Thats constructors for you.
It allocates the memory and runs whatever code for intiialisation. returning null is impossible.
What you usually do is:
a) use the factory method (you used it on the second part)
b) throw an exception during the constructor. Use a three stage build for this: constructor intiialises the entire object but can fail and call terminate and then throw. destructor calls terminate. Terminate is called whenever you want to destroy the object (FROM the destructor! dont make this one public!).
Its very important that you deallocate anythng you might allocate during the constructor before you throw yourself out of the constructor! If you dont you will end up with mem leaks.
Does anyone else have a better process than this? I dont particularly fancy the try catch penalty that this requires but I never saw a better solution (other than factory methods).
I honestly learn better on my own and I have personal projects I would prefer to spend that time on instead of sitting in class. Plus I am sure I will get a far better education at NCSU than I am getting now. I am more worried about the risk of not doing as well as I think I can. On my college placement test I scored 97-99% on every category but this test was not timed... It seems like I should be able to do this but I still feel like it's a big risk...
And there is your answer! Your instincts are warning you against leaving. Dont drop college, just keep side projects and keep learning extra skills. You can even make a couple of games and sell them (Angry birds anyone?). Use them as portfolio, showcase them to other companies, try to get sponsored/scholarship.
But trust me when I say this: Being good at programming isnt enough. You need more skills that cannot be self taught.
Being Able to Talk in Public Managing a Team Discussing project features and deadlines Handling a broken milestone (very important to be able to explain to the managers why you just missed a deadline)
Those skills are extremelly useful and companies will rather hire people that can express themselves than nerds that cant communicate unless its via email or msn. And you will never learn those from a book or sitting by yourself.
Everything we are doing is legal. We are not trying to hack the console. Without going into too much detail, we are looking to setup an alternative distribution path to independent game developers who can't get published with the big names.
Right now I'm trying to figure out what the architecture (hardware and software) would look like.
Thanks again for your help.
sorry mate, thats just impossible (unless i misunderstood you).
What you want is to create a distribution center for indie devs that enables anyone with a Wii,Xbox or PS3 to download their stuff. Kinda like replacing the xbox live, the Playstation network store and the wii virtual console shop with one big indie friendly server.
The simple reason why this is impossible is:
each indie dev would need to have a proper devkit for the console he is developing his product:-> impossible as the companies only provide dev kits to accredited devs and each dev kit costs a bundle.
No console maker would allow you to download games into their consoles because they dont want indie games in the first place.
Even XNA indie dev is restricted to XNA subscribers only and by far they are the friendliest of them all.
as for where to get the PS3 dev kit sony should supply them at around 10k (pounds I think) for as long as you sign all their contract bindings and also are aproved as an accredited dev.
Oh well... one day I will too be an accredited dev.
(mind you: you are still free to distribute webgames for the console web enabled browsers)