One Year Later…
Tuesday was the anniversary of my first real post on this blog. For the most part, I’ve tried to keep my content here on the technical side of things, but, what the hell, this is a good time to reflect on a year of blogging – what went well, what went poorly, and where I’m going from here.
What I Meant to Accomplish (And What I actually Accomplished…)
I restarted this blog about a year ago to document my attempt at learning DirectX 11, using Frank Luna’s Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Direct3D 11.0. In my day job, I mostly code ASP.NET and Winforms applications using C#, so I decided to convert the C++ examples from Mr.Luna’s book into C#, using SlimDX as my managed DirectX wrapper. SlimDX appeared to me to be slightly more mature than its main competitor, SharpDX, as its documentation was a little more complete, and it had been out in the wild a little bit longer, so there was a bit more third-party information (StackOverflow, other blogs, GameDev.net forum postings, etc.) on it. I suppose I could have also gone with XNA, although Microsoft appears to have abandoned any new development on it (Last release 9/16/2010…), and I felt like SlimDX’s simple wrapper around the DirectX library would be easier to translate than shoehorning into the XNA model, not to mention wrassling with the XNA Content Pipeline.
My initial goal was to work through the book, converting each of the examples presented and then blogging about the process. Except for the chapters on Compute Shaders and Quaternions (which I have yet to tackle, mostly because the examples are not terribly interesting), I completed that goal by the middle of November of last year. From there, I started incorporating elements from Carl Granberg’s Programming an RTS Game with Direct3D into the terrain rendering code that Luna’s book presented, as well as dabbling in integrating Direct2D andSpriteTextRenderer to handle 2D drawing.
After that, my intention was to start working my way through Ian Millington’s book, Game Physics Engine Development. This is about where I ran out of steam. Between the hassle of trying to reconcile the code examples from this book, which were based on OpenGL and somewhat less self-contained than what I had been working on previously, various issues in my personal and work life, and the general malaise of an especially cold, dark winter here in New England, my impetus to work on my side projects faded away spectacularly. If any of you followed this regularly, I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s been almost four months since I’ve posted anything new, and before that there was another dry spell of more than a month.
With the arrival of summer and a move that reduces both the strain on my finances and the number of hours per day I spend driving back and forth to work considerably, I’ve found that my mood has improved by leaps and bounds, and I have the extra energy to expend on coding outside of work again, finally. Right now, I’ve got a number of new things I’m working through, and a number of ideas in the pipeline that should be making their way up here in the near future.