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A little over a year ago I introduced to XNA in a proper,
school taught way. I had bandied around in the framework a small amount on my
own buy never really got a feel for it on my own. What was funny was in school I
was show, to my amazement, that XNA could do 3D. I’m not sure why I was
surprised, given Microsoft’s foothold in graphics (DirectX to be specific). All
I saw was before this was spritebatch this or texture2d that. Now I was looking
at what I though should do flat images and seeing a spaceship I could rotate
and move. I would link to the work, but as I found out a few months ago
Microsoft saw it fit remove all their XNA tutorials.

Anyways my point is I find it funny now, while I’m using
Unity3D , that I’ve made primarily 2D games with it. I’ve gone from being
amazed that a 2D framework can do 3D to forcing a 3D engine to do my bidding in
2D. I’m not saying that I’m limiting myself either: Quite a lot of the
scripting work I now do in Unity requires calculations done with 3D vector
math.

The last time I tried to shoehorn a gamestyle into an
existing engine did not fair nearly as well. A project at my school, working directly
with the developers, was to push the limits of the StarCraft II editor and game
engine (Yes, that means I got to work with Blizzard :P ). We tried to recreate the old graphing calculator game Avalanche. Here’s the problem with that: There’s no dumb fire,
on collision test attacks in the game. The Protoss Photon Cannon, the unit
chosen to attack the player, HAS to have a target. And before you ask, it wasn’t
possible to gain access to the ship in the Lost Viking game. To make a long
story short, our goal of “pushing the engine” was met way too early in the
project. Not that the engine is bad. We just found, by chance, a game type that
was incompatible that could easily be made elsewhere.

Funny how things flip around like that: between having an
engine just flexible enough to work how you want it verses hitting a brick wall
with others.

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