Since nobody has commented on various matters: yes, we are still working towards a beta, yes it will be soon, but right now I’m sticking with the “When It’s Done” line. When we have a beta, we have a beta. Also, for the record: the Dwarven Panini Press did make it into Dungeons of Dredmor. Right now, it’s a throwing weapon. I’m not sure *where* I’m going with that. Anyhow, the coffee is on, Miles Davis is playing on the speakers, and it’s a long night of work ahead to get my TODO list whittled back to the state where it needs to be.
I keep saying that I’m going to make a post on this blog about some of the more interesting code that we’ve written for Dredmor, but – again – a lot of the Dredmor code isn’t that interesting. Instead, I think you get rambly thoughts on software engineering for the next little while. I was inspired by reading a post over at the IMVU engineering blog on how they expanded their business model. (Well, actually, it was a set of presentation slides.) I know many of the IMVU folks – a few of them were involved in the original seed work that turned into Dungeons of Dredmor, and they do a lot of very interesting work with continual deployment and Agile that is interesting if you’re interested in continuous deployment and Agile. Their CEO person, Eric Reis, also writes a lot about Agile Startups and how to bootstrap yourself via continually listening to what your customer has to say and then integrating that, continually, into your software deployment process. This is very similar to a Valve-style design-by-playtesting model, and I think that the game development community can either a) learn a lot from this, or b) has been doing it all along, and the rest of the world is just now playing catch-up. Eric’s blog is fascinating, and you should all go read it.
Many moons ago I was invited to interview for IMVU. I flew into Palo Alto, via a red-eye flight, and was treated to a fascinating hiring process. In fact, it was the most fascinating hiring process that I’ve ever been involved with. The sleep deprivation was cool, too, although I’m pretty sure it was accidental. Anyhow, I highly recommend applying for a job there simply so that you can check out how they hire people. Seriously. Go do it.
At the end of the day, I was offered a job. I declined to take that job, for a number of reasons, some of which are between me and IMVU and some of which are between me and myself. One of the more interesting reasons was that the company was struggling under the volume of significant technical debt in the area that I was interested in working on (the character rendering system and various other parts of the rendering pipeline), as well as all over. To actually read what they’ve been doing to try and deal with the technical debt, go hit up their weblog. I don’t know how well their approach to dealing with technical debt has panned out; that’s for them to talk about. But I can talk about technical debt with respect to how it affects myself, and I think that this will make interesting reading material this week.