CSCI 300 Software Practice

This is the course's WEB Blog.  At this location the events of the class, more or less, will be chronicled in reverse chronological order.  We will be using DarkBASIC (see The Game Creator's Site) and Joel on Software ― The objective is to come away with a much better understanding of and experience in developing complex programs from Conception to Introduction.  Classic book on Game Programming: Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book (check it out)

DarkBASIC Pro Outline  Blender   Blitz3D  BlenderWIKI Books

Big Dates: WRAP MONDAY December 4th -- Awards and Reviews Day (Overflow Day Also) DOUGHNUTS!!!!

November 28th WEDNESDAY PRESENTATION A -- Second Half of the Alphabetical Order (1st Half Paid Their Dues On Original Presentations)
November 30th FRIDAY PRESENTATION B -- First Half of the Alphabetical Order (You guys went first last time now you go second)

Nov 15, 2007 Yesterday I mentioned a new programming language that might interest any of you with an artistic bent called "Processing"  You can check it out at this WEBSITE  I was interested enough to pop for the books which look interesting.  Through the miracle of they've already turned up at my doorstep and I have them in my office if anyone is interested in looking at them.  Time is flying so don't forget to work on your portfolio.

Nov 9, 2007 -- Didn't do much in class but did remind everyone that Portfolios are due according to the schedule above and sent an email describing what is expected in a portfolio.

Nov 7, 2007 -- Today we looked at Blender a little.  Blender is a open source 3D authoring system with very professional capabilities.  It is well worth a look.  On Monday we looked at Blitz3D which is a basic somewhat like darkBASIC Pro.  There is a demo download that lets you code and run code but not save executables.  The price for that is hard to argue with -- it's free!  Blender is also free.  A good book is also available with 8 gigs of material on a DVD.  Cool!

Oct 17, 2007 -- Today we looked at an updated version of AstroGunner with sound effects.  I also shared some of the problems with trying to refactor the AstroGunner code to get rid of some of the redundency.  The addition of sound effects really took the juice up a notch as the spaceship shot up the ufos with great popping and banging.

Oct 11, 2007 -- Ran into a problem last night working on Chapter 16.  My copy of the Astrogunner program does not compile and throws a Win32 exception.  I don't know why and so I started working on the code from scratch but didn't get too far.  Worth some time illustrating the code to get it working.  It's a nice little application and runs well from the compiled version if you have DirectX 9 loaded.  Thought I might update DirectX but ran into Microsoft validation issues with the college provided laptop so quit doing that.  Decided the only thing to do was redo the software, but that is time consuming.

Oct 4, 2007 -- We've gone over the darkBASIC gaming book through Chapter 13 and the beginning of 14 so far.  We should be getting into more specifics of 2D gaming shortly.  The objective is to get everyone into the routine of 1) Planning their work, 2) Delivering Deliverables based on the plan, and 3) Applying the knowledge they gained to a project in a systematic way.  At the end of the course students should have a complete portfolio on their work over the course of the semester.  This will act, I hope, to create a sensitivity to the importance of systematic time-on-task, and the fundamental importance of tangible observables as the primary measure of work accomplished.

Sep 28, 2007 -- Today we had Learning Plan Presentations which were supposed to provide a summary of the plans that had been made.  A secondary objective was to have the students practice "active listening" as illustrated by the questions they asked and dialogue they had with the speakers.  Three students cut class of the nine who were supposed to speak.  Presentations could have used a lot more work, even though they were supposed to be short.  As John Adams wrote one -- "I am sorry this letter is so long, I didn't have time to make it shorter."  An effective short presentation is harder to create than a long one.  The highlight was Jay's presentation which sprung a surprise since Josh, Ben and Jay have decided to team.  That moved it up a notch and they showed Resource Requirements, WUP examples, and Jay talked a little about his project.  Collectively they gave something like I was expecting from everyone.

WUP #1 Learning the Syntax of DarkBASIC assignment #1 expected duration 1 week. 

Exercise #1 Getting Started with DarkBASIC  Click Here To See It Go  SphereMapping Cool but BIG! don't try this on a phone connection it's about 179 Meg

Purpose: Just to show off the simplicity see page 10 of text for code

  1. Open DarkBASIC
  2. Type code in from page 10 (see below)

make object cylinder 1, 100
  zrotate object 1, object angle z(1) + 5
  wait 20

      3. Hit F5 to compile and run the example:  Now you can hit your easy button: "Wow, that was easy!"
      4. Oh, yeah!  Hit the Esc key to stop the program.

WUP #2 Development of a Personal Learning Plan assignment #2 expected duration 1 week.

WUP #2 involves doing a careful inventory of the resources at your command, your textbook, the darkBASIC Pro support materials and such other resources as you can muster or already have to formulate a Personal Learning Plan.  This will be reviewed and approved by your instructor and your progress against this plan will be monitored throughout the semester.  In accomplishing this you will progress in a fundamental learning skill, that of planning your and monitoring your own progress. 

TUTORIAL Check out this FPS Tutorial from the examples.