So I've noticed there are a lack of Direct X tutorials or posts, specifically with 10. So I'll make some posts, specifically starting with creating and drawing sprites in DirectX 10, either using the built in ID3DX10Sprite system, or creating your own quads.

So I've got a basic render system setup with windows classes so you can use them in a small game engine. I'll be making posts diving into more details behind the PlasmaTech engine I'm helping work on for Foundations of 2D graphics, as long as it's okay with everyone else. This is the first school project I've worked on where we're paying attention to memory management, and I'm setting up memory allocators for the different game systems.

I've realized the importance of content management, though only finally writing a robust one that abstracts as much of the work as possible. Another thing I like that I'm doing in this, is error checking and handling, which is going to make the process of making this game easier. If the game fails to startup, you will get an error message indicating what went wrong. Though I'm still fleshing out how we want to handle displaying errors from subsystems. Also going to look into using a persistent log system, I have a class I can use to write formatted rtf files, so we can use colors and other formatting to make reading the logs easier.  So, the thing I like about this new engine, is that when things break, it will fail with grace.

I also did research into dumping an error report upon an unknown crash or exception; what I've got is a mini-dump file being written, and used with the .pdb debug information we can look at a stack trace and see what the error was. One step further from this, I want to setup a system where upon this game crash, it'll upload the mini-dump file to your game server for further analysis so the game devs can make a patch for their game. I got this idea from hearing about how Steam works, and that upon crash Steam automatically sends a bug report to the game devs, and thought this was a beautiful system. I don't like the idea of using try and catch blocks over the whole game, in-fact, that is a HORRIBLE idea; but, there is a windows function that basically acts like one global catch handler; I'll get into detail with that when I make the block post on writing a mini-dump file. Since we're working on PC's, we have to worry about maintaining support across a wide array of hardware platforms and variety of different operating systems and system setups.

I also bought a number of potentially great books, though one of them is arguable, as it's just a book for class and I had trouble finding something considerably better. So maybe there isn't a great book on animation algorithms and systems, but I think the one I got should get me by. So here's the list of books I just recently bought:

Computer Animation, Second Edition: Algorithms and Techniques: Amazon link.

Real-Time Collision Detection: Amazon link.

Game Physics, Second Edition: Amazon link.

Physically Based Rendering, Second Edition: From Theory To Implementation: Amazon link.

I'll be sure to give some of these books a good read over my Christmas break, and if you have any other recommendations, feel free to let us know in the comments section.

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