Everyone loves video games. Most people who love video games have ideas for games they think should exist. For those of you that want to make a game but don’t have the capability, there are always resources out there to help you out. Recently I found out about an awesome tool to help you create 3d adventure games. It’s called the Dog Adventure Game Engine (DAGE). Why do I like it so much? Well, it uses the Lua scripting language which, as many of you know, is very easy to learn and use. Also, it uses 3ds and smd files, with a texture system based around the super-awesome standard material in 3ds Max (it even supports multi/sub-object materials!). In fact, pretty much everything related to graphics in this engine is designed to be done with 3ds Max which I, being completely in love with the program, appreciate greatly. It makes it very easy to create new content when you don’t need to worry about engine-specific proprietary file types or strange, specialized materials. There are, as always, a few quirks that you need to figure out as you go through the process of creating a game, but as soon as you solve a puzzle (honestly, problem solving in this engine feels like a puzzle) everything seems to fall into place. The learning curve is not steep and so much of the technical details are handled for you that even beginners should be able to use this to create something interesting.
Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
I got an interesting email a few days ago. It was from Instructables, telling me that I had a featured article and had thus earned a free 3-month pro membership. Considering I’ve only written 2 Instructables ever, this was a bit surprising. I checked it out and, as it turns out, one of the editors of the site found my 3d printing tutorial and liked it enough to feature it. I thought it was great; my tutorial was featured on a prominent DIY site, was gaining more recognition, and was helping people. I figured that would be the end of it. But then I kept receiving emails. The article had been given new life. People were commenting, asking me for questions, giving praise. And then I got a second email from Instructables. My article is now featured and on the homepage of their site. Plus I got another 12 months of free pro membership. Not bad, huh?
You can check out both Instructables and my tutorial here.
A long time ago I created a 3d-printed Klein bottle for my own amusement. What’s a Klein bottle? A Klein bottle is, simply put, a non-orientable, manifold object. Now, you could go look up the Wikipedia article about Klein bottles (and I suggest that you do, they’re really cool) but the most important thing to note is that a true Klein bottle could only exist in 4-dimensional space. But you just said that you 3d-printed one! Well, yes, I did say that. But my statement wasn’t quite accurate. What I had 3d-printed was a 3-dimensional representation of a Klein bottle. Basically I used the object’s boundary as the basis for creating a shell, from which new 3-dimensional boundaries were defined. By offsetting certain points along the bottle before defining the shell, I could create a 3d object from what was once a 4d object. Pretty cool, right?
This is by far my favorite 3d-printed object, at least of the ones I’ve made so far. I have always found mathematical objects fascinating and while I have printed a multitude of Möbius strips in various styles, something about this Klein bottle makes it seem so unique and mysterious that I can’t help but pick it up and fiddle with it all the time.
If you’d like to get your very own Klein bottle (and I assure you that you do) then you can buy them from my Shapeways store here.