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fireshadow4126

How to Get Out of My Programming Rut

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Hello,

For a while now I've been trying to develop my own game engine using OpenTK and C#. So far it can display a few primitives, like cubes, spheres, and cylinders, and it has a working FPS camera. It also has support for GLSL shaders and things like Phong shading.

However, I haven't programmed in a while, and when I recently tried to get back into it, I found I just couldn't come up with the next thing to do. It's like I have all the ideas, but I have no idea how to go about architecting or implementing them.

Could anyone suggest some projects (not necessarily game-related) that could get me back into the programming groove?

I'd very much appreciate any of your ideas.

Thanks in advance!

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If you're up to the task (very hard to tell from the information you have provided), you should try out writing your first deferred renderer! To me, this has really sky-rocketed my knowledge about how to design a renderer, how deferred rendering works (duh), how post processing effects work, how shadow mapping works and so on. And it's surprisingly easy to do! Research, gather information, make a 'battle plan' and then try and reach the goal!

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This project is C++ related but will mention it. It is an on line C++ code generator. The code generator is the back tier of a 3-tier system. In order to use the code generator, you have to download and build the middle and front tiers. I believe the project is a step toward making programming fun again.

Happy Holidays,
Brian Wood
Ebenezer Enterprises
http://webEbenezer.net

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For stuck in a rut: Learn a new language, do some new stuff for a few weeks

For stuck in a rut on a project: No Fucking Idea, maybe:
1. Set up revision control for your project if you don't already have it, if you view the revision history often enough, you'll see where you came from, you'll know where the project is at, and you might find it easier to find the path forward, but you'll have to get some work done to have revisions that you can use as a "This is what I've done so far" list.
2. Learn more about the library you're using, just go off and read about all the sections you don't know about or haven't used yet, and you might get some ideas of what you want your engine to have based off what openTK supports
3. I'd recommend building some tools and an editor for blender or 3dsmax, eventually you're going to need a level editor, and I believe using these tools to build levels is best for an artist, and just writing additional functionality and export scripts is easy enough for the programmer. For blender you'll have to learn python to do this. For 3ds max you can write a plug in if you know C/C++ (maybe C# aswell), or you can use maxscript, be careful with maxscript, it's horribly documented and has mostly partial support for things at best.
3.5 If you go about coming up with a list of things of how you want to be able to create your assets for your game, you can get to work implementing all those cool things. Like you might want to use an entity/component system, and set up export support, or a scene graph (tree/nodes) system to handle entities instead, so yeah, implement and set up export support.

Basically it sounds a bit like your engine doesn't really have a structure for entities and effects, I'd recommend setting one up, based on what data you actually want to have for levels etc.

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If you want to write any complex system, whiteboards help. If you don't know what to build next, sketch out what you have. As Kyall mentioned, it's helpful to know where you came from to refresh your brain a little bit and get you back in the project.

Or maybe you can start by reviewing your old code and writing some tests for it if your coverage sucks. That may force you do some refactoring/bug fixing and will help you get back into the zone.

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