Monday, September 7, 2009

GSP, XNA, and SVN Oh My

I bet I'm not going to get any readers based on that title, but I don't know a better way to sum this up.

My first week of GSP-360, Applied Development Project, ended Sunday and it was a roller coaster ride. First off, the class is more focused on documentation than development and strongly suggested we do a "mod" instead of a "from scratch" project. I was very disappointment but with the professors approval, I recruited a team to make a game from scratch using the XNA Game Studio framework.

The week started off rough, being that our communication needed to be ironed out. That, and I was somewhat stressed because I'm new to C# (the programming language) and XNA (Microsoft's branding for game related software and development stuff). I didn't really know what I was getting into. However, after we got together and chatted using Google Talk, we settled on a concept.

I suggested a game and the team was willing and eager. The concept is a simple arcade style shooter, similar to asteroids in design but instead of trying to blow up asteroids, you shoot them to change their course and steer them away. I put the concept art above together to help communicate the idea and I think that helped.

Additionally, I set up a SVN repository for us to work in. This is especially important for programmers. For those who don't know, SVN (aka, Subversion) is a Version Control System and that means that we can work on projects together, but a master repository holds all our stuff. If we make changes to something, we check it in and others will get the changes. It should help us work together easier because it mandates document control. An easy way to imagine it is if your team had to work on a letter together. Most teams divide out the sections and then put it together, which can work fine. But having one document that we all work in and change, almost like a shared file system, makes it so we all can contribute to every section.

I plan on writing up an SVN tutorial in the next couple days to explain what I did and how.

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