The Road to PyWeek -- Why I'm Doing Practice RunsI'm definitely looking a major delays in my game. The underlying code has turned into a mess, and things have just generally gone badly, I'm afraid. The code just isn't coming together. I can't quite get everything to come together into something that runs. I can't even get it to where I can test the code. (See the post-mortem below)
I'm probably going to shelve the thing. I'll come back to it after the compo if I do, and probably use it as a springboard for more work on Peachy Keen. For now, though, it looks unlikely. The code has turned into a mess. I'm starting to think I should have made a flowchart, or at least planned some part of how the code would work.
That said, this is ultimately why I decided to do full practice runs this time. Because I knew there was still the chance of things getting away from me.
As for the next run, the friend that I have coming up with themes for me has given me a list of the possible themes. She decided to use themes that were phrases, like some Pyweek themes have been, and she also threw in a theme that I'm not familiar with (#2), because she says that such a theme may be the one voted in, and I'd have to do something with it.
The theme for my next practice run may be:
0-Running on Ice
1-Shake it and Bake it
3-Turtle Shells and Cupcake Smells
4-We can Only Improve from Here
She hasn't given too many hints about which one she'll have me do, but I thought I'd post theme for anyone who might want to play along.
My next practice run will (Because I've abandoned the first one) start today at 12:00AM UTC
The Adventures of Jenny Carlyle, Episode One:Post-Mortem
While I haven't quite thrown in the towel on my first run, I'm going to share what went wrong, for the record, and so I can try to not make these mistakes again.
Problem One:Built early framework on unit test framework
I didn't have a plan for the game flow code until about day three of the run. This made it hard to move anything over to the actual game framework.
Problem Two:I've said it before and I'll say it again, Boilerplates are a time sink!
I spent the first two days, and two mornings getting up at two in the morning writing them. I can't afford to do that in the compo.
Problem Three:Not enough planning
There's something to be said for Big Design Up Front programming. This project has made me realize that. What really killed me in the end was the lack of planning. I had the game planned, but not how the code would be structured. That needs to change.
I got distracted by many things. School, of course, is largely unavoidable, but there were many other things in my way. I need to learn to not become distracted from my goal.
Problem Five:Nothing tied together
I'm not sure how to explain it, but my code was very disjointed. I'm certain this was due to my lack of planning. My code simply never came together. I'm still working out how to correct this mistake later on, but I think having a Big Design Up Front will help greatly.
Problem Six:Code bloat
My code simply kept growing and growing. There were several functions to load things from files that were largely identical, and there were member variables that I simply didn't need. I also overcommented... alot, and wound up unable to navigate my code because of it. The whole thing eventually became too big, and that's how I would up where I did.
Many mistakes were made, and there is a minimal chance of a running demo by the deadline.
On a brighter note, many lessons were (re)learned, and I can only improve from here.
All things considered, this concept will probably be my first game after the competition, but for now, I think it can be laid to rest. I will have to start fresh to get it working, and I don't have time for that in this run, I'm afraid.
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