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Ramblings about my projects

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Nice to see the GDNet+ memberships have launched. I've signed myself up for a year - perhaps too hastilly having not tried it out first. Ah well, we'll see how it pans out [smile].

It's hard to say which of my projects I'm going to track in this journal so for now I think I'll ramble on about the main few. It'll be good to talk about some of my work for other GDNet members to read about should they be interested, bored, or both.

I'm currently running with two game ideas, my 'main' idea, Manta-X has started to come alive again. Those who have been reading the "Hobbyist Game Programmer" thread I started may have gleaned that Manta-X is on it's 4th total rewrite. Each of the previous attempts died because I tried too hard to create a generic engine for the game. Whilst each was a minor software engineering feat, they soon died on their arse because they were too complicated. The current 'engine' (I loathe to call it that word for fear of jinxing it) is a gutted version of jsInvaders with 3d support. I started using Scene Graphs for the first time ever and I must say, they help so much in the rendering process, it's untrue. Attach a particle system node to the back of a ship and you have engine flames that dance along with the ship itself. You just have to forget about it and it does it's work for you. Too nice, it's untrue.

My other project is a small moddable space invaders style game called jsInvaders. It's being written from the ground up to tie in with the articles I'm writing for GameDev - "Creating moddable games with Xml and scripting". For those that can't guess, I'm using Xml for level content and scripting for controlling the behaviours of the enemies. Part 1's just been completed and should be winging it's way to the front page in the not too distant future. jsInvaders was my breath of fresh air after the Manta-X project failed on the 3rd iteration - my way of kicking myself back into touch and say "write the frickin game, not the engine". It's working quite well, especially considering that Manta-X is really just a beefed up version of the jsInvaders core. jsInvaders will be released as Open Source just as soon as a couple of the articles have been posted.

My other project isn't really a project, more of a 'play' with Xml and it's use in event/action scripting. The game declares a series of actions and event triggers for each object class, the Xml file then stores a list of events that are 'heard' by an object and what actions are triggered when the event occurs (as well as defining the objects too). It's idea came from the threads I saw about Half Life 2's scripting model, instead of being a 'language', it's a series of events and actions. I just wondered how I'd do it my way ith Xml and this is the result. It'll probably wing it's way into a paper somewhere and I'm planning on using it later in Manta-X too.

My final project is my ever-evolving website system. It's becoming pretty powerful now; using XML, XSLT, XHTML, CSS and all nice webby things like that. I'm building up a content management system in it - it's not far off being done which is good :)

That's it for now I think. Time for work.
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Gave up? It seems this journal stopped at 2004. If everything is what it appears to be - can you explain to me some of the hardships you had to go through while trying to acomplish this game? And maybe give some detials on what you are currently doing

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