Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pause IRL

I'm taking a break from coding. The size of the project has reached a point where I'm now officially navigating unchartered territory. At this point, the design decisions that I'm making will affect future iterations of the project and I want to make sure I don't build an entire house before realizing I need to move a few walls around on the first floor. In coding terms, I'm trying to decide how enemy patterns, weapons, bullets, and bullet patterns should all interact. My usual approach would be to start very simple, such as enemies that spawn based on a fixed pattern, shoot a few straight-lined bullets, and then die when they get shot. But I need to make sure that building something this way is flexible enough that if I want to have enemies move in linear patterns, and then curved patterns, and then a sequence of linear and curved patterns (etc...), that I don't have to rewrite large blocks of code every time I improve functionality.

I have a few designs in mind, and I'm getting a lot done on paper. But before I actually put anything into place, I want to step back and do a little summer reading and see if I can't draw upon the wisdom of some experienced programmers before embarking on this journey.

Summer reading list:
I finished Accelerated C++ this week and just started reading Code Complete. The next few blog posts will probably be book reviews and design discussions instead of project status. Hopefully the time I invest now will yield faster, better programming down the line.

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