Monday, September 15, 2008

Coming next...

I've been dealing with a few interesting issues and finalized a good part of my base libraries. The time has come for me to start working on Darkmana. I've been messing around with my codebase to find out I was misusing a bunch of objects, resulting in a few annoying exceptions while using TV3D. Hopefully the problem has been understood; the lessons is, when dealing with multithreading, don't assume to follow the same sequential logic you'd use normally. This might be a given, but it's usually not. One enters in this focused state of mind in which everything clicks perfectly, just to find out an important thing has been left out at the very base of the structure.

Enough intro. In the next days, I'll commit some time to work on these subjects:
  • Parallel library: why, yes, even if there's one available for download over at Microsoft, I needed to roll my own. I can't rely on their release date (which is unknown at the moment) and on code in beta stage (adding to my own). Luckily a superb Channel 9 video with a throrugh explanation helped me disentangle a few doubts (link for the interested).
  • Using the above library to create a proper loading screen. Loading screens are cool, but only if I'm the one making them, otherwise they're annoying as hell. I'd love to let the player move the main character around until the world fades in around him upon load completion. Wouldn't it be cool? I think so.
  • Programmatic animations and AI. This is going to become a big matter, there are so many things I need to finalize first.
  • User interface: that will be one of my last concerns. I'd rather have a simple guy running around and jumping than a working user interface at the moment. I have learned a lot from my past experiments with user interfaces, and this time I'm sure it won't be as painful as the first time (I'm not even considering the actual first time, since it was a mess :P).
The people who subscribed in our forums for the beta version will receive the link to download the various tests I'll be uploading (when there's something juicy for them to test of course).


Zaknafein said...

Just a heads-up that PLINQ has a Community Technical Preview out that dates from this summer. I suggest giving it a shot before trying to rewrite it all... :)

Raine said...

Thanks for dropping by, Zak!

I've actually (and of course) based my own implementation on theirs. The comparison is in the next post!

As we said via MSN, trying to beat the TPL team in their own field is actually beating a dead horse. However, I recommend anyone interested in parallel computing to give their own implementation a shot anyway. It's actually fun, and waiting for profile results to pop on screen has an exciting allure (a merely nerdish one I guess, though). :D