Question about coding

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Illusion Games, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Illusion Games

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    I absolutely love coding software. I could do it 24/7 and still get a major rush doing it.

    Do you code because you love it or is coding just a technical skill that you have that you can do? I wonder because I was reading one of the other forums and someone mentioned coding full time at their job and being kind of burnt out on coding when they got off work.

    So, it made me wonder about the rest of you guys. Is coding something that you just can't wait to do? ;)
     
  2. EpicBoy

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    No matter how much you like doing it, you're going to be drained at some point. It's often hard to find the desire to keep coding after you've already done it for 8 hours at your day job...

    Unrelated, but this is why I started getting up early in the morning and getting an hour in before going to work.
     
  3. Bluecat

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    I've always said that if they didn't pay me, I'd still write software. Unfortunately at the moment, my day job doesn't give me the chance to do that. I'm writing and running tests on a AWACS radar system.

    I do spend time in the evening and weekends coding (primarily for my game), but as EpicBoy said, it's harder to do when you work a full 8+ hours a day, so my game is not progressing as fast as I'd like.
     
  4. John Rush

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    The best way to get tired of doing anything you love is to do it for a living. Programming is an amazingly self-rewarding activity. Programming when, where, what and how sombody else wants you to is not nearly the same experience.

    However, I have worked for several large software companies and every single programmer I encountered did it because they love it. There were significant numbers of students in college that were obviously there because they thought a CIS degree would be a good thing for them. Most didn't enjoy it and many never really "got" it. I don't know what happened to them -- perhaps I am just fortunate that I have not had to work with anyone like them.
     
  5. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I love writing code. I do everything at Mystery Studio except game art, a big part of that is programming the games, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I want the code to be as beautiful and detailed as the game art.
     
  6. EpicBoy

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    Not to start a flame war, but any coder that's ever said that sort of thing to me in the past has always been a liability to the project. More concerned with the code architecture than meeting deadlines, that sort of thing.

    Not saying that's you, but just saying that's what that attitude says to me.

    I'm a big believer in, "get the game out the door". Nothing else matters. The customer doesn't care about your elegant cache implementation using templated containers.
     
  7. Bluecat

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    I've always found that it depends on the attitude or perspective of the programmer making that statement. I've worked with programmers in the past, and have been guilty myself, of trying to write tricky, arty code. It tends to be using language features for their own sake, and not for the sake of the problem being solved. You're right about that being a liability.

    But I've also worked with programmers who have created code that is beautiful to work with. This is code, that when there is a bug, or a change has to be made, is a pleasure to work with. It's easy to see the design in the code, and language features like templates and even (gasp!) multiple inheritance have been used in a way that actually makes the code sensible and easy to understand. To me, that sort of code has a sort of artfulness to it. Yes. I know. I am a nerd. (And proud of it.)

    Hopefully, I am becoming more that type of programmer.
     
  8. Ricardo C

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    To me, code is a means to an end. I do it, do it well, and don't neglect it, but it's an annoying chore, compared to working on artwork or writing a plot. I like making games as a whole more than programming. If I had to leave game development, I would probably start a different career away from programming.
     
  9. EpicBoy

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    Erm? :)

    (too short whatever blah blah blah)
     
  10. Martoon

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    When I started the first semester of my Computer Science degree in '86, the classes were packed. This was because there were a lot of freshmen who didn't know what to major in, and they were told that the job demand (at that time) was in Computer Science and Physical Therapy. So half of them declared their major as CS, and half as PT.

    Throughout that first semester, there were a lot of frustrated, confused, unhappy people in class. By the beginning of second semester, the classes were down to around a third the size.

    I think the majority of professional coders do it because they enjoy it (or at least once did). It'd be a pretty difficult thing to put up with if you didn't.
     
  11. Bluecat

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  12. ggambett

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    Of course! However, in my experience, beautiful code also makes the games have zero bugs. The customers do care about the game not crashing! With Betty's Beer Bar, I think the last time I got a crash report not caused by "out of memory" must have been 3 or 4 months ago, maybe more.
     
  13. EpicBoy

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    Hey, as long as creating said code architecture doesn't delay the games release, do whatever you like. :)
     
  14. Bluecat

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    That's definitely an issue. There's no point putting gold plating on the code if no one is going to see it.

    But the other side of that coin is how not creating a solid architecture affects your release. It's always cheaper to catch bugs earlier in the project lifecycle. If a good architecture helps you to do that, then it may be worth spending more time early on coming up with a good design, than just hacking away and finding problems with the code late in development, or worse still, when the game has been released.

    I realise there is a bit of negativity here towards the idea of doing things the right way(s), as opposed to getting something quickly out the door, but really in the end, doing things the right way does pay dividends. For example, look at EAs current reputation for crunching employees in order to meet a schedule. You can bet, they're only concerned with getting their games out the door. There's a reason why their sports titles, as well as some other high profile games (catwoman anyone?) haven't been as good as the competition lately. Not that they have any now.
     
  15. mahlzeit

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    The outside reflects the inside. A game with crappy code is most likely also a game that doesn't live up to its full gameplay potential -- because if you can't be bothered to polish the code, are you really willing to polish the game? It is a matter of attitude and your work reflects that attitude.
     
  16. EpicBoy

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    I take it you haven't downloaded the Doom or Quake source drops... Carmack is a brilliant coder, but pretty it ain't.

    Besides, I respect an attitude of "ship the game" far more than "make this routine prettier and more elegant". Keep your eye on the prize ... the goal isn't to write the prettiest code, it's to write the best game.

    Having said that, I'm not against good engineering principles and writing clean solutions to problems. That would be insane if I was. I'm simply saying, don't let your love of algorithms distract you from the goal - shipping your game.
     
    #16 EpicBoy, Feb 2, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2005
  17. svero

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    I have little interest in code or computers. To me they're mostly tools. A means to an end. That wasn't always the case. There was a time when I was more into the technology, but nowdays it's just something I do because its the way games are made.
     
  18. Hamumu

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    That's how I feel too... I get some joy out of some coding tasks, but for the most part they're just an INCREDIBLY painful barrier between me and having my idea become reality. I used to like it more, partly because my interests weren't as broad, and partly because it used to be a lot simpler... Good old mode 13h! I think that's a part of the reason for my recent interest in boardgames. With a boardgame, the only barrier between your idea and reality is how fast you can write it down (not for commercial quality, obviously). It's really satisfying to have your results right there, rather than having an idea and then seeing 6 months later that it's just "meh".
     
  19. EpicBoy

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    Haha, that's true. More and more these days I'm viewing code as a barrier to progress. I have a great idea, but now I have to write a bunch of code to make it happen before I can see if it's any good. Bah! :)
     
  20. Illusion Games

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    To overcome that barrier, I approach the coding with the attitude of "getting into it", or "being deliberate". Expecting to be in the flow again soon. In the flow is where I want to go. That moment when the code flows out of you faster than you can type. For me, it is an grand expression of creativity and game creation is the epitome of a cool creative endeavor.

    I can see the tool part of it. I see it the same way I view my computer. I can see my computer as a tool and for some people that is all it is. I view my computer as the ultimate mind toy. Programming games is an expression of that.

    I want to acknowledge the business part of being an indie developer. Getting the project completed is paramount for success. Put on some music and enjoy the ride.
     

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