Thursday, December 20, 2012

Qix is Back... and introducing CLinch

Well, Qix is back in production. It's been a while so let me bring everyone up to speed. I worked on Qix, and I got some things working. Then I found out about shaders and ended up taking some time to learn how to use them. Then I started to write a game and got as far as porting some of the Bullet Engine and performing some movement tests. Then there were some family issues.

One day I decided to go to the Lambda Lounge Indianapolis Meeting. I made mention of Qix and they asked for a presentation. I created a quick presentation application in lisp using some of the code I had written. That's when I found horde3d. Horde is very well organized, and while it still has some warts in my opinion, I quickly built the program here.

This, however, had whet my apatite. Using Horde as my example I cranked out a new library in a few weeks. Then more family issues and XCOM was released. Finally, a couple of weeks ago I decided I was going to finish enough to release on github. I asked #lispgames for a good name and I ended up choosing CLinch. CLinch is now available to use.

So then I took CLinch and ported my presentation from cl-horde and made a youtube presentation of my original. I have been completely astounded by the response. CLinch is still 0.1 presently, but is quickly approaching 0.2 which is focused on stability and finalizing features. Version 0.3 should be focused on performance and usability. These are just rough guidelines, not hard rules. I have 3D asset importing targeted for 0.3 even though it is a new feature. So CLinch is moving along.

I decided to clean out my Qix repository to start from scratch. I intend to use CLinch as the graphic engine, so work on CLinch is likely work on Qix. I expect to start working on the internals of Qix when CLinch reaches version 0.2. I've posted a rough list of tasks I need in something of an order, in the Qix repository. I hope to get a skeleton project up this weekend. I need to start reading "The Craft of Text Editing" by Craig Finseth to get some idea how to implement Qix's text editor. Until then, my philosophy will be to "put something on screen" rather than design something in my head. This is how CLinch happened and I feel that Qix should evolve rather than be designed. We can always refactor. I've posted on reddit and received some very good feedback. One idea is to modify an implementation of lisp to make Qix simpler and faster. Another is to make Qix an open standard. Both are really good ideas, but I'm not far enough along to discuss either intelligently yet.

So that's where Qix and CLinch stand. I'll continue to close out issues in CLinch as we are more than half way to the next release. Also, I have a Qix reddit for development updates and discussions. Thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you all!

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