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  Good idea to jump around project?  (Read 467 times)
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Offline Gibbo3771
« Posted 2014-03-18 17:31:06 »

That might not be very clear at all but heh, the long question being...


You have a major project you are spending an absurd amount of time on, you are on it day and night and implementing all these cool ideas you have planned and wrote down. You get the basics of something working and during the creation of this you finally realise a way to get another mechanic implemented.

This just happened, I am going through the painful process of getting a proper path finding algorithm implemented, which is simple on it's own but finding a way to have your entities use the data, another aspect all together.

During the process of this, I quickly added the ability to add and remove tiles using the mouse, in order to test my paths to ensure it is not doing anything funky.

Now I am messing around with the idea of creating a level editor that I can use, currently as it is, I draw my levels in photoshop and simply read the pixel value. This works fine, but it's not "live", with this way I could alter my levels, as I play them.

This sounds amazing.

So do you guys think it is a good idea to work on one thing, get the basics down, go do something else then come back to it later? Seems like it would be best, to avoid boredom/frustration!

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Drenius
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-03-18 17:57:21 »

My personal experience was always losing interest in the old project.
Offline Jacob Pickens
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-03-18 18:23:42 »

I'm glad you found an idea you can spend time on. I'm in the process of doing the same thing. If your worried about getting bored do what I do: Make atleast 2 projects and if your not feeling a project today just work on the other one. Now if your wondering if jumping around mechanics in a game is a good idea I would have to say no. Leaving a mechanic half done is just giving you something to forget. Write down every mechanic your going to do and check them off as you go. The only time I personally think you should change gears is when the mechanic your working on absolutely needs the thing you are about to add, but if you just want to jump around because your bored just get a few projects going.

Sorry for the wall of text.  Undecided Hope this helps!
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Offline opiop65

JGO Kernel


Medals: 159
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JumpButton Studios


« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-03-18 18:54:06 »

I disagree Jacob. Burning yourself put on one mechanic puts you in jeapordy of burning out on the entire project itself. Why would you force yourself to work on something day in and day our when you can take a step back, clear your head and come in again a few days later with a new perspective on the issue? That time could give you answers to your problem if you think about it or research the issue. There's no point in killing yourself over an issue, especially if your project is just a hobby.

Offline kutucuk

Senior Devvie


Medals: 5
Exp: 3 years



« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-03-18 21:35:20 »

I think as long as the side project is not as big as the main one, or nearly big as the main one, it is good to do so. I think it provides a good 'distraction'.
I don't have enough time to have more than one programming projects, but I have other things. School, translation, music, programming... I have options, so I can use my time by doing something useful. But none of these should be as important as the school, or else I fail at that.
Needless to say, my progress with anything else than school is slow. Side projects are bound to progress slower. If you think you can live with unfinished projects around you for a while, you may start more than one projects.
But I think if you had more than one project in your hands (like, you have two schools you should go, or two games to develop), since these are similar stuff, and in case of programming thing, they are both in your computer, in your favorite IDE, it's likely that you just switch to the second project when you have a tough obstacle in the other, and stay on that one until you have a similar thing in the second project.
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard


Medals: 99
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Not a glitch. Just have a lil' pixelexia...


« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-03-19 07:55:04 »

From my experience, you want to have a "back-up" project that you are working on alongside your main project to help with things like getting stuck on a problem, boredom, or absolute frustration. Breaks from a program I couldn't solve have actually helped me come back and solve them better.

Sometimes, when you stare at a problem too long, the answer isn't clear and you end up burning out. Once I am close to that point, I just do something else. Having a programming side-project helps because I feel I am still coding something. It differs from person to person, but I can say that having side projects was never a bad influence for me.

Offline Grunnt

JGO Kernel


Medals: 94
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Complex != complicated


« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-03-19 08:00:47 »

Its a bit of a personal thing I guess. I try to avoid cherry picking, and force myself to at least test and polish every new feature I add before I go on to the next feature. Otherwise I may end up with a half-finished game in which the half that needs to be finished consists mainly of the tedious and boring tasks.

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