Greetings and salutations fellow programming enthusiasts!
As you may or may not know, what I had planned for this competition pretty much collapsed. It appears I'm not the only one who has had this happen, or people just gone off the tracks in a completely different area. That's a little comforting actually, just knowing I'm not alone in my abject failures. Honestly, my work may have been doomed from the beginning. I just can't keep myself interested in doing Breakout again - I probably should have realized how futile it was earlier, and moved on to the second (or third, or fourth) game I had been planning to do. That being said, I did learn some neat things reworking the framework behind the scenes, and who knows… maybe one of these days I'll actually finish up on that project. It's not like it was a complete waste with the refactoring, and since I had the incident where I lost all of my work from the previous couple years, I do need a working 'complete' version again at some point.
Now, after all of that has been said, I've decided to move in a new direction. There are still 17 days, 5 hours left for this competition. So, I've decided to do something simple and make a 'saving throw' or 'hail mary' final try at this thing. I'm going to attempt a simple checkers game. My first thought was to go ahead and make this like my previous XNA games, with a simple board and checker pieces. However, after working through some of the object layout last night and getting some basics set up in the project I've come to the conclusion that I actually need to do something a little simpler.
RBWhitaker has been an incredible asset in all of these competitions and collaborations, and one thing that he has taught us is separating out the rendering portion of the code from the internal workings of the game itself. This is a great idea, a great plan, and I'm sure the 'professional' way to do things. However, coming from a 'google search and copy the code' background mostly, it's been a little hard for me to implement. I've been used to just making the game objects, and each object tracks its own textures, positions, etc. Not that that is a bad or improper thing, its just different, and tends to lead to problems that could be avoided if things were done the 'correct' way. One of the big issues doing things my way is the ability to pop in a new renderer for a new platform, recompile, and release. So, taking that into consideration I've decided to focus on structure and reforming my horrible code practices so it's a little closer to something I would be proud to release.
So, my plan for the moment is to create a checkers game - a console game, at that. I figure if I can get things working the way they're supposed to using a console, adding in a 'graphics' renderer near the end should be a breeze. The whole point of these exercises is to move forward, learn new things, and grow as a developer. I think this approach will work very well for that.
Well that's it for the old PiscesMike at the moment. Hope you all are making decent progress on each of your projects, and we will see you in the chat room soon!
"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets