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Grabbing time for game programming

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So, I want to program a game. I choose a modest project (a simple game of memory) that will not require a lot of work. I have an already completed game, so I will take advantage of this by reusing some parts of it to have a working base. My ad-hoc framework for writing my game without worrying about the physical platform (android app or Java Swing program on computer) is stable enough for now.

Now, all I need is taking some times to complete this project.

I will take advantage of the fact that I often wake up early in the morning, usually one hour before my baby : that's 20 minutes up to one hour of work before dealing with diapers and milk bottles =) . It will not be every day though, as I become exhausted through the week and wake up later and later. And I have other matters to take care of in the morning. Anyway, I can work on my project at least one-two hours a week.

I don't always need a computer : brainstorming and some research can be done with a pencil and a notebook, while commuting and from time to time at work. Occasionnaly, i can write a few lines and send a mail to myself.

In the end, in order to be able to complete the project, I should plan my work (roadmap). I believe that to succeed, I should plan weeks by weeks, defining sets of tasks small enough to be completed in a week. According to my plan, I should finish near the end of October, if all goes well. It is quite tight though, so I will have to avoid slacking too much !

To keep motivation, I printed my schedule, and play with some stamps as soon as I completed a task. I have a stamp for finishing a task in time, one for finishing late (after the planned week for the task), and one for finishing early (before the planned week).

If I could work full time on this, I estimate that it would have taken between 5 and 10 days of work.

Anyway, last week I could complete all the planned tasks :

  1. Initializing the maven project (parent project, game code, android app, swing app). I could duplicate the previous game, edit the pom files, and check in Eclipse. The java packages are created, but there is no code yet : that will start on week 2-3.
  2. Drafting the cards graphics assets and application icons. I use svg, convert and assemble to png sprite sheets for different screen sizes using shell scripts and a makefile to generate my assets.

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Motivation can be a hard thing to maintain. However, having the task list can help. If you begin to fall behind divide the tasks into smaller chunks to prevent the list from creating dread. Good Luck.


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