Saturday, July 08, 2006


So after a while away from this project I realised a few things.

I've reinstalled my PC... well I actually bought a whole new one and reinstalled everything, even my little utilities! I realised how hard it can be to track down a problem if the motherboard is faulty on a new pc. I bought my PC in parts and put it together, however I couldn't tell if the motherbaord, CPU, hard drive or the gfx were faulty as they were all bought from the same supplier (, the one thing I was sure worked was the ram and that was bought from eBay!!! It came up with a hard disk error after running the seagate utility, so I returned it on that basis, and it turned out to be a bad MSI motherboard. Anyway that's been replaced and other than the cpu getting hot(57c) and the stock fan spinning like crazy it's been working ok. Not sure going dual core was worth it though, nor am I sure it is worth having 2gb of dual channel memory, but I guess I'll find out when I play a processor, memory (harddisk and ram) hungry game, or at least try out vista!
Still I may not have 2 gfx cards running together, I did try the sli out but the frame rate incresed by just a few fps in Doom3, so wasn't worth it.
Having a dual display however is not something I could live without, or at least use my computer without! Even at work now, I insisted on having a dual display system, it makes like so much easier.

As usual I was too ambitious in my plans for the gameplay of the game. I wanted it to do too much too quick. This is odd because when I was creating the engine, I did it slowly, one feature at a time, and gently adding parts on and unit testing to make sure those units I add on all worked. Next time I think I shall get the game working fully, how I want it to flow with stick men and circles for bullets, whatever is cheap and quick to do, just so I can get the actual game to work. Once the game is working I can then work on the game engine and making things look and sound nice. Instead of graphics first and game design last! Of course next time (assuming there will be a next time) I won't be so impressed to have 3d models and particle engines in a program I created. Just imaging what it was like to go from having grey menus and arial fonts in utilities that did stuff like move a mouse to what I have now, a program with 3d text that can move and rotate on the x axis along with a 3d scene of my ship and hangar bay with a simple particle engine for the enging fumes and for the explosions. That doesn't even go into playing with the lighting or my thoughts on 3d movie scenes. Such a change, such a shame I never got round (yet?) to doing more.

I realised I should have created a setup program for my game, as I've not yet been able to get it to work. I know it's not my code because other VB DX9 programs don't work either. Where do I get a working version of the managed directx files? Must I download the entire 400mb DirectX SDK again. I suppose at least then I'll get those lovely debug directx files again.

I also realised how horrible the trains and tubes are in the british summer. Even during other months, you get off the train, with its air conditioning and nice spacious seats and relatively friendly people and get on the tube, with its small seats(if you can get one) hot stuffy atmosphere, unfriendly people who are quite willing to barge and push you out of the way, just so they can get to their destination literally a few minutes quicker. It's a strange but true transformation.
I've even drawn a few sketches on this irritating behaviour, these are now in my desk piling up, so I guess my boss is going to get a laugh out of it when I eventually leave! I'm sure that most people now just accept it as being the norm.