If you’ve been reading the latest development updates the name myconid should be familiar to you. If not: he’s the one who’s been working on adding lots of new graphics capabilities to the game, which have made the game look a lot better (take a look at the latest development updates/the last release announcement if you haven’t already to get a glimpse of what he has made possible). Because of that it was not a difficult decision to make him the featured contributor this time, and without further ado here’s a quick interview with him:
Tell us a bit about yourself
My first encounter with programming was on an Mac Classic II, where I discovered Hypercard and Basic – I feel ancient just thinking that was over 20 years ago! A bit later I got a PC demo of Macromedia Director 4 (the Flash of its time), which was in many ways similar with Hypercard, but its Lingo scripting language was much more flexible… and it had colour too.
Then I found Borland Delphi 1 Freeware on a PC magazine’s cover CD, and that’s when I really started getting into programming. Maybe it won’t surprise anyone that my first big programming project (sometime circa 1996) was a collab with a friend to make an adventure game engine in the style of SCUMM (think Monkey Island, etc). We actually got pretty far, and had our own scripting language, pathfinding, hi-resolution graphics…
Anyway, after a while I moved to Borland C++, discovered the internet and then the Open Source community. A couple of Computer Science degrees plus a “few” lines of code later, programming is my full-time career. Since in my day job I don’t get to make games, here I am indulging my 27-year-old inner man-child!
What have you found most interesting about contributing to 0 A.D.?
Well, two things.
Firstly, I’m here because I enjoy the challenge! I love hacking (in the R. Stallman sense), and graphics programming is definitely something that fills the bill for being both challenging and intellectually stimulating.
Secondly, I’ve always been a huge fan of open source and libre culture, and I think it’s an absolute triumph that a team of highly talented people has come together from all over the world to create a game of such quality. I’m both amazed and humbled by what the free, worldwide internet has enabled, and I’m proud to be part of it all.
Anything you want to add?
Now that the postproc manager is over and done with, I’m wondering what my next task will be. Have you ever noticed that Pyrogenesis can’t really do lighting? As crazy as this sounds, maybe it’s time we replaced our forward renderer with a deferred lighting solution*, as used by other modern AAA titles like Starcraft 2… though you can forget about keeping the fixed renderpath then.
* I’ve been asked to explain WTF those things mean, but the explanation came out a bit longer than I had intended: