Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog post #16: Debug.Log(“Hello World”);

Ok, this is my first entry here and I hopefully have some time to write more about coding and the development side of Peace Quarter.

As you may have noticed if you are a longtime follower (hopefully there are longtime followers) we develop our games with Unity. I handle the developing and coding side so our creative members can focus on that – being creative - and get their awesome work come to life in our game world.

We have come long way understanding how to work as a team and that really has its marks in my work as well. I used to mainly code stuff that needed to be switched from code if someone wanted to alter the way things work. This approach can be seen in earlier mobile game “Gemfall Workforce Inc – Harkness’ shift” and especially updating it. Everything we want to change comes back at me! That is bad for the team because they necessarily can’t get forward and time being quite the rare asset it slows down the development. It even might lead to some nighttime coding sessions to get the project at speed again.

So, to tackle this “lesson learned” I now develop assets for the team to use the Unity’s editor to modify key components. Development of these “tools” may be little slower but it keeps all team members at pace. You could think almost as the most valuable thing for me to do is try to reduce my work (Am I making myself unemployed?). Of course, there still are some things you can only change at code level but usually, they are bigger issues that we have noticed. I’d say developing games is constant learning. I would say my skills with Unity, C#, and programming, in general, have increased multiple times in a quite short time. One reason of course also be that as a small team the area of everyone is huge. That leads to a very versatile skill set that is useful. 

Another very good experience for team work was participating in game jams. There’s nothing like getting the whole team sitting at the same table and discussing. The feedback is instant and usually, the project is on fire (not literally!) at those times. This is the main reason we set up our office. We have a large table – ok table made from 4 tables and a book self – where we all sit and usually do our own parts. But the time we get pieces together we can all witness them first hand. 
It’s also very good that we as a starting indie team have finished some smaller projects and thus have seen the complete life-cycle of smaller game projects. If we had gone along and started Peace Quarter full steam without completing any other projects I think we wouldn’t even get this far. We also do some side projects with web sites and of course, small game prototypes for later use and I would encourage all starting programmers to first learn to finish stuff – small stuff at first – and then just start writing bigger games, programs, websites etc. You gotta start small you know.

Also for the guys and gals just starting to learn to program, it really isn’t hard it just takes time and willing to learn! There isn’t a better time to start than now. There are numerous tutorials online and game engines have become available for anyone to make their own games!

- Rx3 Team (Ville Räsänen, coding and programming.)

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