General Discussions

finishing up..? – bennythebear

bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
i was just wondering how many people here have finished a complete game/program, even something like tic-tac-toe, pong, notepad, etc??? i myself am still working on a few small apps and one small game(and i mean really small), but i have difficulty sitting down and focusing a lot of the time. so i'm just wondering what you people that have completed projects do to keep your motivation up and stay focused? also if you have worked with at least one other person on a finished product, did having them there help you see it through to the end? i'm looking for some good advice from EXPERIENCED programmers, even if you're not a professional, you can still be experienced...but anyway...advice needed. sorry for rambling.

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proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

proverbs 25:7
open rebuke is better than secret love.

www.gfa.org - Gospel for Asia

www.persecution.com - Voice of the Martyrs

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
most of my finished programs were homework assignments.
due dates and grades do wonders.

and the ones that weren't. well, miracles.

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"The generation of random numbers is too important to leave to chance."
Soterion Studios

hzfollower9

Member

Posts: 17
From:
Registered: 03-03-2007
quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:
most of my finished programs were homework assignments.
due dates and grades do wonders.

and the ones that weren't. well, miracles.



heh. same here. my few apps were for school (pong, pacman), and arch is right. otherwise, i have an internal motivator to finish what i start. the hard part is starting.
sry for not being helpful :P


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My Deviantart

[This message has been edited by hzfollower9 (edited March 04, 2007).]

bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
due dates...that gives me some ideas. like, i can't spend my extra cash unless i finish this project first, and that sort of thing.

------------------
proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

proverbs 25:7
open rebuke is better than secret love.

www.gfa.org - Gospel for Asia

www.persecution.com - Voice of the Martyrs

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
interesting idea. could work.

I might have to try that.


no buying a short ram intake for my car until I finish my game.
ehh... um. man. I dunno. I'm already breaking. I really want that intake.

well, I'll tell you when I come to my decision. lol.
I'll probably just say no thinkgeek order.
but I really want that binary pillow:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/blankets/5a89/

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"The generation of random numbers is too important to leave to chance."
Soterion Studios

Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
quote:
Originally posted by bennythebear:
i was just wondering how many people here have finished a complete game/program, even something like tic-tac-toe, pong, notepad, etc??? i myself am still working on a few small apps and one small game(and i mean really small), but i have difficulty sitting down and focusing a lot of the time. so i'm just wondering what you people that have completed projects do to keep your motivation up and stay focused? also if you have worked with at least one other person on a finished product, did having them there help you see it through to the end? i'm looking for some good advice from EXPERIENCED programmers, even if you're not a professional, you can still be experienced...but anyway...advice needed. sorry for rambling.


I've only ever worked by myself on programming projects(which is good - finding out halfway through a header file that I'm going about the wrapper absolutely the wrong way is enough to make a fist fight begin...).

As for schedules - well... I usually work in spurts. I'll program for seven hours on end and then drop the whole thing for a few days, then finish it.

Like with that CCN competition. I got together most of the stuff I'd need on the first and second day - but I didn't really even have much of it done till 2 days before it ended. (Confessions of a procrastinating programmer... )


buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
hehe, I've only done a few smaller games.

but like Laz said, I kind of work in spurts. I'll do a lot, then only a little bit for a couple days. then I'll think of something new and do that.

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that post was really cool ^
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[|=D) <---|| me

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
Coursework deadlines ensure that I finish most of the projects I work on. As for projects that I work on in my own time, it's hard not to get constantly distracted. At this moment in time I have a really irritating problem with my SQL databases, have read lots of material on 3rd Normal Forms and really have no motivation to code right now... just gotta push through it *boils the kettle for another cup of tea*

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

TwoBrothersSoftware

Member

Posts: 141
From: Janesville, Wi USA`
Registered: 08-05-2006
quote:
Originally posted by bennythebear:
i was just wondering how many people here have finished a complete game/program, even something like tic-tac-toe, pong, notepad, etc??? i myself am still working on a few small apps and one small game(and i mean really small), but i have difficulty sitting down and focusing a lot of the time. so i'm just wondering what you people that have completed projects do to keep your motivation up and stay focused? also if you have worked with at least one other person on a finished product, did having them there help you see it through to the end? i'm looking for some good advice from EXPERIENCED programmers, even if you're not a professional, you can still be experienced...but anyway...advice needed. sorry for rambling.


