Suddenly, Problems!

I hadn’t noticed that  the forum turned into a spam dump over the past week, and for those who might have been reading it and possibly have gotten offended, I apologize. I have taken the forum down for now since it seems that very few people were using it, but to those who were using it and left positive comments for me, thank you! It’d be great if you could leave comments on my main blog page and in the Coder’s Corner. I was just so shocked when I logged into the forum and saw that kind of spam. I promise it won’t happen again.

In other news, the past couple weeks have been quite crazy. Assignment after assignment and never seem to be making it anywhere. The upside is there should be some code snippets up in the repository sometime this evening from new projects, including C# and generating RPC capable code with rpcgen (in Linux) and using IDL files in Windows (.Net). Pretty exciting stuff. Other than that, I doubt that I will have much code to post as we move into the spring season, and thus exam time. My Java 2D game got approved for SourceForge, and soon the code will be up with full subversionning support! I look forward to this, because I would love to see the community contribute to the code, and fix what I obviously broke (or not so obviously haha). Anyways, I should be working on assignments as I post this, so I will leave you with this short update. Happy coding!

Learning C# and DirectX

Well, once again I am adding to my ever growing array of projects, none of which seem to be nearing completion. Regardless, some of them are making progress (such as the repository, which needs some cross-browser debugging and it will be finished), and others are currently stalled (such as the Movie Planet website project, it will return once I find that creative spark that I need). And others are ending their development cycle (the Java version of the video game engine, I am hoping to move it to a Sourceforge account so people can collaborate and submit changes more liberally than through the FTP repository I run). But amidst these projects, a new one has emerged. I have begun development in DirectX on an MMORPG video game. This game is an evolution from the original Invasion game written in VB.Net then in Java, however it is essentially a new game as I am trying my hand at programming 3D models. This should prove to be a great challenge and I think I will benefit lots from learning a new language (writing it in C#, managed makes it quite a bit easier to maintain, especially given the only contributor at the moment is myself) along with learning a new SDK (DirectX 10 along with the Windows API).

Currently, the project is at the point where I am learning how to write in C#, which happens to be quite a bit like Java, but much more efficient, and learning how use the DirectX SDK efficiently. Not to mention that this will be my first effort in learning 3D modelling, so we shall see how far I get into acquiring all the knowledge required to make a truely 3D video game. The first steps have been made into the project as I now know how to properly work namespaces, write Windows libraries in C# and how to manage multiple packages in a single Solution file. This coupled with learning the basics of the DirectX SDK (Direct Input, D3D and how to work with textures) means that I am well on my way to understanding how to build a more scaleable implementation. I believe that I will be writing a short paper soon comparing the speed difference achieved compared to the game implementation in Java and a sprite based map model in C#, but there will be a few more posts before that release.

Updating the Repository

After nearly a month absence, I return! Well, not really gone as much as out of sight. I’ve been busy preparing for and writing midterms, and doing assignments and travelling. Boston near the beginning of my disappearance, home for reading week and out and about with friends. Now that I’ve got the travel bug out of my system, I’m back and ready to develop. First thing I’ve done since my return was update the repository. It now functions a lot better, and looks cleaner and prettier. Hopefully I can get the kinks worked out of it, but I do know of the issue where it’s not accessible from repository.deanpearce.net, so I’ve changed the link (and you should change yours too) to point to deanpearce.net/repository. For some reason it rends fine when pointed to from that directory. Probably some strange little error in my script, but I think it looks pretty good for a few hours of work and hacking together code. It also allows for inline code previews, line numbering and syntax highlighting, so its easier to click through the source. I will be adding a zip file to each directory so you can download the source as a zip package, and I will be including project files and makefiles so the code can be built and tested with ease.

And sometime in the next day or so, I will be putting v0.2 of the Game Engine online! This version adds fixed animation support, more packet options, a simple HUD (heads up display), double buffering and (if you want to play with it) the ability to change play area sizes. The SmoothAnimation class didnt make the cut for this release of the game unfortunately, but there is a sample MusicPlayer class built on some FOSS Java MP3 libraries which makes its debut. I will be working to release SmoothAnimation and the completed MusicPlayer classes sometime this month, then I will unfortunately be slowing work on the Java version of the game in favour of working in C# with DirectX. This will allow for a complete client and server rewrite, and I will be using a new network model and graphics model for the game. It will be exciting, but it will also depend on my free time. Here’s to hoping!

In other news, if anyone wants an FTP account for the repository, please just email me or drop a comment below with a way to contact you and I will provide up to 250MB of storage space for your source code that you want to be publically visibile. Happy coding!