Here Begins A Game Dev Log

by Jon Davis 13. July 2007 03:04

I decided I should start posting my notes on my side interests with game development. I have always wanted to be a games programmer, since I was just a kid, but I went straight into Web and Windows application development (general) and never saw my dreams fulfilled. Phooey, it's never too late, I'm delving in now, while I'm still single.

7/13/2007 2:30am(-ish) - TorqueX for Creators Club Members

Downloaded and installed TorqueX which is now free for paying XNA Creators Club members. Don't have time to play with it right now but will.

Started tracking game dev logs. The previous entries (below) are retrospective recollections.

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7/12/2007 6:15pm(-ish) - Playing With The Dream, Build, Play Submissions
Got home from work early, played these XNA submissions on my Xbox. My favorite game is the robot badminton game Blazing Birds, highly addictive and revealing that you don't need huge amounts of elements to make a great game, just solid physics, accuracy, a smooth user experience, and some polish. Download Video (here)

Vacuum Ball is a relatively ugly game (relative to above and below) but was still pretty fun and addictive and worth noting.

I thought the most interesting submission, if not quite the most enjoyable but it's certainly unique, well-polished, and technically advanced, was Magic Crystals.

I'm extremely concerned about the load times of these XNA games. I'm not sure who's at fault, the games designers or Microsoft's XNA platform, but it sometimes takes as long as five minutes just to get to the start screen and into the game for some of these games. One thing's for certain: it is incumbent upon the designers to have a loading progress bar. At one point after waiting five minutes or so I killed the Xbox, convinced it was frozen. I don't know if it was frozen or not.
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7/12/2007 5:15am (-ish) -
Found and been downloading tens of Dream, Build, Play game submissions and putting them on my Xbox. I don't know why these were so hard to find, it seems like there is only one URL on the entire Internet that I was lucky to find:

http://swampthingtom.blogspot.com/2007/07/dream-build-play-entries.html
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7/08/2007 3:05am (-ish) - Game Programming at Phoenix's Desert Code Camp 2007
I signed up to do a couple presentations at the local users group Desert Code Camp 2007. I'm hoping this will help me get my butt in gear and actually make some games for a change. I believe that the best way to learn something is to teach it because it forces you to do homework.

One session I'll present is a quick perusal of several gaming APIs for different platforms. The other focuses on Microsoft XNA. Surprisingly, more people signed up for the former rather than the latter, I guess they're curious and already bombarded with Microsoft XNA materials that are dished out by Microsoft.
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7/07/2007 2:55pm (-ish) - Getting Back Into Game Dev

For the past month or so I've been playing with my own little 2D gaming engine running in Windows Forms / GDI+. Right now I just have some balls that bounce around, bump into each other, bounce off barricades, cast 2D shadows, emit location-based stereo bump sounds using DirectSound, can slow down to world friction, and can fall down by world gravity. I also have custom mouse cursor support. I have another sandbox where I'm drawing polygons (right now two triangles) and colliding them with line intersection, but transference of velocity is broken as mass is not properly calculated.

image image

I am awful at math. Ordered a couple new books: Real-Time Collision Detection and Physics for Game Developers.

Played with something targeting the XNA engine called Farseer. Maybe I should shrug off this whole GDI+ experiment, or fork off and do something in parallel in XNA, since I bought the XNA Creators Club subscription and it's a waste to not use it.

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Software Development | PC Gaming | Xbox Gaming

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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