Today I realized something very important. Although it may seem argueably obvious: daily progress is important. Making a small step in your code every single day adds up. Of course it sounds like I'm stating the obvious, but a lot more people say it rather than do it. All it takes is coding in something relatively simple every day, even if it's not a mainstream item.
An example would be today, where I merely got player names displaying beneath their respective player, and properly centered. Afterwards I added a helper function to add a black outline to any given text. Simple? Yes. A huge step? No way. But this little movement in the right direction will eventually add to the finished product down the line. The realization is: if you make zero progress, you aren't any closer to completion. At all. If you sit on your arse all day and code NOTHING, then you will never finish. Even if you just write a small feature or addition every darn day, you will get closer and closer -- albeit slowly -- to that elusive finish line.
Again, this likely sounds exceedingly obvious to many of you. This is a revelation to me however, since I'm the sort of fellow who sits down, writes a massive chunk of code (usually for several consecutive days) and then sits back and takes a breather for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I didn't like the big breather time where I made zero progress. I'd much rather make a small push forward every single day -- still allowing for those coding bursts -- than do massive blitzes and end up being unable to code for a week or so. This isn't a license to be lazy, but rather a way of looking at it all in a long-term way. Skirmish Online is going to take a long time to complete, so I need to move steadily, not recklessly, or else it will never see completion! [smile]
Insofar I've been using Visual C++ 2005 Express. That changed today. I've got to say that the IDE has only one thing going for it: it looks pretty. I migrated all of my code/project/solution/etc over to Visual C++ 2003 Professional (supplied kindly a while back by my school :P), and things are wonderful. Not only does Intellisense actually work properly in all/most cases, but my code seems to compile a lot faster, too.
The only caveat is that the compiler is a lot pickier, it seems. It spews out a lot of warnings about my habit to not use explicit typecasting (I'm an implicit sort of guy [grin]), which is very annoying. Anyone know how I can block these warnings out?
I know that I've been saying that I'll be tackling networking the next day, and I think I can finally say that again today with much more confidence. Maps are loading, the game is displaying, the player is moving, and text/fonts are working. It's time to get online! [smile]
In a (vain?) attempt to get some activity going around the Skirmish Online forum I've added an Off-Topic section. It's been rather bare around there since development has gotten back into gear, and this is likely because there's nothing to really 'play' just yet. The plan is to get people blabbing on there about whatever, which will generally keep them checking out the forum more often. This will allow people to already be nice and active by the time Skirmish is far enough long to warrant discussions. Feel free to help the cause. :P
(Oh sorry, no pictures today. [sad])