Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer time

It looks like that a few months have passed since the last post, so I'd say that I could update the blog with some current information.

Summer work

As I said two posts back, I got a job offer in Ireland. I decided to take the job, since it's a real difference from previous summers and I can see how it is to work on some real software and not my projects. I have been living here for a month now and the job is nice. It's interesting stuff with something new every week; it keeps me working all the time, and gives me a sense that I actually do something useful instead of just sitting at home on my computer doing who knows what. All in all, it's great; but I won't write too much about it. I have a month too go and then I return home.


I haven't updated anything about this ether. I successfully finished my first year and start my second in October. I have to say that college absorbs most of your 'will power'; and kinda leaves you with no motivation to work on personal projects. But that's just how studying is, what can you do. This year I have to decide on course selection, it's ether 'enhanced reality' or 'intelligent agents'. I think I will go with the latter, since I prefer artificial intelligence and language interpretation. We will see how this year will go. All together I still have two more years till I finish.

Personal stuff

There are a few things that happened in the last months. First of all, the book that I was reviewing was published. I have no idea how it's selling and stuff like that, but it's not really in my interest. Let's just leave that topic.
A bigger thing I did was that I made my Udemy course paid again, 9$ this time. I kinda decided to give one last go on the paid course thing, and since I gathered over 5000 students while it was free I thought that maybe now it could go. And it works. It's not a lot of money, but it really helps a lot. I know some people don't like that it's paid, but I also have to get some income somewhere and it's the cheapest it can be on Udemy. I think that my Youtube subscribers got the course when it was free, so that shouldn't be a problem. Currently it will stay priced until the sales more or less stop.
Even though most of my time here is focused on the job, I was still playing around with some ideas. I'm planning on switching up most of the libraries I use for game development, and learning OpenGL 3 while doing so. I think that I will have to know it sometime, so why not now. It's quite hard moving from intermediate OpenGL 2 into the new pipeline, but I will manage it somehow. I'm also planning on discarding SDL, SDL_image and FTGL for more lightweight libraries like GLFW, SOIL and plain FreeType. It's a lot of work and I will see how it goes when I actually start working on that. This also means that I will kinda have to close up RedFramework. I was still planning on adding Box2D to it, but it seams that will have to wait for RedFramework 2.0, or whatever I will call it. It's quite a thing again and I don't know when I will start with it or when I will even be close to finishing, but it's kinda on top of my head now.

That's all folks, I hope this shed some information about my whereabouts. I will see when my next post will be, I could try posting more often with content that's not related to me, but I'll see. As you also noticed I changed the blog theme to something more simple, the dynamic template was slow to load and use, so this works much better. Bye.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Squared Shooter source, and other

You probably haven't noticed, but I started to release the course code for some of my project on my GitHub. Take a look.

Squared Shooter

Probably one of my biggest projects; and if not biggest, then certainly the one that kinda exploded with the timelapse video. A game that I made the last week of August 2009, simple but fun, turned out to be something more for me personal. I wish I could again make games with the passion I made this one, but the times are changing.

I changed some small things with the code. I removed the music from it (licensing), SDL_mixer because it's not needed anymore, moved the data to a folder and added WASD support for movement. I don't know how the code looks, but it shouldn't be too bad. There is also separated axis collision implemented, so that may be interesting to look at. You will need SDL, SDL_image and OpenGL (Glu should already be included) to compile the project.

Check it out here.

Other project on GitHub

If you check my profile on GitHub, you will see that there is also the source for JAHP, Me and my shadow, Space Invader Versus, my new framework and others. Me and my shadow code is already used for further development by a team, the other are more or less there for me, and anyone curious. The Space Invader Versus code should probably be avoided, because it's filled with problems and memory leaks.

That's it for this post. Just wanted to make a post to keep the blog active and to inform you of my public code. The exams are now over for 2-3 weeks, so maybe I will find some time to work on the framework and maybe something more.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Where am I?

