Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It looks like my wife still loves me

I decided to spend a little time writing a game with my kids, and of course, they wanted to do a minecraft clone. So, after saying no, I said "Hey, but we could do a 2D minecraft"... and that was when Flatcraft was born.

So, we've been working on it for two weeks, spending about an hour on it per day on average, teaching the eldest how to code in python and all but the youngest of them how to do art in a limited pixel area. The best bit has been being able to work on the game even though I'm a very long way away from them. We use Dropbox to sync, and I can often see a chat window response to my changes before I tell them that I've made the change!

The kids have enjoyed seeing their art in the game and pygame lets me turn around a 2D game in little to no time, even to the point that I'm now deciding to try out libraries rather than stick with what I know (what I tend to do when coding for my job). And that's made working on the game more exciting from a learning perspective even for me.

We've added a zoom out, which you'll see the result of below, skinning (so that the boys have minecraft style textures while mummy has pink fairy princess world), saving (which means I can inspect the worlds they have been creating), and there are a couple of creatures hanging around as proof it can be done (one passive, one aggressive).

Not only do the kids and I like it, so does my wife. She never tried Minecraft, and I'm thinking that it was probably a good thing, as the patience and determination to build that castle, and dig the words out would probably mean I'd never be able to talk to her again.







Well... I think she still loves me.





Each of the pixels is aworld square...

So, that's a lot of digging, and a lot of filling in. Yeah. I think she still loves me.

Monday, February 07, 2011

? Backwards Crunch Is

I've noticed over the years that during crunch periods, although people can often lose their minds slightly, they'll also do some of their most creative thinking... and also, during crunch, it's the time when people are least likely to be allowed to implement any new and crazy (or brilliant) ideas.

Now, I once thought that this might be because you tend to think more about the ideas you haven't been able to do anything about, but it is also true that once you enter a certain level of stress, you actually see more stuff going on around you than you would normally. This is called a lowered state of latent inhibition.

Allowing these crunch maddened people to work on their ultra nu ideas would be project suicide, but, surely this must be wasting the talent?

I have tried to make sure I have a log of all the crazy I've come up with over the years, and sometimes act on it when I finally have some time to myself. Do you?