Thursday, November 29, 2007

Antarctica with no ice

Ever curious what Antarctica would like with no ice - see some renderings of this frigic continent without ice. Some maps below show Antarctica as an archipelago, others as a larger landmass...

What would happen if all this ice melted?

This map taken from: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/outreach/wiredantarctica/lessons/sci_lessons/lesson6s.htm

melted ice antarctica

Here is one from http://www.visitandlearn.co.uk/schoollinks/faqs.asp

antarcticnoice.jpg

http://library.thinkquest.org/26442/html/terra/antarctic_noice.gif

antarctic_noice.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Antarctica_Map.png

488px-antarctica_map.png

http://www.btinternet.com/~graywallis/

bm.jpg

Isometric Game Engines

3d isometric Ah remember those high graphic computer games before 3D Games became a mainstay? Those were isometric games - basically 2d games with 3d perspective: Many old school great computer games, including some with highly detail graphics have used isometric perspective. I particular liked the Black Isle NeverWinter nights, Torment and Baldurs Gate Graphics. Below are a list of tools that you can use to create an isometric game or graphics, i took the website blurb where available and pasted it below so describe the game better (not in any particular order):
  • isotopeIsotope is an Isometric game engine for Pygame written using the Python programming language. It provides the framework for constructing an Isometric graphics game with actors who can pick up objects and jump onto platforms. Isotope also provides automated actors who can interact with the player or their environment. There is a specific focus on documentation which sets it appart from the other projects in this area. Other SDL versions available also.
  • kyraKyra Sprite Engine:A Sprite Engine is the drawing and rendering component of 2D and quasi-3D games. Examples of this kind of game are Civilization, Donkey Kong (classic arcade), Pharaoh, Zeus, Warcraft, Diablo, Frogger, and Pirates!, among many others. It is so called because the "characters" or "little men" are referred to as "sprites".
  • explorationsExplorations: Explorations RPG Maker is a full featured 2D rpg engine capable of creating real-time role playing games comparable to Baldur's Gates, IceWind Dale, & Fallout. Explorations features a simple yet powerful drag/drop interface with extensive debugging & support tools which makes Explorations the highest quality rpg maker available. The Explorations game creator makes local, network, and even mmog (massive multiplayer online games).
  • wintermuteWintermute Game Engine: Wintermute Engine Development Kit is a set of tools for creating and running graphical “point&click” adventure games, both traditional 2D ones and modern 2.5D games (3D characters on 2D backgrounds). The kit includes the runtime interpreter (Wintermute Engine, or WME) and GUI editors for managing and creating the game content (WME tools) as well as the documentation, demonstrational data and prefabricated templates.
  • isoworld IsoWorld is a Cross-Platform Isometric Game Development Engine that allows professionals and hobbyists alike to easily bring their isometric game visions directly to the gaming world without the huge investment of developing the underlying sprite technology or isometric gaming engine.
  • novashellNovashell is a high-level 2D game maker that tries to handle all the hard work behind the scenes allowing you to whip up sweet games using pathfinding, dialog, persistant dynamically sized maps with contruction/decontruction, save anywhere, and especially features that adventure and RPG type games would use. It's also built to allow easy sharing of games you make and modding of them. The underlying concept is everything is cut and pastable and can be added and removed even during play.
  • cjkMap-like Web Game Engine: The basic challenge for a web game is continuously loading of the world, the same for general client games. However, the dynamically loadding of many web based map meet the request. With this game engine, the game world can be dynamically loaded to the browser, and objects/sprites can also be optimized to be dynamically loaded.
  • theoworldTheoworld: is a tile-based isometric engine implemented in Flash. It can be used to create PRG/MPRPG games, 3D avatars chats and other interactive applications. TIE gives the possibility to create maps with objects on it (furniture, plants, collectable objects, etc.) and moving characters. It handles all the functionality, like drawing the map, placing all the objects on it, moving the characters around, detecting the collision, interacting with objects and so on, giving developers the freedom to create their own isometric worlds.
  • goldtGolden T Game Engine: is an advanced cross-platform game programming library written in Java language. GTGE library provides a complete routines for making 2D game from low level routines such as hardware accelerated 2D graphics, mouse and keyboard input, audio support, game timing, to game specific routines such as sprite, background, collision detection.
  • fifeFife Game Engine: The mission of the FIFE project is to create a cross platform game creation framework. Although we do provide support for some assets of the original Fallout games, FIFE is not an emulator to replay the storylines of Fallout 1 & 2 with it. The development team emanated from a Fallout-related project and is now working to deliver an easy to use but powerful cross platform 2D game creation framework.
  • jcraftJcraft: is a free cross-platform tile-based real-time strategy game engine (RTS). It includes support for playing over the internet/LAN, or playing a computer opponent. The engine is configurable and can be used to create games with a wide-range of features specific to your needs. The initial version has been initiated by a software project assignment at the University Of Applied Sciences Rapperswil (HSR).
  • flash isometric gameZenbullets - Flash Isometric Game. Currently there is an Actionscript 3 class library for Flash Player 9 as well as an AS2 version for Flash 8 for this game, At the moment there are no plans to make this open source, but if there is sufficient demand it may be considered further down the line. Read more: http://zenbullets.com/isometric/
  • isointeractiveISOinteractive (STUDIO) The ISOinteractive STUDIO is software and additional components that allow rapid development of cross platform Isometric Macromedia Director environments. Used for communications (such as multi user), games and other interactive online, downloadable or CD/DVD content.
  • j2m3e.jpgJ2ME Isometric Engine: An engine/framework for isometric games (like japanese RPGs) for mobile devices supporting J2ME (MIDP 1.0). This engine will manage maps, objects and characters. A full Action-RPG using this library is going to be released... Stay tuned...
  • isoengineIsoEngine SDK is a 2D/isometric game engine software development kit. It is the best isometric engine on the web, offering great quality and lightning speed at a very low price. It comes with an abundance of tools, including a map editor. IsoEngine can help you create 2D and isometric games in very little time.
