Break It is still here… somehow

Just a quick note aside because it appears cancelling my Windows Developer subscription did not remove Break It from the Windows store. The entry is still there and you can still download the game. I won’t provide any support though since I have no means to fix it any more.

std::aligned_storage template class

I wrote a simple template class that makes use of the std::aligned_storage. An aligned storage is basically a reserved block of memory with a certain size that is aligned within a certain offset to increase system performance. You can read more about basic data structure alignment on Wikipedia.

So let’s say we have a certain POD type like this one:

Continue reading →

My Programming Environment on Ubuntu

Open ALL the Windows!

If you read my previous post you know that I came from a Microsoft only world and so it should be no surprise to you that I actually struggled to make the switch to Ubuntu at first. I mean the only tool I really needed for my programming needs was Visual Studio. I may have installed some new libraries that were necessary for my projects (SDL2, GLEW, …). But everything else was just always there, and it worked. I pretty much never used other IDEs. If I could use Visual Studio, I would. The thought of leaving Visual Studio behind seemed insane to me. I started to panic. And like all people who start panicking I did the only thing I could think of: search for an IDE that is as close to Visual Studio as possible. It’s not that there is a shortage of programming environments out there: Code::Blocks, Geany, Aptana, Anjuta or Qt Creator. Just to name a few. But there was one thing that really stood out for me. Something I was not expecting at all. And thinking back now it seems a bit silly that I was so stuck in my ways and that I really thought I needed a Visual Studio replacement. How about no IDE at all? Continue reading →

Goodbye Microsoft!

"Microsoft logo and wordmark" by Microsoft Corporation - Meisner, Jeffrey (August 23, 2012). Microsoft Unveils a New Look (in English). The Official Microsoft Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved on August 23, 2012. (Direct link).. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microsoft_logo_and_wordmark.svg#mediaviewer/File:Microsoft_logo_and_wordmark.svg

[UPDATE: I just want to make something clear from the start. I did not work at Microsoft! This is just a goodbye to Microsoft for my personal computing and private programming. I still use Microsoft products at work when I have to! Just wanted to get that out of the way because the headline could suggest something else.]

The first time I touched Windows was back in the day with Windows 95. I was pretty much a greenhorn regarding PC and Operating Systems. It certainly was not the first time I touched a computer. In fact the first computer I experienced was my fathers Amiga 500. After his passing money was very tight so I was stuck with the Amiga until I was 12 or 14 years old. After Windows 95 I then quickly moved to 98, ME, 2000, XP, 7 and now 8/8.1. And I loved the journey. You see back in the day when I started out I was mainly interested in gaming and Windows at that time had this HUGE gaming library. From Unreal Tournament to Half-Life to Quake 3 Arena. I loved gaming on PC and I loved that all these games where so accessible. The modding scene was fantastic and I had a lot of fun experimenting. I learned programming on a Windows machine and a whole new world opened up for me. My understanding grew and all this time I loved what Microsoft did for the PC market. Coming from Europe I never really got into Apple PCs. The only other operating systems I knew back then where some Linux variants but I was never really interested in them because all I cared for was running on my beloved Windows Machine. Even my family could use the PC without any problems. Writing letters, looking at family pictures or sending out the occasional email. Microsoft dominated my World. Up until this day. Because today is the day I will say goodbye Microsoft and goodbye Windows! You will forever have a special place in my heart! Continue reading →

Break It No More!

Since I am no longer interested to support the Windows 8/RT Eco System Break It will be removed from the Windows Store on January 15, 2014. Thanks to all who downloaded the Game and played it. Maybe at some point I will make the Game work inside the browser and put it on the website as a fun mini-game. Also I want wish everyone who reads this a happy new year! 2014 is going to be an awesome year and I am looking forward to reveal my next Project as soon as I can! If you want to know why I stayed so quiet the last Year: It was because I had a Job where I worked with up to 8  People on a Indie Game Title which of course I can’t tell you anything about. YET! Also I have been cooking something on the side of my own and I hope I will have something to show you in about 2 Months from now on. Well it is not something completely by my own. I have someone who writes some Tools for me but anyway… Stay tuned!

