Sid Meier’s Pirates! Argh!

Well, the fall is here already! Here in Phoenix, we don’t say farewell to the summer, we say good riddance. On the gaming front, I’ve been playing Sid Meier’s Pirates! a lot, and having a blast with it! This compelled me to rent Pirates of the Caribbean again–great movie–because it takes place in the same region as the game, and some of the ports and famous pirates in the game are mentioned in the movie too.

As my comments below will testify, I’m insanely busy this year, which is why I’m not spending much time on any online forum. Speaking of forums, the UAT Technology Forum is coming up in November, and my DarkBasic co-author, Joshua Smith, is coming as a representative of SLE Games to speak about his experiences working for a small studio for the past 6 years. Should be very interesting!

As far as writing goes, I’ve started working on my next two books. Beginning Java 5 Game Programming looks very promising so far with coverage of JDK 1.5 R5 “Tiger” and Borland JBuilder 2005 Foundation. I haven’t decided how much I’ll dig into Java’s 3D features yet as I want to get into more depth with 2D than I have gone before. In Beginning Game Programming last fall, I included 3D modeling and programming chapters that turned out okay, but I regretted not spending more time with 2D concepts like multi-layer tile-based scrolling, advanced collision detection, and algorithms. I’m using this book in a DirectX course at UAT again this semester, and it’s generally well received. I’m covering layers in class, but this is sorely missing from the book. I am pleased to have an opportunity to revise this book into a 2nd edition in mid-2006, which will include some of these new subjects.
I will be revising two other books next spring as well, Beginner’s Guide to DarkBASIC Game Programming, 2nd Edition and Game Programming All In One, 3rd Edition. I’m very excited about these revisions. DarkBasic, in particular, has evolved so much in the last 3 years since the book was released–and it was written mainly for DarkBasic Classic, not Pro! I’m very eager to completely rewrite it with full support for Pro while still targeting beginners. Since I’m teaching a DarkBasic course at UAT, I am having to deal with the older screenshots, so this new edition will be great. I suspect a title change will be in order. With the 3rd edition of GP All In One, I’ll have an opportunity to completely update the code for Allegro 4.2.x, and rewrite many of the chapters to explore Allegro in more depth while supporting the latest compilers and platforms–I have a friend with Mac OS X and Xcode so that will be supported in the 3rd Edition. This book is also being used as a textbook in a course on 2D game programming, so the revision is a nice opportunity.

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