Syntaxus Dogmata

An Insane Developer's Journal

So Full of FAIL

I know I promised an entry this week filled with nothing but daffodils and butterflies, but the truth is I have yet again restarted work on VertX.

I’ve decided not to keep XNA at arm’s length as I had originally planned, for a couple of reasons…

First and foremost, as I delved deeper into VertX’s functionality, I came to see how much time and effort I was putting into duplicating XNA’s utility classes (Vector2, SpriteFont, Rectangle, etc.) in order to keep from incorporating them directly in the VertX namespace.  Relatively speaking, a LOT of my code served this one purpose, and I still recognize it as necessary for my intended goal.  At some point, however, I saw just how many translations I was going to make between VertX objects and their corresponding XNA objects each and every cycle in the game loop, leaving actual game processing power at a small fraction of what it could be.  This would place a pretty severe cap on the caliber of games I could make with VertX, and I want to get as much horsepower out of it as I can before my aspirations outgrow XNA & C#’s capabilities.

Which brings me to the second reason.  At this time, I realized that if and when I hit this “glass ceiling” with XNA, it was unlikely that I was going to gain anything more from other C# game development frameworks.  It’s far more likely that I’ll be moving on to C++ as my language of choice, and interfacing with a low-level hardware API like DirectX, rather than some other higher-level framework in C#.

Granted, it’s possible that someone could invent an even more robust and powerful C# framework between now and then.  If they do, I’ll be eating my words.  Still, my gut says I’m making a winning move, mainly because even if I do end up rewriting VertX to fit a new high-level framework in C#…

1) It’ll still be easier than interfacing with something low-level, even if it’s not the plug-n-play solution I was originally hoping for, and…

2) I’ll still be getting as much horsepower out of it as I possibly can, without endless object translations between VertX and its host framework, hogging all the processing power in the primary game loop.

So yeah, I started over on VertX, and you know what?  The more I get into it, the more I’m convinced it was the right move.  The class hierarchy is so much more simplified now, and simple always brings a big smile to my face.  I’m able to focus more on VertX’s architecture instead of worrying how to access XNA’s features and data.

Already I’m back to where I was with VertX two restarts ago.  I’m rendering text on the screen, monitoring game performance, and I’m putting transforms to those text-based sprites as we speak (rotations, resizing, etc.).

My hopes are high for next week’s journal entry.  And this time, I mean it!  No, really!

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Mar 17, 2010 - Posted by | VertX™, Video Games | , ,

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