Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not this time

Today was the due date for our delivery milestone of the game we are working on and we failed, we failed really huge. We had a lot of plans and at the end could not even deliver ten percent of what we had hoped for. Although a lot of work was done by the whole team, specially the day and night efforts during the last few days, but we just could not put everything together the way they were supposed to be. Another big lesson to learn about our shortcomings for the development process. Although we traversed new paths for this milestone and tried to experience a few things we hadn't before. We'll have to focus more and more. My only plan now is to dissect the experience and find out the avoidable problems. I already feel more strength.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Kobe is really close to perfection in Basketball. His every move has a lot of "The Master MJ" resemblances in it. It's amusing to watch him on court during the full active 48 minutes, with or without the ball.

Guys like Lebron are really strong and skillful but it seems like its only Kobe who's going the full path towards the perfection peaks, somewhere that MJ is very close to.

It's all about the mindset once the physical attributes are there and the neuro-muscular responses are doing the right job. His love for the game compares with the master now, love for the game, which is quite different from love for personal abilities or trophies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Patient

A groan of tedium escapes me,
Startling the fearful.
Is this a test? It has to be,
Otherwise I can't go on.
Draining patience, drain vitality.
This paranoid, paralyzed vampire act's a little old.

But I'm still right here
Giving blood, keeping faith
And I'm still right here.

Wait it out,
Gonna wait it out,
Be patient (wait it out).

If there were no reward to (reap / heal),
(No / A) loving embrace to see me through
This tedious path I've chosen here,
I certainly would've walked away by now.
Gonna wait it out.

If there were no desire to heal
A damaged and broken man along
This tedious path I've chosen here
I certainly would've walked away by now.

And I still may ... [sigh] ... I still may.

Be patient.
I must keep reminding myself of this.

And if there were no rewards to (reap / heal),
(No / A) loving embrace to see me through
This tedious path I've chosen here,
I certainly would've walked away by now.
And I still may.

Gonna wait it out.

Normalized Life

If we take out the repeating moments of our lives out, then how much life will really remain? Whatever that number is, I guess that should really count as the lifetime of an individual. Although this has to be looked at from a global view and sometimes there are some repeating activities necessary in order to take us to new states in the long run. It seems that for some reason we are willing to find new experiences and flee from rigidity. Repetition in any amusing task will soon make it less amusing. Do we feel the changes only? Does everything have a tendency to get boring when it becomes persistent? Are all people chasing what they do not possess? Will we work on the same solved cross words puzzle twice? Are we hardwired to sense the difference? At least our physiological elements can be proved to react less to repeated stimuli. We want to be able to do something that we can imagine and this is related to our will towards freedom and our tendencies towards power. Power in this sense will be defined as the number of the things we can do divided by the number of things we would like to do. So we understand something, then we want to experience it, we might not be able to right away, then we try, we will be able to do it, hence we have the power which leads us to feel more free and freedom somehow is related to our happiness, or at least part of our happiness. So if we think that we are doing something which we like, and brings us happiness, but that activity is really sending us towards a peak of a local maximum for freedom, then over a longer period, we will feel less free and sad. An example would be anyone baring a hard situation in the hopes of a better situation, also known as "Discipline". To let us past a few local maximum hills and towards higher grounds. Parasites will make us follow the short term path, towards more freedom and good feelings, which will soon prove to have led us to a wrong position which makes it much harder for us to continue to the higher peaks of freedom. These parasites have always been known to biologists on the biological level, there are lots of them in our minds on the psychological level but they also exist on the social level which make societies think they are progressing towards more power and freedom, but leaving them in a hole once a specific amount of time passes by. Cultural parasites work on new meanings, promising more understanding but again proving wrong in the long run. Examples for these four levels of parasites are left as an exercise :), but our will towards change seems to be the root and time seems to be the evil in the whole scope. Time which we try to conquer all our lives but in reality find ourselves enslaved by it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Compile Time

If only my compile times were less... a main wish of mine!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

It will return

Bad software design is like a Boomerang. It will get back at you and hit you in the head. It will hit you, unless you throw it and run away and never come back. In case of a major code base which has development that spans in time, better watch for the bad design decisions and short term hacks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Vitruvian Game Design

Vitruvius, thinking about building Architecture, came up with his popular triangle. These are 'Firmitas, Utilitas and Venustas' (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio 'The Ten Books of Architecture' 1st C AD).
Which means: Form, Function and Fabric. Applied to all aspects of architecture and design.

Game design is no exception.

Form in game design would be related to the visual representation of the game world and characters. The game graphics in other words. What we see in a screen shot. Audio can be added to this category also since that is about the audio forms.

Function would be related to the actual game play. The game mechanics that make the game play.

Fabric is the quality of building the form and function, in other words the code which is the foundation for the rest and the quality of this code base.

So every game design can be viewed from these three very important aspects and a good design should have high quality in the three words starting with the letter 'F', the Vitruvian Triad.

One interesting reality which we've found out is the challenge to come up with a design that provides high quality for these three aspects since there isn't a linear sequential relationship between these three and they are all inter-connected. Sometimes increasing the quality of the Form will decrease the Function quality or a specific Function might not have the required quality for its Fabric and so on. It is a tough job deciding where to start from. Design can start from any three, and balancing the quality of the three, in the absence of any existing scientific solutions, is where the whole design process leans more towards being an Art form.

Set Sails

The team is moving forward towards another major milestone. Finishing up level 1 and getting ready for the first official review and showcase.
Lots to do as usual. Less than 4 weeks time remains.

Monday, February 02, 2009

State of Mind

Trying to guide a game development team which is having the first game development experience, wants to make a high quality action adventure game, compares every feature to be developed with the top selling games in the industry, is under staffed, has a very short time and on top of these, doesn't have funding or publisher deals is a little complex.What helps a lot in this situation is the art and attitude of the great masters from the ancient east.

Fudōshin (不動心): The immovable mind. Necessary to remain in focus among all the problems rising and all the hidden risks jumping out. Whether technical, process or human related. Needed to maintain goals and dreams. Required to keep moving and resist getting shattered in the chaotic winds of obstacles.

Zanshin (残心): The state of awareness. The mind ready for anything. Any new technical strange bug, any hardware crash, any member of the team leaving, any project crusher from the uncertainty ocean surfacing.

Mushin (無心): A mind not fixed or occupied by thougth or emotion. An occupied mind by emotion would break up a lot things in this journey and rational thought would stop this path a million times. No anger, no fear, no ego, just pure intuition.

Shoshin (初心): This one necessary to overcome the technical obstacles. A beginner's mind. Always ready to learn the infinite amount of knowledge needed to be known. Never rely on any achieved stages since a lot needs to be done.