Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pyweek 12: Nine Times

So a bunch of us took part in pyweek 12. While we had a lot of fun, and the ended up with something that looked very good, we didn't quite manage to get the game completely playable inside the 1 week time limit.

Failures are generally more educational than successes, so some thoughts on what went wrong.

a) We were arguably over ambitious, although I'm not sure where we needed to scale down. This is probably the most important factor as it meant we took too long to get enough of the game playable that we could start getting stuff hooked up, and it also meant that we didn't have as much overlap on knowledge of the code base as we had on Suspended Sentence, which slowed us down at critical points, and made fixing various bugs quite hard.

b) We took too long to converge on what game we were writing. Various bits grew in different directions and got fixed in the wrong place, and there were a couple of dead ends we pursued. We also didn't have the time to refactor code to fix things as we've had previously, so the game is more than just somewhat buggy.

c) We didn't know mercurial nearly as well as we thought we did. Most of us had used it for the Genshi sprint, which was quite intense, as well as using it on other projects, so we thought we going for a safe option At the pace of pyweek development, however, we tripped over mercurial not behaving as we expected quite often, and the slow downs fixing the issues this caused all added up to quite a lot of lost time.

Still, the game has a number of promising bits, and, with some concerted work on the engine, and some work on the other bugs and the game balance, it can turn into something really quite cool. This should be a good candidate for pyggy, if we can summon the energy to tackle again.

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