Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bloody Crunch

It's been a long time since I both had a chance to write something on here or even work on HTP. The promised 2 weeks of The Crunch turned into 4 weeks, as always seems to be the way. The Crunch simply prevented me spending any time at all on HTP. As I'm sure some of the other developers out there know, time spent away from a project slowly builds up a barrier to re-entry, as knowledge of the code base fades and momentum is lost.

Crunch time is starting to end at my work, and for my own sanity I need to take my personal project time more seriously and make time for it.

This is not going to be a technical blog post for once, this is I guess more my ramblings about how, as developers, we tackle code block (the equivalent of writer's block for the non-programmers out there) and keeping project momentum going. I've been in this situation many times, and I've slowly learnt how to deal with it.

When approaching a project I haven't touched in a little while I don't try and pickup where I left off with the bugs I was tackling those many weeks ago. There's no point, my train of thought has long since left the station and you need those first steps back into a project to be fun and exciting.

So on that note, I've going to throw away my whole visual style and try some experiments. As much as I like the idea of flying around a globe with with real geographically accurate locations, the technical challenges are substantial, and I kind of feel I'll be losing the whole otherworldly feeling of drifting through the alien world of cyberspace. By limiting myself to a flat surface (which obviously the world isn't, I'm no flatlander.. but for all intents and purposes it is when you're zoomed in looking at a individual computer), I feel like I might lose some of the experience.

I plan on turfing out my entire graphics layer and trying something more akin to flying through a galaxy of connected nodes, to do this with my current code base would no doubt require MASSIVE refactoring, and would likely kill my attempt to regain the momentum I lost after taking a break from the project. So I'll be playing around with a few standalone demos probably, seeing how each one feels and what looks right. I'll post my results on here and whilst I know I don't have many followers on here, I'd love to hear feedback and opinions when I do :]

I'll leave you with a reference picture I've had kicking around for a while which I always find particularly inspiring:

Hack the Planet!