Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

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Eamonn
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Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by Eamonn » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:41 pm

This is out of my own personal curiosity. Some of the pro's out there, you might have to go wayyyyy back.

I'm sure we all remember our first "Hello World" program, whether it was in a console window, or in a GUI(maybe with HTML or something), it was a special moment in our programming time. Now, let's jump ahead a little to the time when you found LÖVE(for me, it was 3 years later). How many projects did you start and just have to give up on? Have you still got a project laying around on your computer that was one of your early projects that you haven't quite deemed dead yet, but you're probably never going to touch it. Did anyone else have those? I know I had quite a few! *cough 34 cough*. If you remember me from when I started LÖVE, you may remember "Zepplin Game"! Yes, I spelled it wrong, it had crappy fonts(I had no idea how fonts worked), and bad collision. Now, about 2 months later I'm working on it again! I also had a project called "NOM", that isn't dead, but isn't being actively developed either. But, at least for me, those projects were learning experiences.

Fun Fact:

Mr. BallGuy was never intended to be released. I was planning on making a Zeppelin Game my first game. So, how did I end up releasing it? Well, I was with my friend(roggie on this forum) at a place called CoderDojo, and I was working on it. The way I worked on it was as I learned something new(e.g. how to play audio), I'd add it to the project. But that doesn't explain how I ended up releasing Mr. BallGuy! How I ended up releasing it was that I spent about 3 or so days working on getting files to save, on pure trial-on-error, and I eventually got something that worked. I was so happy, I don't know how to explain it. I'm sure you could kind of understand how much excitement I felt. Then, I was so happy that I told my friend that I got it. I showed it to a few other people and they said post it here. I didn't think it was that good, but I play it from time to time. It was a good first project, right?

But yeah, was there a project that you just had to give up on, because it wasn't working out, but you ended up making something better out of what you'd learned from that previous game/project?

Also, if anyone was wondering why I got discouraged from LÖVE, I figured out what it was! Here's a little story about it:

So, it was a normal day at the Eamonn-Corp-Inc-Labs, and I was typing away, and then I had an idea! "Why not make an infinite side-scroller game?!". So, I tried looking for code examples, projects like it on the LÖVE projects/demos, etc and couldn't find anything. Not only did this discourage me from LÖVE, it discouraged me from game development and programming in general. I kept thinking "Well if I can't make a simple infinite runner what the heck am I going to be able to make?! I can't make stupid MBG clones all my life!". There were a lot of other things that contributed to this(like being insulted), but the main thing was the fact that I couldn't make an infinite runner. It's kind of like when I play a game: If I can't get past a level, I get discouraged from playing the game. Unless it's an infinite runner. My inspiration for the 2D infinite runner came from Jetpack Joyride and the FloodRunner saga.

So, I'd just like to know if any of the expert programmers out there ever hit a moment like that, or if they had to abandon projects. I can't be the only one, can I?

EDIT: If anyone else is interested in making an infinite runner, check out the following guide. It's for the CoronaSDK, but since it's in Lua and LÖVE is so easy to use, it should be easy enough to port over. I'm hoping to read this and one day make a tutorial on how do make an infinite runner game in LÖVE. Obviously this would be only the basics, but you could work out how to add coins and stuff yourself. I'd have no idea how to do it, but I'd be willing to try it when I learn the basics. It'll be hard for me because it's a written tutorial and not a video, but I'll do my best!

Tutorial: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/tutorials/co ... nd-motion/
"In those quiet moments, you come into my mind" - Liam Reilly

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veethree
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by veethree » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:49 pm

I personally do it all the time, And not only with games, But also music.

I'd estimate that between my 2 hard drives, There are about 70 projects that I've given up on, Granted most of those aren't actual game ideas, But rather some kind of mechanic i was going to figure out but gave up. About 12 of those are collision detection and response related.

And for music it's worse, I've probably got a couple hundred unfinished songs, a lot of them just little loops, that I've collected over the many years I've been doing that. In fact every 2 months my desktop is literally filled with unfinished project files.

I personally don't think this is that bad, Perhaps in the future when you hit a wall, you can always look through all these things and perhaps find something with potential that you can resume working on.

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bartbes
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by bartbes » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:01 pm

Eamonn wrote:Ever had a project that you had to give up on?
I think that's only normal. I expect most people around here have more unfinished games lying around than finished ones. (Actually finishing projects is one of the harder things you can do.)
Eamonn wrote: So, I tried looking for code examples, projects like it on the LÖVE projects/demos, etc and couldn't find anything.
I can't help but "hate" this every time I see it. There doesn't have to be a tutorial, example, demo, or even previous game for everything, how does innovation ever even work that way? In particular, one of the better things about knowing more languages is that you can read them too, and turn to them when researching too, in the end, the method is more interesting than the actual implementation, is it not? Anyway, in my opinion there's only so much you can tutorialize, and after that people will just have to use their imagination, knowledge and skill to build on from that. And yes, you will fail, but at the very least you'll still have learned what not to do, and hopefully you'll also know what you can do better, and you'll have seen what did go well, etc.