  • The FFilmation EngineThe FFilmation Engine is a free AS3 isometric programing engine, focused mainly on game development. Its name is a tribute to the filmation engine used in some of the greatest games in the 8bit era. The aim of the project is providing a robust development platform, where game designers can work on the game’s details and forget about the render engine. It is intended to be really usable from a “real production scenario” with limited resources.
  • GEMRB Game Engine GemRB (Game engine made with preRendered Background) is a portable open-source implementation of Bioware's Infinity Engine which was written to support pseudo-3D role playing games based on the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. It should run on GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X and possibly other UNIX derivatives. It is licensed under the GPL.
  • Haaf Game Engine HGE is an easy to use yet powerful hardware accelerated 2D game engine. It is a full featured middleware for all who want to develop commercial quality 2D games rapidly and easily. It covers all imaginable 2D game genres: you could create everything from a simple puzzle to advanced multilayered platformer or strategy without even thinking of any non game logic code! And you don't have to know anything about "window messages", DirectX programming and all that stuff. Instead you can start developing your own game within 15 minutes!
  • ika Game Engine ika (all lowercase) is a generic gaming engine geared (only slightly) towards making console style RPGs. It's already been proven quite able to make puzzle/platform/what-have-you as well. You can read more about the feature list of ika here.
  • As3isolib is an open-source ActionScript 3.0 Isometric Library developed to assist in creating isometrically projected content (such as games and graphics) targeted for the Flash player platform. As3isolib includes utilities, primitives and views. As3isolib was developed with simplicity, speed and performance in mind so that developers can focus on actual implementations rather than having to learn a complex API. The as3isolib is loosly based on a scenegraph implementation.
  • Slick2D is a simple set of tools wrapped around the LWJGL OpenGL binding for Java. It's aims are as follows: * Provide a simple 2D API * Make transition from Java2D to OpenGL easier * Enable distribution via WebStart without the complexity * Provide the tools required for most simple games out of the box * Extensible framework for flexibility * Mix and Match - you use what you want, nothing is enforced. * Help with rendering, sound, input, collision and anything else we can think of.
  • Verge3: Verge3 is a game engine designed to help people make rpgs, but it can actually make most any game in a Genesis/ Super Nintendo style. It is Windows Native, written in C++, and allows for a huge amount of flexibility. VERGE is an acronym for:Vecna's Extrodinary Role-playing Game Engine.
  • Agen: AGen is a framework that serves as an abstract interface layer between the system hardware and your game. Programming games should not be about studying the inner workings of a hardware device or an operating system. AGen allows you to focus entirely on the game logic thanks to its simple and lightweight framework
  • Isomyr is an isometric game engine based on Pygame, and written in Python. A fork of the Isotope game engine, it provides the framework for constructing an isometric graphics game with actors who can pick up and drop objects, jump onto plaforms, and move about in projected 3d isometric environments.
  • Game Editor is the open source game design software that gives you the power to create the games of your dreams, and, unlike other game creation tools, gives you the chance to get and change the source code of the game creator and design and develop 2D games for personal computers as well as mobile devices.
  • Eclipse is a free to use 2D game engine. This game creator makes online mmorpgs. No previous knowledge is necessary becouse Eclipse uses a simple point and click system. If the software does not have the requirements you need you can program it with the source. Remember, Eclipse is a easy to use. But to create a truly fabulous games with this mmorpg maker time and effort will have to be put forward into your masterpiece. Story lines, sprites, graphic interfaces these are all key essences in making the difference between a simple game and a truly unique mmorpg that will go places or generate revenue. The eclipse game engine has the capability to create professional games but it takes the user to truly harness that power.
  • The Aves Engine is a professional game engine to build any type of web based 2D or 2.5D game by only using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, giving game studios the power to deliver stunning games for all kinds of genres on multiple platforms. It’s in a way similiar to Game Engines on PC or Console systems but utilizes many important patterns you need to consider when working in the web environment.
  • The Flax Engine (henceforth called Flax) is to be a 2D game engine for the web, using features introduced in HTML5, speci?cally the canvas and audio tags.
These isometric game engines are in SourceForge, they appear to be dead, but might be worth looking at:
  • JEDI-IsoAxEE WorkShop by Delphi: Using Delphi to write a complete Isometric Engine and Editor and to port it to Kylix upon it's release. Features... 1. Cross-platform Isometric game engine and editor. 2. Full OO game object inheritance model so objects can be handled...
  • Java Isometric Engine: JIsoMan is an isometric game engine written in java. It has line-of-sight, entity & terrain objects, and a tilemap and wallmap. It also has a design mode to graphically design isometric maps.
  • The Lupercalia Engine: The Lupercalia Engine is an isometric game engine that will be used to develop multiplayer online games of various designs. Later on it will become the basis of a single game design, while allowing others to develop their own projects based on the engine
  • Deadlock Engine: The Deadlock Engine, or DEngine, is a generic, cross-platform isometric game engine written in Python.
  • Blackfish Engine Isometric Engine: BlackFish is an open source isometric game engine written in C++ for the MS windows DirectX7 platform. It runs in 800x600x16 graphics mode, either windowed or full screen. A custom map editor, called EditFish, is included.
  • Buttermilk Game EngineButtermilk is the 2D XNA game / GUI engine that's being built for the game "Rogue Bishop". It's a very easy-to-use 2D game engine which tranparently supports 3D objects in the 2D scene graph. It currently includes a dynamically-skinned GUI system. The GUI system is completely separated from the 2D game engine in its own project module, and can be used in any XNA application, 2D or 3D.
Note the Alternativa Engine is 3d now, so I removed it from the official list, however is still worth checking out (it looks pretty impressive!)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Incredible Tree Houses of the World

