Hello world!

•April 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well I created this blog about a month ago and didn’t get around to putting anything into it yet, so here I go: an introduction.

Hello, I am known as DefaultEx and/or Default_Ex on several game development websites and blogs; in the real world they call me Alan. I tend not to post to many of the troubles I have and focus on more providing constructive feedback on the troubles that others have, but don’t let that fool you, I get stumped just like everyone else. Besides programming I also do a little bit of 3D art, a lot of 2D art in digital, acrylic, oil, pastel pencils, and graphite pencil; by far the digital medium is my favorite since it allows me to apply all those math functions we promptly forget in our geometry classes during mandatory school sessions. I also play electric and acoustic 6-string guitar, during my final year of high school I spent a month calling around to different wood companies to find just the right grade of Mahogony to carve my own guitar out of, it’s sort of like an ESP Explorer but with my personal touch. I’ve played guitar for about 11 years now and really love it when no one around during the day so I can crank my amp up full blast, I could do that with everyone around but I’d rather not hurt their eardrums.

I’ve worked with programming for a very long time, my dad taught me the very basics when I was around 8 years old on a Commodore 64, but well with the 5 to 30 minute load times on those coaster floppies it was tough for me to keep interested. Eventually I got into C/C++ through the CProgramming articles that I’m sure most of us programmers are familiar with or at least heard about by now. I worked a little bit with Ruby, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Java/Javascript, Basic, and Quick Basis. My language of choice is C# however as I just love how well the language structure and syntax fits with my thought patterns.

I am currently in the process of developing a game engine using Microsoft Visual C#, Microsoft XNA Framework, and a little dash of SlimDX for the performance API support. I primarily focus on graphics related things since well I was an artist long before I was a musician or programmer. I still remember it like yesterday, the very first timeĀ  I played Final Fantasy II (US) on my old SNES Console, about 20 minutes in the only thing I could think about was that I wanted to make a game just like it. So that’s what I did, saved my game, turned off the console, and downloaded the only graphics API I could find at the time, which unfortunately wasn’t built for windows; so I got a little more determined then and borrow a copy of Red Hat Linux from a friend, installed it in dual boot configuration next to windows and started working on it. The first thing I thought of was the menu system, which was surprisingly easy after I found the documentation files for that graphics API. Overall took me around 4 hours to get all the stuff replicated in my own version of the game before I dumped all the contents, stuck with the menu drawing code, and started to fill in my own ideas. Can’t say I finished that game as I just couldn’t grasp at the time how difficult it really is to create something like an RPG until I actually tried. But that was it, I was hooked on game development from that point on.

Spent nearly every day skipping my homework and reading up on the very limited at the time websites on C/C++, and on the tricks I could use with the graphics API to make more interesting looking effects than a border with a 2 pixel soft blend on the inner edge. There was actually a time that a teacher asked me to bring in a sample of the code I was working on because he did not believe me when I told him I was learning to write code for video games (I was around 13 at the time), boy was he surprised when I brought in a breakout clone (which to me was an Arknoid clone as that’s was the first variation of breakout I ever seen). It was kinda cool though, once he seen I was serious he brought me all kinds of books he used when he learned to write C/C++ as long as I agreed to actually do my homework, I still have one of them around I use for reference on bit-manipulation tricks.