So 2010 is nearly coming to an end, and my optimistic release date for Joe Multiboxer is almost behind us already. There’s a number of reasons for that, the most significant being that there just isn’t enough time in a day. Seriously, though, I have a lot of things to try to keep up with, and pushing back the JMB release date is going to help in the end.
It should be no secret by now that I’ve been working for months on fixing bugs with Inner Space, making it more compatible — with more games and eliminating problems caused by other software. A lot of these fixes transfer directly to Joe Multiboxer, because it will use some of the same code. But fixing all of these problems is also important simply because some people will still use ISBoxer instead of switching to Joe Multiboxer, and I definitely plan to support that.
Another chunk of my time recently has been spent developing Direct3D11 support for Inner Space. Needless to say, things have changed since Direct3D9 and I’ve still got some work to do in my rendering engine. Text, for example, was handled with relative ease in Direct3D9 because Microsoft provided a library with text rendering support. They omitted this from Direct3D11. There’s DirectWrite, but it can’t be used directly with Direct3D11 — only Direct3D10. So even though my Direct3D11 support is “nearly” complete, I need to implement a text renderer that is close enough to the Direct3D9 renderer to use the same GUI. That could take all week, and then I get to worry about the little things which could take another. But, once it’s done ISBoxer users will be able to switch to Direct3D11 if their game supports it, and in many cases this should be good for performance. Luckily, the Direct3D11 support will also transfer to JMB and I’d be doing all of this anyway.
Contrary to popular belief, I also exist in real life. I’ve got two kids, 9 months and 25 months, and a wife who is in school full-time (meaning that I’m the one home with the kids). So somehow between all of the diaper changes, emergency baths, feedings and bottles (almost done!), cups of milk, bumps and bruises and scrapes, I do manage to get in some coding time. I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted time to get serious coding done, so I’m actually more of a tech support guy at the moment than a software developer. And yet as much as I try to keep up with everyone’s questions and support requests, I still seem to miss some here and there and sometimes people are complete dicks about it. Cut me a little slack buddy! I work hard for your $10.
Once in a while I get some playtime. I went to BlizzCon last month and had a good time. I got to meet a handful of other multiboxers (some of whom do not use ISBoxer and although I may have poked fun at you, it was in jest — if your solution works for you then great! I believe I’m referring to Team Awesome), hung out with some good friends at the hotels and at the Curse VIP party, saw some of my Blizzard friends again, oh and Blizzard was putting on some sort of event too. On that note here’s a tip for whoever runs security or whatever it was at the venue, don’t make the line to get into the building intersect with itself and make half of the people stop walking for a few minutes at a time, when there’s clearly enough room to just wrap around the entire parking lot in a contiguous fashion.
Anyway, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a major announcement there this year. I was hoping to at least hear the name of the new MMO, or some sort of projected release date for Diablo 3. World of Jersey Shore? So not funny.
Alright so back to the important question here. When will we get to try out Joe Multiboxer? Will there be a 1000 beta key lottery for JMB like Blizzard did for Diablo 3 at BlizzCon? All ISBoxer users will have the option to try out the JMB beta out shortly after it’s in alpha testing. This will hopefully occur in the first quarter of 2011, but as I previously outlined, my time is pretty limited right now. Besides, ISBoxer is a tough act to follow and I know everyone has high hopes (and demands) for JMB, so I need to make sure I get this right.