I have a theory that everyone gets into software to write video games or build robots. Many discover that it's hard, they don't "got it", most of the paying jobs are for accounts payable systems and that rent costs money. I have another theory that photographers are just creative people with no drawing talent. I'll admit to having no real data on this, other than it being true for me personally.
One good solution to the art problem is Photoshop, and for the game problem to build tools and entice the folks who "got it" to use them. Frankly seeing people with different/better skills than you build very cool stuff on your tools in the best part about working on developer tools.
About 2 years ago I challenged my team to make sure that as D3DM (DX for Windows Mobile) got rolled out on devices, NET CF was the best choice for writing a game app on the platform. Success would be measured by adoption and great customer feedback. At last year's MEDC, D3DM was highlighted in a keynote with the game, Pocket-Jongg, written by Chris Muench. Chris also gave a talk at that event on the details of writing D3DM games in managed code.
That was fun to watch.
Now the challenge is to make sure that once hard core C++ game developers try .NET, that they leave delighted. This will be a learning experience for all of us.
I've been working on operating system level stuff for long enough that I can get excited by seeing the right text on a screen (although, never by a single light, even if it blinks; can't do hardware). So I thought I was really excited when I saw a NET CF team home brew game, "Racer", running on Windows Mobile, Xbox and a Windows PC.
But then I saw Chris's game, with some help from artists in the Xbox team, on Xbox.
It was cool.
And then I saw this.
And it was cool.
Accounts payable never looked this good.
Check out the news from our embedded reporter, Rob.
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