The Dobbs Challenge

Jump! Jump! Jump!

Traditionally, Modding has been about being lovely. Trust Microsoft to change tha… actually, forget about basic sarcasm. This is actually quite neat. In conjunction with Dr Dobb’s Journal and something to do with CMP – I can’t actually make sense of all the conjunctions – The Dobb’s Challenge is basically a modding contest in Visual Studio. They provide a basic (yet actually quite fun in a quasi-Manic-Miner-esque fashion) Windows (and a different Windows Mobile game), which you can play to death. It’s actually made by Grubby Games, who you may know from Professor FizzWizzle. And then you can mod it in Visual Studio and win prizes from a $10,000 prize fund. I doubt many of us will get further than playing the game, but for the brave souls who would do so, the FAQ is here and Visual Studio is over here.

In associated RPS news, your correspondent finds himself trying to learn C#. No, really.


  1. Kris says:

    C#? Way to go!! It’s an exciting time in the .net world, with .net Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, along with C# 3.0, released not too long ago. Trust me, you try C# once and you’ll be hooked forever ;)

  2. Dan says:

    If you want help with the C# at any point, head over to They’re insanely helpful and pleasant people who’ll explain things nice and easily. Better than the barrage of abuse you’ll receive by asking for help at, anyway…

    Also: learning to code games is the most rewarding and amazing thing I’ve ever done. Stick with it.

  3. panga says:

    printf() forever!

    but seriously, c# is going to bring more people into the industry than ever, certainly with the advanced IDEs being made available for free. no more c cmd line compilers.

  4. cliffski says:

    C++ is the way real men code :D

  5. Butler` says:

    I think that’s the first time I’ve seen something both quasi- and -esque!

    It’s hyphenated madness I tell you!

    C# is where it’s at (and has been for ~years).

  6. Ging says:

    I can do not much more than agree with Dan about cgempire, bunch of friendly types over there and it’s just the right size that your questions won’t get swamped out.

  7. Babs says:

    Looks it’s actually in C++ anyway, and as such girly programmers like Kieron wouldn’t be able to manage it :)

  8. cliffski says:


    “Developed in C++, using Visual Studio 8, and Direct X9”

    DX7 is where the hip kids aim their code though

  9. Ed says:

    I know C++, Java, VB etc and I played with C# in XNA recently and it’s pretty good. Like Java, but better. Good luck learning it :)

  10. Mo says:

    C is the way real men code :D

    Pfffft! Real men code in C! :D

    (on a more serious note, I’ve found prototyping and developing to be much easier in C. Nothing like UML and the related OOP nonsense to bog down implementing a really neat feature. :) )

  11. Down Rodeo says:

    C/C for the win. C# is a bit… wimpy, kind of half way between VB and ‘proper’ C . On a related note, this comic. I’ll bet that none of them are using C# :p

    Edit: I have used C# though. I think I have the Visual Studio Express Edition installed, and fair enough it is pretty decent. I remember having a look at Spacewar, a game for PC and Xbox 360. It was interesting. For more C# help Coding4Fun has tutorials and a few posts about making games.

  12. Ging says:

    That’d only be because it takes a righteous pervert to actually use any of the editing programs they’re using on a regular basis! :D

    If I have a choice as to writing a bit of code in C/C++ or C#, I’ll always go for C#. It’s just so much faster to work with – I don’t need to worry about pointers causing issues and I get generally sensible error messages when things go wrong, amongst others.

    There’s a reason that most software development houses outside of games are moving towards using it if they develop for windows systems! :D

  13. Down Rodeo says:

    Good points. :) Though why isn’t anyone trying to develop a game in True Basic? :D I remember learning that when I was 14. It’s a good foundation actually, but I don’t think you could make a CryEngine2 in it :D

  14. Mo says:

    Errr, I just noticed that the comment system is eating up our plus-pluses. My comment looks hilarious … “real men code in C”, “NO! REAL MEN CODE IN C!!!” :)

  15. Meat Circus says:

    C#: a better Java. Competent, but still unexciting.

    Also, slightly unexpected, since DDJ are normally a bunch of C -worshipping loons. What with C plus plus [curse you, plusist comment system] being a real man’s language and all.


    The code is Cplusplus anyway. Hurrah! Mr Circus wants to see Kieron trying to learn Cplusplus now. I like seeing grown men cry.

    Right, I know how I’m ruining my weekend.

  16. tWB says:

    Bah. Real programmers use purely notional hyperdimensional Turing machines!

    Unless they’re on government spec. Then it’s Ada.

  17. Ging says:

    I’m not convinced that the comment system is stealing our ++’s, I think it’s the blockquote that’s doing it.

    My understanding is that Kieron isn’t learning C# for this – I believe there’s a piece about writing a game with XNA somewhere behind it.

  18. Laura says:

    Dr. Dobb’s Challenge Deuce (2009 competition)

    Deadline this Friday!
    New game levels (no coding required) take less time than full mods so there’s still time.
    Best levels win $500.

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