Syntaxus Dogmata

An Insane Developer's Journal

Syndog Games on the Horizon!

Those among my hordes of adoring fans already know that video games were what hooked me into computer programming in the first place.  This was right around 1983 or so, and even back then, my standards weren’t overly high.  My aim was to make fun games and share them with others.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

26 years later, I’ve come to understand how complex even seemingly simple games can be, not to mention the extent of my own procrastination.

I’ve decided that this ends now.  I’m going back to my gaming roots, and I’m going to use C# / XNA to do it.

“But Syndog!” you say.  “Syntaxus Dogmatus Wolfgang Illuminatus, surely you misspoke!  All serious game developers program in C++!”  Dismissing the fact that this is becoming less and less true as time marches on, allow me to explain.  My reasons in this are three-fold…

Firstly, I don’t necessarily want to become a “serious game developer.”  I looked into the industry back in the 1990’s, and decided I wasn’t prepared to embark on a career that demanded that I bring my own army cot to the office.  As stated above, my aims are simple.

Secondly, C++ never ceases to anger and confuse me.  Every time I open up someone’s code, it feels as if I’ve suddenly fallen down the rabbit hole while on a cocktail of Quaaludes, LSD and half a bottle of really bad bourbon.  Every keyword is macroed into something completely unrecognizable to anyone but the original coder and God, and even God didn’t seem too thrilled by it.  Header file includes lack any semblance to common sense.  Its backwards compatibility with C ensures an obscene tolerance for skirting object-oriented principles, and do not get me started on rampant elitism among C++ developers.

Beyond that, C++ is a robust, powerful language.  If push ever comes to shove, I’ll gladly jump into it.  If I ever do, though, I guarantee you it’ll be on my terms.

Finally, my recent professional background lies in Java.  (If you don’t understand the significance of this, then I suggest some alternate reading material.)

I’ve done a bit of study into XNA by following a tutorial or two, and I’ve come to the conclusion that while XNA is a significant step toward bringing game programming to the independent developer (myself included), it still does certain things in ways that mystify me… *cough*Game.Services.

But XNA is Microsoft’s preeminent means of developing games in C# these days, so I’ve worked out a compromise.  I call that compromise VertX ™(Virtual Entity Relations & Tactics eXtra-letter), which is my own game framework that I’m building on top of XNA, keeping an eye toward being able to plug it into other frameworks and/or hardware abstraction layers in the future, once I get my sea legs.

That’s the plan for now, anyway.  Tomorrow is, of course, another day.

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Mar 02, 2010 - Posted by | VertX™, Video Games | ,

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