Note: this post was cleaned up for dead images on 5.Aug.2012. This will probably be the last time in a long this section will be updated. For more updated source on treehouses, check out this Tumblr blog

What is it about tree houses that inspire such joy and childlike wonder? Is because there is an innate quality that still resides in us from when we once arboreal beings? I've saved a few bookmarks over the past few months of some of the most unique treehouses I have found around the world. Here is a collection of images that you might enjoy. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to identify some of the photographers or stories behind all them.


This is a Borneo tree house found on a post by the famous photographer George Steinmetz. From his website: The Korowai and Kombai live in tree houses that stand in clearings they have carved out of the forest. Beyond the pacification line we found people without clothing, metal, or any form of cooking vessel. This reality was made clear by the stumps of trees we saw there that had been felled (litteraly beatted to death) with stone axes, and resmbled giant shaving brushes. Although slowly dying out, there was still cannibalism in the area. Gerrit believed it to be part of their criminal justice system, as most of the tree-dwelers did not believe in natural death. The Korowai believed that most deaths were caused by sorcery, and they would try to find out who the sorcerer was to kill and eat them.

This is the pic that inspired my search, its designed by www.studiolukaszkos.com. You can find more pictures of this house here: http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/08/31/4treehouse-by-lukasz-kos/


Here is one I found on thepeoplearetryingtosleep. Its based in Belzig Germany. This one is held together by suspension!

