I Lied

I lied about going back to the basics. I'm gonna work on a nice simple version of Pong instead.

It'll be a good excercise in the basics but I gots to get my oop on.

One thing I have to do this time around is keep in simple. My 2d side scroller is so big and bloated so I am going to take a step back and make a much simpler game. Pong has well established rules and will be a nice challenge to make a complete working version. I'll still be using allegro to handle all my graphics but I am going to be focusing mostly on tightening my design. I've decided to remove my "physics" manager and just merge it into the game objects. This will make one less manager and be a little simpler. The only problem I have now is finding a way to pass the update time interval...but I think I know a way around this (may not be the best way but it will work).

On top of that...I need to take the advice of my fiance a lot more then I do. She was encouraging me to play some games and chill out a bit. Recently I have been finding myself sort of 'overwhelmed' with programming. Its times like this that I have to remind myself why I want to get into this industry. That was answered today when my Fallout Collection came in the mail. OMG...I can't be happier. These are 3 of the best games ever made. I just booted up Fallout 1 this morning and after finally closing down and heading back to the desktop...my brain was fully energized and ready to start working. Thank god for Laura, she always knows what I need.

Back to the basics

While I've been essentially learning how to program games for about 2 years, most of that time was spent in high-level scripting oriented languages that handled so many of the nitty-gritty details for you.

When I first moved into c++ about 6 months ago, I moved very quickly to do that same type of programming I had done before. I knew how classes worked in other languages and started making and messign with them in c++. While much more followed, I quickly realized there were so many ways that I was simply abusing the living shit out of the language. My code is horribly sloppy and while it does produce some neat output, I am not very proud of what is going on behind it.

With this in mind and my new programming classes starting up at school, I've decided to go "back to the basics." I'm running through my massive c++ book and doing as many excercises as I can. All my free time is going to be devoted to doing as much practice of traditional programming techniques as possible. So this means that production on my 2d game is going to stop as I run drill after drill after drill. Hopefully I can get back to the game in about a month or so.

While the basics bore me, I know that all good programmers have to go through this "hitting the grind stone" phase. Tons of material and problems that are incredibly boring but will honestly pay off in the end.

So all free time for the next 2 months or so is basics, basics, basics. I'm not gonna freakin stop for anything.

Update from the Front

Okay first off, sorry to any family/friends that have been nice enough to check out this blog and are dissapointed that I have not updated. I'm still getting used to the concept of a blog and I'm finding it requires some level of discipline. I'll work on it. I promise :)

So things at school are going fairly well. The firs t semester (reminder: semesters at Full Sail are 1 month long) is wrapping up tommorow. Classes went well though I was very bored with them. The only perk that came from em was getting to know my classmates. Most of these guys are pretty cool and some are very young (first time away from home). The group I was randomly assigned too at the beggining of the semester for my Game Design class kind of look at me as the "experienced guy" after I started showing them some of my projects from college. Its a new feeling for me being the "expereinced guy" and I'm still trying damn hard to remain humble about the whole thing.

Going a little bit further on that topic, I am finding there are many kids here that want to be hotshots. I can tell they are aspiring to be the ass kickers in this program. While this is a great goal, there is a general lack of being humble. Some egos are slowly inflating and I hope that these kids remember modesty counts for a whole hell of a lot when it comes to gaining respect of your peers. My group essentially won a best in class on our preliminary game design and I simply smiled, said thank you, and sat back down. It was a nice feeling to win but I simply didn't let it get to me and inflate my head. Many classmates thanked me and I didn't launch into a whole "Well we really worked hard and were awesome and great". All I did was nod and smile and say "you too."

Allright time to get back to work! Time to work on some basic AI!

Coffee and Blogging

If you take the Blur song coffe and tv...nevermind.

So, I am beggining my second week at Full Sail. So far things are going okay. As I've mentioned before, I'm hankering to get past the academic mumbo-jumbo and get straight to the hapa-nasha of making games. To reiterate...no more mumbo-jumbo more hapa-nasha. Yeah..thats the ticket.

Moving along. I've been expanding my work on my 2d game. I finally got basic forms of raycasting working and I couldn't be happier. From my limited game dev knowledge, Raycasting is the ultimate tool for navigating a 3d enviroment. You can use it to see if a weapon hits a target, find walls, and as a method of vision for AI units. So damn cool.

I will post some more in a bit about what I'm working on specifically for my School Classes. I think some people expressed some interest in that. I'll be honest with you now..its not that interesting.