottom of the pot are visible. Whether they can see the pot in that much detail, I'm not entirely sure, but it's still really cool. They're able to communicate all kinds of information about shape, size, and texture in a couple of clicks. See this post by Colten for the outline of the flower pot.

A higher power tells you to commit an act that you believe to be morally wrong and that you do not want to do. The action you are asked to do is not specific and you may pick any as long as it follows the previous rule. See below for some examples. You are absolutely sure that this is a higher power telling you to do it and not a mental disorder. There are no alternatives. Assume that this higher power does exist, that you believe in it, and the threat of suffering eternally is real. Do you do it?

In other words, is there anything that you would not do even if a higher power commanded you?

You may change your answer at any time for any reason.

Here are some possible examples but you can pick anything.
  • Infect the world with a theoretical virus that will cause everyone to die within 2 years. After catching the disease you will die in 6 months. During those six months it will be impossible to die, and you will live in constant pain and suffering, until you finally die alone in a secret hospital somewhere. First it will infect your family, then your friends, then kill everyone else in the world. Finally it will kill you.
  • You are now a doctor tasked with killing all newborn babies that do not have a special mark on them.
  • You are instructed to a pull a lever that will cause everyone in the universe to suffer eternally in hell except for yourself. If you do not pull this lever you will go to hell forever but everyone else will be saved.
  • Same as the previous, but if you do not pull the lever only 2 people will go to heaven. You still go to heaven if you pull it, hell if you do not.
  • You are a soldier and you must kill everyone of a particular religion and race.
  • Any of the above actions, but if you do it, only you and 2 other people of your choosing will go to heaven. Everyone else goes to hell.

The goal here isn't to pick soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning that you would do. The goal is to pick soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning that you absolutely would never think of doing and you consider the very thought of it objectionable and would cause great personal harm. It is a general action, not a specific action.

Off Topic / Music from Very Short Programs
« on: October 12, 2011, 11:18:26 PM »
If you're interested in the background behind all of this stuff, you should read viznut's blog post.

Basically, there's these little c programs that if you run them, and output the results to audio, you get various patterns that resemble music. It's become pretty popular recently, and you can find hundreds of these things all over the Internet now if you look.

For example, if you pipe the output of the c program main(t){for(t=0;jt++)putchar(t*((t>>12|t>>7)&63&t>>4));} to an audio device you get soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning that sounds like this.

So after this got posted, it was followed up with 2 more videos showing programs contributed by other people.

There's a bunch of them here:

My favorite is Long Line Theory, developed by mu6k.

Anyway, if you want to try creating your own, go to this site:

I guess I'll start off with one I made up:

The website helpfully provides the bbcode for your sound so you don't have to make it on your own. It's at the bottom of the page. Here's a link to the example I posted:

You do not need any programming or musical knowledge to contribute to this thread, so have fun. Feel free to post ones from any of the videos or anywhere else on the Internet if you want to share them as well, but don't forget to mention where you got it from and who made it if you can find it.

Off Topic / The Metathread
« on: October 10, 2011, 07:02:00 PM »
!!!!!!!! THREAD UPDATE !!!!!!!!

Shell has won the the find the missed thread game with his thread on Battlefield 3.

See post for details.

Congratulations Pwnon on being the first person to post a new megathread after the metathread was published. We salute you.

There have been exactly 3 megathread megathreads and 1 megathread megathread megathread. How do I know this? I counted.
There have been 3 Pokemon megathreads, 4 Little Big Planet Threads, and 4 Garry's Mod megathreads. I counted these too.

In this thread we're looking at forced megathreads, megathreads (actually mostly just normal threads) that people put the word "megathread" in the title, hoping that it would eventually become a megathread. This... is the METATHREAD.(queue thread soundtrack)

In fact, I have just finished counting every thread that had the word megathread in the title. Ever. Don't believe me? We'll get to that in a minute. First, here's the statistics.

Summary of Megathreads

I finished compiling the statistics in about an hour, I did it by hand, and I began about noon (central US time) on October 10, 2011. These won't be updated, I don't have the time to do this every time someone posts a new "megathread." This will forever be a snapshot of the forums, right now.
  • There are 240 self-appointed megathreads.
  • All 240 megathreads were posted by 154 unique users.
  • The average megathread is 7.7 pages long.
  • The standard deviation of the sample is about 23.

