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Is NeXe dead?

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This NeXe forum gets about 0 traffic. The NeXe website gets about no significant updates ... and the last one of those was 2 months ago and almost entirely devoid of content / purpose. The last DirectX tutorial (I'm going to ignore utterly worthless fstream tutorial) was posted over 4 months ago. The only contact e-mail given was out of order when I checked. The tutorials have errors in them, and no one cares. There are no events, no postings of news of the outside world, nothing that makes a site like NeHe's flourish. The tutorials that are so helpful, the main series, was stopped too soon, leaving the reader with a clear idea that more will be added very soon now (lighting, another organization, model animation, level building, etc ... there is much to be desired) ... but the last tutorial on such topics was added 10 months ago! This site is now, in a word, utterly LAME. But it has so much potential. The tutorials are some of the best I've seen around ... is there any chance that this site could be fixed? Perhaps it could be given to someone who actually does something with it, instead of letting it die? Or just giving more people the admin pass? Do something! Please! [edited by - Zaphos on April 20, 2002 1:39:38 PM]

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I agree.

Personally, I''d like to see the site operated by someone with enough time on their hands to do things right (and maybe someone a little older than 14). I''d also like to see the complete set of NeHe tutorials done in D3D (since the site is supposed to be a NeHe clone), and maybe some other DirectX stuff not pertaining to D3D. As far as this forum goes, there''s no reason to post here when there''s the DirectX forum.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

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Yeah, I know what you mean and it makes me so mad. This site had a ton of potential, and it almost seems like it has been abandoned. This site would have far exceeded the goals that it had (NeHe, DirectX style), and would have DESTROYED NeHe, if it would ever be updated. The main series of tutorials were BETTER that NeHe''s tutorials. By quite a lot. So take that you NeHe zealots! muahaha!!! lol

------------------------------
This pisses benjamin bunny off->If someone asks you "A penny for your thoughts" and you put your two cents in, do you get change?

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It really sucks because most NeHe clones have only gotten about as far as NeXe. I''m currently doing Andy Pike Direct3D tutorials, but they don''t go very far, nor do Drunken Hyena. Maybe when I get good at DX9 (I''ve got plenty of time to learn D3D8 before D3D9 comes out), I''ll start a series of tutorials! And I know how to make a good web page (andy pikes is pretty cool).

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Perhaps some sort of co-op with a common format and strong peer-proofing (ie, an article must get approved before being officially presented) would work better? I mean, it seems like many people want to start sites, but the individual attempts must be too difficult/time-consuming for most people to pull off. A group effort would be harder to organize -- requiring strong community support and good webcoding (either that or a shared login to the website, but that could create problems if anyone made anyone angry), not to mention some people willing to give their time to proof-reading. I think it could work, though; I think it would be awesome if it worked. Perhaps it''s too late to start on DX8, but I really want to try to organize this around DX9.

We''d need:
1) A consensus on what tutorials we would cover, what order they would proceed in, etc.
2) A sign-up system, allowing people to know which tutorials were being written and which tutorials were open to be begun. Perhaps two to three people could sign up for the same tutorial, and that way we could vote on and use the best one, keeping the other''s around as additional sources?
3) A ranking/reviewing system, allowing the helpfulness of a tutorial to be judged and, if significant complaints are found, fixed or replaced.
4) A preliminary review system, in which 2 people, maybe 3 people, look over the article for clarity of language and correctness. Errors should be listed in a standard format, so that the author can easily fix / examine them. If the reviewers'' vote too low, the article should be held in the "drafts" section of the website, not placed among the actual tutorials.
5) A standard format, as well as the tools to generate this format, need be created. NeHe style would be fine, but we probably need to be more specific than that -- an example page would be important. I propose following andy pike''s method, but this is something that would need discussion.
6) A standard "basecode," the format of which should be unanimouly agreed upon. I suggest that we keep this at a C basis for the sake of being more globally understood, but again this is a topic that would need great discussion. It may also be dependant on what the DX9 api provides/appears as. It should, however, hide standard initialization in a function, keep standard variable names, be as easy to read as possible, etc.
7) A standard code format. Consistency in tab usage, coloring, variable naming, style, etc, is key to a tutorial series.
8) Standard coding methods. IE, if one person establishes a Vertex class, the tutorials that follow should build upon and use that same Vertex class.

