Back to paper planning?

The deeper I get into coding, the more I am finding that I have to ramp up to get into the groove. I cannot just go from a clean slate and code whatever I would like; I have loose ends to tie. My first reaction was to think that my code is terrible and that I was fighting against spaghetti but upon further reflection I think that I am simply up against the equivalent of task switching to rapidly in a work day. My interruption is the week I spend between working on my game rather than the quality of the code. I thinking about what I should do about it.

I could do one or all of the following:

  1. Larger chunk of time: Find one larger chunk of time so that I can get into things and get more meaty progress.
  2. Preplanning: I could do more than a two minute list of what I am going to do.
  3. Remove distractions: I confess…I’m an Internet addict.

Larger Chunks of Time

Anyone that has gotten into a creative groove understands how important immersion is. I find that I’m just getting into interesting territory when I have to call it quits. I think the ideal amount of time to work would be about a four hour chunk. With the hour or two I spend I find that I take most of the time to figure out where I was and then I’m just remembering everything when I have to stop. Therefore I am going to try and find a bigger chunk of isolated time to work.

Pre-planning

Although I’m on a big kick of just “do” things rather than planning, I am finding that I don’t have enough structure for my work. I think I need to take the time to do a quick design treatment of my game so I know what I am building with a few design briefs and then I think I should write up a few brief technical notes on how I am going to approach the systems. This way I can have a quick paragraph or two that should remind me of why I am building a system to do something. If I can this will be separate from the time to implement the plan even if I have to alternate weeks.

Remove distractions

How many of you out there are internet addicts? I find that since my project is a hobby and is on my free time I often drift toward searching for things I would like to buy. Current interests are Paradigm Atom Bookshelf speakers, MacBook/MacBook Pro, Intel X25-M SSD and a new house. Only one of these would help with my project and even then only if I invest the time to install windows or restart my project in a Mac friendly way. How do I avoid these distractions? I think I’m going to plan enough that I don’t need an internet connection and then switch it off to work. Any tips out there for avoiding internet addiction?
What did I actually get done?

I took the very raw and basic “particle” class and message system that I had and changed it so my asteroid explodes into a bunch of other asteroids in “sort of” an explosion. The reason this caused me to look at my planning was because I should have a rough outline of how I want the particle effects to work before I just start hacking away at explosions. I think I would have been better off posting my particle strategy rather than fighting the code for a 1/2 hour and not being sure it was a waste.

Next Week

I am hoping that I can use a template from an older book I read called Game Developers Marketplace and write up a design treatment for my little game.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Back to paper planning?

  1. I think i know exactly what your going through. I’ve felt the same way, and StumbleUpon only makes it worse. The only solution I have is to put effort into making the API for my classes as simple and consistent as possible so that I don’t forget how things work and I can jump in and make changes easily. I factor out common code that i use into a sort of library which is just compiled in to whatever i make. (I just call it SGL – “Simple Game Library”). I’ve practically written it 3 times too, in 3 different programming languages.

    I still don’t know how to do cool explosions, I’d love to hear about how your doing it. I was pretty lazy with particles, I implemented the basics once and haven’t changed them yet. It still dynamically allocates each new particle (but doesn’t hurt the frame rate even with thousands of particles.. which is interesting…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s