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Zaphos

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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