Break It now open source

Break It is now open source on GitHub under the MIT License . Check It out: http://github.com/TheSatoshiChiba/BreakIt.free

But now the catch: It contains no assets or project files. I choose to do it this way because I didn’t want it to be easy to build. I just wanted to share my code with other beginners. The code is pretty much a mess and so is the whole Project but I think it is good for other coding beginners to see that you don’t have to be afraid of working with C++. I made this Project while I still was learning C++ and of course it shows. But hey look at it this way: I accomplished something with this language while still learning so it should not be a problem for you to make something great with it. I also wanted to write some lines about the whole development process and what was really challenging about the whole Project but I am really neck deep in Work right now so let me just write down some punchlines about the whole deal:

  • C++ is scary at first but the new standard makes it very enjoyable to work with.
  • Direct3D11 is complex if you come from Direct3D9 or even XNA. But after a while it makes perfect sense.
  • Windows Media Foundation is very difficult to work with if you are completely new to the whole thing. I ended up just using some tutorial code to play music and sounds.
  • DirectWrite and Direct2D are absolutely useless for a Game. They just add a new level of complexity that you don’t really need.
  • C++/CX is pure cancer if you want to code in ISO C++ 11.
  • Windows Runtime is a clusterfuck of namespaces that add another layer of complexity that was not really needed. I do like the API because it is somewhat cleaner then the Win32 API but it still is a clusterfuck.
  • C++/CX is pure cancer if you want to code in ISO C++ 11… No this is not a duplicate entry I just really don’t like C++/CX. It is pure cancer.
  • C++ is just a second class citizen in the documentation of the Windows Runtime.
  • Mixing ISO C++ and C++/CX is really a pain in the a**.
  • DirectXTK is nice to use for a beginner but at the end I wished I had made my own Framework on top of Direct3D.
  • The Windows Store is really easy to use and except for some Hick-ups on my first package upload I had no problems at all.
  • C++/CX is pure cancer.

So there you go. I wish I had more time to write a bit more about the whole experience but I have a new Job that takes up my whole time and at weekends I am working on my new Game. You will hear about the latter soon and I think I will tweet and blog a bit more about the whole development process of my second game. See you soon!

Break It – Update 1.1

The first Break It update should be available in a few hours. It is currently in the certification process of the Windows Store. With the update comes a suspend and resume feature, so you finally can take a break while playing and start off right where you left the game. The session should also work with roaming so you can take your session on to another PC. Also I finally implemented a local Windows 8 user based high-score table. This way you always remember your best play through.

The best new feature in this update may be the trial mode. If you haven’t bought the game yet you can now play it for 24h for free. It is the complete game with just one feature missing: the high-score table. So just jump to the Windows Store and check it out!

This will not be the last update of the game but as far as I can tell there won’t be any more feature rich updates. Probably only a patch with some bugfixes. This is mainly because I have a new project in the pipeline from which you will hear soon and since this was my very first Windows Store based application I ever wrote the codebase is pretty much a mess. And I figured why spend time extending a simple and small game when I could just start a new project where I utilize all the things I learned from this one.

Break It is out!

cropped-facebook_banner1.pngSo I don’t know if you know this already but “Break It” is out now. You can find it via search in the Windows Store or you may just click this link right here: http://breakit.drywa.me. The game runs on every Desktop Machine that supports Windows 8 (x86 or x64) and Direct3D9. The ARM Version for Tablets is coming soon!

The game itself is a Breakout clone with smaller bricks and coins you can gather to boost up your Points. I will make a post about the development process as soon as the update is done. Which brings me to the next Point: I’m currently working on the next version of the game that supports suspend/resume and has a local user based High-score.

If you encounter any bugs within the game or if you want to give me some feedback feel free to write me mail: support[at]drywa[dot]me