Computer Troubles

I had begun working on a smaller project to complete before I started work on one of my much more longer term projects. I had a good drag and drop inventory system in place and was maybe around 25% done with the project when my computer started experiencing issues. I spent the past week trying to get it back up and running to no avail, so I ended up ordering a completely new system.

It should get here this week and might take a day or so to build and configure, so it will probably be next week until I get back to work on the small project, assuming I’m able to completely recover the contents of the hard drive. I should have backed up completely, but with it being a smaller project I didn’t bother (my other projects are all backed up). Lesson learned – no matter how small a project, if you’re serious about it, back it up.

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Back to Work

I’ve gone forward with the turn based sci-fi game I described in my previous post. I’ve still just begun to flesh out the ideas for the game, but I have coded some basic framework. I really haven’t been able to do much work the past three weeks because I got married and went on our honeymoon. Now that it’s back to the real world, I’m hoping to jump back into this project and make significant progress.

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March Recap

Most of my work this month has been web development projects. I was able to do some game dev for a new rules system and I’ve been able to write some more, but my primary focus has been on webdev. I should have some new sites rolled out over the next few weeks, and I’ve still been working on a tutorial site for game development.

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Update

This month have been very busy, so I haven’t had much time to dev. I’ve completed about 5 lessons of a new tutorial series, and I toying with the idea to just start a new site that is focused exclusively on game dev tutorials.

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Weekly Update

Over the past few weeks, most of my game dev time has been spent in C++. I’ve had a few game ideas that I’ve tossed around in my head and started writing up. Granted, ideas are practically worthless without taking action, but in some ways it’s a relaxing exercise. When I’m not programming in C++ or writing, I’m still working on some tutorials to post in the future.

The two ideas I’ve thought about are 1) a medieval combat game where the interface is like the game Fruit Ninja, where you click and drag on the screen to make a slash, and that’s actually where your character would swing. And the idea is that when your sword ‘collided’ with an enemy, it would check to see if it hit armor, and if not, if you had enough force behind your swing it would hack that part of the enemy off. The other idea was a top-down zombie survival game drawing inspiration from Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft. It would be a 3d world composed of blocks, you’d rescue people and they would follow you so you could use them to occupy an abandoned house, build up your defenses, craft weapons and walls. I wanted it to be dynamic and allow enough freedom that you could dig out a shelter below ground, designiate that area as the sleeping area, and once all your followers are there asleep you could seal it off. Then when your character needed food you’d release one, kill them, and eat them. It’s incredibly gruesome, but that’s the level of freedom I would want your character to have; the ability to choose between the horrific and the honorable in an zombie/apocalyptic setting.

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C++ Book Resources

I found the following on a stack overflow post about someone asking for a C++ mentor:

“Why have one mentor when you can pick the brains of all of the finest C++ programmers around?
These books? Read them. Do all the exercises.
When you do have question, read the text at the included link and then ask for help.
Congratulations. You are being mentored by dozens of exceptional programmers
Accelerated C++
The C++ Standard Library
Effective C++
More Effective C++
Effective STL
Exceptional C++
More Exceptional C++
Exceptional C++ Style
C++ Templates
C++ Template Meta-programming”

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General Update

Over the break I accomplished several things.

1. I started work on some more tutorials. I’m going to be working on a guide that takes someone from not knowing anything about game development to the point where they (hopefully) feel comfortable working on their own game by themselves. This is a long-term project.

2. I decided to scale back the X-Com inspired game. I’m going to take the FPS portion of the game and make it more of an arcade type “waves of enemies” mini game; a “demo” of the FPS capabilities I’ve developed. I have most of the code for the FPS portion done, including pathfinding and some limited AI. I need to begin work on art assets. This is a short-term project.

3. I am going to shift my professional focus and hopefully make a career change in the next six month to year. I’ve done game dev as a hobby up to this point. It worked nicely as I used C# for both the .NET development and Unity game dev. I want to shift my focus to C++ and work towards getting a job in the game industry. I’ll also be focusing my game dev projects on more short-term time frames in order to demonstrate my abilities as a programmer. Overall, this is a long-term project.

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