Gauntlets of Recursion (+3)

Times, trials, and turbulence.

Cyberspawn and Continued Linux Adventures


I have been getting some solid work done on Cyberspawn, which I mentioned a few times back February. Development on it has struck up again, with my Skirmish interest waning a bit at the moment. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and it’s particularly exciting to work on because I’ve never really explored 3D game development, and it will (eventually) be my first game with a true focus on atmosphere and storyline.

The most recent item has been the conversion from software raycasting over to OpenGL.


Aside from the bilinear texture filtering and large FPS boost, the changes are very subtle. The conversion has just been a verbatim change-over of functionality from software to OpenGL. Since the project has made the transition from “toy project” to “making this one happen” status, I’m opting for a more practical approach to writing a 3D game than old 2.5D raycasting techniques. 🙂

Linux Adventures

I’ve been continuing my fun quest of becoming better acquainted with Linux, and have been using it 90% of the time over Windows for the last few weeks without issue. Aside from playing the “newer” games, and Visual Studio, I don’t feel any major force pulling me back towards Windows.

Also, recently I made the move from Gnome to KDE for my desktop environment, and I can candidly say that I won’t be looking back any time soon. It feels overall much more established, polished, professional, and above all, functional.

Upon deciding to move my development over to Linux, the next big task became finding a good IDE or text editor, and learning how to use makefiles. I had previously been using a lame script that I wrote, which would simply recompile ALL source and relink after every single change. Hoy was that slow!

As the astute reader might be able to discern, the above screenshot was taken from within KDE, and I now have a solid development environment for Cyberspawn established on Linux. I’m using jEdit as the text editor, which has a vast plug-in system, enabling project management, buffer tabs, a built-in console and error/warning log, and other excellent Visual Studio-like functionality. I’m surprised at how happy with it I am, and that it’s easily rivalling my productivity — perhaps beating — from back in Windows with Visual Studio.


(Development environment)


In short, I really strongly recommend looking into sliding over to Linux for your desktop and/or development needs. Not from an esoteric Linux elitist sort of viewpoint, but just because it’s such a hugely viable platform for any user willing to learn a thing or two. I can only see my experiences here as being huge pros on my future co-op terms and beyond.


Question to the Reader: What OS do you primarily run? Have you ever tried a Linux distribution? Do you plan to? Have you ever killed a man with your bare hands? Do you plan to?

9 responses to “Cyberspawn and Continued Linux Adventures

  1. Dave "Trapper Zoid" April 4, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    These days I use Mac OS X, although I run Ubuntu on the PC in my research cubicle.

    I had a problem with installing Linux on my old PC – it just didn’t like my hardware for some reason. With Mac OS X it’s not so much of an issue, as a lot of the Linux software I’d like to run works under X11.

  2. Josh Matthews April 5, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I’ve always run Windows at home, but this term my boss told me to dual-boot Fedora, and since then it’s become my preferred development system. I’m now looking at running a Fedora VM on my Windows laptop, as I’m afraid to try to partition the only drive that I have.

    Also interesting to me is how little I’m using IDEs these days. Notepad++, mEdit, and Intype are my editors of choice, and I jump to a terminal window and fire up Jam or make to build.

  3. Dean April 5, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I just recently switched to mac. I don’t program and more or really play games on the computer but I’m pretty satisfied. I still have windows on a desktop at home. New computer Vista and it was slower than my 5 year old pentium 3 800 mhz with xp. It’s the parents computer and my dad is pretty pissed that it takes so long to start up or load IE.

  4. brian.ripoff April 5, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Sounds like you have been up to some good work.

    I use windows mostly for a desktop OS, but I have used and don’t mind using Linux. I have a Linux server at home (I can’t believe you can install Ubuntu Server on a P120 with 50mb ram) which I use as a subversion server, in addition to a nightly “build” script (it doesn’t build anything, it just packages an exe with updated resource files into a zip every night). I have installed Ubuntu on my desktop though as I plan to port my game to Linux, and to Mac eventually.

    My main problem with Linux is that I have only a wireless connection to the internet and getting the wireless card to work is a bit of a pain. It would be easier if it actually remember the settings between logins.

    I found makefiles difficult, I found a great alternative called Scons. The build scripts are python files (which means you can use things like compile *.cpp) and it is generally really easy. I highly recommend it.

    Glad to hear that there is a decent IDE for Linux. The few I’ve tried (with the exception of Eclipse) tended to be cluttered and irritating. In the porting process I’ve mainly been using nano and or gedit, but at the moment I’m only making minor alterations to existing files, not doing major work.

  5. David McGraw April 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I primarily run Windows XP Media on my laptop, which turns out to be my development computer… But, now that my laptop is officially KIA, I had to move to my desktop, which uses Vista.

    I dual booted my laptop with Ubuntu and Windows. I didn’t ever get a chance to get into anything game related with Ubuntu, but our school system uses Linux distributions for our coding adventures.

    I do plan on tinkering, but I’m a bit more concerned with the whole job hunt this year so who knows how far I’ll get.

  6. Jonathan Chung April 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I’m very happy with Windows right now and have no plans to switch. If I ever switch, it will be to a Mac and dual-booted. I actually plan to get a Mac within this year because I want to perfect the Stencyl Mac experience (it’s actually rather good!), but making it my primary development machine would be a stretch right now.

    I tried Linux at work, didn’t float my boat at all since I’m incredibly picky about my UI’s and nothing, not even Ubuntu did it for me.

  7. zyklon April 5, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I primarily run windows. I use a linux box at school a bit, i am planning on taking my second computer, a desktop, and making it a linux box, also i use max osx at work. I have managed to fuck up linux every time i have used it previously for personal use, tho i am smarter now, i guess…

  8. Stephen April 5, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    @Jon: Which desktop environment did you use? Linux doesn’t have a single user interface affixed to it like Windows or Mac, so judging the OS on that isn’t taking fair aim at it. I’m curious what elements of the Windows UI you find yourself particularly attached to. 🙂

  9. Vixen April 13, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I’m running both Windows (XP) and Linux (Ubuntu). With Beryl/Compiz enabled even Jonathan Chung (Reply 6) should be satisfied about it’s ‘flashiness’.

    So far what’s holding me back to go to Linux fulltime is that I don’t have substitutes for my programs (eg a compiler that’s Windows only for a programming language called Clean), games and my lack of knowledge.

    The thing is, in Windows I know my way around. If something doesn’t work, I’ll find out what’s wrong within a few minutes. In Linux, not so. My idea used to be that a machine is just a tool, and it should do what I want it to do. So far, Windows has done that for me. When configured and tweaked right, it will not give you blue screens, lock-ups, viruses, trojans or crapware. But still, it’s fun to experiment a bit with Linux. It’s like a new thing you don’t completely ‘get’. Sure it annoys you, but it is also fascinating somehow. I’ll keep dual-boot.

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