As to what tutorials we should do, I propose 4 catagories, those being (in order of importance):
1) A main series, as on nexe, which linearally cover the topics of DX9 usage. This could be divided into subsections just as the API is divided into subsections, ie a D3D section, a DirectMusic section, a DirectPlay section, etc.
2) Side tutorials, which should be focused on one particular issue that doesn''t really fit into the main tutorials, and which furthermore don''t rely (any more than absolutely neccisary) on the reader seen the main tutorials. Examples of what would fit here: a ID3DXSprite tutorial, a D3DXFont tutorial, etc.
3) Non DirectX tutorials, which explain / focus on issues of game design that are not strictly related to using the DX api. This would be a good place to explain pathfinding algorithms, scripting techniques, file io, or whatever anyone else wants to write about. These tutorials should have 2 examples, perhaps, one to show the technique as simply as possible, and another to show the technique applied in DX9, using the basecode and perhaps more complex methods (but still should be kept simple enough to be easily understood).
4) I imagine it would be helpful to have explanations of the DX9 sample code, especially if the DX9 sample code is anything like the DX8 sample code. We should have a section for tutorials which follow the program flow of the important sections of the DX samples, providing commenting and theory notes. This section may or may not be important; I''m not sure how well it would be recieved.

Further notes on tutorials:
- They should always have example code.
- Example code should always be extremely consise, with code not pertinent to the tutorial hidden in the base code or, when possible, not there at all.
- More impressive examples, if desired, should be permitted to be posted alongside the simplistic example, especially if the more impressive example shows how a technique can be interestingly applied, or could expand a readers understanding of the purposes for that technique.
- Tutorials, especially in the main series, should be limited to one concept per tutorial. We don''t want to pack sound routines with antialiasing with line-techniques, etc, this is one of the more annoying "features" of NeHe.
- Tutorials should not, however, delay to get into the interesting stuff. Readers don''t want to wade through 50 tutorials to get to their 3D model loading code, their terrain engines, their BSP tutorials, etc. Specifics of exactly how many tutorials they should wade through are an issue we''ll need to discuss.


I think that this would be an extremely powerful site, if the community could pull it off. Because of its focus, it could be more helpful than an extremely general site like GameDev (in which the tutorials cannot be given a common basecode, often stray from the implementation specifics that can be so important, and etc) while being more stable and rich than a one-man / two-man show like NeHe and NeXe. Also nice would be non-linear production of tutorials, so that an advanced user wouldn''t have to wait for forever and a year to start seeing useful tutorials on the site. With a clear plan of what tutorials need to be made for the site, advanced tutorials like level / terrain management techniques, model animation, cloth sims, could be coming out in the same time-span as rotating cube tutorials. And I do believe that DirectX has a community experienced and large enough to pull this off, if we can find enough people who are willing to become deeply involved.


So ... will anyone join me? Anyone want to do a website design, set up a forum to discuss it, move the discussion to more popular forums, start writing tutorials, post additions or suggestions, etc, please do! I really want to see something like this take off.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I wouldnt mind doing the server side coding for the site. Leave your email and I''ll contact you.

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Two really cool ideas! Zaphos, that seems to be like a good idea. I mean, you could have a couple people do standard NeHe clone tuts, and then have people sign up for stuff like Vertex shaders, 2D in Direct3D (thats a cool title for TANSTAAFLs book), etc etc. It''d also be really cool if it were a general DX tutorial site, not just a D3D tut site. Whew, I better get started on learning D3D. I''m learning OGL along with it (OpenGL Game Programming), I''ve just finished the chapter on vertex arrays and display lists (although I confess, I skipped the chapter on Multitexturing (I don''t know why though)). Maybe you could have OpenGL tutorials in conjunction with SDL tutorials with DirectX tutorials, and even a forum! wait, no, thats like GameDev.net Lite. But I think you have a good idea there, Zaphos!

