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  how many of you have ever...  (Read 14393 times)
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Offline mill

Junior Devvie

popcorn freak

« Posted 2003-04-28 18:59:08 »

... completed your hobby projects? Smiley

i have only finished a couple of things in my spare time: a pong clone, some http log analyzers and a ftp log analyzer.

i have tons of half finished crap lying around. i started on a racing game about a year and a half ago but after a while it got boring and i started doing something else. it's like 60% complete and i just decided to finish the damn thing!

i'm telling you all this because if it's not finished within one month i want all of you to nag on me like crazy! this time i won't start on something new, even how damn tempting it is!

whish me luck!

in the meantime, you can tell me all about your never-ever-gonna-be-finished projects Smiley

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Devvie

Medals: 1

Who, me?

« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-04-28 19:13:09 »

They're not incomplete projects, they're technology demos and proofs of concept... Grin Tongue

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline Matzon

JGO Knight

Medals: 19
Projects: 1

I'm gonna wring your pants!

« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-04-28 19:38:12 »

yeah - what he said  Roll Eyes

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

Junior Devvie

popcorn freak

« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-04-28 19:45:05 »

hahahaha lol, yeah that's one way to look at it Smiley

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja

Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-04-28 20:11:34 »

I *never* finished anything. And even when I did, I still say it's not finished so that people might believe it could get better.

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja

Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-04-28 20:12:25 »

A technology demo sounds a whole lot better though. I think I'll start using that excuse too  Smiley

Offline Frumple

Junior Newbie

« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-04-28 23:24:25 »

I've been working on a 2D tank game with turrets and different weapons and such for the past year and it's nowhere close to being playable. Interestingly, I've seen quite a few other people saying that they were making a tank game, but so far, I haven't seen anything. I hope to get it done by summertime, but I've got a lot of high school exams in the next couple of months. So I guess my excuse is that I've been too busy with school.  Tongue

They're not incomplete projects, they're technology demos and proofs of concept... Grin Tongue

Actually, I tend to see my projects as proofs of how much of an incompetent programmer I am. Wink
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder

Exp: 12 years

Where's the Kaboom?

« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-04-28 23:36:14 »

Me too.

I have tons of (ahem) "Technology Demos".. I think the main reason I don't finish is because as soon as I figure out the hard part to get the 'demo' going I lose interest with the less exciting aspects that are needed to polish it off.

Offline leknor

Junior Devvie


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-04-29 04:02:31 »

I think most of my failed pet projects have been due to poor planing. After a while I forget where I want to take the project and lose interests.
Offline mill

Junior Devvie

popcorn freak

« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-04-29 05:55:05 »

i'm with swpalmer here. i thought about that and i think i lost interest in the project when ai, collision detection and reaction was done and i was going to work on boring stuff like menues and gamestates and all that stuff to make it a game hehe

i've never liked polishing stuff. i don't care if it's my dad's car or my game Smiley

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

Senior Devvie

Friendly fire isn't friendly!

« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-04-29 07:17:16 »

We have a working prototype here. Does that count?

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-04-29 07:52:45 »

A working prototype? I think you mean "our work is done here..."

I have got so tired of "incomplete project syndrome" that I am starting to plan for it and try to write all my code in a very abstract and extensible way so that when I lose interest in great project X I can reuse most of the code for the new great project Y and it will pretty much work. Eventually I will complete something. Assuming I don't get distracted working on my epic novel ( 12 pages completed but needs a bit of a rewrite ) my epic album ( 3 songs written but none yet recorded ) ... hmm, perhaps I'm spotting a pattern here Smiley
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja

Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-04-29 07:53:35 »

"working prototype", that's a good one too for my unfinished-game-excuse list  Grin

Offline Herkules

Senior Devvie

Friendly fire isn't friendly!

« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-04-29 08:12:30 »

Making an engine or a prototype is challenging and real fun. Making a game/product out of it is hard/boaring work nobody ever volunteers for.

The people I know how manage to really release games instead of engine prototypes ar real tough and busy professionals. That's a very special and highly valuable talent!!

Thats a fact that many (esp. young) people who want to enter games industry underestimate!

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-04-29 11:21:26 »

What I think people miss is how much of making a game revolves around content creation rather than engine creation. Once you've got your working prototype you need to build all your final models/sprites and animations and that is actually at least as much work. And then you need to get them loading and working properly, which is likely to need more debugging and solving tricky little problems that you hadn't thought of before and then you have to make sure the whole lot fits together and at some point you've got to remember that the whole thing needs to be fun for someone.

Offline EricTheRed

Senior Newbie

Beware the killer bunny, destoryer of worlds!

« Reply #15 - Posted 2003-04-30 01:10:42 »

What killed ... erm, "temporarily postponed" ... most of my projects was feature creep.  My games usually will start off with a simple, doable concept.  And it grows, and grows (just one more class!), until eventually it explodes in a shower of mangled code.

