daily notes: 20190620

Andrei Marks · June 20, 2019

Actually…I think I’ll just skip styling the page number bar at the bottom of the main site. I don’t really care that much about it.

Gonna stop with any random blog format stuff for now. Except updating the favicon.

And also adding timezone to _config.yaml because jekyll wasn’t generating the correct dates after pushing to github.

A couple of random game development/programming things that I’ve read or seen recently:

  • The Shape of Financial Success Before and After the Indiepocalypse – GDC Talk

Definitely enjoyed this one. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more several years ago, back when indie game development was a lot more interesting to me than it is now. It also is validating that the games he describes as the most likely to be successful are the ones that I enjoy making and playing myself. I don’t think I’ve ever really been all that interested in making the consumable-type games. I’ve never really felt a compulsion to make story-based games; maybe every once in a while. Or ever? Not a single example on my itch.io page or in my github repos is aimed at being a consumable experience.

Though this also makes me wonder: where does Two Dots, the current game that I spend half my waking day working on every weekday fall? It’d be a bit of a stretch to call it an infinite unique experience generator. Possibly it’s closer than, say, a narrative game. Because even though it’s classed as a “puzzler”, there’s so much randomness embedded in the gameplay experience that probably no two sessions are ever the same. That’s a neat thought, I’ve got to say. For all the millions and millions of attempts, nobody’s play experience on a given level has ever been exactly the same. But insofar as it’s an infinite unique experience generator, it definitely doesn’t have that same “word of mouth via youtube et al.” cachet. The game isn’t a narrative generator, like most of the games brought up in the video.

But it’s also essentially a consumable experience, albeit one that has been expanding reliably for five years. I think it’s tough to slot Two Dots and other mobile cash positive games in either of the categories he’s talking about. I think they scratch a different itch for a different population of people in an entirely different hardware and business ecosystem. But I think some of the lessons about game design that he describes are probably applicable in the mobile world and worth listening to.

  • The Clean Code Talks – Unit Testing – Google Tech Talks

This was a fantastic talk! A really great introduction to testing in general. Goes through levels of testing (scenario, functional, and unit) and dependency injection.

Looks like he has an old blog with some interesting stuff, including a guide that I’ll probably dig into. (And then wandered into javascript framework land since he works on Angular.)

It’s weird but I loved this article. Currently working on getting the Two Dots game board code into at least some form of testable shape. The kind of setup in this article is almost like the platonic ideal of something I’d like to get at in my own work. I don’t think I’ll end up with anything close to it (or really even need anything like it, since League of Legends is a little bit more complicated than Two Dots), but it does provide a good reference for a long term goal. Though it pretty much is just scenario testing. However, Two Dots is sort of in need of all levels of testing anyway.

This was another pretty interesting article. As I’ve been reading up more on testing I’ve got this urge to try and integrate real TDD into my development process at work. The unfortunate thing about the state of our project is that I’ve primarily been working on gameplay stuff recently, and that code is 80% legacy code that is really not amenable to the sort of testing required in TDD. I’ve been looking through sites and various other ways to do exercises though.

This article was pretty good in that it detailed someone else’s experiences with TDD in Unity, though I guess I would have like a lot more in depth tutorials. I’ve been trying to find time to go through this guys’ tutorials, which seem about at the place I’m at now.

updated june 21, 2019. updated june 26, 2019.

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