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The Return April 2, 2007

Posted by Jesse in : Game Development , trackback

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m back.

It’s a shame things worked out quite the way they did. Right after writing the reviews for Mr. Robot and Kingdom Elemental, my number of readers shot way, way up. And then the crazy overtime at work kicked in, and I haven’t written anything since. So the readers went away.

Similarly, the amount of comment spam on the site has gone up, but it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. For the first few weeks I was deleting it manually, but it became too much for me, and I installed a WordPress plug-in to handle it for me. It claims to have caught 580 spam comments since turning it on. Wow! I can’t even imagine how much spam big sites get. Anyway, if you try to post a comment, and it doesn’t show up, it was probably flagged as spam by the system. I got the contact form working again, so feel free to shoot me a message if that seems to be happening to you.

Unfortunately, all of my game development projects were forced to be put on hold during the day job overtime period. This includes the work I was doing with Froghaus on their title Asparagus. It looks like they’re making excellent progress, though, and I look forward to the release sometime later this year.

I did finally get to do a bit of coding for myself, though. I spent some time this weekend researching Microsoft’s XNA. (XNA is a framework for writing games that will run both on Windows and on the Xbox 360 console.) Microsoft has put out some video tutorials for getting started, and they’re quite nice. I recommend checking out the Creators Club site for more info on XNA. (The video tutorials can be found under Education | Tutorials.)

It seems like pretty cool stuff. For my first attempt at learning the framework, I wrote a Pong clone, complete with a very simple AI, Xbox 360 controller support, and some sound effects. Next up, I checked out TorqueX which seems fantastic, but there’s a couple of show stopping bugs that prevent me from using it much. (It’s still in beta, though, so I’m not really complaining. The bugs had already been reported in the forums by other users, so hopefully they’ll be fixed, and I can play with it some more.)

I’ve got a couple of indie games I’d like to write about, and I intend to keep toying with XNA, and writing about that. Hopefully I won’t go three months without writing a real post again. Thanks for sticking with me during the downtime.


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