Thursday, August 14, 2008

The 30 Days Postmortem

My 30 days 4 hours a day programming challenge is officially a success. It has propel me to new heights in such rapid pace not seen in the 2 years I been programming. I also learned what it meant to be a disciplined programmer and learned a few new tricks as well.

During the 30 days challenge, I worked on the game engine and the map editor for the KRPGE project, Playground Wars, Space Fighter Ace and the Rubygame Tutorial project.

What I Learn:

I have learned through the 28 hours workweek why my game development projects has been so slow to progress in the past. They just took a lot of work. Even with the 28 hours work week, I still felt that progress is very slow. Nonetheless, I managed to finish the KRPGE's engine proportion in about 14 days. The Map Editor is finished in about the same timeframe.

What went right:

Of course, I was able to keep the schedule despite interruption by parents and outside events. Best of all, I was able to progress phenomenally fast in comparsion to my usual pace of development.

What went wrong:

If there is any wrongdoing, it is that I was undisciplined when it come to designing my game engine's codebase. Although it was easy for me to use, for others, with no documentation, cannot use it. There are several releases of KRPGE but nobody use it except me.

What I would do differently:

I would learn unit testing and set up a bugtracker for each projects. I would also package all my games as gem. Also, it would be nice if I know more about optimization technqiues as my games tend to fall below 30.

What I gained from this challenge:

The most improtance gain is productivity, above all. I finally broke the cycle of procrastination and no game development. I tried many schemes but none work as well as the enforced work hours, in which I was driven to develop under pressure. This build upon my experience from the first RubyWeekend contest. I will continue to use this concept to help keep game development going.

I also gained a newfound apperciation of the difficulty of writing games evidenced by the slow development cycle.

Still, all of these sucess would mean nothing if I don't keep on the pressure on myself to continue game development at this kind of level. That's the next challenge.

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