Archive for the 'Studies' Category

New Game Engine

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Well the game engine has been coming along nicely. I’ve been working with a guy named Charles and we’ve developed some really cool core engine components so far. Up to this point it’s been nothing but the core windows components and basic support for the DirectX SDK API.

I wanted to have full support for dynamically switching between full screen and windowed mode while in the game. So we got that feature running, also there was some other related features to being in full screen and clicking on some other window in the event that the user has multiple monitors but the game is only active on one monitor. Similarly the game engine must also handle an ALT+TAB out to another application or window, and from windowed mode the game should pause rendering when the game is minimized or placed in the background.

We got it to pause the game rendering but the game itself is still executing and eating up the CPU. When the game engine is not active of course it should not be eating CPU power because the user might have to do something important like writing a blog post, or responding to some important e-mail or making a quick edit on some web page. Since most video games require the full attention of the computer hardware games are developed with a very high priority setting for executing on the CPU. Just because the rendering is paused doesn’t mean the priority level has changed so we still need to implement a system that will drop the priority level thus not requiring large amounts of CPU time to do nothing when the user wants to work on something else for a bit, or step out for a quick lunch between levels or whatever.

A New Video Game

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Last night I finally broke down and downloaded the new version of Visual Studio 2008 Express and directX9c SDK. I found a really cool tutorial online for learning how to program video games. Granted I already know how to program windows GUI applications in C++, the last of my few contracts have been in VB or VBA, so my actual ability in C++ is a little rusty and I’ve been planning to get back to it for some time. Specifically I really wanted to finally put some focus on getting good at it.

Here was the tutorial site that I found:

So just this morning I followed the first tutorial for DX9 and got the little windows application to display a blue screen, then fade it to black, and fade back to blue in a repeating cycle. It’s still a little jerky so once I get it nice and smooth I’ll see if I can post some source code and a downloadable exe in my software section. I haven’t had this much fun in a LONG time! :D

Once I get this thing working a little better in the direction I want to go, I’ll probably post a web forum so members can come and hang out and have more interactive discussions.