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  Preventing feature creep  (Read 4774 times)
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Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Posted 2005-01-22 13:17:07 »

As some of you may have noticed I've written a few 4k games recently.. I was trying to analyse why I'm enjoying them so much and I think its the ability to actually finish something (which is remarkably unlike me).

When I write a normal size project it just gets bigger and bigger as I think of more and more I'd like to put in. Is this what people refer to as feature creep? If so.. how do you prevent it? (other than of course limiting yourself to 4k size Wink)

Kev

Offline Chman

Junior Devvie




Nothing more that... Java games are cool !


« Reply #1 - Posted 2005-01-22 13:53:25 »

Limit in time ?
Like 20/40 hours projects...

Chman
Offline zingbat

Senior Devvie


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« Reply #2 - Posted 2005-01-22 14:23:44 »

Don't start programming until you know exactly what to do. In case of a game build a design doc and gather all your game requirements then design your architecture that will satisfy you. Only when you get a good idea to calculate the time you will need to build it, omly then start coding. I think this is what will prevent feature creeping since it happens mostly because lack of planning. The programmer doesn't know exactly what he is going to need so he starts adding stuff in fear that he may need it and not because he really needs it.
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Offline baegsi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2005-01-22 14:41:13 »

Just implement what you really need right now. Never implement something you are not 100% sure of if you will need it. That keeps your code simple and makes it easier to refactor when new requirements come up later. Yes, plan as much as possible before you start coding, but unfortunately, you will never know everything at the beginning. Experience helps here a lot Smiley

Are you aware of extreme programming?
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 319
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #4 - Posted 2005-01-22 14:51:11 »

I'm well aware of extreme programming and for that matter design docs and estimating Smiley

The problem is that when its a game and a hobby project often you:

a) Don't think of ideas until you have something up and running.
b) Don't know how long something is likely to take because its a new technology.
c) Get excited too much by the game itself.

I'm not really talking about software features (i.e. what I need and don't need withing the source), more features that are part of the game.. i.e. wouldn't it be cool if those rockets bounced off like this.

Kev

Offline baegsi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2005-01-22 15:04:16 »

Quote

c) Get excited too much by the game itself.


Yes, I know what you mean. I often make the mistake that when I have an exciting idea I want to see results too fast and start making shortcuts etc.

I'm trying this: I reduce my game idea to as few elements as possible and stick to that. Whenever something new comes up, I ask myself: does this really add a new element or is it just a nice-to-have feature which doesn't change the game at whole? So what I try to have is a playable game prototype that covers most of my idea. Because I really have to play with my game to see if it is actually fun.
Offline princec

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2005-01-22 15:20:14 »

Why prevent it anyway if it's just a hobby? Just so long as you get version 1.0 complete you can go on fiddling with it for months.....

Cas Smiley

Offline Malohkan

Senior Devvie




while (true) System.out.println("WOO!!!!");


« Reply #7 - Posted 2005-01-22 19:53:06 »

I love feature creep Grin  It means I never get bored with a project and I can keep updating it.  I like Cas's opinion.  Especially if you get a 1.0 version and sell it, your buyers would love free updates that include new features.  Heck you COULD just keep tinkering and tinkering until you get so many new features you can re-sell it for 4/5 the original price and call it an expansion pack Smiley

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Offline zingbat

Senior Devvie


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Java games rock!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2005-01-22 21:01:15 »

Having more features than those that are required is not the same thing as being feature creeped. Yeah your buyers will love that you give them more features for the same price. As long as you are good enough to beat the competition.
Offline baegsi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2005-01-23 06:53:27 »

As I understand Kev right he actually enjoys finishing a game. Even as a hobby programmer you don't get much if you get lost in your features and can't see the target line anymore
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Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 976
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #10 - Posted 2005-01-23 09:25:08 »

Kev, do you want to try making some micro-games for Puppygames? I've got this neato LWJGL framework for creating them, takes care of the user interface, nag screen, registration, sprites, etc., etc. Set yourself a 40hr limit and you should be able to write any old arcade game and sell it inside a week.

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 319
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #11 - Posted 2005-01-23 09:27:02 »

I'd love too Smiley I've promised I'd get Gravity Battle finished (from my end at least) and thats what I'd like to do... just two more sets of levels to do!

I am of course obssessed with little games at the moment so if you send over the framework I suspect I'll find some time Smiley

Kev

Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


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Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #12 - Posted 2005-01-26 10:30:50 »

One thing you could try is a modification of Kernighan's quote "First make it work, then make it fast."

Try "First make it work, then make it pretty."

In other words you get this fantastic idea while coding, instead of acting on it, write it out or put it in as a "TODO" comment in your code.  Then when your code is complete you can go back to all your TODOs and remove them or build them.

Offline 20thCenturyBoy

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So much to learn, so little time.


« Reply #13 - Posted 2005-01-27 08:37:55 »

Quote
I've got this neato LWJGL framework for creating them, takes care of the user interface, nag screen, registration, sprites, etc., etc.
Cas Smiley


Cas is that the SPGL?  There doesn't seem to be any files for it on Sourceforge. It sounds useful, any chance of a copy? Grin

"I have never done unit testing and I don’t find it a very useful concept" - Jonathan Blow
Offline cfmdobbie

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Who, me?


« Reply #14 - Posted 2005-01-27 08:51:29 »

Quote
Cas is that the SPGL?  There doesn't seem to be any files for it on Sourceforge. It sounds useful, any chance of a copy? Grin


http://sourceforge.net/projects/spgl

Cas doesn't make versioned releases available from the SPGL, you need to pull the latest CVS copy instead.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline 20thCenturyBoy

Senior Devvie


Medals: 3


So much to learn, so little time.


« Reply #15 - Posted 2005-01-27 09:44:18 »

Quote


http://sourceforge.net/projects/spgl

Cas doesn't make versioned releases available from the SPGL, you need to pull the latest CVS copy instead.


Ah, gotcha. Cheers for that.  Grin

"I have never done unit testing and I don’t find it a very useful concept" - Jonathan Blow
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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Projects: 3
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2005-01-27 10:04:26 »

SPGL is just one half of it, the other bit's not open source yet (probably won't be either as it's quite closely tied to how I do things bizwize as well)

Cas Smiley

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