Arien vs. The World

Posts Tagged ‘Programming

I can’t remember how, but I came across the DreamBuildPlay Challenge website a couple of weeks ago. I had seen XNA last year and while it looked interesting, I had no real motivation to use it, so I moved on and forgot about it.

This time it was no different, there was no motivation to learn. But, suddenly there was… I couldn’t wait to get back home and start working on it.

No, it didn’t cross my mind that I could participate in the Challenge, hehe. What changed, then? I just thought to myself: “What if I *had* the skills & experience to participate? What kind of game would I build?”. And those simple questions made my mind go wild and enter in one of these brainstorming trances I have so often. And I came up with some nice game ideas, if I can say so myself!

I’ve been toying around with the framework for these last two weeks and I must say it’s easy to learn the basics and there are some good guides around. The documentation is also excellent. I managed to create silly sprites (actually the hardest part was finding some decent graphics, heh) that move around, walk, grow, fade… Keyboard and mouse input is easy to handle too. From here on it gets complicated, but I’m not going to rush it. First, I want to gather all the ideas I had and define small steps to create something nice, bit by bit.

I still have no interest on participating in the Challenge. I know my current knowledge of XNA is close to zero and any attempts would end in frustration (maybe I can in a year or two… or three). But! I have now a reason to learn and to refresh my C# skills on the process (I had been looking for an excuse for some time). Plus I’m chasing one of my childhood dreams: game development!

I just came back from a presentation of coding contest entries. The contest is organized by my company and pointed at us developers, as a way to get fresh ideas for our website and some R&D done about them. All the participants had such great ideas, it’s amazing what you can build around software. Big clap for everybody.

I had to present my own project, and whew, I was so nervous. However, I think it went well… I worked hard on my PowerPoint presentation and practiced what I wanted to say while writing it. I will always be a shy kitten, so probably didn’t talk loud enough and I stuttered here and there, but it’s done now, and I did my best. It’s a shame the application isn’t ready yet for the public, since I got some requests to see it. This weekend is going to be stressy, the live testing of all the applications starts Monday.

I kinda wish I had teamed with a designer (although Jaumet helped so much :D). Most of the apps looked fancy and flashy, compared to mine. But I tried to focus on the idea and what can be done with it, I hope it makes up for it, somehow. Also, learning a new programming language and a new framework (go go Django!) took most of the time dedicated to the project, and I think it’s better that way.

Oh well, will see who won this contest in a week from now. It will be hard for the judges, in my opinion all the apps were impressive. The price is a juicy MacBook Air or MacBook Pro! I’m not a fan of Apple, but I guess even I can’t say no to a free Mac ๐Ÿ™‚


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