I’m going to start this post with a little problem I created for myself.
So many computers Let’s see here. I have a gaming desktop at home, a work laptop at work, a netbook at home for resource-constrained programming and a Raspberry Pi. That’s cool. Daniela also has her own computer, but that’s hers and I simply leave it be. Two weeks ago I caught myself watching The 8-Bit Guy talking about the Macbook Core Duo and seeing if it’s obsolete1.
This is a short post. I really like videogames, but I often find myself lacking motivation to play. I think this happens a lot because I know there’s a serious time commitment to actually complete most games and I’m not normally able to play for more than an hour or so.
Well, Dark Souls has been absolutely consuming my free time lately.
I got quite into Dark Souls about a year ago when I picked up a copy for PC.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve begun what I call “daily coding practice.”1 My inspiration for this comes directly from Mike Acton by way of HandmadeCon2. Mike said that we as serious, professional programmers should be dedicating some slice of time every day to practicing our craft, even if it’s as little as 30 minutes. Now, Mike also emphasized small, throw-away practice, similar to doing scales if you were to practice guitar.
Ludum Dare 34 kicks off this weekend. There are two themes that tied: “two button controllers” and “growing.” I was fully intending to participate, but I am having serious doubts about that decision now. I’ve managed to build the tiniest of skeletons of an application, but I have so much to do in order to get anywhere near a working game that I know it’s basically infeasible. This is pretty much the reality when you have kids and a full time job and you’re already doing daily programming practice.
I’m drawn to the idea of walking simulators. It’s no coincidence that my first “intentional” game review was of Proteus. Modern so-called “AAA” gaming is full of violence, so walking simulators are a nice conceptual departure. I don’t have a lot of experience with walking simulators, but I have played a few, including: Dear Esther, Proteus, Shelter, The Stanley Parable and Gone Home. Even among that small selection, there’s a wide variation of gameplay and themes, so clearly this is a broad genre worth exploring.
The best way I can think of to open this review is by quoting myself: “What a weird, boring, delightful, pleasant game. It is really difficult to feel [it] or describe it in one way.”
Proteus is boring. You walk around and have very little agency in the world. You can chase creatures and not much else. I really wish days could be shortened to 5 minutes instead of the current shortest value of 15 minutes.
This past weekend was a little bit rough. Dee and I were both feeling really under the weather so we pretty much got as little done as possible. Dee took over responsibilities for dropping Lily off with her folks, so I jumped at the opportunity to catch up on a few shows. Among them was Jodorowski’s Dune, a film I found to be rather inspirational.
For a long time now I’ve felt rather disillusioned with modern AAA videogames.
Today I present some scattered thoughts on organizing data and logic in programs.
I’m starting with MVC because it’s pervasive and well understood. As a pattern for wrangling complexity, it’s solid because it’s so simple: organize your program into three main components and that’s how you deal with complexity. As a bonus, the file organization of your program can just follow the pattern and use three folders. This simplicity makes it easy for new teammates to understand what’s going on.
It’s common knowledge that changes are cheap to accomodate early in the lifecycle of development. The extent to which this is true can feel rather visceral, depending on the competing needs of the project and the available resources.
Programming is an iterative process involving a lot of in-the-trenches work, some reflection, and a lot of effort to address technical debt. I think it’s really important to partake in this holistic view of software development regardless of the day-to-day realities of the office.
I just finished playing another two rounds of Friday. Just four more to go until I’ve hit ten plays and can focus on the other titles in my 10x10 challenge. Even when I hit that point, though, I’ll be looking forward to playing Friday between other games.
I tried two different strategies today, neither of which really panned out.
Strategy 1: Remove Low-Scoring Cards The goal here is to remove any negative or zero pointed cards to strive for a maximally productive deck.