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Count me in! I would love to help pull something like that off the ground. I''m in for tutorials and reviews as well.

I agree with much of what Zaphos put forth. With Gamedev.net supporting the hosting (thanks Myopic Rhino!) we''ve overcome the first major hurtle. A forum would be a good place to start. Who''s up for moderator? Are you up to spearheading this, Zaphos?

BTW, what do we call it?

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Some quick replies:
My email: z_zaphos@hotmail.com

Myopic: Cool! GameDev would be the best place for such a site to be hosted, so if it does start I''d really want it to be here.

Anonymous: Please do. And anyone else who wants to volunteer some help can e-mail me or post here or both. I would like to start some sort of either mailing list or forum dedicated to development, if this project is really going to take off, so if anyone wants to start that or suggest how I might do that, it''d be greately appreciated.

I''m happy that there seems to be some support for this ...

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Propeller boy: You posted at the same time as I did, heh. I'm certainly up for spearheading this, but I want to design the project to end up with very flexible leadership. So that it can't fall apart because one or two people stop updating, but rather is held together by those who want to do so. For now, I think I should lead, but all my ideas are open for debate. I want this to be the best that it can be, and it's not something I'll be even close to capable of pulling off alone. It will be a while before DX9 gets out the doors, so I just want to have everything ready for opening day -- site design, forums, submissions setup, code and tutorial templates, etc.

Myopic: Do you think that we could get a forum to design this? Or would you prefer we discuss via existing boards and/or another method (mailing list?) until the site is ready for business?

And no, I don't have a name yet; it didn't strike me as being too important. Actually, it didn't strike me at all. Suggestions are welcome, as I don't have many good ideas, but I'd prefer we stick to worrying about the more substantial features of this project for now.

[edited by - Zaphos on April 20, 2002 2:49:56 PM]

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Whow, can I afford not to be part of this?

hehe, but sure, count me in, I may not be a big tutorial writer, but I can help test code, get oppinions on design on the site, and souch.
My skills:
Learning php.
General Webdesign.
c++ and visual basic (I learnt that before I jumped to c++)
DirectX
Problem solving


--If you look to the clouds you cant see traps--

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I wish I could help, but I really have to get up to speed in DirectX. I only know pretty much how to setup a basic app, and use a vb, and I''m learning lights and texturing (which shouldn''t be too hard, I know how to do it in OpenGL, and I read about lighting in Advanced DirectX 8.0). I know how to design websites, especially ones with flash and nice graphics . I''m not extremely good, but I''m ok. I know just about all HTML, but I want to get Dreamweaver to automate website building (I almost have it). As for names, NeTi? NeBo? NeBr? NeUn? Just kidding, hehe. I bet you are not going to have Ne in your name. It''s getting a little old. NeHe,NeXe... How about AV Jack? Just kidding, another horribly stupid name of the day. pakX? no, stupid. DXTAA (pronounced dexta, sorta like dexters lab)(DXTAA = DirectX Tutorials And Articles)? No, again stupid. How about Dexta? no. Hmm, naming is harder than it looks

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quote:
Original post by PropellerBoy
"Houston, we have liftoff..."

Don''t get complacent - there''s still a lot of work that will need to be done before you can start saying things like this. But I do think it''s a great idea - it could definately work and be the best DX resource there is - if it''s done right.

Anyway, a question about it:
Will it wait for DX9, and start there - or will it start before then, and use DX8??
From the way people are talking, it sounds like it will wait for DX9, but I just want to know if there''s a unanimous agreement on this or not.

John B

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quote:

Don''t get complacent - there''s still a lot of work that will need to be done before you can start saying things like this.


Liftoff of the effort... NOT the final product!

I won''t speak for Zaphos, but with the timeline required to make a launch, it might be in our best interest to use DX9. It would be new/fresh/cutting edge/avant-garde/etc...