This blog has been like a desert for quite some months now, and I think it's time that I finally post again about what I'm doing and where the hell I am.

College - the final frontier

Or whatever is the equivalent of visiting an university in your country.
I always knew that college isn't going to be easy and that it takes time and discipline to get through it. But somehow I'm still surprised at the amount of work I put into it. The main energy drain are not the exams, since I have them all in a 2 week time-span every month and a half; where I devote my time into learning. The main thing (at least for my choice of study) are the constant exercises that you have to complete in order to even take the exams. Every week you get some exercises to do at every class, and that adds up to a nice package that takes quite some time to complete, so it's best to so something everyday. And that leads to a state in my mind; where I simply don't have the will to do additional personal projects and rather relax playing games.

But let's stop here. I don't want to bash my college, since learning by exercises is by my opinion the best way to learn. And the classes cover a lot of different topics. Well except math is always math, always harder. I just wanted to point out that it doesn't go well with my personal projects, so I have to put many things aside in favor of college. And it will probably stay that way until ether things cool down or I change the way I think and work, and that's something I want to achieve.

Life and living

I don't want to write much about my personal life, so I will just make this short.
I quickly got used to living in a city and I really like it here. My roommates are also great, we understand each other nicely. The weather currently sucks, we haven't had a nice warm day for a few month now. It's just snow and rain. Everyone is waiting for the real spring. And I have had a cold for a week now. And that's  mainly it, life is good I guess.

Current project, plans and personal

Even though it's hard to find the time to do something concrete I still do a few things here and there. And there are some plans for this year.
Currently I'm a technical reviewer for a book about SDL game development. I go through the chapter and check if the code and terminology is correct. It is using SDL 2.0, where there are not many tutorials about it on the web, so the book will be an addition for those interested in this topic. I don't know when the book will be done, I just review it as it comes.

Subscriber amount on Udemy and YouTube is constantly rising. I'm happy that people find my tutorials useful, even though the planned 'make money with Udemy' failed nicely. I'm not planning on creating any new videos. I don't know what I should cover and I also don't want to go into more advanced things, since it's hard to teach, specially on YouTube where you have people from all knowledge levels.

I even found some time to work on the framework this week. I fixed and added some things. I was also shocked that FTGL (the library I use to render fonts) has memory leaks when using pixmap fonts; that just shouldn't happen with a framework like that. So I had to change to texture fonts, which work nice. The framework is now ready to integrate Box2D for physics handling, and then it will be more or less done. I don't want to complicate too much, I hate it when frameworks constrict people. I will try to work more on the project, but who knows when it will be done. 

I had a big idea at the start of the year, to try to make one simple game every month. But it just didn't work out. I have one small game in production, but I will probably abandon it, because I just can't find the graphics  appealing. I really suck at graphics. And thinking back to my complete projects, all of them had really simple and abstract graphics, but in the last year or so, all I tried was more 'pixel art' stuff. I think it's time to return to my roots with silly programmer rectangles and make something that is more fun mechanically and gameplay wise, but probably lacking in fancy arts department. 
(2x0ng, an interesting game I found here)

The last big thing I want to mention is that I got a job offer for summer in Ireland. I would live there for 2 months and work on a project. I won't tell anything about it, but it looks really interesting. I would really like to work on a real project with a team, so I could experience how it all works out in the real world. The time there would be dedicated to that project only. It would be a real change from the standard summer slacking or shitty jobs that have no relation to CS. I'm still haven't accepted the offer, since moving and living completely on my own where I wouldn't know anyone for 2 months is a really big change for me. But I think it's a thing that I should get used to. I still have to think about it, but the more I think about it, the better it seams to accept the offer.
And that's about it for this blog post. I haven't posted for quite some time, so it's quite long; but I felt it's necessary to tell the main things. I hope you enjoyed the post, and that you enjoy the new blog design. I know it takes a little longer to load, but hey, dynamic pages. Please, feel free to post any comments regarding the post, or any general questions. I will try to post more often, but you never know; I usually don't know what to write about.