2011 m. gegužės 3 d.

Pyweek #12: Postmortem (square city)

So, PyWeek #12 (http://www.pyweek.org) has ended and this is going to be some standard lessons learned kind of blog post.

First of all I am sorry for my poor English.

This was my second pyweek entry. First one was kind of weak. But this time I have made better one. It managed to get second place at solos. Oh, and now it even has a clone. How cool is that?

So, link to my entry:


And lessons learned:

RTBR (Read the bloody recommendations)

I really should have read the recommendations. But wait. I have read it. Twice... But. But I paid almost none atention to it. That is bad thing. I think this blog post would have been shorter if not my ignorance.

Include dependencies Yourself

It is one from recommendations. But I have managed to miss it. I could have included pyglet and cocos2d libs into my game. Ok, there is some small pyglet's c dependency (AvBin), but cocos2d has no C code and should have been included into game's source. I think this mistake of mine haved caused some errors for peaple who have tried to run (without positive results) my game.

Communicate with others

I spend around half an hour in IRC communicating with other entrants and that is it. If I would have spent more time chating with others they could have save my game from problems running it by pointing such simple things as: "Your game do not work on my machine because Your have left THAT mistake". And more people than would have played (and hopefully liked) my game.

Proofreading is Your friend

"Squares citry". Mhuhahahahahaha. Citry. I managed to leave spelling mistake in my game's main screen. There is like 10 words in my game and I still managed to leave one spelling mistake... In the main screen. One proof reading pass (10 words -- it should not take long). One bloody reading pass.

And the goodies part:

Try to reach playable state as soon as possible

You probably have nice idea (half borrowed). Your imagination is really powerfull. You can play Your game with it and Your game rules. You definitely are going to win. There is one "but" of course. You have not written one line of code...

My point is that You should reach state of Your first prototype where You can actually see Your gameplay. And it is going to suck donkey balls. But situation will not be as bad as it sounds now, because from there You will make it good or at least not as annoying. But You will need time.

So, You should be fast. I mean really fast. It is game competition and it has very restrictive time limit (one week). Use anything You can think of to reach that limit. Screw good practice. Copy and pasting programming? Good! No unit or other kind of auto tests? Good! Strange class structure? Good! I mean as strange as Dali's paintings? Still good! All anti-patterns You can think and find at http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AntiPatternsCatalog? Good!

Use anything to have main portion of gameplay ready within shortest amount of time possible.

Do not get me wrong. Do not write bad code just to write bad code. But if writting bad code helps You -- than go for it. During these kind of competitions You need to produce as many features as You can and bad practices are really good for that. Seariuosly.

Than tweak Your gameplay as much as You can

Now You can sort off play Your game. As I said it sucks. But that good -- You have enough time to fix it. But You code sucks. So what? You still need to remove half off it (Your gameplay sucks. Remmerber?).

Spend a lot of time tweaking various aspects of Your gameplay. Refactor some of Your code as You go along. Just do not try to refactoring all of it -- just parts that stops You from easy way of changing small bits of Your gameplay.

Know Your limitations

At start I was thinking of some complex stuff I am going to do. Some complex art I am going to produce. But than I have understood -- I am alone into this one. I can draw all week or I can code all week. I just can not do both. So simple graphics to go.

Some peaple like to say: try to make imposible -- this is the only way to make something decent. I do not think so. You have one week. One week. One week! Forget Your utopia. Just try to make something with start, with end and something that You can call "It is game". First rule: You need to finish within one week. Second rule... Wait... To make playable game within one week is very hard so no more rules. Just make something with start and with end. With too ends (win and lose) if You can.

Have fun

Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Life is short. Have fun. There is no way I could finish my entry without thinking that I am world class hacker while making some stupid rectangles to collide. So, have fun.

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