I have completed 2 utilities and 5 games

hate dead lines

hate bribing myself

love to do lists - of things that need to get done - that way I feel I have accomplished somethings.

Right now I am working on a very simple puzzle game - but creating a message/event/ object intrastructure that would make arcade games a pice of cake.

On my to do list.

Finish - in an object that is loaded from an image be able to answer was it really clicked on (almost there).

Add sound activation and graphics effects messages to some of the objects in my game.

I ussualy have a couple projects in thought at a time - so I pick which one I feel like - and push that one forward.

Mike

bwoogie

Member

Posts: 380
From: kansas usa
Registered: 03-12-2005
i think i have finished one or two apps. but nothing of huge value really, i dont think i even have them anywhere still..
deadlines would be great, only they'd be made by me and then i'd just break them.
my biggest problem is, i think i'm just unorganized when it comes to programming; i have no plan. i just work out of my head and then things get scrabbled between my brain and fingers when i write the code. i need to sit down and draw everything out. sure its, fun (and frustrating) trying to figure out why things are working at runtime, but it's a lot funner to see it work the first time through without having to go back a trace through everything.

anyways, im outta time to continue rambling, i gotta go to church. see ya guys later.

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~~~boogie woogie woogie~~~

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
I finished about 3 little games and one non-game application in my free time. Motivation is a tough thing to create out of thin air. One of those games I made in two weeks for the competition. Deadlines are key. I spent most of 3 years trying to motivate myself to learn 3D math relating to video games. I didn't get very far. In three months working for a game studio, I've learned way more than I had in all those three years, because I had to if I was going to keep my job. I think anyone who wants to make games, should work for a company making games, even if it is an internship, because it forces you to take on tasks that you would have avoided before. And you'll learn more in a month there than you would learn in a year trying to figure it out on your own without the motivation of having your livelihood depend on it. I had to finish Ninja Robot Attack in a couple months time because I needed it to teach a workshop at the last CGDC. My advice would be to do whatever it takes to create real, hard deadlines for yourself.

As far as going to school for programming, there's nothing you will learn at school that you couldn't get from a couple hundred dollars worth of books, an internet connection, and a little motivation. But, the motivation is the key. If you have to write a program to turn in to a class to maintain your grades, then that forces you to do it. If you are self-motivated enough, you can get the equivalent of a 4 year Computer Science degree, in one year, by figuring it out on your own. If you have questions, there's always Google, online forums, and thousands of examples here and there that'll show you how to do about anything. I've met guys working at game studios where I live that just did a high school internship at a game studio and never left. They didn't even go to college.

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+---------+
|steveth45|
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Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
I wish I got programming assignments from school. I've actually done none of those, and not really been interested in making Pong/Tic-Tac-Toe. Maybe Tic-Tac-Toe 3d once, but I forgot about it until now. (Indication you don't need to do it) I work in RPGs, and strategy in almost all of my spare time. I definetly like To-Do lists, and when I feel like it a basic outline. I don't like presuring myself though.

When I worked with someone else, I was kinda the pull train reminding him and pushing through, but him being there might have helped, IDK.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
I wonder if you are like me.. a random thinker. Also being an innovator my mind often follows the trail of something new. And the old projects often end up squirreled away buried on my harddrive somewhere.

But, even amidst all that, I have managed to finish several projects. Here are some tips that have helped me manage my projects and time. BTW, my best solution for managing my ideas has been a hipster. This is a clever organizer for random thinkers--and its cheap.

0. Conceptualize -- When I have a new great idea, I first make a 10 minute concept card (front and back). That is enough to jumpstart my brain later for a full plan.

1. Plan -- Its easy for me to jump right in without one, but, unless its a small project (finished in 2 days say), the project will end up being shelved. The problem is I over-architect. I'll design and design and design as I'm coding so much so that the project becomes so large and complex that I will never finish it. If I plan features from the beginning and set milestones I can accomplish them more readily. Another thought here is to learn to scaffold your code, meaning building rudimentary modules that can be extended in a v2.0. But new ideas will keep flowing as I code so...

