I could use a few more weeks like this, even if it bores my blog’s audience. No songthaews. No teh tarik. No monkeys. There was a bluejay outside my window who grabbed a stray Timbit from the clutches of an unlucky squirrel — highlight of the day! Not exactly thrilling, but exactly what I need. The calm still feels good.
It lets me focus on my game — though, no visible progress happened last week. Programming shortcuts are necessary for quick iteration, but they quickly get messy, which leads to more bad code — as my old manager so eloquently phrased it, “build with poo on top of poo”. My code had a big pile that needed more structural integrity. It meant an entire week of reworking the game’s backbone, all to end in visibly the same place. It wasn’t fun, but was critical for any future code or bug maintenance. It’s also a step that many inexperienced teams skip, only to suffer for it much later, when deadlines are more strict. I’m proud of the new code now, and can finally continue writing my story this coming week.
But no travel and no visible progress doesn’t leave much for you to read! Luckily, there were some great articles I read this week — not written by me, but which relate to my reasons for starting Wandering Ben Games to begin with. If you’re looking to get in my headspace, look no further:
- Brie Code, Lead Programmer of Child of Light and Assassin’s Creed, nails it. She quit Ubisoft and started TRU LUV Media because Video Games Are Boring — a great article with both research and anecdote, which encapsulates many of my own feelings. Let’s wish her luck in her goals!
- Anna Tarkov from Remeshed wrote a reaction piece that claimed Mobile Games Are Boring Too. I’m glad there’s becoming a zeitgeist around different ideas of “games” and what they can be!
- And my former manager at BioWare, Andreas Papathanasis, tried to identify a particular problem with modern mobile games, looking at the attempts to bring “AAA quality” games to mobile – and why they are failing.
Critical thinking about the current state of games is the only way we’ll evolve as a medium, and hopefully escape the stigma of “just for teenage boys”. I hope to be part of this wave, and I’m excited to have others beside me!