Before anyone wants to start pointing fingers and laying the blame for the blog that you’re about to read, remember it was someone on the /r/incremental_games subreddit that caused this to happen. As with all things, a beginning must be just that – a start. Sadly, I’m already into the development process on Arms of War and haven’t documented shit until just now. But good news for all of you, it’s still so rough and brutally ugly that there’s enough material to fill a blogosphere (does anyone still use that term?).
Enough blogging, more devving! I face a problem so ingrained into the development process, that I had to stop outright and begin documenting it.
What do you do when you grow beyond your work?
What I mean by that is, as an engineer, artist, or technical-person, your skills will grow and evolve constantly. Life-long learning is part of the programming job, and honing knowledge is huge. When you hone your knowledge, you learn what not to do and some pretty awesome tricks.
So, what do you do when everything you’ve done is now in the category of ‘what not to do‘? Good question! And it’s one that every developer will have to make at one point or another.
Optimize now, or save the headache for the re-write later?
Early in the application, I knew that I needed to re-write it. I even put it into the Milestones on first draft. I knew I needed to re-write it because this is primarily my tool to practically learn asynchronous code design, NodeJS and Bootstrap.
Anyway, I’m choosing to follow the ‘save it for re-write later’ path, which is what every programmer will tell you not to do. And there’s only two factors that made me choose this – my very limited free time, and my already dwindling community. Decent development cycles is something I need to accomplish without actually having decent development cycles. Giving my testers A LOT of heads up of what they’re getting themselves into, and doing whatever I can to keep even the most dedicated from walking away.
This probably won’t apply to a lot of you as game developers, however I find that it’s a strong motivator to keep going (plus ideas and feedback at the speed of light) if you have a bunch of testers going through the motions with you.