Thursday, November 19, 2009

Plugging Away...

The thing about personal projects is that you generally work on them on your off-time, after 8+ hours of coding and such at work. Sometimes, even if you really enjoy the topic your working on, your too mentally exhausted to come home and code. Sometimes, cooking dinner, a walk with the wife, or any other normal activity comes along and uses the time you planned on coding today. Sometime, when you stare at the list of things your project needs, it can be overwhelming.

The thing about magecrawl is that I've restarted it one too many times. I think I'm on number 8 if you get technical. I'll get so far, get to a hard part, look at my code, and want to start over. Now some of those restarts taught me important lessons: why using a managed language makes things easier, why you should separate the game engine logic from the gui, etc. However, at this point, restarting would be a waste. I don't have any of those project breaking issues.

So the strategy I have for not getting burned out and wanting to quit? Plug away a little bit each day. Yesterday I fixed some issues with the map generator, today I'll write a help screen, maybe next week I'll work on getting more than one type of monster. It doesn't matter if I work 20 minutes, and then go play torchlight, at least I accomplished something.

Now that I've written this out, I feel like it's a poor clone of Fire And Motion from Joel.


Wouter said...

Use a defect tracking system, like Trac. It may seem like overhead, but the mental gratification of crossing off items from the list should not be underestimated.

donblas said...

That is a very good point. I'm using FogBugz right now (the free up to 2 person version). There is little more enjoyable in opening up a bugreport and seeing a half a dozen subtasks all crossed off.