4 Hugues Ross Writes a Devlog
Hugues Ross

1/16/17

A Small Delay

I've just about finished writing this week's tutorial, but I'm delaying its release until next Monday. While the text and most of the code is done, I'm having some issues getting the build to work nicely in a cross-platform manner. This is mostly due to my inexperience with Meson and some recent factors that temporarily reduced my free time.

Personally, I think it's more important to have this tutorial feel polished and complete than to hit every single deadline perfectly. It's still unfortunate that I have to push things back (especially this early on), but I think this is better than just throwing out something half-baked.

On the upside, once these issues are dealt with I'm unlikely to have to deal with them again, even in future projects and tutorials. I'm still in the process of feeling things out, as far as tutorials are concerned, so figuring things like this out early on is good. With that said, I'm probably going to try to complete future tutorial series before I start posting them, just to ensure that they don't get delayed.

1/2/17

Let's Make a Roguelike - Prep Work

Two weeks after uploading the first part, I've managed to keep to my schedule with a new one. With any luck, I'll keep this up!

This part started out as a lightly-edited version of the old part 1. However, I wasn't happy with it. Today, I sat down and rewrote the whole thing, and I'm very happy with the result. It's likely that I'll be deviating from the old tutorial quite a bit going forward.

So, what can I say about this new part? I mostly shifted the subject away from the limitations of curses, and more towards an explanation of the options that are available and what I plan to cover. I think the result is well-structured, and has a much better flow than the old part 1. It still has no images, since there isn't much to show, but I've got plans for part 2 that I'm hoping will help out a bit.

The other major change affects the tutorial series overall. I'm moving the tutorials away from ncurses, and focusing on the SDL version of PDCurses. I'm hoping that the narrow scope combined with better cross-platform support will make this series much more helpful. Using Meson for builds will likely help as well.

12/31/16

2016 End of Year Wrap-up

Quick Notice: I've made a form to try and see what viewers want out of this blog. There's a link to it below, but just in case you're in a hurry you can click here to get to it as well.

It has been quite a year!

I haven't been as productive with personal projects as in years past, but many things happened ion my life. The biggest two events were the completion of my College Capstone (and my subsequent graduation from Champlain College), and moving to Quebec for a new job. I'm happy with how life is going but these two events disrupted things quite a bit, and I've only just started falling back into a normal routine.

The Year's Bounty

So, what did I accomplish this year? I managed to pull off a few things, so let's review them:

DFGame

This year, I finally put the DFEngine project to rest, and tried a new approach with DFGame. For the most part, I think it has been a success! DFEngine's two greatest sins, in my opinion, were being difficult for new projects and being woefully inflexible, both of which are fixed by its successor.

Of course, nothing is without its faults. As of a few days ago, I started refactoring/rewriting parts of DFGame. I don't plan on throwing everything away, but I'm hoping to make the codebase cleaner and better commented, while also filling much-needed holes in the API. My projects are still awaiting an official OK from on high though, so I'll hold off on discussing the changes until later.

Singularity

The Singularity rewrite is still going. I haven't been working too hard on it recently, but it certainly feels more polished than before. With any luck, it'll be wrapped up and released some time in the next 6 months.

Growgue

Like the previous two years, I gave 7drl a shot. However, this year's entry didn't really go so well. I finished the game, but it isn't very fun to play. Honestly, I think my head just wasn't in the game this year. Here's to hoping that next year goes better!

At least the walls look ok...

Looking Towards Next Year

So, this year wasn't too impressive. I think it was just a fluke, though. I wasn't programming much when the job started, but now I'm slowly getting back to my old ways and I think the restarted roguelike series is going to help as well.

I have a few goals for next year: Release Singularity 0.3, finish the DFGame rework and get started on a larger game project. However, the biggest change that I want to see is an improvement to this blog's quality.

I want to see the content of this blog evolve from the old "Update!" posts into something more interesting, informative, and directed. To that end, I've made a form to let you provide your input. I want to know what you'd like to see out of a blog like mine, and I'll use that feedback going forward.

To access the form, click here. This is very important, so please take the few minutes out of your day to fill it out.

12/19/16

Let's Make a Roguelike, for the 3rd Time

Hello again! Last week, I promised the return of my roguelike tutorial. Today, I'm making good on that promise. Sort of.

I've pushed out a new update to the site and blog, which the observant among you may have noticed already. In addition to making the navigation bar a little bit nicer looking, I've also reorganized the pages a bit. The portfolio section is completely gone, because it never had any content and I don't really need one right now. To fill the space, I've split the games page off of the software page, and added a section for tutorials. The overall theming of the site has gotten some tweaks, and if you click the logo in the upper left-hand corner, then you'll see a very rough work-in-progress landing page. I could have withheld it, but I think it looks better than the word 'Placeholder'.

The tutorial section is also a bit of a work-in-progress. I'm planning on remaking the ring segment collision tutorial that I did a while back, but that could still be a while from now. i also need to play with the theme some more to make it look more polished.

The Tutorial

I've put up the first entry of the new-and-improved roguelike tutorial, a nice little introductory page. You can read it here. It borrows a couple sections from the old part 1, but most of the content is new. It's probably not the most exciting start for a new series but I expect the new tutorial to have a slightly faster pace overall, so hopefully that will offset the slow start.

That's all for the moment! You can expect the first numbered chapter of the tutorial to be up on January 2nd, and more will come every other Monday after that. This means that I might have the beginnings of a schedule! I'll be posting here whenever I put up a new part, and you can expect the other regular posts to appear once in a while, as they typically do. I'm still waiting for my projects to get an official OK from on high, so in the meantime please enjoy these updated tutorial chapters.

12/11/16

Update: New Stuff Coming Up!

It's been almost 3 months since the last substantial update. My last post explained some of it, but I imagine you might still like to see this place become a little more active. Well, I think it's time for a small announcement: I will soon be restarting my roguelike tutorial!

The tutorial will be moving to its own dedicated section of the site, and I'll also be releasing a bunch of small tweaks and improvements to the site's design. The current plan is to start things up again on December 19th, with new updates coming every other Monday after that.

Like last time, I'm going to be starting over from the beginning. You may find this frustrating if you were following along before, but I think it's a good decision because I've learned and improved a lot in the past year or so. I've taken the time to look over my old work, and I think that there are many things that could use improving. It won't be a full rewrite, but I'll be making tons of changes nonetheless. In the meantime, here's a screenshot to look at:
Click the image to view it in full size
Nothing here is final, and the text is unedited. However, I think it still does a good job showing off some of the changes. I'll be sure to give a full rundown when the time comes.