Sunday, September 02, 2007


In June I had an interview with the talented people at the Austin studio of Bioware. It was a great visit and I was excited to finally get to meet some of the people in person there that I'd only spoken with on the phone or chatted with on the web. The job opportunity looked great and my wife and I really enjoyed the area. We decided to accept the position and move the family to Texas. My start date was August 20th.

We stayed in a hotel for the first 10 days or so while we waited to close on our house. Five kids and 2 parents couped up in a hotel room for 10 days made for an interesting experience! We went swimming a lot and looked for other ways to get out of our room as much as we could. Of course there were lots of things to take care of related to moving that kept us busy. Now we're moved into our new house (mostly) and enjoying the final hot and humid days of the Austin summer.

I'm really enjoying my new job. Bioware is a great company and my coworkers are all really cool. I've already started scripting tools - which is something that I really love to do - so I'm quite happy.

While I was taking care of job hunting, interviews, finding a house, and moving, Kees managed to finish up a new point release of ShaderFX - version 1.8! In this new version, we added the ability for ShaderFX to export different flavors of the FX shader format. For now we can export to FX Composer, XNA, and Quest3D - all which require slightly different syntax. In order to get this to work, we've redone things under the hood quite a bit so it's now much easier to add support for additional formats. There are several others that we're working on that will be released soon. These exporters will allow artists to export their ShaderFX shaders directly into their game engines - whereas before the shaders needed a bit of hand-tweeking before they would work in external engines. In addition to the new exporter, Kees also added several other features - the ability to preview the alpha channel of a texture, and the ability to build shaders with multiple techniques - just to name a few.

Take a look at the cool demo videos that Kees made to show off the new features here: