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XBOX ONE Game Dev is supposed to be hard.

So I recently took the plunge and joined the Xbox One Creators Program with Microsoft. It turns out that it's supposed to be incredibly hard to build these little games we see all the time, and for the most part, it is. Not only do we have to deal with the fact that the XBOX One does not use the stripped down PowerPC architecture that the Xbox360's used to run on, we now have to contend with the fact that it's basically running Windows 10. I remember the good old days when win32 and GDI (Graphics Device Interface) were sufficient to get a decent game running on a Windows PC - especially if the game wasn't too resource intensive. Then came Direct(X/3D/2D/11/12) with all its COM (Component Object Model) Glory -> which, perhaps most asinine of all -> is still being used today. Getting into the creators program costs a little bit of money, and that's mostly to keep the chancers out and cover administration fees. After that you really only need to abide by th…
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Finding a Game Engine is Hard

Well, if you're new here - congratulations on finding the most useless blog on the planet.If you're not new here, thanks for coming back to another installment of "And he just keeps moaning!", this weeks episode deals with how hard it is to select a Game Engine for your development needs. As I've mentioned in the past, there are many things to consider when developing a game: StoryboardingSpecification documentGame EngineResources (art / sound / levels)Time constraintsReturn on Investment Since I've preached about the Specification Document all throughout my last post, I'll save you a little bit of reading by saying it's nearly the most important part of the entire process - nevermind having a compelling game - without the specification document, nothing gets built. Storyboarding is kind of like the specification document, but it allows you to draw little screens of the game as you imagine it to be, without too much detail. And it allows you to have…

A few thoughts on Game Development

For those of you who follow my blog, you'll notice that I talk about building games, but I never really release anything useful or fully playable. I'm more interested in studying the individual parts of game development, without really caring about building a game as a whole. Well, for the most part this is perfectly acceptable, as I'm not a game developer by trade, and my bread and butter comes from being a utility developer. I've defined utility developer as someone who codes a variety of things without specializing in any specific discipline. As a self-taught developer, it's been hard for me to pivot into a role where I'm classed as a game developer by trade. This is all good and well, but I still want to talk about game development as a whole - specifically how to get a game off the ground. If you've been following any blog about game development, or any programming course which walks you through the process, you've most likely heard of all the ja…

Typescript is Hard

So, for a work-project, the language choice handed down by the Overlords-Of-Jobbing has been TypeScript.

You see - where I work, we build websites, and we build the infrastructure to support those websites. We also build platforms to support the website-supporting-infrastructure . . . so we like to iterate quickly and be as agile as possible in our workflow.

For the current clientele we're servicing it has been decided that TypeScript on the Babel toolchain would be the most productivity-boosting language we could use, and as a result I've had to learn this new-fangled language with all its idiosyncrasies.

Now, TypeScript is awesome, it supports both static and dynamic typing, lambdas, the entirety of JavaScript and all the associated libraries and frameworks which come with JS.
TypeScript is awesome.

TypeScript:
- will mend fences
- paint your garage
- spay your cat
- neuter your dog
- rent Clerks II on DVD
- run you a nice hot bath after a long day

But, the more I tried to &…

Footnote Summit 2013 (#footnotesummit)

Well, the FootnoteSummit has come and gone...
Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be one of those able to attend the FootNote summit 2013, my company sponsored me, of course, just before tickets ran out.
Those who had the good fortune to attend, were wowed with statistics and information regarding Digital Publishing both nationally and internationally. We were treated to an awesome lunch, a "free" touchscreen stylus, a "free" 3 month subscription to Getaway Magazine ... a "free" lunch, and an awesome opportunity to make friends.
Friends were made... I had the rare opportunity to make friends with another "techie" named Arthur Atwell. We chatted a bit about his Paperight business, and I was able to shed some light for him on how to make EPUB3 documents... I have only recently discovered that it's possible to take an EPUB2 file and massage it into a valid EPUB3 file by a tedious process of manual editing... This is a post for another day tho…

So, after writing my several thousand lines of Python....

After I have written and DEMO'd the code... I finally finished writing the several thousand lines of Python code, interspersed with HTML and CSS .. and provided my bosses with a very nice DEMO of what the app does... needless to say, the app was running on our intranet - off my machine, which was partially converted into a Server Node on out intranet...

The bosses loved the app, they loved it so much, in fact, that they wanted it "out there" for the world to use!

Writing a web app in PHP is hard... So, after writing all that awesome code in Python, it was time to start hunting for a new web provider which allowed Python 3 code ... none were forthcoming, and my bosses didn't like the idea of moving our website to a different provider ... so it was back to the drawing board ... to rewrite the entire thing in PHP ...

Well, PHP is not that hard ... when you know it... In the defense of PHP, it's not really a hard language to master ... sure, there are a lot of funct…

So, python web apps are not that hard after all

So, I was saying earlier that writing web apps with Python is hard ...
I was sorely mistaken... Obviously, I am not using any frameworks to facilitate my project - which is a huge mistake, but a learning exercise for me (I'm  fairly new to python). When not using a framework, you are exposed to the internals of how CGI and Python all meld together, as well as how to use the FieldStorage object to respond to Ajax requests.
It's only hard if you do it the "wrong" way Writing a web app with Python 3 is only hard if you do it the wrong way. I come from a background of coding C++ code using the most bleeding edge coding techniques - OOP, TDD, Templates, Multiple inheritance, Polymorphism, insert bleeding edge coding technique here, etc.
Now, this is all good and well when using a language like C++ where you only face the OS endpoints (Windows API, stdlib etc) at certain points in your code. But these techniques do not work too well when using a high level scripting langu…