Forthwith Fortnightly

It is with a heavy heart, and a little relief, that I have come to the decision that y’all don’t need to hear from me weekly. I was hoping to use this blog to document the development of our company IP first and foremost, and it is increasingly apparent that I’m unable to progress with enough speed that I can fill a blog with interesting content.

It also occurs to me that when it reaches the point that writing the story of your creative process impedes said creative process, you need to prioritise. And as much as I love talking to you guys about what we’re making… We need to make it.

So the blog will henceforth become fortnightly. If that is still too much time detracted from Horde, then it will become monthly. If it’s less than monthly, I know I’ll end up dropping it, so I will commit to monthly as a minimum. With that announcement out of the way, let’s talk about last week!

I told you I would finish up the AI on Horde didn’t I? Well, it’s basically done. So… partial credit. I also told you I would write a full design doc didn’t I? Err… Well, I thought about writing it. A lot. Then I got dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Day 1 patches.

Background for non-techies: A patch is essentially an update or upgrade to a game or application, that modifies the original files to fix any problems or add missing features. The difference from a regular update, generally, is that it doesn’t replace everything; it’s a smaller file that is worked into the original files meaning patches are often way smaller than the original size of the program. A patch tends to focus on fixes rather than features, but this is mostly just a question of semantics, especially in the games industry.

SockMonkey are lovely. They really are. And if I said, “Find someone else, I can’t work extra this week.” They would find someone. They’d be totally fine with it. But partly because I want to keep relations good with them, partly because I want the submission to be a success, and mostly because my ego can’t resist the lure of being the hero of the hour, I can’t do it.

So at 3pm on Friday, when the Nintendo Switch patch needed to be made, and no one knows how on earth to do it, I rose to the challenge. And you know what? I smashed it. I worked out how to make a patch from a build, gathered up everything required and built the damn thing.

Naturally, QA then immediately found some bugs they’d missed in previous builds. Balls. So, at 5pm on Friday, my solo performance became a duet, as John and I worked tirelessly to fix the last few issues. By 5:30pm, the duet had become a trio as we went back and forth with the QA tester who, all credit, was also busting his ass to help us through this. The crescendo came at 7pm, when we finally thought we had everything fixed. Then came the lull, as I compiled the build and created the patch file. I installed it locally and tested it… It worked! I sent it off to be submitted, their QA guy ran through everything, it was solid. At 8:30pm I went downstairs and got a beer. Design document? Maybe next time.

The rest of the week was pretty mundane. In personal news my quest for culinary greatness hit a new high with the best loaf of bread I’ve ever hand-baked, and a rarebit to top it that I’m still craving. No pictures this time I’m afraid, but in all, it’s been a good week. See you in a fortnight!

Matt out.

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