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  hmm... another ambitious project  (Read 4710 times)
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Offline misterX

Junior Devvie

java forever!

« Posted 2003-05-31 21:17:26 »


i hesitated to post this because i'm hesitating to do what i want, mostly because it's "too big".
It's: A collection of classic board games

And it's not just that, there is a powerfull concept and strong backround behind it. It is more a vision:
Quality 3d board games, nice & easy to play. Where you can play online with your buddies directly, with just one clic! Like messenger, you'll invite buddies to play a game, and a small 3D friendly cartoon face will appear in a new window where you can select the game you wanna play: pool, chess, card games... All this in quality 3D.
Good graphics, good gameplay, good music, good games. That's the leitmotiv. That's the vision.

Like i said before, the concept is intersting but the background behind it is also strong:
-Making a Connect 4 game is far more feasable than any other FPS or RPG
-Even if we stop, we would have the satisfaction to have done one or some small games.
-This field is a virgin of game production. No one touched this field seriously yet. It's one of the last one where indies could perform something really valuable.
-I love board games. Do you know the "Spiel des jahres" award? These games are really really fun and interesting to play. They would also surely be on the PC.
-Making a buddy kind of messenger stuck on this could also be used to help distribution incredibely , like a chain reaction from buddy to buddy. So many people contacted in so few time, thousand times better than any web page and add campaign!
-It could maybe be sponsored from board game compagnies, it's like a showcase. People can try their games and be tempted to buy the real one if they like it.
-It could be the new standart, like messenger!

I'm also sad of seeing everytime "we are making a new engine" and so on, we should make games. I'm already so convinced in java3d, in it's very high quality and the way it is structured that i don't seek anymore. I believe this is the grail and it is really time to show the world what it is able of.

This is definitly a very ambitious project/vision. And that's why i'm so hesitating to "jump in". On the other hand, it's like a lego construction, it's made of many small "unambitious" games. Making a Connect 4 isn't that hard! Really. It takes time, that's all.

I'm not really sure why i post this.... Most of all, i'm wondering if it is worth to spend/waste time on this. Either i do nothing or i spend tons of time for "this"... wasted time or brilliant idea? that's the question... help me!
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 568
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-06-01 09:02:01 »

Design one game, with one feature in it, none of this chat client stuff etc. Code that. Don't write an engine. Just code the game. Set yourself a time limit of 3 months. If it goes over that, re-evaluate your design and either can it or remove all the unimplemented features.

Keep a big long list of things to do. Cross them off when you do them. Write it out every day afresh. Put a star next to the ones that must be implemented. Do them first.

Cas Smiley

Offline Herkules

Senior Devvie

Friendly fire isn't friendly!

« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-06-01 09:39:12 »

Wow - that's just the pure essence of what game coding is about! All successful game coders I know just work that way!

That is somehow perpendicular to the way you work outside games business.

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 568
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-06-01 10:25:27 »

It seems uncannily like Extreme Programming. I've been (unknowingly) doing Extreme Programming for about the last 10 years. It totally freaks out employers when 3 weeks before a release you suddenly realise the way you're doing something is just plain wrong and refactor 50% of the codebase. Always seems to work out in the end!

Cas Smiley

Offline misterX

Junior Devvie

java forever!

« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-06-01 11:41:15 »

thanks for the support.

and cas, don't worry, i'm carefull. I've already programmed a 3D pong and a 3D peer-to-peer connect4, in fewer than 3 month (but both have 1 tiny problem). But here again, it's 10% of details to solve which takes 90% of the time. Concerning the messenger stuff, that's no problem either, there are already some open source java apps done.

I feel able to do it, but it takes loads of time... too much time! Sacrifing so much time for what reward? it's too risky. I think i'll go on as before, just type few lines every week and progressing like a snail...  Lips Sealed

damn, i even don't know why i'm posting this!
...maybe just to share my mind with you... i don't know...
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 568
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-06-01 12:25:27 »

there's nothing like a public blog and the associated humiliation of failure to motivate you eh?

Cas Smiley

Offline misterX

Junior Devvie

java forever!

« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-06-01 15:51:05 »

not at all

in fact, it's like a voice in the back of my head which is calling me, but i want to turn it off and go on with the more pleasant things in life.  Tongue
I don't want to end beeing the whole day on the PC!
I don't want to do this "vision" but i want too in some way. Damn thing!
Offline altair

Senior Newbie

« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-06-01 18:52:31 »

Personally, I see Extreme Programming as a new marketing buzz word and not a real work process (come on, share a keyboard among 2 people !). Sure there are a lot of guys making money with E.P. books, seminars and other blah blah. As PrinceC wrote, some people were already working like that before the marketing buzz fell from the sky.

I understand that some people may feel at ease with the do-now-rework-later kind of process but from my experience, it is more costly (at least in big projects) than a usual design-now-implement-later process.

And yes, I have been writing real programs for real customers in a real company for (too) many years.

Now, for small projects and/or less experienced people, it can make sense.
Offline misterX

Junior Devvie

java forever!

« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-06-01 19:43:52 »

i'm not a fan of extreme programming too. It's too blind and individualistic for my taste. In counter part, the "design-all-then-implement" is also very idealistic. You can't plan the problems you'll have after all.

For me, the "recursive approach" works the best:
1. (re)design briefly.
2. try it out briefly and go back if needed.
3. implement, and go back to 1 if a problem arises.
Like this, you make your way by going forward and backward until it reaches satisfaction. It takes time but you've no bad suprise at the end!

"Implenting without design is blind, designing all before implementing is whole." - me Tongue
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 568
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-06-01 19:59:31 »

Like the say - those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

Cas Smiley

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder

Exp: 12 years

Where's the Kaboom?

« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-06-01 23:01:47 »

I see Extreme Programming as a new marketing buzz word and not a real work process (come on, share a keyboard among 2 people !)

Actually two people on one keyboard works VERY well.. so long as you give it a chance.  I was forced to do that for my first programming job.. it was for the school board and me and a friend only had the one computer to work at..  Of course IDEs weren't what they are today, so the person that wasn't typing would catch every typo and syntax error as the other guy was writing the code.  Whenever we were stuck there was just a quick discussion and then we would roll ahead..  If one of us had an idea for how to code something and it would take too long or was difficult to explain.. we would jsut switch roles to let that person write the code directly.

I found it was the most productive coding experience I've ever had.  Too bad everyone I know these days has the same attitude - they won't give it serious try... sigh.

OK.. sorry, back on topic.  This project is good because you can complete the smaller games one at a time.  The project can grow in logical steps where you actually have a full game to show at each stage.

Offline altair

Senior Newbie

« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-06-02 00:57:43 »

Just a few final comments on EP ... Tongue
At least it is interesting to hear about somebody having a good experience with keyboard sharing. I am still doubtful that in works in average though, maybe the pairs have to be 'special'  Wink
misterX, I agree with you. The only thing to remember from Extreme Programming IMO is the "test as often as you can" idea.
OK.. back to the topic. I did not mean to hijack the thread. Start small ... start with easy games.
Offline larry

Junior Devvie

.. son of jor-el, kneel before zod ...

« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-06-02 16:12:52 »

VAt eh gud dizcusszion zis izz!!  Grin

I truly enjoy so many of these forum discussions that begin innocently in the gaming realm, and later evolve into HUGE grotesque software engineering debates!
Its GREAT! Frankenstein would be proud.

Reading articles provide similar satisfaction. I find the gaming world often encounters so many of the generic software engineering and design quandrams and challenges. ( Obviously 'cos gaming code remains - software code).

However, due to the creative interesting context of gaming and its intrinsic challenging designs issues (3D performance, networking, UI, hacker-com-software developer creators), I find the software issues discussed far more entertaining.

This very discussion is a good example - beginning with
a mere gaming concept and snowballing into a myriad of EP viewpoints.

Its cool - keep it up guys and gals.

Furthermore, I really thought all the comments on tackling a large home project, in chewable "bytes" is the best way - else there's no way!

On EP, I think a combination of traditional coding and EP are good. Mostly I work traditionally ( minus the suit and tie!), but spatterings of EP are always helpful and are especially good for teamwork and teambonding.

Offline daybyter

Senior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-06-17 06:00:26 »

So did you code anything? The reason, why I'm asking is, that we are working on a Java chess app, which might contain some of the functionality, you are interested in?
Offline misterX

Junior Devvie

java forever!

« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-06-19 21:01:56 »

it's hard to say, give me details!

Nevertheless, i coded 2 mini-games, as it is said before:
-a pong
-a "half-multiplayer" connect4

I've really had no time these days and the upcoming ones are also full. But i'll maybe have time to work a little on it this week, fixing details, and i'll then post them.
Offline Athomas Goldberg

Junior Devvie


« Reply #15 - Posted 2003-06-20 00:47:12 »

The funny thing is that almost everyone I know who's actually been forced to do extreme programming approached it with extreme skepticism (often dismissing it as marketing buzzwords and propoganda) only to become zealots once they began using it.  Oddly, people who've adopted aspects of Extreme Programming, whether its "unit testing" or "user stories & story points"  or "stand-up meetings" or "pair programming" seem to get religion for that aspect of the methdology while remain ing skeptical of the rest. (until of course, they're forced to do it)

I too was of this camp, even going so far as to read a couple of books on the subject and then dismissing it as "feel-good" engineering. Like so many others I found myself in a position where I was forced to adopt EP in pieces, and each technique markedly improved our productivity, whether we believed it would or not.

The best I can figure is that EP wasn't developed whole cloth as a new methodology, but came about as a result of experimental and common sense techniques which all work individually and just happen to work well together.

Or maybe it's subliminal messaging...  Shocked

Athomas Goldberg
Project Lead / Wildcard
Game Technologies Group
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Offline Matzon

JGO Knight

Medals: 19
Projects: 1

I'm gonna wring your pants!

« Reply #16 - Posted 2003-06-20 03:34:48 »

actually, the "inventor" explains how XP came about here:

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