Wall of Shame: Top 10 Megathread Posters

There is an 8-way tie for position 10.

Vegetarian Zombie4

Quality of Megathreads

With the rare exception, forced megathreads have as much content and last as long as normal threads. Contrary to some "megathread instruction guides" certain forum members tried to make (you know who you are, these threads will show up in the forced megathread index because they have "megathread" in the title), there is not a magic layout that will organized your megathread and make it an awesoPhysician Prescribed Desoxynread. In fact, some of the most popular megathreads are not organized.

Here are some common traits of the more popular megathreads:
  • They do not feature content copied and pasted from Wikipedia. Please do not do this.
  • The first post featured some kind of content to get the thread started. For example, if it's a "post your x" megathread, the author posted their x.
  • Successful megathreads are written about content people are actually interested in. Yeah, I know, that surprised you too didn't it? You can make a thread about an essay for English class. It is not likely you will make a megathread out of it though.
  • Successful megathreads on the Blockland forums are normally about games or hobbies that lots of people have.
  • Calling your thread a megathread is a great way to not make a megathread. Again, the average thread length of a "megathread" is 7 pages. The median is probably closer to 1 or 2.
  • Similarly, most successful megathreads do not have megathread in the title. The author just posted soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning they were interested in and everyone jumped on and they kept the main post up to date.
You should always search before posting a new megathread. Chances are your thread has already been posted. You can also try looking in the index below but it will go out of date very fast, so it's not that reliable.

What was first thread on this forum to have megathread in the title?

It's highly probably that there were other threads in the past that were deleted. That being said, the earliest that we can find through searching is Messing with noobs- A megathread by Sirrus. You will probably not be surprised to learn that this is a megathread by Sirrus. You will probably also not be surprised to learn that he is on our top 10 list of people who try to force megathreads. It was posted on December 3, 2008.

Thank you Sirrus, thanks a lot. :cookie:

The Present and the Future

Currently so many threads that are not megathreads have the word megathread in them to the point where megathread is now a meaningless term tacked onto any old thread to make it seem bigger than it actually is. You could think of it as viagra for forum threads.

My proposal is that from now on the forum software automatically tack (megathread) onto every single thread posted to save us the time.

The Index

Well, I said I'd post a list of all the threads I looked at, and I am. It's going to hit the 20,000 character limit at least once, so I'll need several posts. No, I didn't type it out by hand, it's a combination of copying and pasting, manual data entry, and concating strings in excel using the format ="string"&cell&"more strings"&another cell&"end string". I've done data entry before at work so it's not like this took a long time or anything.

Just a thought, when you go to post your megathread megathread with a big list of megathreads because you think it's going to be hilarious, don't do it unless you can top this list. No copying and pasting, you need to write the list yourself like I did.

Off Topic / Cambrian Explosion
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:08:04 PM »
So this is kind of a cool simulation that models evolution.

A couple coiley spring worms and a rogue rocket worm in action

Basically it randomly generates some critters in a general shape, then randomly contracts their muscles to move them around. The one that moves the furthest is the winner, and then the top ones are bred to make new creatures. Ones that move negative distances instantly die.

I ran the simulation for about 20 minutes with some worms and noticed the following pattern.

0-1 minutes: Era of Wiggly Worms (Average Speed: 3. Top Speed: 198)
The worms just kind of wiggle about randomly. Some move forward and these stick around.

1-4 minutes: Era of Inch Worms (Average Speed: about 35. Top Speed: 340)
After a couple minutes the wiggly worms can't compete with what look similar to modern inch worms. If you're not familiar with inch worms, they kind of scrunch up their middle so they make a upside-down U shape, then push the forward half of them forward.

4-6 minutes: Era of Flying Rocket Worms (Average Speed: about 400. Top Speed: 1114)
Inch worms are great because they're stable. They don't usually flip around backwards and go backwards. But some worms figure out that if they coil up into a C shape so their tail is under neath them and straighten out, they can fly forwards. My fastest worm at this point can go 1114 units!