I agree that once all the fun stuff has been taken care of, I never quite 'find the time' to finish the less exciting work of creating menus and such.

In school, our current assignment is to create a full, working game.  It is next to impossible to find the motivation to write the menu system and level editors, let alone create the actual content for the game.  I tried a different approach this time, however, in that I wrote the menus and editor first.  In fact, I refused to actually work on the game until the shell was finished.  Did this actually help in the end?  Ask me in a month or so! :-/
Offline mill

Junior Devvie

popcorn freak

« Reply #16 - Posted 2003-04-30 04:15:59 »

well, i usually begin with the most crucial code. without that it won't do anything.

FYI, on the project i picked up again, i didn't start to write the boring stuff it needed. instead i'm improving the AI! more fun, but not exactly what the project needs :/

oh crap

Offline bmyers

Junior Devvie

« Reply #17 - Posted 2003-04-30 15:20:37 »

My experience in both games and other software "projects/hobbies" has been:

1)  I can usually push pretty hard for about 18 months on something for 10-40 hours a week (over and above the other 40 hours of work per week).  If it isn't going anywhere by then I usually give up, or "permanently table" the project.  This has happened on at least 3 start-up companies that I have helped to found.

2)  Having more people than just myself work on a project is critical if I want to get very far.  There is just no substitute for having other people who are enthusiastic about the same project, who can take up the slack when I start to fade.

3)  Having the wrong people on a project will kill it -- period.  This has happened to at least 2 of my startup companies.

4)  Starting small and with achievable milestones (aka baby steps) is a really good way to get good momentum going on a hobby.

<motivational spiel>
There was an old printout from aways back that Gordon Walton (who I was working for at the time) had above his desk, about Perserverance.  I don't have the whole text, but it basically was along the lines of :

Genius doesn't create success -- there's any number of unsung geniuses around.
Money doesn't create success -- millions of dollars are wasted every year on failed projects.
Popularity doesn't create success -- blah, blah, blah..
Niceness doesn't create success -- blah, blah, blah..

Perserverance, sweat and hard work, is 99% of success!
And the other 1% is luck...

Gordon is currently the executive producer of The Sims Online and has been successful in the games industry for over 20 years.

Personally, that stupid "motivational" printout has carried me through many dark and weary nights of trying to keep my "hobby" project alive in my mind, instead of calling it quits and giving up.

It's currently been carrying me about 4.5 years on my current project, which now has 9 people working on it and which I intend to make a screaming commercial success.  Grin

</motivational spiel>

Anyway, that's my $0.03 worth...

Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 1061
Projects: 3
Exp: 20 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #18 - Posted 2003-05-01 07:43:12 »

The harder I work, the luckier I get.

I have cunningly surrounded myself with virtual Danes to keep LWJGL ("Juggle"?) bubbling whilst I actually try to get something done with the damned thing. They keep breaking it but that's the price I pay Wink

Alien Flux is the first thing I've come close to finishing in 10 years that's actually professional looking. The secret to success in this project has been:

1) concrete design. Fortunately had a previous game to copy it from.

2) ruthless feature cutting. Really, really, ruthless.

3) writing a to-do list every week, with even the most minute details on it ("write readme", "app icon"), prioritizing each item into "must do" and "nice to have", then categorizing each item into "difficult" and "easy". I do all the "must do easys" first - great motivation to see them getting crossed off the list in abundance

4) do the GUI first. It's so mind-f**kingly tedious doing the GUI when you want to write the game. I did 90% of the GUI before I started the game. The last 10% I regretfully have only just gotten around to starting. It's taken me 3 days just to do the nag screen and instructions screens, it's so boring. I've still got to do the hiscore entry/display screen.

5) get someone independent to do the graphics, and simply accept that they can conceptualize and design them, and their interpretations of my ideas are radically different to mine. And offering him a whopping huge royalty.

Cas Smiley

Offline bmyers

Junior Devvie

« Reply #19 - Posted 2003-05-01 14:23:40 »

Good point on the feature cutting --  as Cas says it is really, really essential.

When doing game design, it is a good idea to brainstorm at the beginning, then start pruning and pruning until you get something that you can do.

And then once you've got something partially done, prune and prune again!

This happens for all games that actually get finished and delivered!

Offline Captain-Goatse

Junior Devvie

I suck at teh 2D. XBOX IS BIG LOL!111

« Reply #20 - Posted 2003-05-01 17:23:26 »

I like what I'm doing, not as a job though. There are plenty of easier ways to make money.

However, I love the engine creation part.

I finally managed to got my camera to work with a single buffer call and although it is a simple task to do, I think it is greater than anything I have done before. This one is actually creative. I believe I have wasted over 18 hours working on it. It is kicking fast too, and simple.

I design everything with parsimony. I do it untill it can't get any simpler. I believe I'm out of challenges for now, but I believe they will be met, when I get back to the quadtree with bsp tree nodes thingie. If I ever get that done, that'll be the greatest thing, then.
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