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The 86 Tribute

17 May, 2024 in Cars, Computers, Games

The “86 Tribute” series for the VGP3 Engine is my heartfelt tribute to an iconic sports car renowned for its exhilarating driving experience; with its lightweight design, rear-wheel drive, low center of gravity, and perfectly balanced chassis, it has captured the hearts of driving enthusiasts around the world.

As a token of appreciation for all the joy and excitement this little japanese sports car has brought into my life, I’ve created this mod to share the experience with fellow enthusiasts.

It is my humble tribute to one of the most fun cars I have ever owned. If you want to have fun driving a “virtual” version of the GT86, you can download (for free) a special version of the VGP3 Engine, containing that series, from here:


Sustainable Development Festival

14 May, 2024 in Computers, Science

Yesterday, I had the honor of being one of the speakers at the seminar on Energy Sustainability and Water Extraction from Air, held in the prestigious Ugo Foscolo Hall of the University of Pavia. As part of the sustainable development festival, we discussed the current state of research and applied research on extracting water from air using integrated devices. From green hydrogen to energy improvement in buildings to process optimization, my presentation focused on the development of physical/mathematical simulation software for Air To Water technologies.

Tyre-road heat transfer

3 November, 2023 in Cars, Computers, Games, Science

Tyre-road heat exchange

I have been studying vehicle dynamics for almost thirty years, since I set out to create my first driving simulator, Impossible Drivin’, for the Amiga platform. Over the years, I have primarily studied the complexity of the interaction between rubber and asphalt, which is responsible for 90% of the quality of the simulation, and I have developed several algorithms to effectively implement the thermomechanics of the polymer.

In this scientific paper, I publish one of the formulas I developed (and effectively used in my AVC simulation library) for the dynamic calculation of heat transfer between rubber and asphalt, a formula that replaces the simple constant Hc normally used in the literature:


New Treasures for Beobi

30 November, 2020 in Computers, Games

i Beobi nei sotterranei infestati dai Brubulli!

The first game I developed for the all-mighty Amiga was “I Tesori” (Treasures), featuring Pippero and Tucchero in their quest for fortune and glory in the Burubullis’ dungeons. The game was a classic platform one, but the gameplay had some interesting features that made it somewhat different from other titles of the same genre. Unfortunately, it was coded using a very bad development system (Microsoft AmigaBASIC), so the final result was quite bad (especially performance-wise); and even if I planned, later in those years, a remake written in C in order to do justice to the original idea, such a remake never was completed.

Well, never… until now! Taking advantage of this period of Covid pandemic, having some time to spare just to experiment with the Godot engine, I developed a modern version of that old game. It’s still a 2d platform and the orginal gameplay is still there, but I added some new features that, really, were intended to be there in the original game but weren’t because of limitations of the development system.

The new browser game, “I Beobi e il Segreto dei Burubulli”, is freely available here: http://www.paolocattani.com/beobisegreto/; it’s free to play, but if you think it deserves a little donation (link in the game) I will donate myself half of the collected money to organizations that are currently working to fight the Covid pandemic!

Godot Engine

22 March, 2020 in Computers, Games

Godot Engine

I’ve never been a big fan of “game engines”. I’ve always found them either too bloated and complex to be mastered in a reasonable time (thus, preferring rewriting things myself), or too simplistic and limited to be suitable for big projects.

However, some time ago I stumbled on the Godot Engine. And I think that this one can be the one that can make me change my mind.

First of all, the dev system is really compact, the ide/editor itself is a little executable that doesn’t require any installation; you put it wherever you like and you get rid of it by simply throwing it in the bin. In less than 100Mbytes you get a visual 3D/2D environment where you can build your virtual worlds with lots of prebuilt objects representing the most common tools a game developer needs: 3d stuff, physics, GUI controls/widgets, networking, and so on. Neat!

Second, the learning curve is really good, if you have a bit of experience in game development: things are deployed in a very clever way, you don’t need to immediately understand everything to be quickly productive, simple things are simple and complex things are possible. You reuse components already available for the most common stuff, and you can extend them using the internal scripting language, GDscript, to add the required additional functionalities your game may need. It’s even possible to improve/add core functionalities to the engine by adding your own C++ libraries and objects in a very clean way, thanks to the “modules” interface, a really really good point: what about porting the AVC library, in order to use the Godot Engine as the basis of my next racing sims?

I still need to dig in more into this project, but, as a first impression, I should say that it’s really interesting.