As you may have noted, I updated the look and feel of the website to a more sober, greenish and polished design. The moon in the header has been replaced by a jumping monkey, which is always likeable. Regarding performance, this new site has less and smaller CSS files and less images and therefore it loads faster. Additionally, it uses HTML5, which is good. I also took the opportunity to update to the latest version of drupal and make use of the newer ZEN base theme. Here there’s a side-by-side comparison between the old and the new styles.
Today I want to introduce a very different piece of software I have been putting together lately. It is a RTS (real time strategy) engine. I started playing with the idea as a time killer some years ago, kicking off the development with a fast version of the A* pathfinding algorithm backed not by a grid (as usual) but by a quadtree. Quadtrees make pathfinding super-fast because of their hierarchical division of space and their adaptive partition sizes. Even though I used visibility graphs to store the navigable nodes from one given point, quadtrees are also fast for checking the properties/elements of a position’s surroundings, for child nodes are always spatially contained in parent nodes.
The new version 3.6 of the Particle Physics Simulator is now out with customizable star sprites and fading tails. The new tail graphics have an impact in the performance with older devices (just like mine), but should be handled with minor fps drops by newer processors. However, if you encounter problems you can disable tails or set them to “short length” in the preferences screen.
I just published the latest version (3.5) of the Particle Physics Simulator, with a fancy new feature that allows for different-size particles to be shot into the simulation. You’ll notice a frame with a size-changing particle when you hold your touch down for a shoot. The size of that particle at the moment you take the shot is the size of the particle being created. Easy, ain’t it?
The new version of the Particle Physics Simulator (v3.4) is now out. This version brings us the capability to load and save simulations to XML files. Now you can export your simulation to a file and load it later on.
In order to save the current simulation, just open the menu and then tap the “Save file” entry. In the file dialog that pops up select the folder you want to save your simulation and the name of your new file if you want to create one, or the file to overwrite, and tap “select”. It is done, your simulation has been exported to an XML file!