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Honest frustration of developing a game from the eyes of a rookie game developer.

## Rotation and terrain following

For the last week I have been concerned with finding a way for the tank to follow the terrain. This was complicated by the fact that I totally forgot all my Linear Algebra and I really didn't know where to start. So I basically did what I have always done when I was at that point - start my browser and goto Google. After searching for the topic I wanted I really didn't find anything so what did I do at this point? I headed to my internal library of about 100 books on programming and Windows programming, and game programming. And still I didn't find anything in this collection so what did I do now? I went to Borders. On a sidenote I think Borders really messed up when they introduced chairs and sofas into their establishment. It just makes people read the books and magazines on the spot as if its a library? I mean they must have a lot of damage books and magazines. Anyways back to my problem. So what did I decide to do?

Well I tried to look at the problem from a bigger perspective. I decided to use a plane a normal plane defined in 3d space. Then I took the surface normal of this plane and then determined the amount of rotation to get from my perspective normal angles of x,y, and z axis. This took me almost a week just because I really had to study back up on vector and matrix multiplication, dot and cross products. I actually now have a tank that follows the terrain :) I am way more then excited as I was almost ready to give up again, on a game project. What usually happens is I get to a point I get stuck at, but my partner, my son, helped me with the special type of motivation he does.

I'm going to get some screen shots and also get some videos for everyone to see. I'm more then excited about this as this was a major sticking point. But see what you can do with a little ingeniuty and determination? Also sorry about the lack of updates you know Battlefield 2 came out. And I was going to check on my World of Warcraft guild and got a damn authentication error again.

Also you can actually view a DivX version of the tank tracking the terrain here. It weighs in at 6.5M.

## Camera position and lookat model working

I was working on the positioning the camera object and the model. For awhile I thought there was a problem with the coordinate system I was using because no matter what I did I could not get the camera to go behind the object. Finally, I am able to get the camera behind the model object and as the model moves forward I can actually see the camera update behind the tank position. So I'm pretty happy with that now. I'm going to go ahead and now move onto integrating the physcis engine into the game. What I want to do is offload mostly all object movement and collision between objects into the physics engine (Newton: http://www.physicsengine.com) and then use the rendering engines built in primitives for other handles. Let's see how flexible the engine is in contrast to what I want it to do with the renderer.

## Game title announced

Well I finally did it and my son and I decided to create a tank battle game. We have dubbed it Tread Wars. I actually tried to create something like this a long time ago. I never had the motivation but with my son helping out this is actually pretty fun. Basically the game play will consist of several tanks battling it out. Hopefully hope to add multiplayer suppot to this game. I've been trying out the Power Render engine I like it just because its in C++ and it allows me to do things that are easy for me to get up and running. So far I got this pretty awesome screenshot of the terrain engine implemented.

You can view the screens at the domain I have setup Tread Wars Alpha Development

## Game development from the beginning

This site is much better then where I had my blog stored. So I'm going to move everything I had before over here and I apologize to anyone if this messes up the recently updated journals list.

I decided that it was time to achieve one of my goals in life and that is to create a game. My background is in business object development which I do professionally. I develop using a variety of languages: C++, PHP, Visual Basic, and Java. I use these languages and VB Script, for Office, in my day to day living. However, I have always had a dream of developing a game. I have no pre-conception that this will be an easy endeavor even though I have years of development under my belt. Why? Because game development from the time I spent being a hobby developer and just playing around with rendering code, shows that there are a lot of facets to game design. What I hope to accomplish in this journal is something for others to read and to follow so they can see how someone just starting out in game design and the decisions I make, may prevent someone from making the same mistake.

One of my biggest motivations right now is my 8 year old son. He is actually helping me come up with game ideals and is really excited about giving feedback on the game. This is a great topic for him and I to discuss and find that his enthusiasm for this project is something I want to foster in him. Whether he grows up to be a programmer like his father, or pursue a different path. Now I have no choice but to make a game because I don't want him to see me giving up, as I have done so many times in the past.

The only thing that is concrete right now with our game is the fact that I'm going to use C++ to develop it. Why? First my C++ skills are getting kind of rusty because most development done in a business world is Database front ends and that is comparatively easy compared to C++ programming. Also, am I going to make the next Doom 3 killer or must have game? No. I have seen too many posts about people starting the next MMORPG and having thought about it with my son there is no way we can create or come up with the art assets and I don't know how to develop the server/client model that would be usable in such a game. Any decision I make about the game and changes in the design I will post in my blog. Hopefully, people with more experience can give me advice or motivation :) Enough about this first post, I welcome anyone that follows along and thank anybody for reading this. I will post more when I come up with more ideals and as the game progresses.

Hopefully, this is a great community with a lot of support and feedback. As my son and I will need it as we progress through this endeavor and reach our goal of "making a game".