I tried out some simple programming with Allegro tonight. Basically to see how useful it would be as an SDK for a C++ game programming tutorial. After using Scratch and Processing the last few times, it shows how much more work is required to get an application into a suitable state for programming. I went through the source for a while, and this shows how much more work is being hidden by the Allegro SDK.
I can see why so many programmers I speak to say how much they enjoy hacking away at the low level SDK. I think those new to game programming spend a lot of time getting graphics working and get distracted from the game. They never quite get onto making the computer do some work. I think that’s the point of this blog. Graphics programmers are needed but programmers with broader skills across data processing provides a good foundation for software engineering.
I want to try to get programmers to concentrate on what processes and processing is involved in writing software and not to get bogged down in how to render an animated 3D mesh. Making a 3D character move around on the screen with an SDK is quite easy. Getting the character to do tangibly more interesting things is a lot more difficult and often wouldn’t need the 3D character. Methods of attack a human player character in a game can be done in 2D and translated to 3D at some other time. Processing the data that defines how simulated humans live out their days requires no 3D programming skills but a lot of logic.