Don't you just love it when several plans come together? I just thought of a way to combine work with pleasure and so far I can only see advantages.
But first let me give you a quick recap of events on our last show. :-) I mentioned the masters project I'm trying to get off the ground, involving scripting. The project has sort of officially been approved, and they've asked me to write a demo showing how a scripting language can be useful. I have a feeling showing them a copy of Unreal Tournament is not enough. :-)
I also alluded to the strip I was starting with a friend (Gijs). Well, the strip has been running for some time now, and while we're still getting to know the characters and exploring our style, we like what we've produced so far. Check it out at http://buggysoftware.cjb.net/, we need more hits!
Furthermore, I've started working on a joint game project. Together with another friend (Daniel Palomo van Es of Voiced3d fame) I'm creating a 2d platform game with 3d visuals. That's right, an oldskool jump-around-avoiding-the-weird-looking-creatures type of deal. We'll have a demo up sometime soon. We guarantee it will be better than any commercial 2d platform game coming out this year! ;-)
Now, about all this stuff coming together (you can probably guess it by now). Gijs has agreed to do the art for this game (obviously he also draws our comic strip - I can't draw to save my life :-). Also I've put two and two together and decided make a scripting demo based on this game. So now I can work on my hobby project and be studying at the same time.. hehehe!
Apart from all this, I delved into networking recently and created my first UDP non-blocking client/server program! The client sends the server a message, and the server echoes it back (if it reaches the server, something of which you can't be sure in UDP).
I started my networking adventures with Dan Royer's columns on TCP/IP. Then he advised me to look at UDP, since can be much faster if you use it right. I did quite a bit of searching but was unable to find a decent UDP tutorial (Dan's written a chapter about it in a book called Advanced Game Programming with DirectX 7, by Adrian Perez, but it's not shipping yet). In the end I had to piece things together from several sample programs. I'm glad I got something working on my own; now I can get started on my first networked game. No doubt I'll make some stupid mistakes, but that's the best way to learn.