2. Take Notes -- When I was a kid, I hated taking notes. However, my life as an adult has become a busy tangle of ideas, actions and responsibilities. I currently have a max about 2hrs a day to devote to my own projects. I would sometimes just sit and stare at a piece of code for those two hours just trying to get my mind straight. Frustrating.

3. Re-prioritize Mercilessly -- I have noticed that my mind works better in a certain area on some days and better in another on others. When I sit down to work, I lay out all the project decks I have. I remind myself that they are all my great ideas. And choose one that I may want to work on. I'll crack open the deck, look at the TODO, FIXME, and FIND cards and see what I can get done. I may write a new card if I have an idea. I might change my mind about working on that project and pick up another deck. Before I get started I will just do a quick re-prioritizing of all the other projects.

4. Don't Tell -- Maybe this is a personal thing, but has helped me. I don't tell others (especially my wife) about a project until it is 50% done. People I tell have a tendency to ask me about it, and then the guilt of not finishing it weighs over me. Also, sometimes by about 10% I find I really don't want to do it.

So, anyways, I hope that helps you enjoy working on your projects more .

God Bless!


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Sam Washburn

[This message has been edited by samw3 (edited March 04, 2007).]

bwoogie

Member

Posts: 380
From: kansas usa
Registered: 03-12-2005
good points.. what stores sell that hipster pda? i think i might remember seeing one of those somewhere... but i think most stores stopped selling them...

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~~~boogie woogie woogie~~~

bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
i would say i'm a lot like you samw. i have to do list, take notes, and the random part is which project it's on. i think i need to get the hpda or something similar to it, and a shelf/storage place to keep all of my projects seperate and organized. i plan on spending at least 4 hours a day working on programming, which is a mix of studying,coding,planning, and troubleshooting. i don't have any programming classes until my last few semesters so school won't be my motivator. i just need to get my a routine going, and all the stuff i need to keep it all organized. thanks for all the tips and help guys.

------------------
proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

proverbs 25:7
open rebuke is better than secret love.

www.gfa.org - Gospel for Asia

www.persecution.com - Voice of the Martyrs

samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
@bwoogie Staples and OfficeMax still sell them.. in the index card aisle

I have used a palm pilot and my current cell phone is a palm treo (company phone) and the funny thing is, the hipster is the most productive organizer for me. lol.


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Sam Washburn

[This message has been edited by samw3 (edited March 04, 2007).]

Valkyri

Member

Posts: 205
From:
Registered: 08-13-2005
Well I can't say I made any programs. I have managed to setup my little network with a working AAA server (Samba). Tomorrow I'll be finding out if I can access it securely from the school even though the server is on a a wireless connection to the net. (not by choice ) Thank goodness for Ndiswrapper! For me pressure and little time is what seems to strangely motivate me to get the most work done. In the summer when I have so much time I hardly get anything done. but during the semesters, somehow, someway I get stuff done. One trick that I have learned to do that works most of the time is to in my head decide what needs to be done that day and then decide which ONE want needs to get done that day. I then decide how much time to put into the want and only work on the want if I get the needs done (school work, bible study, etc....)

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A Game to combine all Games A Game that grows upon itself But A Game that ultimately in the end makes and forces one to ask themselves "Why?"

[This message has been edited by Valkyri (edited March 04, 2007).]

Calin

Member

Posts: 358
From: Moldova
Registered: 12-04-2006
Game dev is no different than any other area in your life. You must find your power and strength in God, and push your project(s) in faith. That is not to say you must leave your brains at the door. If game development is not the job that brings you the bread on the table it would be really silly to leave your day job to 'finish a game' (unless you have enough reasons to think that game dev will shortly pay your bills).
MastaLlama

Member

Posts: 671
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
I've finished several web-based programs, but those were all by contract and had due dates and phases, etc...etc... I've finished a few flash based games and if you count tech demos, then I've finished a few GameMaker projects (though nothing ever came of them). My free time is soo very limited especially since I got married; I work too much and spend as much time with my wife as possible (and this is a good thing...well, not the work part, but you understand ).

I once heard a Japanese proverb: "Make big problems small and small problems go away." I've used this in my programming many times.