BlueForest is Sussex based treehouse developer - here are a couple of my favourite tree houses they have designed:

This tree house in Northumberland is the largest treehouse in the world - its more like a castle! Read more about it here: http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,11711,1388619,00.html



Another treehouse developer, the treehouse-company.com based in Scotland, have got some interesting designs where the tree grows from the heart of the house.

This is a Nebraska City tree house locate at the arbour day farm, which is 50 feet high:

Here is guesthouse in Almsdorf, Germany:

Another German Treehouse Hotel!

In Calfornia, Roderick Romero has some inspiring treehouse designs as well:

This is an artistic tree house done in Steampunk Style:

This is another cool tree house thats in California: http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/treehouse.html



From Freshome: "‘Free Spirit Spheres’ and are designed by Tom Chudleigh, and is an eco-friendly living quarter that was created to co-exist unobtrusively with its forest environment."

coolest tree houses

Again from the Freshome Tree House post: "Takashi Kobayashi, one of japan’s leading treehouse creators. This house was designed after an advertising agency in Tokyo, hired him to design a treehouse for a Nescafé commercial now running on Japanese television."



Again from the Top 8 Tree House post: "German cooperative Baumraum knows how to keep imagination alive in their homes. They create treetop dwellings which integrate beautifully into their forested surroundings, and preserve the integrity of the trees that support them"

Heres one from the top 8 Tree Houses that I have included here: "Dustin Feider had a different vision: one that would be good for the tree, the environment and the deep human need to reconnect with nature and our primordial roots"

dustin feider


Nested 30 feet (10 M) above the ground in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, each Tree House has spectacular views of Kaikoura's dramatic mountains and surf-washed Pacific coastline. Check out this New Zealand Treehouse:







I am not sure where this tree house is (original source is hungarian) but you can find more photos here: Koos.hu



Another cool treehouse from Koo.hu, has youtube video here as well:



Below is treehouse I found on Flickr, Not sure where its from, the image is tagged Karaul.ru, so if you know more about this tree house, leave a comment!


I found a superb article in Popular Mechanics of how to build an extreme treehouse. From the site Any kid in Bridgton, Maine, would want to have Peter Lewis's playhouse in his backyard. And no wonder. Lewis has tricked it out with a drawbridge and two spiral staircases. Best of all, the whole thing floats 21 ft. off the ground.This one has me pretty giddy, click on the image below to see!


Here's another cool tree from the travel company Across Indonesia. From the website: Explore the lowland-swampy tropical rain forest in middle-south part of Papua Irian to meet the most unique tribes who live in the tree houses around 6 to 25 meter from the ground (some can reach heights up to 50 meters!), the Korowai Tribes.



From CookedBrains.net: Okinawa's Treehouse Restaurant. It's actually an unusual tree house restaurant. "It's situated up in what appears to be a tree, but it's not a tree, just a very realistic rendition made of concrete. There's an elevator in the trunk that takes the customers up to the restaurant."


Horace Burgess treehouse church. Wow. From USA Today: The treehouse built by Horace Burgess rises 97 feet into the sky, the support provided by a live, 80-foot-tall white oak 12 feet in diameter at its base. Six other trees brace the tower-like fortress, but Burgess says its foundation is in God.


When in Washington State, USA, why not stay at the Cedar Creek Treehouse? Nice location!


From danielsusott.info: Hawaii's answer to Biospheres One and Two is a great Indian banyan (Ficus) flourishing in lush Manoa Valley on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. It comprises the Southeast corner of the "Gayasphere," a living dome of giant bamboo and lineage-holder Bodhi trees woven together with sacred and medicinal vines.


From the New Zealand Herald:
A tree house at Titirangi and an upmarket Ponsonby pad with sweeping city views are two of the Auckland houses that took top honours in the latest regional architecture awards. read more


From Flickr, a Stockholm treehouse:


From Philly.com: "Building a tree house used to be a rite of passage for boys and girls growing up in a more rural America. These days, even setting foot in a tree house is a rare event for the typical suburban child...."


Here is one from Joanna's Food Blog: In the autumn, we had a visit from a planning official, who said that there had been a complaint, and that we needed planning permission for "the building"..... Happily, the planners unreservedly took our side, and we did not have to demolish the treehouse.