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XHH
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by XHH » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:13 pm

Do the projects have to be lõve projects? I have a handful of incompletes here: http://www.xhhstuff.co.nr/other-games
I uploaded them in one quick blow and never looked back :crazy:
I like to draw and program :)

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Eamonn
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by Eamonn » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:33 pm

veethree wrote:I personally don't think this is that bad, Perhaps in the future when you hit a wall, you can always look through all these things and perhaps find something with potential that you can resume working on.
^That right there is very true! :D

Everything BartBes said is true too! There does become a point when you can't tutorialize something, but I was saying I couldn't find out the concept behind it. I don't know where to begin at all. A basic idea might have helped, but honestly I don't know where to begin asking questions with that to do. You're still right in the fact that innovation comes from this, and that you will learn what not to do in the future. At least you can say "Well, this method didn't work, now i can try this one"... the only problem is I don't know any methods and haven't got the slightest clue where to begin. Research is key, though. And that's what I've been doing for almost a month.
"In those quiet moments, you come into my mind" - Liam Reilly

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bartbes
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by bartbes » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:39 pm

Eamonn wrote:A basic idea might have helped, but honestly I don't know where to begin asking questions with that to do.
Ah, the most important skill of them all, knowing what you want/need to know.

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Omnivore
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by Omnivore » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:50 pm

Sometimes you just hit the limit of your resources (and skills) - like a 3d cubical subdivision object oriented raycaster I wrote back in the mid 90's... after getting it done I realized I couldn't afford the camera setup (the **old** way to do 3D modeling) nor did I know any 3d artists. Also the video cards were starting to get a bit more advanced than I was really ready to deal with.

Then theres a bunch of older projects going back to the early 80s - floppies are sadly not waterproof - especially the 5.25" ones. Also hard to find an Intertec Superbrain II CP/M VM... lol
Lua lou aye, ah no its, lua louie

Santos
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by Santos » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:43 am

Not knowing where to begin at all "hits close to home" for me. I've thought some less-than-sane things in the past due to ignorance, and I'm sure I still do. Here's an analogy, but please keep in mind I still have no idea what I'm talking about.

Art is really interesting to me, so I wanted to be a painter.

Typing in "how to paint" into Google didn't seem so useful. I heard oil paints were good though, so I was pretty set on using them, and tried to follow the tutorials for using them.

I was really confused. There weren't that many tutorials. There was a tutorial for painting a cat, and there was a tutorial for painting a sunset landscape, but I was really wanting to paint trees, and watermelons, and there weren't any tutorials about them. And yet I've seen paintings of them, how did the painters do it?! Actually, painters seem to paint a whole lot of stuff, and I'm not sure how to paint anything... I wonder how many people get discouraged at this stage.

Actually, there was a tutorial for painting watermelons, but it used acrylic paints, I wasn't interested in that, real paintings are painted with oil paints after all. I spent a lot of time reading debates about which brand of canvas is the best, the way people like to set up their easel, strategies to optimally organise paint on palettes, the opinions of great painters... It all got a bit addictive really, and I'm not sure it made me a better painter. I wasn't really painting at all to be honest, there was too much to read about painting.

How silly I was! So what would I say to my past self? For a start, tutorials about how to paint one specific thing are really not that interesting, in the sense that what they're about isn't so important. I just need to hold the brush, mix the paint, and be creative to put what's in my imagination onto the canvas. And perhaps time would be well spent thoroughly reading the manuals of the paint and the brushes, learning which colours there are and all the different brush shapes. And there has been some great art created with acrylic paints, and it's easy to work with, if my goal is to learn how to paint I should probably pick what will be easiest and most fun to learn with, rather than what the finest art is created with.

But... even if I gave myself an overview of the tools available, and instructed myself to read the technical information about the tools I'm using... what would I tell myself about how to actually wield the brush and the paint to create art? I don't really know.

I suppose I'm slightly better now at the "skill" of "knowing what I need to know". But I'm not sure it's a skill per se, I think may just be more knowledge, which can then create generalisations and intuitions. I've wasted so much time haphazardly acquiring knowledge.

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raidho36
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by raidho36 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:43 am

Comparing programming to painting? I think we're already been there and thought this analogy isn't entirely valid as in you can't learn good programming just by programming a lot, you're more likely to get used to code the ineffecient silly way if you're lucky and in an atrociously horrible way otherwise. I've seen people who in C++ seriously avoided any use of pointers whatsoever because they didn't get how they work, and they passed the whole class object to every function etc, and sometimes objects could be large, like class object could contain a big vector of other objects (tilemap with every tile a class object), and then they complained about lousy performance and sudden stack overflows. Others were loading it's own graphics from corresponding file from hard drive for every graphical instance visible on the screen and were deleting them from memory once no longer visible.

On the other hand, comparing game design to painting is perfectly valid example, since it's about the same thing, only that game design also involves non-physical interaction as well.

Santos
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Re: Ever had a project that you had to give up on?

Post by Santos » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:21 am

Thanks for the good points! :) I should clarify, I'm not meaning to compare programming to painting, and I also want to mention I'm not trying to give advice either, I just empathised with something which was said and felt obligated to share a personal story with an analogy that I thought would accentuate the "warped" way in which I now think I was seeing things, in the hopes that it would ease confusion about why there isn't a tutorial about every specific thing which could be made. Although, I still perceive a lack of resources for learning in general, which I'm still confused about.

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