I recently finished playing my way through the Doom 3 expansion pack, "Resurrection of Evil", and didn't think too highly of it (read the full review in LXF71). But as I wrote the verdict box it occurred to me that RoE still manages to be above average in the Linux games arena as a whole: our #1 game is almost certainly Tux Racer, which is hugely out of date and never was much fun to start with. My opinion column in LXF65 touched on this when I said, "it's a sad situation when Trout Wars is better than 95% of Linux games". It's even sadder that the statement is still correct six months on!
Part of the problem might be that the SDL documentation is great as a reference, but poor as a general learning guide. We got a lot of positive feedback about the Trout Wars series, and I wonder whether this is an area that needs to be addressed. I put a free PHP book online a while ago (read the PHP book), and that seemed to go down well. Why not do the same for SDL?
The problem for me is that I find it hard to focus on individual things. Right now, alongside SDL, I'd really like to write some good documentation for Mono – a proper guide to learning it from scratch, using C# and Monodevelop. I'm also working on a little SDL.net project in Mono, which is the only place these two interests cross, but suffice to say time is short.
Perhaps a book on SDL – something that everyone could reference free of charge – might be what finally spurs real game development on the platform. If only I could make up my mind…
In other news, my 20D is back from the repair shop. Now I just need to save up for a decent macro lens!