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Starting over is hard to do

I mentioned before that I am working with Jon Trainer of Outer Level to write Bullfrog 2 for OS X.  This development effort will be targeted at the as of yet unreleased OS X 10.5 Leopard.  We also promised to blog about the development as it moved forward.  Unfortunately not everything has been roses.The first issue we have run across is the NDA.  While I absolutely understand and agree with the reason behind the NDA on Leopard development -- it has made it quite hard to blog about our development when we can't discuss most of the hurdles we have run across!  Once Leopard has been released to the public I suspect that both Jon and I will have a lot to talk about.

Having said that, development on the project has been moving steadily ahead.  Jon is tackling the OpenGL portions of the game while I have been writing "the other stuff."  Specifically most of my work has been with Core Animation.  While I cannot discuss the details of Core Animation (yet!), I can say that this is probably the most wickedly cool API I have ever worked with.  The things that people are going to be able to do with it are going to be amazing.  Leopard development is going to be very exciting and I look forward to all of the applications that are going to be coming out for it.

Even though this technology is very cool to work with, it is also quite painful to code right now.  The documentation is there but, as most coders know, API documentation tends to read like stereo instructions.  You need to know what you want to do before the docs are helpful.  Normally this is not an issue since the developer community for Cocoa and Objective-C is incredibly rich.  But since this is a new technology that none of us are allowed to talk about yet -- that community is currently silent.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that we have had a rather large stumbling block with our original assumptions of how things should be put together.  Core Animation changes the playing field and makes some of the "normal" assumptions invalid.  While I cannot go into the details just yet, we have had to rethink how the different pieces of the application go together.  Right now Core Animation seems to require that we use it more liberally than we had originally planned.  However, the outcome should be nothing short of spectacular.

Stay tuned for some sneak peaks as the pieces of the puzzle come together.  Hopefully I will not get in trouble with Apple for showing you pieces of the game as they are completed.

If you are interested in keeping up with both sides of this development please take a look at Jon's blog a http://outerlevel.com/blog/