Posts Tagged ‘rant’

My Doodad-A-Week Project

Pretty simple plan: Make one game a week. Inspired by such projects as Game-A-Week and Thing-A-Week, I decided this will be a good way to get off my butt and start learning the various technologies and techniques I need to.  I was nudged into it by this post on Smashing, as well as recent events and the coming new year.

And I don’t plan on limiting this to just video games.  I’m going to make some board games; pencil-and-paper RPGs; games of skill involving household items.  Anything goes!

The technologies I plan on learning/using are:

  • Silverlight 4
  • Flex 4
  • jQuery
  • YUI
  • Lots of CSS
  • GameMaker
  • BlockLand
  • ASP.Net MVC
  • Python

…and whatever else that catches my fancy.

Micro-Rant: I’m sure a lot of my focus will be on mobile web games.  It’s a market that is woefully underdeveloped – just look at Apple’s mobile web games page.  I think Apple doesn’t emphasize web games/apps because they can be used by anybody with a browser.  And as much as I love their stuff, Apple is all about proprietary.  Notice there’s no Flash on the iPhone?  It’s not a technology issue.  It’s because once an app or game is written in Flash, it’s available to all platforms with little or no additional coding.  So what incentive would a developer have to write something in that god-awful Objective C and Cocoa mess if they could do it in Flash and have it available everywhere? End of Micro-Rant.

Oh by the way, I’ve ditched platform-specific mobile app design in favor of browser-based mobile apps.  We have a little ledger web site I built a few years ago where we keep track of our spending, and converting it to a mobile version was total cake.  I was using it as a test project to learn native iPhone development, but decided I was wasting my time learning something that was so proprietary.  As far as I’m concerned, coding in Objective C is like going back to punchcards – except that the punchcards are wet and you have to punch the holes with a dull pencil that’s held in your teeth.  It’s the least-convenient language I’ve actually tried to learn.  But I have two really great books on iPhone development, though, if anybody’s interested!

I don’t know how long I’ll continue the project, but I’m sure I’ll take breaks and work on more involved projects here and there.  I should make Hauler my first release, as it should only take a few hours polish it up and get it playable.

Edit: I’m expanding the scope of this endeavor.  It was originally just Game-A-Week, but I’d like to not be limited to games.  I have a lot of little tools and handy things I’d like to build and this weeklong development cycle is perfect for them.

Stop with the Silverlight 1.0, already!

I have an RSS feed from Silverlight.net that supposedly lets me in on the latest news, etc. about Silverlight.  A couple of days ago, this gem popped up: “lynda.com Silverlight 1.0 Essential Training”.  (Am I going to link to it?  No.)

Why?  Oh, why do we have Silverlight 1.0 tutorials making the news?  Why are people posting new ones?  Why are people posting old 1.0 tutorials they’ve just found?  Silverlight 1.0 wasn’t even a commercially viable product!  Silverlight 1.0 skills will never be sought after!  Well, barring self-fulfilling prophecy, anyway.  I mean, if the net keeps getting cluttered with 1.0 crap, guess what everybody’s going to know?

I think in the interest of getting Silverlight (1.0, or 2.0 beta 2, or 3.7 rc2, or what the hell ever) off the ground, Microsoft should PURGE its websites of SL 1.0 material.  I realize that some of it is pertainent, namely the XAML stuff…but the rest of it is going to do nothing but confuse the hell out of people just getting into it.  It’s not to late to nip the 1.0 in the bud before it pollutes everything.

I realize that there have been oodles of tutorials, videos, blah blah made about Silverlight 1.0.  I’m sorry, but it needs to go.  Much like we let go of phrenology as barking up the wrong tree, so must we do away with SL 1.0.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to figure out why my SL 2b2 project has people thinking is SL 2b1…