Monday, March 18, 2013

Tidy up Rewrites

One aspect that people do not generally consider when looking at how much work it is to write a game, is the time it takes to rewrite parts of the game. These rewrites tend to fall into certain categories and I am mostly talking about the little ones, the ones that always get overlooked, yet can take a significant amount of time. Big ones would be like replacing the rectangle to rectangle collision system with a more comprehensive polygonal area to polygonal area. To obtain more perfect collisions. Those kinds of rewrites are more what I would call re-developments, and should be planned for in the technical design phase of a game.

So tidy up rewrites are more in line with what tends to happen later in the games development process. Usually as a result of someone coming up with a better way to do something. such as an interface improvement. This is the case with Hoop fighter and my scrolling lists that I first wrote for level selection. The initial one used two buttons to scroll up or down through the list. Then I changed it to a swiping motion that felt more natural. So I was happy. Then of course it hit me that I now need to improve all the scrolling lists in the game to use this new method. Hence a rewrite... Only yesterday I improved the system even more and now I am retrofitting those enhancements into the other scrolling lists. As it happens I am very very likely to do yet one more rewrite, and that is to make a nice class for this new fandangly scrolling list control and display. Then I'll have to only change the class and get it in all the right places.. Still gotta make it work like that first, and that takes some tidy up rewriting.

My scrolling list has velocity, drag, finger drag, coloring and fading now all working. Quite a set of functionality that wasn't all designed in from the start. It is however a vast improvement over the classic button design I had when I started (I am more used to designing for controllers).

And the tidy up rewriting of course takes time from something else, which can make you late for milestone delivery.

Da Voodoochief

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