Things have been quiet around here for the last few months, however a lot of work has gone into projects as promised such as the Game Engine that I teased. If you take a look around, you’ll find that there has been some tidying up. The about section has been updated, and the link to BitBucket has been removed in favor of a link to my recently created GitHub account, but more about that later.
The biggest thing to talk about first is the newly added project named Xentu Game Engine. But before talking about it, it’s worth adding a bit of history to give the whole thing some context.
So back in 2009 I started a small indie games group with a friend named Rob. We didn’t have much success back then, mostly having one or two minor releases on Xbox Live Indie Games, and a few collaboration entry attempts on Ludum Dare. Our five minutes of fame was securing a booth at Eurogamer in London 2012 next to a few games that actually did well (aka Prison Architect and Hotline Miami).
Rob and I went separate ways after the Expo, due to our game not performing as well as we hoped. It cost us a lot of money to get to that point and at the time both of us needed an income, so I found a developer job, and he went home to Hull.
Never the less the work I did whilst building those games was substantial, where I actually spent a lot of time with the OpenTK community (which was an attempt to make an OpenGL equivalent of Microsoft’s XNA Framework). So even though I had game development behind, I always had an active interest in how indie games were being made.
Roll back to two years ago when one of my bosses named Chris introduced me to 3D printing. He probably didn’t know it at the time, but him showing what was possible with a 3D printer set my imagination on fire.
All of a sudden I was thinking about all the things I could make, and one of the things I ended up fixating on was how cool would it be to make a games console! Seeing as I didn’t have a 3D printer, I decided to go ghetto and build something out of wood (you can see what I ended up building in the photo’s below).
I decided I wanted to try to find some computer parts for the project (dubbed g-core). The details are probably best saved for a future article, but TLDR I now had/have the ability to build mini-PC’s with relatively new parts stupidly cheaply thanks to recycling older Chipsets/CPU’s.
So here’s the thing, everything sort of happened like falling dominoes! The aftermath left me with 4 of these daft monstrosities sat in the corner of the studio now for the last few months.
Xentu Game Engine Is Born
When I launched this site back in December 2018, I decided to finally do something to try to finish the project. So I began playing around with MonoGame again, which leads us back to Xentu.
My aim with Xentu initially was to build a 2D game engine that would allow games to play on the computers I built. Here are the specs to give you an idea of the limitations Xentu had to work with:
- Intel Core2 Duo E8400
- 2 GB DDR2
- NVidia GT 710
- Lubuntu 18xx
So for the last 8-9 months in my spare time this is what I was doing! Surprisingly whilst building the initial code I discovered a few things that made it so the specs above became more medium than low spec, meaning I was able to get the engine to play nice on devices as under powered as the tiny Raspberry PI Zero (ironically making the computers I built a bit redundant!!).
You know what though? this has been worth it. Even if the computers I built were a waste of time, I believe that I’ve found something I truly wish to put more and more genuine effort into 🙂 Plus now that I have a 3D printer (an Anet A8) I can work on perhaps building a handheld device instead! Assuming I can figure out how to get the extruder to behave itself long enough…
So looking back on my first two posts it seems I still need to work on being more involved in talking about the things I wish to share with the world. It is actually a personal life goal to get better at this sort of stuff, so regardless of how many attempts it takes, this will get more frequent.
For now thanks for checking back, and please make sure to check back again soon as I’m sure there will likely be more goofy adventures to tell stories about.