My last blog entry mentioned I was starting a new job, now several months on I’m nicely settled in and happy to be getting on with things.
My new job is Lead Programmer at Splash Damage, working on a, as yet, unannounced game. The only thing that has so far been released is that the publisher is Bethseda and that it will ship on the main platforms you would expect a kick arse game to ship on.
Its been a good few months getting into the feel of things, Splash is most known for the Enemy Territory titles (Wolf and Quake Wars) with Id but things are a bit different this time, with more work (particularly the console versions) being done in house, so the company has been recruiting a host of experienced staff to help with key roles. It has an excited time, as people who have worked on various games I respect and enjoy myself join the team. The list of titles that members have worked on, include Heavenly Sword (obviously ;) , Mass Effect, Syphon Filter, Fable 2, Rainbow Six and many more. Were still looking for some good people by the way, particular for Environment artist, FX artists, UI artists, senior graphics and AI programmers, so get in contact if you think you’d like it here.
Apart from settling into the lead role, getting to grips with tasks and schedules, I’ve also been doing a fair bit of PS3 coding. A good tidy up of the graphics backend to a more libGCM paradigm has taking a fair bit of my time. Currently sorting out our SPU framework, one interesting decision I’ve made is to support a SPU-like framework on PC and 360, the idea being that code written for SPU local store, vector units and DMA will run quite well on a 360 core, with cache standing in for local store, VMX128 for the SPU vector unit and cache prefetch as ‘pretend’ DMA. Obviously there are lot of cases were writing a specific version will be better, but in theory anything that runs well on SPU should run better than normal C code on a 360 CPU.
Outside work, I’ve been getting more and more interesting in smaller scale development for some game designs I’ve got. My XNA engine has now got a fairly powerful flash runtime, the renderer is complete just got more actionscript runtime to do before its of a production quality. However i’ve temporarily interrupted my XNA stuff to play with iPhone/iPod Touch development, almost ported my flash runtime to it and from there will see what’s next.
On a even more odd thing, I’ve also started writing short stories, I kind of get annoyed at the assumption that because I can grok technical stuff, I can’t be creative, so I figure a bit a creative writing should help dispel that myth :)