I implemented my own ID3DXSprite to pass to ID3DXFont::DrawText(), because initially I wanted to do Z-sorting. Then I realised that I could just capture all the draw calls, buffer them, and then draw them with my scene graph.
I haven't had a chance to test this properly (I've been trying to set up a wireless router, and failing) but there's no reason why I can't use ID3DXFont::DrawText to essentially do a render to texture, and then use my sprite class to render quads using those textures.
That means that I can now render text as engine-object sprites, and the textures can be managed by the texture manager. And that means that if I'm only rendering sprites in the scene (Which I am, no 3D support just yet), and I'm not using a huge number of textures (Again, for my GUI test with a background I use up less than half of one texture sheet) I can render the entire scene in one DrawPrimitive call, and zero texture and state changes. That should utterly beast my performance through the roof - and indeed on my laptop I got from 70FPS up to 82FPS, which I'm pretty pleased with.
In other news, a thread got me thinking about 64-bit compiling. I have 2 64-bit machines, my main PC which is a dual core AMD64, and my server which is a 64-bit AMD with Windows XP x64. The only reason I haven't done 64-bit development is that you need to screw around with the command line tools, and I can't stand doing that on non-trivial projects. And for trivial projects there's no point in doing 64-bit versions.
Now, the real dillema.
VS2005 Standard is free in the US, and does x64 compiling. In the UK, from Amazon, it costs GBP216.99 ($413.97). There's no way I'm paying that much for some software, let alone something that may well be free in a month or two. However, one of my MVP benifits is access to the Microsoft Company Store, where I can get VS2005 Standard for $60 (GBP31.45). The disadvantage with that is that I can't top up my MS Store account, and I only have $150 to spend each year I'm nominated as an MVP. And I'd really like to get a copy of Vista when it comes out, which should be a fraction of the price from the MS Store.
Also, VS2005 Professional is $120 (GBP62.90) from the MS Store. From Amazon it's an utterly rediculous GBP599.99 ($1,144.40). However, it has absolutely nothing of use to me that the Standard edition doesn't have (Not even slightly).
I really don't see why software is so expensive in the UK. It's half the price on Amazon.com.
Anyway, my options:
- Don't buy any version of VS2005. Wait for it to come out free in the rest of the world / Europe
- Buy VS2005 Standard and hope that Vista is less than $90 from the MS Store
- Just buy VS2005 Standard. Vista won't be out this year anyway.
- Go postal and kill everyone in the neighborhood with sharpened MSDN CDs and then blame my rage on rising software prices and the stress and excessive work involved in being in the games industry
- Don't use VS2005, use GCC, you Microsoft loving communist hippy shit
What do I do?