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Time = consumed!

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University - Workload

Boy oh boy, I'm up to my ears in assignments. [smile]

Basically I have three courses that I get assignments in (and 2 that I don't) on a weekly basis. Algebra takes 4-6 hours, CS takes 2-3 hours, and Calculus takes 5-7 hours. I'm sure you could now reasonably rank my skill level in each of these areas. Heh.

Anyways, these take up a lot of time. Today was completely consumed by classes, assignment work, and lectures, so I've had zero free time until now. (11PM) So what better to do with my time than to complain about the work I've had to do? Just kidding. :P

GameDev - Skirmish Online

A few days ago I took a big step backwards and evaluated my game development position. And then I read an awesome article by Steve Pavlina. These two actions were almost immediately followed by a few realizations about Skirmish:

  • Side Projects seem to be an excuse for me to escape from the worries and fears I have about pursuing my main project, Skirmish Online.
  • I do have a fear of failure concerning Skirmish, so it's only natural for me to seek a way out (via side projects). Skirmish is doubtlessly the biggest project I've ever dedicated myself to doing, so a failure would be a devestating blow to my ego. (And us coders have big egos [smile])
  • Living with that fear is what seperates mice from men, so to speak. It's time I sit down and write Skirmish. And finish it.

Okay, a little more "talk about my feelings" than most would like, but that's the general thought process going on here. In case it's not now apparent, I'll be dropping all of these side projects and returning full-force to Skirmish.

Thank goodness.

GameDev - Design Document

I've begun a design document for the aforementioned project. This is a big step for me, because I'm not normally a designy guy. My typical design 'process' involes me sitting down and coding the game, essentially making it up as I go along. Sure there are some rudimentary design processes beforehand, but nothing substantial.

The more I thought about it, the more apparent it became that my lack of prior design is largely accredited to why just about all of my 'big project' attempts have failed: I simply didn't plan enough, and as a result I made bad decisions down the line that screwed things up later on. Looking through the old source of Skirmish I saw tons of bad design in my code, and very constraining methods that become sources of agony later on.

If you look back at my posts from way back when, you can see me rewriting/refactoring my network code 4 or 5 times. Gah. If I plan it out properly the first time, I can save myself tons of time in rewrites in the future. Genius!

So far the document is taking some time to write. Namely the areas that I'd normally very haphazardous implement without much thought (weapon/item management, networking, etc) are taking a long time for me to design, since they can be very tricky to do well. I'm extremely excited now that things are taking a much more planned approach, and I'm confident it'll result in a finish product significantly faster than otherwise (if at all).

But enough self-realizations for one day. [smile]

GameDev - GameDev Club @ Waterloo

Today was the official "Club Day" at my university. I'm VP of the gamedev club. Our club did not have a booth at this club event. Doh. I was barraged by Calculus today, and Kas (the pres) had his co-op job to attend to. Which means a huge advertisement opportunity for the club was lost. Arg.

I spoke to Kas about this, and it looks like we'll be using the backup method of pure advertisement. We're going to post up ads around the school -- he knows all of the good places :P -- a day or two before the first meeting (Monday), and hand out flyers/ads to people who are/may be interested. Hopefully it'll be enough. More on that on Monday evening!

Oh! We also opted to switch from XNA to SDL.NET for the gamedev club, because me and Kas felt that the hardware requirements for XNA were just too darn steep that they might exclude a number of potential members (need a DX9 video card, Windows XP SP2, etc). SDL.NET is a lib that I'm very well-versed in, and works on just about any .NET-capable computer you throw it at. Hush, Rob. :P

And that's the Thursday News.
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Bleh, no XNA? XNA is perhaps one of the two reasons I'd want to learn C#. Other than that, meh, I'll stick to my happy wheel-inventing foot-shooting C++, thanks.

Oh, and as long as you don't give up on Skirmish, you can't fail. Honestly. How the hell could you possibly mess up something that's already awesome?

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Woohoo! Glad to hear you're planning to work on Skirmish some more!

Also, I agree with Mushu; there's no way Skirmish can fail, it's just too darn awesome. Besides, if you think you made a mistake, you can always go back and change it.

Where does the time go, eh?
Good luck!

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