6-20 minutes: Era of Spring Worms (Average Speed: about 750. Top Speed: 1244
But it turns out that rocket worms aren't very stable! Sometimes they flip around and fly backwards and die. While the rare rocket worm manages to keep from flying around backwards, many die. A more stable version of the rocket worm emerges. This one still springs forward but it doesn't launch itself way up into the air. These worms almost never flip over, they keep their heads down and land on their front. While the overall top speed of the worm decreases, the average worm speed continues to go up.

The spring worms continue to experiment with different proportion bodies and slightly more optimized movement patterns. By 18 minutes, my fastest spring worm is now faster than the fastest rocket worm, at 1156 units. After 20 minutes my fastest worm is speeding along at 1244 units.

The worm that went 1244 was a member of generation 15. Here is that worm's DNA, I think there is a place you can paste it in somewhere:

If you didn't catch the link at the top of the post, here's the site again:

Just an additional note, I'm now 30 minutes in. The spring worms have figured out that holding their front up so it doesn't touch the ground will reduce friction so they go further. They're kind of halfway between rocket worm and spring worm now. Fastest went 1281. There's a couple of other body shapes and some other parameters I haven't played with yet so there's probably all kinds of things to discover.

Off Topic / ASCII Animator
« on: August 23, 2011, 10:27:21 PM »
Probably the most thing ever.

My stuffty explosion, see link above for cool stuff

Go download it now and make amazing things.

THREAD GALLERY (You could be featured here!)

>>CLICK HERE<< for a comic thread in community projects using ASCII animator

This came up in my RSS feed and I had to try it out. The program is aimed at people people who machine parts or use a 3D printer for private projects, but I was more interested in assessing it's usefulness to this community. There's a lot of people using sketchup for stuff on these forums because it's easy to use, but there's some things that it doesn't do very well or it takes a large number of steps to do. That's where you'd want to turn to a solid modeling program as opposed to use sketchup, which basically makes everything out of paper.

If you want the tldr version, click here.


Screenshot of the program and a small block I modeled.

It can import a good selection of files, including sketchup and obj files. Notably absent here is 3ds, which is odd considering it is one of the industry standard file formats and it's also an Autodesk format. However, you can only export to a small selection of formats that would be great for 3D printing or sending off to a machinist to make some parts, but are not incredibly useful for say, making levels or props for a game. You would need to hop through another program. One thing of interest though is that .stl is a fairly straight forward plaintext file format for 3d information. It wouldn't be that difficult for someone to say, write a .stl to .blb converter. In fact, this is probably best application of the program for our purposes that I can think of at the moment.

The interface itself isn't that complicated, although for me, coming from Sketchup's toolbars and AutoCAD's ribbon and command line, I had to try and wrap my head around it a bit. You basically click the category of the operation you want to do. A pie chart comes up and you pick the command you want. I really hate these wheel selection things but I digress. Fortunately right clicking will bring up a more conventional command menu, as well as a wheel of some common commands (I still hate command wheels). There don't appear to be any keyboard commands, coming from sketchup and autocad I expect the L key to start drawing lines. Maybe this interface is more typical of Inventor, I haven't used Inventor in about 3 years. It also supports mouse gestures by right clicking and dragging to draw. I haven't quite figured these out.

The wheel interface.

The program comes with most of the primitive building commands you've used in sketchup, like push, pull, rotate, circles, polygons. It also comes with many of your favorite 3d modeling programs from autocad, like loft, revolve, fillet, etc. These are really useful commands that are either not possible to do in sketchup or require a bunch of steps to complete. 123D seems to be based on Inventor, considering it's crash logs are filled up with references to Inventor Fusion.

Includes your favorite commands.

This program is pretty smart too. If you draw a hole through soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning, and then delete the hole, it knows to fill it back in. If you drag a hole outside of a box, it will keep the portion of the hole still around. It's got some limits but it's still pretty useful.

Box with a hole.

Moved the hole over.

Quick Facts

  • The program is free.
  • Relatively easy to pick up. Need help? Here's a five part tutorial on the website.
  • Takes up about 500MB.
  • Saves in it's own 123D file format.
  • Imports .sat, .obj, .skp, .dwg, .123c, and .stp files.
  • Exports to .stl, .sat, .dwg, .stp. Great for 3d printing, not so great for Blockland. DWG support is for both 2007 and the old standard (R14 I think).

Go ahead and try it out.

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