It’s been an interesting week. A little while ago it was going to be my first week of Making My Game For Real, but as the date got closer I realised there were a few bits of my terrain engine I wanted to sort out first, so I moved the official starting date to tomorrow, May 1st, and this became the week of Sorting Things Out instead.
I got most of the Things mostly Sorted, but I also kept running into the bugs and glitches they threw up, and each one of these just devoured my time trying to track it down. It’s a salutary lesson about how time you scheduled for moving the project forward can end up being spent – constructively spent – without actually getting any further at all. Part of the problem is that my terrain engine is the product of two years of non-seriously messing around. If I wanted to do something I would find out how to do it by just diving in and coding up an idea to see if worked and how well. That’s not only a meandering way to get things done, it also leaves you with very messy code that you stopped working on the moment it did what you wanted, full of copy-and-pasted repetitions and functions you haven’t labelled because at the time you didn’t know if you were going to keep them.
Never mind. At least I have a much better idea of how not to approach coding from now onward. And to be fair to myself, I’m already doing better: planning things out in a document before I start coding, for instance. And I have made progress. Terrain which for the best part of two years looked like this:
now looks like this:
And it scrolls stupidly fast, too. I’ll have to work out how you post moving pictures on this WordPress thing so that I can show that off.
The other good news is that if the game doesn’t work out, it looks like I could still have a thriving career in 1930s abstract art.