All posts tagged with "the UI must flow"

Catching The Chicken

There’s a tired joke one might hear in a restaurant when your meal is taking too long which goes something like “I guess they had to go catch the chicken before they could cook it.” This doesn’t actually happen in restaurants (probably), but it does happen in software development all the time.

Tiered organization of commands, you say?

Tiered organization of commands, you say?

When you want to do something new, you rely on having a significant chunk of code to build upon. But occasionally you have to go back and fill in things that you never realized you needed. Thankfully, unlike the restaurant joke, it’s not always such a great time sink. Having to go back and rework previous code can be done with the benefit of hindsight, and often lets you maybe make some low-effort changes that impart significant improvement to the software.

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Technical Status Update: A Young Lad’s Message From The Front

Dear Father,

(We have an icon for this!)

(We have an icon for this!)

I am writing from the Trenches at Gaslamp. The final, long, hard push for Early Access is almost upon us; Major Jacobsen says we’ll go over the top any day now. At night I sleep with my keyboard as is Tradition, and think of home. How is home? Where is home? Does it still exist? Are the cats alive?

Will this war ever end?

The Horror.

The Horror.

The men tell me that they have assembled a Changelog; I have annotated it for you so that you may know that we are fighting the Brave Fight here at home, and that soon there will be Release In Our Time. I am pretty sure that Mr. Whitman now has Trenchfoot in his Shoulderblade, and will have to have it Removed with a Scalpel. Mr. Best seems like he will not last much longer; his delerium is fevered and he talks about going back to University and finishing his Doctorate. Meanwhile, they fight the good fight, and many small tickets have been fixed including the fact that doors claim to cost one plank, and do not. It is the duty of every man to care for his tickets, that we may seek victory over The [REDACTED].

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And a Happy New Year

DodoRun

Run little dodo, run! (Mr. Triolo was having fun animating this guy before he left for the holidays, as you can see.)

.. Hello? Anyone here? No?

Then I guess it’s just me on the job today. Everyone else is still on vacation.

I suppose I could be persuaded to share a couple tidbits in a short post. You guys have been terribly patient over the holidays so I guess you’ve earned it.

(And this is what I get for falling to The Plague and taking weirdly offset vacation time. On the up side, I used a pitcher of week-old coffee to  anoint myself lead programmer and used my new-found sense of intellectual invincibility to write some absolutely fascinating Lua script to convert our Lua entity definitions to XML readable by the UI system so that we can display commodities in UI widgets. I’m hyperventilating just writing about that one.)

(No, but seriously: Regular expressions! Oh man.)

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December Technical Status Update: Santa Quag’garoth is Coming To Town

At a certain point, game development just comes down to iteration. You build a big pile of things, and then you iterate on them.  Then, you iterate on them some more… and then some more. Eventually, after enough iterations, you get a game, or the Standard Template Library (whichever comes first.)

One of the major driving forces behind said iteration is the fact that the game is now in the hands of Real People, in limited quantities. We have done five internal test releases so far – a bit slower than I am happy with; the first four test builds mainly focused on performance and getting things working somewhat better on people’s terrible hardware (see blog post from a couple of weeks ago); the fifth test build put combat, barbers, and phrenologists back in the game, as well as turning on More Useful Features (like mining.) So what we have right now is a game buried under a shameful selection of UI failures, which we are now trying to extricate ourselves from for Revision 6. This has mainly led to David learning how to use the Doctor Nicholas Vining Patent XML UI Syntax Guaranteed to Vivify The Spirit and Improve Marriage, which has led to this:

Secretly, I think we’re all just wishing for the good old days when he would send me large Excel spreadsheets of coordinates for Dredmor…

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I SMOULDER WITH PROGRAMMER RAGE

Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything seems to go wrong? Work is being done. Oh yes, work is being done. But at every step, we are beset upon by mystery and woe! ARGH.

Loading doors! Mr. Triolo animated them. They are lovely:

Good, well-behaved shutters. (Seen in Maya.)

Good, well-behaved shutters. (Seen in Maya.)

Let’s put them through the same process that we use for importing everything else into the game, la la…

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Technology Status Update

It’s been awhile since we checked in with the programming side of things. I put out a call this morning asking “what would people like me to talk about?” Interestingly, the main thing was the UI, and how we’d make it Not Awful. We’re not talking about the context-sensitive UI because we haven’t worked out all the details yet, but we’re working on it. Instead, let’s talk about the general state of programming.

So what have we been up to over in Programmer Town?

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