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I think that we''re probably too late for the DX8 train, but we could have a huge impact around DX9. Ideally this system would be capable of producing quality tutorials and support far faster than the old one to two man shows, but creating a good tutoral/web design, a good amount of support, and solid website code will take some effort and coordination. DX9 is already taking Beta applicants, so this should be a not-overly-long period of time when we can set up the whole deal so that it runs strong as soon as it''s out the door. Does anyone have an estimate of when DX9 will be released? A date like that would give a good estimate of how much we need to rush this.

My vote is to definitely wait for DX9. A weak start could break a site so dependant on community support, and we are going to need some substantial time and effort setting up the background stuff, anyway.

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Right now we should be looking to choose/generate:

1) Site layout
2) Site name
3) Tutorial layout
4) Tutorial format
5) Site webcode (php, perl, whatever, should support dynamic content, log-ins, tutorial submission and review functions, etc)
6) Code format (naming system, tab usage, classes or no classes, etc)
7) Basecode format
8) Tutorial plans (ie, what tutorials should be created, what order should they be presented in, what details should be given, etc).
9) Anything else you think might help

If you have or have ideas for any of these, please post them or e-mail me at z_zaphos@hotmail.com
I will create a temporary webpage to organize whatever I receive, and to allow people to discuss, etc.

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The only timeline that I have heard is sometime this Summer ~ which means 6/2002 to 6/2003.

quote:

Zaphos wrote...
8) Standard coding methods. IE, if one person establishes a Vertex class, the tutorials that follow should build upon and use that same Vertex class.
And...
- Example code should always be extremely consise, with code not pertinent to the tutorial hidden in the base code or, when possible, not there at all.


What if we take these ideas as the basis for the creation of a DX9 open source game engine? So, each tutorial would be extending said game engine? It would definately hide much of the supporting code. The biggest issue with this would be the definition of the API. I''ve been involved in several projects such as this with different underlying graphics technologies.

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quote:
Original post by Zaphos
Myopic: Do you think that we could get a forum to design this? Or would you prefer we discuss via existing boards and/or another method (mailing list?) until the site is ready for business?

I''d suggest setting up a Yahoo! Group to discuss it. The site can have it''s own forum here once it''s ready, but there''s no need for that with a relatively small group of people. Yahoo! Groups work really well for that.
quote:
Original post by Zaphos
Does anyone have an estimate of when DX9 will be released?

I''m in the beta group. The beta hasn''t been released yet, but the best guess is mid-May. Based on past years, that would mean a late fall full release. BTW, you should probably try to get someone in the beta group involved with this. I''d volunteer, but I really don''t have the time, and I''m mainly an OpenGL guy anyway
quote:
Original post by Zaphos
5) Site webcode (php, perl, whatever, should support dynamic content, log-ins, tutorial submission and review functions, etc)

If you''re going to be hosted by us, I''d suggest using ASP, mainly because we''d be able to give you scripts for a lot of your systems.

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quote:

If you''re going to be hosted by us, I''d suggest using ASP, mainly because we''d be able to give you scripts for a lot of your systems.


That''s definately a strong argument for the use of ASP... Thanks!

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I''m zoomin through the andypike tutorials to try and get up to speed on DX so I can help you (I''m on tut 4, I started last night). Hehe, most of this thread grew out in one day. But, also, with the mention of a game engine, you could have basic tutorials, maybe ranging from setting up a window to stuff like models, and then have game engine tutorials, which would cover billboarding, particle systems, rewriting the basecode to a more OOP and understandable format, loading other types of models and textures, heightfield terrain, BSP, octrees, quaternions, etc. (by then, itd have the amount of tutorials as NeHe!).

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This sounds like an awesome idea, and I''m willing to do whatever I can to help out.

That said, I''m not very familiar with DirectX, but I am pretty good with English so I could do some reviewing/editing/proof-reading. Also, I can do webdev, so I''ll kick around some tutorial format ideas and let you know what I come up with.

BTW, Yahoo! Groups sounds like a good idea. Hit back ASAP if you set one up.

Peace,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//
miscellaneous links

[if you have a link proposal, email me.]

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