The Intelligence of Idleness, the Pursuit of Patches and the Loss of Locks

Christmas is starting to loom menacingly, questioning why I haven’t bought any presents yet, but rather than worry about that, let’s take a look at the last two weeks and what has gone on!

With my newfound list of tasks (as discussed here) at my disposal, last week I was able to dive into some backend coding. The task, work on a theme manager, so that I can be lazy later! The idea is simple, each world in Horde is going to have a different theme, but the behaviour of traps and whatnot in those worlds is going to be consistent. To make the traps fit into the world, we want the visuals to match the theme. So we need a variant of each trap for each theme. Remembering which theme goes in which level when adding traps is a pain however, so rather than placing the correct one manually each time, I just have defaults for each trap, and the theme manager sorts out swapping the assets as needed. It also means in theory I can duplicate less data, as I won’t necessarily need to duplicate everything, just the visuals. That task is going to be continuing today, alongside blocking in some more obstacles for the zombies to overcome.

Fun facts with Matt: So I don’t really have a Background for non-techies today, but let’s looks at the phrase “so that I can be lazy later”. It’s a fun goof, but it’s also a huge part of coding if you ask me. And it’s not even just me! This message was heavily reinforced by a talk from a guy called Nicoll Hunt a couple of years back. The message is simple, “work on stuff that will make your life easier down the line”. Basically, and somewhat counter-intuitively, the best way to be a lazy programmer, is to work really hard to make your life easy later. The message is somewhat similar to “Work fast, not smart” but I prefer the nod to the idea that we all want to be lazy sometimes, and that we should plan for it. The theme manager is a perfect example of this. I don’t want to individually build every level asset using the correct theme, there’s more searching, more room for error, and more to remember. So by investing time into something that handles that for me, I get to be lazy down the line, and just use default objects!

During the less Horde-y parts of the week, I’ve been working hard on a patch for Tens! that fixes a bunch of issues that were being reported. No word yet on when that’s going out, but I’m looking forward to covering over our earlier mistakes! It’s always sad to see people frustrated at a game because of bugs. Almost more so than if they just don’t like the game. At least with the latter, that comes down to opinion. With the former, this is a game they might really enjoy, but can’t due to technical issues or bugs. So I’m hoping we can get those fixes out asap and let the game stand unhindered!

And in “I’m actually a human, promise” news, I had a pretty fun two weeks! I tuned into Rooster Teeth’s Extra Life Livestream, which was a lot of fun. They really made the best of the situation, given how tight their Covid restrictions were. And the Extra Life t-shirt arrived this week too, so that’s neat:

Oh yeah! And I discovered I could cut my hair using the power of my mind! Although admittedly Suzie may have helped (read. did everything). Pretty happy with how it turned out. I think I’m going to need to redraw my self portraits to reflect the change though! And with that, ’til next time…

Matt out

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