Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hello from Tokyo

I've been visiting the Tokyo Game Show as an exhibitor with my university for the last 4 days, its been quite manic.

There's not been a lot of time to do much coding, but I did have a day off on Saturday and managed to finally finish a chapter I've been struggling with for some time. The chapter explaining and then using matrices.

It's one of those things beginners often totally fail to understand, and if I'm honest me too, since maths is not my strong point, but I do know matrices and how they work. I just really struggled to find a way to explain it really simply and easily and provide a good example of how it worked.

But after a nice rest and maybe being away from writing for a week as I've been here, I sat down, wrote a few cracking explinations and then edited the chapter down into something I think actually works. I even used hello triangle, the worlds simpliest OpenGL project to demonstrate how it works and show how simple it is at its basic use.

I'm quite pleased, becuase that also leads to the technical part of using shaders for the 1st time, which are a minefield of confusion for noobs, but I think I incorporated it well.

That done, I can now move forward to the use of matrices and creating 3D worlds without having to get too tied up in the technical side of things. The book is more about the concepts of games rather than the highly technical aspects of how to make them, though a foundation in that is described.

Not much chance of doing that till I get back home though, there's little free time left here, but maybe on the plane :D

Friday, 9 September 2016

Publishers happy, and extension granted

Publisher is happy with my current draft, even though its rough as hell at the moment, and still  missing the walk throughs on the last 2D and early 3D proejcts. But my editor likes it, though not the format I delivered it in.. Which is fine as I am not going to submit that format in the final version.

Its such a thrill to have someone look over 9 months of work, and be positive about it. :D

I did ask for an extension though as the projects take much  longer to layout and document than I expected, but the extension gives me the time I need to finish those up, and edit my document format down to theirs.

I'm off to Japan for a couple of weeks, so can't really do much project work, though I am taking a pi and LCD screen with me as well asn an HDMI cable in case there's a TV in my hotel room I can use. But not really sure I'm going to have time,

but I do have 11 hours to kill on the plane so I can transcribe a load of project notes into readable text. That will hopefully keep me away on a very boring flight.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mouses Mice or meecese?

I have the mouse system working on the targets now, but no idea for the life of me what the plural is of a computer mouse.. I suppose mice, but not really sure.

Anyway, mouse code  is working perfectly, and that allows me to do pointer controls in 2D and 3D. So am starting the firework and sand games.

I've been in touch with the publisher too, annoyingly a draft if the manuscript I sent in July bounced, but the bounce notice went into my spam. I was so wrapped up in writing and coding, that I never followed up. Oh well, no matter they've sent me system to send the files. So will get that done tomorrow when I've finished this section.

 I also asked for some more time, which should not be a problem. Well when all said and done, its not as if I can magically do it quicker so they kinda have to give me the time.

Am pleased with the progress of the projects now though, but the 3D engine needs a bit more simplifiying, I really only need the most basic system possible and at the moment its cut down from my own openGL engine and has too much functionality, functionaly I want the readers to recognise they need to add themselves.

Now readty for the big push to 3D, its not as big a section as the 2D stuff, and hopefully I don't need to explain as much as I did at the start, it should just be a case of things falling into place iwth only a basic explination.....haha..yeah! right!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Photo Frame done

Ok the PhotoFrame project is done.
Designed to help understand how a texture is created and displayed, it has a 2nd function to help our understanding of memory allocation. This is the precurser to the 2D render system

Last few chapters

Holidays are over and I did a bunch of coding and writing for the book, but Wow, its gone by so quick. I've got over 500 pages now, and still have a lot of code snippets to put in there. Which has proven to be a massive time sink.

I honestly thought the project writing would be the easy part, and normally its only a few days or a week at most to do a small demo project, but the need to do create a simple downloadable start up... Detail the things to add to it, then make sure the finished version has no major changes from the start up and additions. Edit and test the steps in the book, has proven to be massivly hard.

When you write a project, no matter how simple, you start off knowing what you are going to do...but mid way, you change things, you decide something is better, or easier....and normally thats fine, because you're  moving forward with no regard to the past,  But you don't want a reader, doing the same with your code, at least not too much, which means having to go back to the code in the book, make the changes so they are always there, and ensure they still work at the earlier really hard.

But the 2D projcts are pretty much all done, and complete, and about  half of them have their start and mid parts documented and stored for the support site. I have outlines for all the 3D projets but still have to write them up and do the walk throughs in the book. There's not as many 3D projects thankfully so it won't take quite as long.

Sadly I've realised I'm not going to hit my 17th Sept deadline, especially with a 2 week,  work trip to Tokyo coming up. I can't see me being able to do much writing while I am there, though I will do my best.

I've asked for more time, hopefully that won't be an issue.