No Such Excuses.
A) Too much on?
B) Running low on motivation? or
C) Burnt out?
I'd say it was a little of column B and C and a lot from column A. [depressed]
Basically, with everything going on, I decided to take a hiatus from game-deving for a while. The break was good for me I think. One day maybe I can be happy to "just" be a civilian, but currently gamedev haunts me too much to let it go [wink]. I wasn't completely inert while away though. Did plenty of design on my next project and I've read a fair bit of Pro C# 2005 and the .Net 2.0 Platform which has been a nice & thorough walkthrough on those topics so far.
So I'm back on the horse somewhat. I'm working on a simple RTS in XNA with C# which is composed of three components:
1) RTS game library.
2) RTS game application.
3) RTS map/campaign editor.
2 and 3 use 1 as their core component. The library houses the majority of the code with the other two merely needing to supply XNA components (GraphicsDevice, ContentManagers, Input stuff, etc) and call engine functionality to do their stuff.
There's a couple of things I've come across so far that have been slight challenges with the design:
I dislike the XNA "compiled assets" model.
Don't get me wrong, I imagine it's great for projects with a small asset count, or where the developers don't intend for anyone to mod the game or add their own resources. I just don't like this system of having to add art resources to my VS project. It'd be cool if you could just add a subdirectory and have it compile anything in there. Anyway, for this project, I'm considering having my engine call the load functions for anything it needs itself. Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe I'll change my mind and everything will be sunshine and rainbows.
XNA doesn't like being used with windows forms.
This makes it difficult to create the editor application. After some searching, I found this blog post on the topic which seems to be working fine.
You're making a RTS? *YAWN*
Yep, I've made a simple 2D one once before (when I say made, I mean 30% completed, but it did actually start to look like a game, and it had many of the features in there) and I'm looking to get cracking again. I've got some ideas which I think will be fun gameplay-wise. I'm not going to get into too many details this early, but technically its looking like it'll be a top-down view (no viewing angle), but with somewhat 3D terrain and buildings. Billboarded quads will feature heavily for things like units and some foliage, etc as there'll probably be plenty of them on-screen at once and I don't want to make 3D models for individual people. Dodgey pixel art will be apparent.
Currently there's not much to show. I'll update with more technical details/piccies when I can. Good to be back [grin].