I work best off of to-do lists as long as they don't encompass more than one day. For a multi-day or really big lists I have to use my marker board. I start by listing the major things that need to be done.

quote:

- Weapons Meshes
- AI
- Character Mesh

Then I break it down even farther

quote:

- Weapons Meshes
- - Gun 1
- - Gun 2
- - Melee Weapon
- AI
- - Walk
- - Attack
- Character Mesh
- - Head
- - Body

Then I break it down again.

quote:

- Weapons Meshes
- - Gun 1
- - - Design
- - - Model
- - - Texture
- - Gun 2
- - - Design
- - - Model
- - - Texture
- - Melee Weapon
- - - Design
- - - Model
- - - Texture

etc...etc...

Next I number these items in order of importance starting with the main points then their subpoints and their subpoints so I know exactly where I'm going to start and where I'm going.

Also, I use different colors when writing the different things down so at a glance I can see what items are related.

I then mark things out as soon as I finish it. If I have to go back to redo something I put it back on the board if I've marked it out or erased it.

If I have a day or so off from work then I'll actually schedule time to work on things, regardless of how long they take.

quote:

7am - wake up, shower, eat. Start working no later than 8:30am.
12pm - eat lunch, watch TV/play a game - some kinda break for 1 hour
6 or 7pm - break for dinner with wife
after dinner - if (wife=busy) then work while wife=busy or time<10pm

With a schedule I may finish everything on my list or nothing on my list, but at least I've been working on my project all day and feel I've actually accomplished something. Once I actually finished a project by a 24 hour schedule. I started at 4am and didn't finish until 4am the next day, but completely finished the entire project a few days before the deadline.

And then some days off I sleep until 10 or so, eat and play WoW all day

[This message has been edited by mastallama (edited March 05, 2007).]

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by bennythebear:
i was just wondering how many people here have finished a complete game/program, even something like tic-tac-toe, pong, notepad, etc???


Yes. I have completed about a dozen apps/games in the past 2 years. I spend most of my time fiddling with programs and never finishing the small ones, because the only reason for their existence is to help me learn something.


quote:
but i have difficulty sitting down and focusing a lot of the time. so i'm just wondering what you people that have completed projects do to keep your motivation up and stay focused?


My focus and motivation for most things is "learn it so that i don't have to learn it in college". But there are exceptions. In Bible Dave my motivation is "What can I do better? I should work on this so that someone wants to play it. That way I and the tema haven't wasted our time on a game that no one want's to play".

quote:
also if you have worked with at least one other person on a finished product, did having them there help you see it through to the end?


It doesn't really matter to me. When I set a goal, I try to finish it. If i can't finish the goal, I wouldn't be setting one.

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All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

[This message has been edited by CPUFreak91 (edited March 05, 2007).]

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Make the games you love and are passionate about, even if they don't turn out so well. Look closely at the games you love, look at all the details, the way characters move, particle effects, how the world works. There is so much detail put into commercial games it's not funny. Also if you look at the details in games and attempt to use those same features in your own, it will give you more experience as you'll find the more you study a game the more you see what is implemented in it. There are 10000s of tiny things that make a game great and it's so amazing to think how detailed some games are. Aka Zelda Ocarina of Time, even though I look at the game now, with it's out of date graphics, it has so much detail (the small things as well as the large), that even though us indie developers can create better graphics, we are far off from every introducing that level of innovation, detail and gameplay to a game without a heck of alot of work and thought, it's simply the best.

The more you develop the better your skills become and the more you'll get excited about doing what you're doing (esp when you hit a higher level of a experience stage and are able to make some awesome stuff). As soon as you know you are capable of making what you consider a good quality game, spend the money to get a model or two made, with animations, and get good ones. It really sucks to make a game with template models with simple animations, especially if you want to make a zelda game and you want all these cool animations to sync with the movement correctly so it looks awesome. Because once you have a main character with fully working animations in your game it'll boost your excitement 10 fold.

And like anything keep at it, someone once said 'Your first 10 games will be bad' so keep making games, non stop, keep learning and keep trying. Aim to break through that quality barrier and make some awesome stuff. Save up the money to buy the resources you need, and the more skills you teach yourself (even though it requires more time, effort and frustration) the better you'll be.