Thesis Submitted!

It’s done, my thesis has been written and submitted for examination. I can’t believe four years have passed since I started. So many things have happened since then, including my wedding, and trips to tasmania, vietnam, new zealand, and many countries in europe. Once my thesis has been accepted, I will be uploading it to this site — just in case anyone is interested. Probably the most useful component of the thesis is the bibliography, referencing the corpus of research into developmental and physical modelling for procedural graphics. Maybe I will upload it separately as a html document.

Me submitting my PhD thesis

And then there’s the future. Will SDS, the generative software I built for my PhD, be developed further? It’s tough to say. I’d like to, and I think it could complement other modelling tools. But it needs a bit of work, both on the research side and the code side.I’d be more than happy to talk to anyone about these issues if they want to work on it, but part of me wants to rewrite major chunks of it, and make it rock solid. I could release it, as is, but I think people would have too many problems with it, and I don’t have the time to answer questions or fix bugs. And then there’s Blender. BV did a great job building the Blender-SDS plugin, allowing SDS to communicate with Blender,  but a few changes in the Blender API since then has rendered the current plugin only partially usable. With the final Blender 2.5 release sure to come out this year, I’d rather wait until it does before updating the plugin any further. I’ve got a busy year ahead, and I’m not sure if SDS will be part of that.

So, one major part of my life is ending, but I’ve got an exciting 2011 lined up. One half of my time will be spent working on some real-time generative software with jonmc, possibly integrating advantages from abstract systems (like L-systems) with spatially embedded systems (like SDS). I was very lucky to have work lined up straight after finishing, and I was even more lucky to have part-time work lined up. This was an intentional choice, as my fondness for game development has increased over the last few years, and I’d like to see what happens when I devote a large chunk of my time to crafting some games. I’ve always had an interest in game development and programming — ever since my dad and I built a simple program on our c64 when I was about six, the result was a hot air balloon sprite flying diagonally across the screen — I was amazed. I remember having to draw the sprite on graph paper, and then encoding each row of the sprite into a number (if column 1 is black then add 1, if column 2 is black then add 2, if column 3 is black then add 4, and so on!). Although I have built a couple of small games (many unfinished) the most work I have spent building a game was about 56 hours for the PyWeek competition, when I made Get Off My Lawn. So yes, I plan on spending a large part of my time this year creating a few prototypes, and hopefully finish one or two games.

My first very exciting post on this blog was almost four years ago, and there has been 86 more posts since then. But I think it may be time to re-evaluate the purpose of these posts. This blog was a way for me to jot things down for myself, so I didn’t forget. But having it public (and served via rss), made it a weird half diary/half blog, which I felt compelled to update. So I think this is probably my last post where I rant about random stuff … instead this site will probably transform to become more of a portfolio than a blog. We’ll see. :)