This week has gone pretty fast.
I finished off the UDK work so that’s all done now. Towards the end I was getting things done fairly quickly; it seems like UDK can make things pretty easy if you know what you’re doing. Anyway, after testing everything I packaged it up and made some documentation.
Documenting code is something I’m not used to, since you basically don’t need to do it for the things you make in your own time. But for big projects that changes, because someone else might pick up your code later on, so they need to know how it works. But if you only say how it works, it can cause problems, because they need to know why it’s done that way (e.g. “this is here to help
I also fixed some bugs in other people’s work. I used to get frustrated at fixing ‘buggy’ code when I was doing it as part of coursework or in an exam, because I didn’t think it would happen in the real world. But now I can understand why it happens. Sometimes there’s just too much to do, and you have to prioritise (something that half-works is better than nothing at all), then fix it later if there’s time. So in that case it’s forgivable.
Anyway, I got back to work with the new game at the end of the week. Had to refresh my memory a bit, and get back into the mind-set I had when I wrote the code. It’s nice to have a fresh perspective on it though, and I restructured a few things to make it more flexible, so adding new features should be easier.
We got some new design docs, and we have a design meeting next week to get everything sorted out (if you remember, the theme changed, so some mechanics might be different).
In case I haven’t mentioned it, it feels weird making someone else’s game (something that’s not my own idea). I’m trying to make everything with the designers and artists in mind (keeping it flexible, and data driven), so I can appreciate how difficult that might be in a huge company where you’ve got dozens of people involved.
Next week, I’ll be fleshing out the game play features, which means one thing — place holder assets (programmer art!). It’s at times like this I start to think about what other games looked like early in development. I can imagine game working with billboards floating around with something drawn in MS Paint on them, or dialogue that prints a shopping list to the screen.