Ad Lib Game Development Society
Session 4 (Saturday July 10, 2 days, 8 participants)
Project: NetSlack revisited
Having enjoyed our previous session working on NetSlack,
we decided to do a "finishing session" to hit it for one more weekend until the game was complete.
More or less, we succeeded. The end result is a completely playable, start-to-finish game which
is actually almost fun.
Really, not much (though Charon did end up adding a number of things during the few evenings after the session).
What went right
- Despite the engineering mistake of using a monolithic Entity class (rather than inheritance), the Entity code was nonetheless simple enough that new entities were able to be added with relative ease.
- Finished: Despite it having taken a total of 4 days (two in the previous session, two in this session), we actually finished a complete game for once. Imagine that.
- Lighting / Darkness / Fog worked great.
- Tile rendering bug fixed!
- Inventory system worked great right out of the can.
- A command console got added in as a cheap debugging & cheating mechanism, and it ended up paying off big.
- Overall the session was a success; good overall productivity, was fast-paced without being stressful.
- Areas that had good documentation were very fast ramp-up for people who missed the first NetSlack session.
- Materials / Scripting system turned out to be even more powerful and flexible (and also more abused) than we anticipated.
What went wrong
- Did we say 117 materials? Make that 158. TGA Material RGBs grew even more out of control, and the problem continued to grow unchecked. At this point, the programmers knew what they had created, but it was (seemed?) too late to change the paradigm at that point. In hindsight it probably wasn't too late to add some simple text-based way of specifying instance data that worked in conjunction with the Material / Scripting system.
- Even after two sessions we only ended up with 2 (well, one and a half) player attacks. Lame.
- Areas that lacked documentation created slow ramp-up for people who missed the first NetSlack session.
- By allowing ourselves to continue where we left off with NetSlack and use a second session to finish it, we risked losing sight of the scope problems that caused us to need a second session in the first place.
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