Stuff Under the Header


An Assortment of Time

My current job isn't bad. I'm lucky to have good managers and people to work with. The job itself is easy and fairly boring and customers are of course horrid. The perks of my position is quite a bit of solitude, at least in the sense that people leave me alone. People tend to piss me off, so not a bad thing. However, I'd probably hate the job completely if it wasn't for the birds being around. I've gone over lots about the birds there that I don't think I need to go into another story about them for this. So my question; Is there something like the birds for you at work that keep you going back? (Other than a paycheck.)

Those Moments
There are times when developing where I find myself just staring at the screen. Despite knowing exactly what needs to happen next, nothing at all occurs. The next line of code just hangs there without an end, or that map remains an empty void. It's 1 in the afternoon and I've got lots of things set out to finish for the day, lots of high hopes. I look at the clock and it's suddenly 9 in the evening, so I look back at the screen, a single line of code has been finished. And then I'm angry with myself for wasting time.

Ever had one of those days where you can't get anything done? I'm not exactly sure what causes this loss of focus, but when it does occur, I know it's time to stop what I'm doing and give it some time before returning.


ntfwc said...

I have those days all the time, and I don't really have an excuse anymore considering I've just graduated and I have all the time in the world (for a limited time). As such I still have several things stranded in development limbo.

Kurtis Haren said...

I know times like that. They're exactly why I've got five different projects, all of which are still incomplete and with me having absolutely no idea when they'll ever be done. I mean, I've got three Zelda fangames, an original RPG, and an incomplete Game Maker MegaMan engine I'm trying to figure out. (Still learning how Game Maker works)

ZephyrBurst said...

A really good resource for learning Game Maker is on their official forums. Check out the programming and math sections, you can find some good stuff there.

This Game Maker wiki lists most of the API commands for its language, but will give some examples of how they can be used in some cases.

And finally, GMLscripts is a place where magical things can happen. Some of their scripts are a bit dated as some of the new API in GM8.1 make a few of these methods obsolete, but still a great place to learn. Best of all, these scripts are free to use and some work wonders. Again, the 'Math and Computation' section is a good place.

Kurtis Haren said...

Thanks for the links. Somehow, I had completely failed to realize that there was a wiki for figuring this out, but I had already known about the official site's forums. I don't have a forum account, but I occasionally browse through there for ideas or to see if somebody else has had the same issues I have. (Took forever to figure out doors between rooms)

What I've mainly been doing has been looking at engines that have already been put together, and trying to figure out how they work from looking at the code. (I have the lite version of 8.1, so most engines won't work for me anyways) You mind if I ask a quick question? I've been told that it's better to have separate left and right facing sprites for the player character instead of just using image_xscale to flip them when the player changes direction. Why is that? If it's something important that I need to stop doing, I probably should fix things now while I'm still learning.

By the way, I was shown something really neat today. Check it out, it has a bunch of really neat and subtle references to a bunch of classic games that you might like.

ZephyrBurst said...

I don't remember the reason behind people say don't flip the sprite. I always attributed it to people not knowing where to keep the origin point. If you always keep it dead center, flipping won't have any negative effects as far as collision detection goes. You might have an arm or other appendage sticking out into walls on a flip, but you really shouldn't be using the sprite as your world collision model. A simple box is far better for that.

The DT series flips sprites. Jerry's origin point is at the base of his feet, and that's all of his sprites. Any npc/enemy, etc that uses DT's physics and world collision system will typically always follow that rule.

If there's some visual detail as to why you would need 2 separate sprites, then go for it. Other than that, I don't see the reason for doing it and using twice the pixel space for 1 character.

Anonymous said...

Definitely have times like this, where I don't feel like working on a project.

What works for me is taking a serious break. Really not think about the thing. And if I come back to it, it's with renewed focus and purpose.

- Peter