I think I’m going to start posting writing every Wednesday. It’s taking forever to finish the piece I’ve been working on, and to be honest I’ve slowed down a lot on it – even if I was working on it for four hours a day, though, I’m not sure when it would be done.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. This is a devblog.
Once more it’s been a week of tiny incremental progress in a whole lot of different areas, making it really difficult to actually describe what I’ve been doing. I’ve been polishing the entity prototype file IO interactions, I’ve been hiding some of the grisly and obtuse sections of code in their own classes so that I never have to deal directly with them again, I’ve been making it so it’s always easy to tell whether an object that can be saved has been saved.
When I’m doing a drawing, the hardest part is the beginning, when I’m finding the basic forms, figuring out the pose, trying to balance the composition, making sure the proportions are on, etcetera. After that, it’s mostly smooth sailing, I can go into a kind of trance and just start filling in the details, rendering out all of the little cracks and textures that I already know are there. That’s what this part of programming this project feels like. After an hour or two of programming like this, I’d be hard pressed to tell you exactly what I was just working on, but bit by bit it edges itself towards being more fully realized and, indeed, more beautiful.
And I’ve come to realize that that matters to me. It’s important to me that the code itself be, not just functional, but good, something I can be proud of. Making it good is deeply satisfying, the feeling of plastic toy parts snapping into place exactly as the instructions told you they would, the feeling of the destiny you sketched out with the rough outline of the project made manifest. Maybe it will also pay off, later on – maybe it will make future revisions faster and easier, maybe it will make a future porting job simpler, maybe it will make a bug easier to catch. It almost doesn’t matter. Even if this isn’t making the game better, it’s making me better – so it is worth the trouble.