Blog 10

02 Apr 2019

This week, we’ve mostly just been discussing different game ideas. We’ve been talking about different things but in particular, I thought the area of tha math curriculum focusing on fractions would be the most interesting to work with. It’s a little difficult coming up with non-cliche games revolving around fractions, as most of the easy ones to come up with usually involve pie charts, but I’d like to do something more interesting than that.

Interesting enough, while looking for resources and insight into the fourth grade curriculum, I stumbled upon this website. If you don’t know what the jumpstart franchinse of games are, they are pretty much just educational games developed for several different age groups to teach them curriculum. I’m sure most kids who grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s already know this though. As it turns out though, jumpstart has a page with free resources for teachers to use that focus on different curriculums, in this case the fourth grade curriculum. While most of the resources are usually pen and paper activities, it still serves as a nice idea generator, as well as some nice insite into the specifics being taught.

The other thing I’ve been doing this week is working on my game engine project for class. For this project, we’ve been implementing a lot of the functionality using external libraries. One thing that I noticed while doig this is the amount of libraries that are open source. Some libraries we are using are boost, assimp, and stb. There are actually a whole lot of libraries for developing game engines, and we used these in particular for two reasons:

  1. They are open source, meaning we can use them in our project without penalty
  2. One of the goals of our project is cross platform support for both Linux and Windows

While it’s been interesting having developers on both, it’s been pretty successful so far, and we’ve created something that so far works well on both platforms. Unfortunately though, we had difficulty finding a good open source audio library. Currently, we’re using fmod, which is available to download and use with no cost up if your development budget is less than $500. The only decent alternative is OpenAL, which is, as of the latest versions, also proprietary. Of course, an open source implementation of OpenAL exists, but it lacks hardware acceleration.

As someone who does audio, it’s kind of sad to see almost no choice in oen source audio solutions, but at least there’s alternatives for the other areas of game engine development.