Any C# Game Developers North of Boston?

Any C# Game Developers North of Boston?

I’ve been slugging it out with C# and Managed DirectX for the past couple of months, and haven’t made as much progress as I’d like. My conclusion: I need people to jam with to develop momentum. I am pretty much building my development process up from scratch, as it’s been years since I’ve done this full time, and I miss having other people to talk to about technology, game design, and interactive ass-kicking.

There possibly is a group already meeting that does this; I should check out the long-running Boston Post Mortem again, our local area game developer social group to see what’s going on. I figure there’s got to be a few people in Southern New Hampshire / Metro Boston North–and it only really takes a few–who are motivated and skilled enough to tackle some game development topics and develop best practices. The ideal candidate already knows one of the following so they can bring some skill to the table:

  • C# / Microsoft Programming Environments
  • Game Development, especially tool chains and workflow
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • DirectX 9 / Win32 Programming

I used to work in the game industry, so I know something of the second topic though it’s pretty out of date. I’m a decent-though-workmanlike programmer, something of a architectural purist that’s learned to make concessions to just getting things done. I love documenting APIs for some reason. And I dig algorithms, version control tools, debugging, and Joel on Software.

If you’re interested in forming a local study group, let me know and let’s get together. If long distance is workable through online collaboration tools, then we can try that too. This is related to my main project for 2008 to develop a large-scale museum exhibit, so I will be working on this full time. I’m not out to create the next cutting-edge graphics demo; I just want to have a decent architecture built on some good tools.

Drop me an email via my contact form or leave a comment here. To maintain high signal-to-noise, I will classify interested parties as either a contributor or a subscriber:

  • Contributors are developers with experience in one of those three areas I mentioned, and are genuinely interested in understanding the technology to apply it to their active projects. We expect results from each other, in other words, though we are all working on our own projects.

  • Subscribers are people who are interested in what we’re doing, but may not have the requisite time or experience to contribute knowledge and code. Nevertheless, they want to know what’s possible, and maybe learn something about how they could start doing what we’re doing. 3D and 2D Artists, interactive developers who use Flash/scripted environments, museum exhibit designers, advertising technologists, and experience designers would probably fall into this category. The input from this group of people is a necessary part of developing anything that has life in it, and communicating how this stuff is technically achieved will provide valuable insight. Or so I hope.

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p>Of course, this presumes that people are actually reading this and care :-) At least I tried :-)

10 Comments

  1. Mark 12 years ago

    Sorry David, but I don’t live near Boston, so I can’t help you out, but your reference to gaming caused me to think of some email I exchanged with Ken Birdwell of Valve recently.  I read an article about the process Valve uses to develop their games and my interest in it caused me to email Ken, who was gracious enough to respond.  It might not help you in your endeavor, but I think you will find it interesting.  I think it verifies your need for a jam group.

    Part 1 (which contains a link to the original article I read):
    http://www.programmersparadox.com/2007/12/12/cabal-programming/

    Part 2:
    http://www.programmersparadox.com/2008/01/01/cabal-programming-follow-up/

  2. Ian 12 years ago

    I would be happy to participate. I’ve got a lot of experience with C# (even a very small amount of DirectX experience).I’ve also always had an interest in making games.

    Is there an IGDA chapter in the area? That might be a good place to find some people.

  3. Bo Jordan 12 years ago

    I fear I’d be more of a subscriber, if only because of the long distance… but I have plenty of C#/MSFT programming experience, and I specifically use XNA on a day-to-day basis.

    Feel free to ask me specific questions about how I might fit in to your scheme, but at the top of my list of related to-dos is implementing ball physics (hopefully using an established engine) and implementing a couple of key features to our designer tooling.

  4. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Mark: Very cool! I remember reading about cabals in an old issue of Game Developer, and was intrigued by the concept. We’ll have to look into this.

    Ian: Awesome! There was some talk of founding an IGDA chapter in the area by some people I know, but I haven’t talked to them in some time. More news as events warrant.

    Bo: Thanks man! I’m thinking of setting up a section in the wiki, and re-launching a forum under the new site structure. The best we can muster in documentation…if we have to write it ourselves :-)

  5. Katrina Messenger 12 years ago

    Hey Dave,

    How techie do you need the subscribers to be?  One of my friends works for the Smithsonian in exhibit design, but she is not a techie.  Before I suggest that she check out your offer, I thought I had better figure out what your needs are in this area.

  6. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Katrina: I’m thinking subscribers need to be technical in the sense that they see an application for the technology in their own field, though they may not be conversant with the details. An exhibit designer who is interested in how something like this gets built, and pondering how it could be made, might be interested in this…I’m planning on making the materials and discussion public, so when that gets going maybe you can let her know then.

    If I was doing a more general digital media design group, I would say by all means come on in! But this is very narrowly focused on technology now, because it’s what I happen to need to focus on pure nuts and bolts.

  7. ZMan 12 years ago

    As big a supporter of Managed DirectX that I used to be I just can’t recommend anyone starts new projects with it any more. Its no longer under development (and hasn’t been for over 2 years now). Technically its still supported as its part of DirectX 9 but don’t expect any bug fixes or updates.

    All the Effort is now in XNA Game Studio and its a much nicer managed API for game development.

    Sorry I don’t know of any XNA user groups near you – if you start one I can certainly advertise it for you…

  8. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    ZMan: For my project, we made the choice to stick with MDX 1.1 because it’s allegedly fairly mature, and we don’t need the bleeding edge. At the time, the XNA tools still were in beta, and we weren’t too keen on having to upgrade development environments every few months. We figured we could port later once we got our platform concepts stabilized. Thanks for commenting! I had stumbled across your site before, and it’s good to make a connection.

  9. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Update: All told, I have 5 names that are local, and 2 virtual names. That’s enough to get started :-) I’ll install the forum software and add a new section to the Wiki, and we should be good to go. I’ll do it over the weekend.

  10. Derek 12 years ago

    Hi Dave.  A business partner of mine has some 3D experience with C#/DirectX and should be able to contribute, I’ll let him know about this. I, on the other hand, would like to participate as a subscriber as we are looking to do something similar with our SlideRoom product.