During the times I'm feeling less-than-codeworthy, I like to work on the graphics. My first Backgammon board turned out quite nicely. Paint Shop Pro 5 is a terrific piece of software, and I was able to create a reasonable-looking wooden board without much effort. First I painted a wood texture over a rectangular area. Then I selected an area equivalent to the points, and I changed the tint with the color tools to a darker reddish shade. Voila, I had a not-bad looking teak board with cherry triangles. During another less-than-technical moment, I plan to make a felt board with leather points. We'll see how it comes out.
Still trying to figure out what I can do for a CGDA presentation, so I won't need to work my way through the CGDC next year. Actually, doing the servitude bit wasn't too bad, but I'd like to exercise some of my fine Toastmasters-honed speaking skills. You don't get to present much when you work alone.
My copy of Inside DirectX arrived from Amazon a couple of days ago, and I like it a lot. For me, the lack of Direct3D coverage is an advantage, as most other DirectX books tend to be more than half Direct3D. I can imagine a Direct3D-only version of the book will be out soon. The discussion of DirectPlay is the most extensive around, and it actually answered a question that I couldn't get answered at CGDC. Namely, how can I do lobbying without selling my games to one of the big services? There are a couple of 3rd party DirectPlay lobby servers and clients on the CD. I'm not wild about either of 'em, but they might have to do if I don't wanna roll my own. It'd be nice to see someone come up with a lobby server and a toolkit for writing my own client. That way I could write a client that fits in with the look-n-feel of my games and doesn't look like someone else's product.
I'm also finally getting some mailing-list info on Uber, which is the Apple-initiated game networking API used in Myth, The Fallen Lords. The makers are still getting it ready for beta-test, but it might have some advantages over DirectPlay, like cross-platform operation and source code. We'll see how it looks if-n-when I get the code.