Thanks to a comment in my blog from deb, I have included this tree house from Italy, scroll through the images by pressing either "Indietro" or "Avanti" at the top:

How about a treehouse internship? Chris Yorke had some did some work on Washington State treehouses:


Visit the Treehouse Restaraunt in New Zealand
yellow treehouse

Want to go camping up in the trees? Well how bout a tree house tent?

If you are 'stumped' about where to build your tree, take a cue from Kevin McKinney! Also the original source of the tree house is down, so if you know its general location, leave a comment :) This picture is from Shardul.co.nz:

Frank McKinney has a neat Treehouse of Delray beach Florida: McKinney built the $25,000 treehouse in 2001 in front of his Depression-era Cape Cod cottage built by cartoonist Fontaine Fox in homage to his Toonerville Trolley strip.

The Windy Days Blog has a great post from two very beautiful treehouses, unfortunately the general location is not posted here, so if any one knows, please comment below :). I especially love the interiors!

Gentilhommière du Bois Adam near Nantes, France. Its a hotel. My kinda of hotel :) This is via Una Mosca en la Luna Blog

Woohome.com shows this 'Nest Tree House' concept from Gerard Moline. Its a quite a different concept, but fits well with the concept of a tree home :)

Looking for ideas for building tree house? Check the blog This old tree house and see the progress of a tree house builder :)


Whats a treehouse without a few pints? Check out the Tree House Bar in South Africa. Image from Barcroft Media

Worlds oldest recorded treehouse, at Pitchford Estate. Check their website here or click image below



Linda Aldredge’s Treehouse - a lesson in sustainability. Read this great article about her tree house in New York (click image below) Quick quote This is a house I simply can’t afford to keep up. I can’t afford to heat it in winter, which most cabins have to be in upstate otherwise you’ll have burst pipes, etc. I can’t afford a mortgage. I can’t afford water and septic costs. I can’t afford property taxes. It had to be sustainable. Just the very nature of my life forces me to choose this option.


Pete Wilson has built some marvelous Tree Houses. Check out his workmanship here:


During May 2009, the Author of this blog stayed at Out and About Treehouse resort - click on the photo below to see more pics from our experience!


This is an amazing treehouse from Camp Twin Lakes (via Inhabitat)

This is a dutch treehouse that hugs itself to a tree via straps via treehugger.

Other Links and resources:
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Click below to go to businessweeks article on 'super treehouses':


Unique Daily Treehouses



Ok these are just a few - you can find hundreds more using google or altavista image search for tree houses. Also it looks like Amazon has a few cool about tree houses around the world.

Updates Section:
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5.Aug.2012: Check out Fuck Yeah Treehouses for latest updates on treehouses.


17.Jan.2010 Vienna Treehouse

6.Dec.2009 Camp Twin Lakes Treehouse

13.Jun.2009 - Out and About Treehouses Resort photos from my stay there!


21.Dec.2008 A 'Happy Holidays Update' :) Stump Tree House from Kevin Mckinney was added. Also another McKinney (Frank, who is in Florida) has a magnicent tree house in a strangler fig. A few pics from the from Windy Days Blog show incredible treehouses, with some very cool interior shots. Also Gentilhommière du Bois Adam near Nantes, France, hotel Tree house. This is via Una Mosca en la Luna Blog. Feel like nesting? How about this unique Nest Tree House concept from Gerald Moline. Looking for ideas for building tree house? Check the blog This old tree house. Whats a treehouse without a few drinkies? Down a few at the Tree House Bar in South Africa. Do you like your treehouses aged to perfection? - check out the worlds oldest recorded treehouse. Read aboutLinda Aldredge’s Treehouse - a lesson in sustainability. And finally, If you have chance, check out Pete Nelsons 'Tree House Workshop' in Oregon!

19.Nov.2008 Tree House Tent Added

1.Nov.2008 Tree House restaurant New Zealand

24.May.2008. Italian Treehouse, Joanna's Treehouse and a treehouse internship added

18.May.2008. Added stockholm treehouse, 'Sami' Tree house, and Longwood treehouse

25.Apr.2008 - I added the The Biosphere Tree and the Titirangi Tree house in Auckland New Zealand today

21.Mar.2008 - Big Update, one from Flickr, Popular Mechanics, Cedar Creek Treehouse, Across Indonesia, Cooked Brains, and the Horace Burgess treehouse church

19.Jan.2008: Four new tree houses have been added found from the 'top 8 treehouses of the world post' on Freshome (added to the end of the post).


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