SMOCG and more...
There's been quite a lot happening since I last wrote an update, mainly I've been working on my final dissertation project for the Games Programming course in Hull. It's currently entitled Super Multiplayer Online Card Game (SMOCG for short), and is based on the greatest card game ever. If you know what it is then you'll know why I've changed the name for the dissertation.
I've been playing this game since secondary school way back when, and taught it to a few of the internationals that were here in the first semester. I wanted to do a game for my final project so I thought why not this one? Aside from the ability to repwn most of them, it should hopefully serve as a platform to get together again and create world peace or something. I'm pretty sure that was in my original spec somewhere.
In any case, I've decided to do it with C# and XNA, which meant learning some basic C#, but I don't mind that cause I quite like it now. There's so many things that work so much easier in C# than C++, and at least half of them have nothing to do with the language. How come Intellisense works properly when using C#? Even the refactor/rename and extract method calls are so handy. The XNA libraries are quite sweet as well, enough to still my Microsoft mumblings while I'm using it in any case.
As for the game, you'll hopefully be able to:
- Create a character to play with, something similar to Nintendo's Mii characters, but at the same time completely different and not infringing in any way. Incidentally - how much does Chuck Norris kick ass as a Mii character?
- Start up a game and play with other people over the internet. The network model is peer-to-peer, mainly cause I've already done a client/server model and I wanted to learn what a peer-to-peer system was like, but also because it allows people's connections to crash and the game to continue
- Set your own rules. As in choosing from preset rules, not making a "no-Homers" game. This is because different people play different rules depending on where they live. Obviously there's only one real set, but that's besides the point, toleration being a part of today's society and all
- Be able to chat using text, voice (hopefully), and in-built preset taunts. And yes, I'm aware that using preset taunts doesn't technically constitute "chatting", but as it's my game ... in your face
- Play a cool chard-shuffling mini-game. Maybe it won't be cool, or even a game, but it'll be there
I've uploaded the SMOCG initial report(17Kb) if you feel an urgent need to read it and get a better idea of what I'm doing. I've also added some images of some of the things done so far.
The other thing of note is that Monaghan's cracking run in the All Ireland Championship has come to an end a week ago with, in my own completely unbiased opinion, an undeserved loss in the quarter finals to the current champions Kerry. We completely outplayed them and lead the whole match, to lose to a single point, a minute into injury time, from what should have been a Monaghan free. A boot in the face with the referee standing two yards away looking at it usually constitutes a free in my book, but I confess I haven't played in a long while.
In any case, the atmosphere was absolutely amazing. There's simply nothing that can describe the feeling of being in Croke Park with 80,000 other people, all roaring at the top of their voices. Especially in the last few minutes when the result is tight. The Monaghan support up on the day was huge, I'd say covering the Kerry support four or five times over, and not once in the whole match did they keep quiet. I lost my voice after roughly five minutes and I think I might have possibly scarred my throat for life, but it's not like I use my voice much anyway.
I was gutted when we came so close to getting through, but it seems like Monaghan football's finally getting the credit it deserves. Vinny Corey received the Gaelic Players Association Player of the Month for July, Tommy Freeman received the Vodafone GAA Player of the Month for July, and Rory Woods got the vote for the RTÉ Man of the Match. I like Vinny mainly because he was in my class in secondary school and I used to work with him. A sound man, and one that can play any position on the field (he started the season as full back, and ended it as full forward). Still awards don't mean as much when you're on the losing end when it should have been the other way around.
Note: this is a quick rant on Colm Cooper, probably one of Kerry and Ireland's best forward. I had a lot of respect for Gooch before coming to this match as he is a genuinely skillful player, but after watching him in this match, that respect is out the window. I've never seen a man fall over so much if anybody so much as breathed on him. People can disagree, but at the end of the day it's Gaelic we're playing, not soccer.
With my rant over, I've uploaded some pictures of the match day. Not very many, mainly because remembering to bring the camera came few and far between.
As it's coming up to the end of my Masters, I've come to the realisation that having a job would probably be a good idea. I'm going to start applying to companies in the next few days, but if you work in a games company and are hiring, then you could hire me. Scratchy back and all that.