So a few months ago I posted about resigning and how I was planning to set up a software development company. It’s now a little over 6 months later and I thought I’d give everyone an update on how things are going. Walter and I formed Opticode late last year and have been busy making ASP.NET, .NET and Silverlight applications for quite a few clients around Brisbane. I’m still doing some game development contract work where I’m currently helping with the development of a multi-threaded renderer as well as some C# tools development.
Quite a few people recently have been blaming Java for part of the downfall in current computer science (CS) graduates. While I don’t particularly like java, I’d like to go to its defence to say that teaching Java is not the real reason that a lot of CS graduates are no good these days. I know this is a touchy subject for some people so I apologise in advance if I’ve offended anyone.
For some time now I’ve been asked by a few people to write up my thoughts on a coding standard. To me, coding standards are like source control, until you use them you don’t realise just how awesome they are. Coding standards are a requirement for large software teams, however even if you are working alone I’d recommend adopting at least a simple coding standard.Keeping code consistent and readable is helpful when reading other people’s code as well as when reading your own code weeks or months are it was written. In effect a coding standard is trading development time for maintainability time. I’ve found that the ratio of dev time to maintenance time grows from 1:1 on a small project to something approaching 1:∞ on larger projects.
Now that I’ve discussed why you should be using XNA, I’d like to look from the other side and talk about what Microsoft should do with XNA to benefit both developers and gamers. XNA is a great opportunity for Microsoft to get even further ahead of Sony in the current generation of consoles; they just need to make the right decisions to get there.
XNA has been around for a while and just recently hit version 2.0 (XNA Game Studio 2.0). It’s now ready for proper use and below is a list of reasons why you should give XNA a try, and even start using it as your primary development environment.
Just spoke to some ex-colleagues of mine from Auran. Auran Developments (who hires the dev team) has just gone into liquidation and has shut up shop. The guys don’t get paid this week, they don’t get their holidays paid out, and they don’t get redundancy packages.
I thought I’d give a little insight into the things I learned about making a game for the Xbox 360 controller. I’m a big fan of the controller’s feel and ease in developing for it. The added bonus is that the wired controller can plug straight into the PC meaning there’s even more coverage for it. I won’t go into details of Xinput but instead give more general advice. I’ll also share a little knowledge that an ex-Microsoft colleague taught me about its use.