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Getting back in the groove

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After a three year hiatus from 3D graphics and game development I am slowly trying to get back into it. To be honest, I never completely disappeared, but stayed hovering - observing - from about 20,000 feet. Waiting patiently, I have taken time to browse the available tools and technologies and have allowed my game ideas to brew and congeal inside my head.

Where have I been? Well, after jumping ship from a dead-end startup game company three years ago I got into freelancing. As it turns out a couple friends of mine run a pretty successful little consulting company that does a lot of work for a major online auction site (can you guess?). During the last few months at the game company I did some little projects for them. One thing lead to another and pretty soon the work was more than enough to live off of.

Why come back? The reason is simple - I miss it terribly. Games were the entire reason I got into computers and programming way back in 1990 and I feel I have strayed from my roots. I don't have a lot of time on my hands now but I am trying to devote a little bit here and there. My goal at this point is to put together a game and submit it to the Independent Games Festival (year intentionally omitted). Who knows, maybe sometime in the future i will jump ship again - perhaps even into a ship of my own!

Ok, now that the introduction is done, lets get into what I am doing.

The Idea
Without going into too much detail, my idea is for players to compete in various futuristic sports inside of a unique 3D arena setting. Naturally, networked play will allow players to play against each other over LAN or internet.

The project is being developed with MS Visual Studio 2005. I have chosen Ogre as the rendering engine coupled with OIS for input. No decision has been made yet regarding physics (leaning towards PhysX), sound (leaning toward FMOD), Networking (leaning toward Raknet), or scripting (leaning toward Lua).

Thus far, I have managed to create a base application class framework (not built off of Ogre's Example framework) that initializes Ogre and OIS and displays an empty scene. Not much to write home about yet, but considering it was less than a day's work and is the first thing i have done that is game-related in over 3 years - I am happy.

For the sake of completeness, here is a screenshot that is sure to impress:

Well, that is all for now. I need to get back to doing the work that pays the bills.
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Welcome back, and welcome to the land of the journals. Watch out for the flying pick-a-nu and remember to keep your hands, feet, and mind out side of the box at all times.

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