Palagpat Coding

Fun with JavaScript, HTML5 game design, and the occasional outbreak of seriousness

One Game Down

Monday, June 3, 2013

So, that was May.

I actually shipped something, even though I didn't get everything done I would've liked. Actually, I spent all my spare cycles last week trying to get touch events added to Tangle's InputManager, so Quilt would have mobile support, but I ran out of time without getting it fully functional. Sigh.

That also meant I didn't get many more levels added to Quilt (it currently sports 8, and the difficulty curve is a little too exponential... level 7 should be around 10 or so, and level 8 shouldn't come in until 15 or 20), nor did it get the level-reset command I wanted to add, even though that would have been like 10 minutes of work. At most.

I may still sneak that one in, in fact.

The Importance of Moving On

I read Jeff Atwood's blog, Coding Horror, pretty regularly, and even though I don't always agree with everything he has to say, this post left a pretty strong impact on the way I approach software development:

At the end of the development cycle, you end up with software that is a pale shadow of the shining, glorious monument to software engineering that you envisioned when you started.

It's tempting, at this point, to throw in the towel -- to add more time to the schedule so you can get it right before shipping your software. Because, after all, real developers ship.

I'm here to tell you that this is a mistake.

Yes, you did a ton of things wrong on this project. But you also did a ton of things wrong that you don't know about yet. And there's no other way to find out what those things are until you ship this version and get it in front of users and customers.

So, yeah. Quilt's out in the wild now, and if anyone wants to submit feedback on Github, Twitter, or G+, I'll accept it.

I'll also keep tinkering, because that's what I do. But it's time now to turn my attention to June's game for #1GAM.

More on that soon.

Quilt, the De-Tangler

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quilt and TangleJS symbols intertwined I'd said I was going to post something new here every Friday night. Then I went out of town on a house-hunting trip, and things got kind of busy. So... I missed blogging this past Friday, but what I did do, is get Quilt to the Minimum Viable Product stage, meaning it's online and you can play it, even if all the mechanics have yet to be ironed out.

Play Quilt, my #1GAM entry for May

The cool thing about working on something new that's not a blog post or Tangle tutorial is that my Tangle game library actually grew as a result of something I needed for this project, instead of me having to deliberately grow it by design. That was kind of a "duh" moment for me, actually: for the past year or so, my blogging here has gotten a little wrapped around the axle of the Let's Make a Canvas Library car, so to speak, and I didn't have the spare attention to work on anything else, or really to even work on Tangle as much as I would like. Now, in the past 2 weeks, I've put together a game (albeit a simple one), and Tangle has organically grown in the process! So, yeah. I should've been doing it this way all along, methinks.

I'm not finished with Quilt yet; there are a few more features I think it really needs to be "done" (mobile support, more levels, and level-reset command top the list), but to honor the spirit of One Game a Month, when May's over, I'm going to stop tinkering with it and move on to the next game on my backlog. :)

In my next post, I'll try to talk in more detail about Quilt, and the changes it prompted me to make in Tangle.

What is Quilt?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quilt logo

Last week, I mentioned that I had joined the One Game a Month challenge. For my May game, I decided to dust off the not-quite-finished Blak & Bloo (I still need to write up that whole experience and why it ultimately failed), and reuse some of its code with the latest improvements I've made to my in-progress Tangle game engine. The idea I came up with is to eliminate physics (which turned out to be more of a pain than I expected), and make a simple pattern-matching game.

I'm calling it "Quilt", and you can follow my progress here. Next week, I plan to blog in more detail about my approach, and how I'm going to avoid the Blak & Bloo problem.