A terrarium in my computer? I’m more of a city person …
Scott Parker alerted me that the Windows SDK team released Terrarium. Terrarium's source code can be found over on CodePlex too!
So what is Terrarium? Way back in .Net 1.x land, someone game up with the idea to create a game to get people interested and building cool stuff. In Terrarium, you can create herbivores, carnivores, or plants and then introduce them into a peer-to-peer, networked ecosystem where they complete for survival. Terrarium demonstrates some of the features of the .NET Framework, including Windows Forms integration with DirectX®; XML Web services; support for peer-to-peer networking; support for multiple programming languages; the capability to update smart client, or Windows-based, applications via a remote Web server; and the evidence-based and code access security infrastructure.
Here are a few of their hit list items to get fixed:
- 3.5 framework/Visual Studio 2008 upgrade
- Leverage 2.0 language features. Much of the code was 1.1 so generics and other goodness wasn't there. The current codebase is compiled and built on Visual Studio 2005/2.0 Framework but not really making use of the features (yet). For example, all WinForms are 1.1 style (i.e. no partial classes). Same with the 3.5 upgrade where more cool stuff could be done all over the codebase.
- Extend the current system by adding new features. Not sure off the top of my head what those features would be but there's plenty of room for improvement.
- ClickOnce install of the Terrarium Client from a Terrarium Server. This would be a nice-to-have since ClickOnce is a breeze to keep clients updated. However it would require some reshuffling of the current client as it requires additional files and ClickOnce has limitations on what it can put on a users machine.
- XNA upgrade/port. This is pretty major as DirectX isn't really all that abstracted away in the current system but the hope would be to bring Terrarium to the Xbox 360 (complete with networking support). This is probably a 4.0 release that could be a year or so away (but would kick the llamas' butt)
- The server project website is a bit of a mess (read:disaster). It was built in the 1.1 days and never updated. It contains a mixture of code behind files, raw class files, and aspx pages with embedded code. In short, it needs to be rewritten. The web services are okay, although with moving to 3.5 we should probably look at using WCF instead.
They would love to have community members to help out too.