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Life, eh, Particles?

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Wow, well I haven't written in a while. I've decided to write a lengthy more content worthy journal.

So before I dive into recent updates I'd like to introduce you to me. No one here really knows who I am other then I'm some guy posting stuff on a journal. Well, my name is Jonathan Bastnagel(as the banner says). I'm 17 years old, and I live in a small town just outside of Houston, TX. I've always had a huge passion for computers and electronics in general. Like all game developers I was interested when I started playing games and I pondered on their inner workings. I learned that games were programmed, and were actually quite difficult to produce.

Before actually delving into the game development world, I stuck to what resources I had.

When I received my first computer my friend came over and installed Flash 4. We doodled around in it, making stick death animations and actually getting quite good at it. At this time I wanted to show the world my animated creations. This is when I was first introduced to the programming world. First learning HTML, and ASP(which I now know nothing of), and later learning PHP. The stick death community was very large back then. It was like a small network. Every site had an 'affiliates' menu on the left in which it would contain small 81x32 banners linking to other stick death sites. My site got pretty popular, of course now I don't do stick death animation anymore.

After a few years the stick death scene died down, and my site went with it. This is when I decided I wanted to go into the more gaming side of things, and Flash was a perfect environment to experiment in. By then I had upgraded to Flash 5. The reason I believe Flash is a great environment to learn game development is because it's very object oriented.

I made a few games, some good some bad and I was quite limited to what Flash could do, 2D Vector graphics. It also ran extremely slow, because we all know Flash runs directly off of the CPU, none of the rendering is optimized by the GPU.

I decided It was time to try something knew to make games with. I dabbled with VB a bit, didn't work for me. I hated the syntax, I was already used to the C style syntax that Action Script and PHP offered, and I felt that I was loosing more then gaining.

I started buying books on C++, and OpenGL. This is where the fun began. I learned some basic graphics knowledge, but I never truly understood it. C++ had always bothered me with pointers and memory management. I continued buying books thinking that would make a difference.

Well here I am today attempting to mastering C#, and continuing to learn MDX. While I'm not the most knowledgeable person, people tend to under estimate me.

Alright, so you guys got to know me a bit. Back to current events.

I decided to quit Cross country, it was a serious pain to wakeup at 5 in the morning to go running for an hour and a half, then be completely beat the rest of day, then coming home passing out within minutes of arriving to wakeup at some odd hour like..10pm only to go back to sleep again for a few hours. Not to mention that, but I didn't agree with a lot of my coaches decisions.

For example, last Thursday I asked my coach if I could goto tutorials for my Algebra class. I was nearly failing and I had a test that day. He said no, then gave me some ridiculous lecture. I was so close to just going "you know what screw this, grades are more important then this crap." then and there, but I knew if I did then I still had to deal with him during 1st period. I still haven't gotten my grade back for that algebra test but I'm pretty sure I failed.

Anyways, now that I quit cross country I'm gonna have a bit more free time.

Ok, so I finally got around to redoing the whole particle system, and I'm actually quite pleased with it. I still have to finish up a few things, but for the most part it's very functional.

Here's some screen shots and a video.

Fire Particles

">Project RiL : Particle System Test
Project RiL : Particle System Test

Alot of people say that the fire looks more like smoke then fire. Maybe so, but it still looks damn cool.

On a side note Cade got the network base done, don't know when hes gonna WIP out some basic networked entities for you guys.

Wow, that was infact a pretty lengthy post. I can probably turn this in as one of my daily journals for English. I hate writing in that class.
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Nice particle system :) I'm liking it.

Oh, and I was reading one of your previous posts and you're doing the Fish Study as well (I take it AP Java?). I'm doing it too and it sorta sucks, haha. They sort of over-complicated the system I think by forcing an OO design, but oh well. It's still fun to code killing fish.

Anyways, I'll be reading more of your journal for later posts.

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Heh, ya it's Java. I've only done Chapter 1. I was supposed to do Chapter 2 but I haven't gotten around to it. I don't know why the hell we have to do those stupid charts, recording the fish location...so dumb. I'd learn more by just looking at the source.

Thanks for the comments anyways!

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