Thursday, January 3, 2008

Coding slows down when you have a fractured elbow.

Programming in the Android platform is very exciting. Unfortunately for me, it can be very slow, because from Saturday I have a fractured elbow. I went to the countryside to help my girl to handpick the olives from her olive trees. Where I live (that is Kalamata, Greece), everyone has at least one field planted with olive trees. And from November till February most folks are handpicking their olives. While I was at the field, I slipped and I unconsciously used my left arm (which is the one I use the most) to stop my fall. But in the process, I hit my elbow pretty hard. I went to the hospital and the X-Rays showed that I broke a bone near my elbow. So now my hand is tied and I can only move my fingers. The doctor said that my arm should remain tied for 15 days. So coding for MonolithAndroid will be slower. Arrgh!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MonolithAndroid. Block game for the android platform.

It's been a while since I created this blog. The fact that I made no posts since October does not mean that I sat idle. On the contrary the end of 2007 has been very active programming-wise. I was experimenting with the SDL library, when I realized that it would be nice to build a game in order to learn a few things. Two weeks later, I had an SDL version of tetris, with the added bonus that the rendering was done using open GL. Some of the code for the tetris game came from a tetris version I created 4 years ago, during a hot Greek August for the Mobile Windows Platform (Written in Visual C++). Creating the SDL rewrite of the app was easy, and using openGL made possible the rotation of the playfield using the mouse. I added a crude explosion effect when the player completed lines, and I came up with a rough 3d font rendering routine. All in all a nice programming project (done with Visual Studio 2005).

In parallel, I was toying with the sony PSP (playstation portable). I was trying to install and learn the open source pspsdk. After several attempts, I had an almost working version on my laptop. The next step was: "Wouldn't be cool, if I ported the sdltetris game to the psp?" PSP supposedly has SDL support so that would be a breeze eh? Well no it wasn't because I couldn't make the pspSDK SDL library work properly. The OpenGL part was misconfigured, or I don't know what. So I decided to bite the bullet and rewrite the game using psp sdk calls. It was coded in c++ using the gcc compiler and notepad++ as the editor. That took almost two weeks and the result is monolithpsp found in here:

What's next? The launch of the Android platform, of course. Google launched the Android platform on November. When I read the first details, I decided to take a look at the Android SDK. After a few skimming on the API details, I saw that the platform supported OpenGL, so I decided to port my monolithpsp game to the Android Platform. I must confess that Android Developer Challenge gave me one additional reason to do so. So after a week of programming, the first version of the game became reality.(I am much more proficient in java than in C++ arghhh!). For more details, check this blog again. Oh and go check out for the monolith android game. See you soon!

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