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What project to work on next?

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My History:

Until recently I had been working on an interactive global illumination graphics engine using C++ and Direct Compute. I chose that project because it required creative problem solving, outputting cool visual results, and appealed to my background in physics, and because I saw a potential gap in the market. I got as far as developing an interactive ray tracer (see sig) but also realised that my initial goals were not viable. I have learnt a lot from the experience in terms of C++, DirectX, general graphics programming, and project management, and have aquired an interesting project under my belt for my portfolio.

Before that I made a simple 2D game where the user traverses randomly generated mazes. That was interesting and motivational for me too, even more so than the graphics engine project because results came much faster and added to the same challenges as above I also had to develop the game mechanics.

Even before that I had developed a lot of physics algorithms using C++, Matlab, C... Those projects were also very interesting to me for similar reasons to the above, although the heavier the physics got as my career progressed (we are talking very advanced QM) the less I enjoyed it. I also disliked that they were a bit light on the programming side of things. I realised that I enjoyed the algorithm / problem solving / progrmaming side of it more so than I did the heavy physics. Hence my subsequent projects...

What now:

Now I'm looking for another project to work on, but I only plan to invest about 6 months into it, and I want to have something to show for it at the end of those 6 months.

If that project isn't showing signs of providing an income by that time, I will take my portfolio and look for an entry level programming job. I want to make a career out of programming. It doesn't have to be in the games industry, though that would be just fine, but it would have to be a job that provides the type of interesting challenges that programming for games does for me (see "My History" for examples of said challenges). So for example developing algorithms/automation for the finance industry, developing simulations for the energy industry.

Anyway, given this background and plans here is my question: what project do you think I should work on next? Any ideas?


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Thanks for the replies guys! They really helped to me to focus on what motivates me in a more concrete way and on a more specific project brief.

I think I've settled on a procedural content game. Perhaps a procedurally generated game world that the user can explore.

I've also applied to one of the help wanted projects on the board that is similar to the above, though I have some doubts I'll be suitable because of my lack of extensive/professional developer experience and because I have a time limit on how long I can work without income. Fingers crossed though!

EDIT: or I might look into voxel rendering...

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if you want to stay with your physics roots, i recommend getting into haptics!

grab a falcon from and start adding touch into your applications. have a look at my About Me section on my website for some haptic insparations :)

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