The Beginning of the Beginning

Early-Mid 2008

Enthusiastic innocence quickly gave way to confused curiosity as I realised that working with XNA wasn’t really anything like the amateur programming I had been doing before. It had similarities, sure, and it was still many saganhertz more user-friendly than working directly with DirectX, but it didn’t try to hide the skeletons underneath: instead, it encouraged me to dig them up and molest their remains as much and as often as I could.

Err… okay, that analogy got creepy fast. Moving on: what I was trying to say before my twisted subconscious got control of that sentence was that, rather than providing me with pre-built shaders, XNA provided me with one really basic shader and then encouraged me to learn HLSL (High Level Shader Language. Yeah, programmers aren’t paid to be inventive with names), so I could write my own. Rather than giving me an inbuilt animation system, XNA gave me a sample solution in which such a system was implemented, encouraging me to learn how and why it worked. And so on.

So even though it was more difficult and slower than working with my other engines and programs, XNA managed to hold my interest, and still does. And with that interest came the inevitable question “what am I going to make with it?”

It’d need to be something that I wouldn’t be afraid of screwing up: so anything with a complex story was right out. Something small enough it could be done by a team consisting of 1 mundane modeller, 1 poor programmer, 1 worse writer and 1 apathetic anal-retentive alliterative ass, and where I was all of those. Except the last one, ’cause I loathe alliteration with all my shrivelled black heart.

[awkward pause]

Say, didn’t I have an idea for an evolution simulator around here somewhere?

If “saganhertz” isn’t a real word it should be,
Qu

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