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Filed Under: Journal - Development - Game Development

Introduction

2002.11.10 12:26am
Aaron

I've been programming now for quite a long time. The crown jewel of my original accomplishments being a multiplayer TRON game on the Atari 400, which I'd rewrite every time I wanted to play because our cassette reader took almost as long to restore as it took to rewrite.

My TRON game had no impact detection, no speed control, used exactly four colours (one for each joystick) and was impossible to win or lose. It currently stands as the only game I have ever actually 'finished'.

Unfortunately the time has come again, time to change techniques and technologies. With the change goes a great deal of built up knowledge, and a great deal of built up code. I've been in this place many times in my career of writing games as a hobbiest. Dropping Atari BASIC, dropping GWBasic, dropping PASCAL, dropping DOS and ModeX ... the list goes on. Now I feel the time has come to drop 2D Software rendered graphics. With this decision goes several months of development time on an engine I was calling libN2L. Much of it can migrate with me, but much of it can't.

So, here I am. Back at the beginning, so to speak. With me I bring a great deal of largely irrelivent experience and an even larger heap of irrelivent code. That's what this journal is all about. Since I'm starting somewhat fresh here I feel I might be able to record some notes that might make it easier for anyone who follows me out of the world of software rendering into the world of hardware acceleration. I realize this may be a niche market, and I realize that it may be simple for most people. In fact, since I've never embarked on this particular quest before I don't know if it will be simple for me.

This journal is not a tutorial. A lot of what I write here will be assumptions I draw for myself based a great deal on ignorance. I am going to attempt to write down the learning process as it takes place. In doing so I hope that I can look back on this, and learn something again from the process of learning.

So. Here we go.

Why The Change?

People may disagree with me, but this is how I see things. Software rendering is dead. Period. This statement doesn't necessarily hold true for all platforms in all cases. I'm sure that there are developers out there working diligently on Java games for cell phones, or writing educational games for antiquated school computers but I want to write compelling, attractive experiences.

Competitive, attracitve graphics need to be accelerated. That's it. That's all.

Disclaimer

These are notes, thoughts and impressions. The spelling will be wrong. Some things said will be inaccurate. That is all.

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