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Starting projects over

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Warspite2, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Member

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    Any of you work on a project and end up weeks or even months in development and start over? For example you get to a point when you know you could have done something better. You go outside the project and create a whole new prototype and realize hey this is better. So then you start building on the prototype and abandon the original project. Then sometimes this ends up rinsing and repeating. Then you end up with several of the same type of games and yep you guess all unfinished. Can relate?
     
    Gamerev147 likes this.
  2. SnoutUp

    SnoutUp Member

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    Never started a game over. Usually, I save a backup and start refactoring parts of the game, which doesn't work well. Maybe I would start over an old project, which has super messy code and I can't remember what's going on there, but I'm too scared to touch them, because of those same reasons.
     
    Gamerev147 likes this.
  3. ouch67

    ouch67 Member

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    Well this is my first post and I'm new to GM:S, however I have many years of development experience in the working world so here is my opinion. Any project you do can be improved at some point. As you advance as a programmer you will look back on past projects or code and say to yourself, "yeah, that could have been done better". I have had projects that I have worked on for a couple of years and guess what? You continue to learn during that time and get better so you will always want to change old code. The thing to remember is that the goal is to get something working now. In my case I had users that needed a working solution and couldn't care less how elegant and efficient the code behind the scene was. Does it work is the ultimate question. Creating a game should follow the same principle, get something done and working properly first. As time permits you can refactor and make the code base better.

    As to refactoring, as Snoutup said, Backup first. In fact, you can never have to many backups. Then refactor your code a little at a time and test. I comment out the old code before I write new. That way if things get screwed up you can go back to what was at least working before. Ultimately as I said before, you want to get some version up and running first that meets your design requirements. Debug it and make sure everything is working. After that you can improve. Just don't get caught up in the idea that the code has to be perfect before youc an release. The truth is it will never be perfect.
     
    Yal and Genetix like this.
  4. Genetix

    Genetix Member

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    Yeah... sadly I do this, all to much. It is a good thing though in many ways - my knowledge, experience, and skill with GMS improves over time and sometimes going back to an existing engine that is fundamentally flawed is not worth starting from scratch - the thing is, your not exactly starting from scratch you still learned a lot from making the previous build of the project and can take that knowledge to start building a better foundation for the new project.

    It is a great and horrible thing.
     
  5. Cpaz

    Cpaz Member

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    I did this a lot at first. But recently, I've been taking a liking to most of my ideas, building on them, and in turn have a passion to continue.
    The only thing in recent memory is Fast Action Heroines first prototypes. Originally, character sprites were supposed to be double in size. This made things like movement, collision, etc, feel very janky. The sword also was MUCH slower, having full swing animations with them. Eventually, after messing about with graphics gale, I redesigned the character to be smaller, and rebuild what I already had.
    Needless to say, I'm very glad that I changed what I did.
     
  6. NicoDT

    NicoDT Member

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    I once stopped working on my game for about 3 months (the one I'm working on right now), It was a mix of frustration and lack of will.
    I almost started to work on a new project, but didn't want all the months I've spent to go to waste. When I picked it up again I had forgotten how most of the code work, but soon figured everything again, and even improved some of the previous code that was messy or not very efficient.
    I guess if the project is big, and you're working alone, there are times that you'll want to throw everything to the garbage, but with a little luck those feelings will be momentary.
     
  7. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    After I took a break from my project I cant help but feel that some sprites and tiles need to be redone. But I wouldn't dare touch the code at this point.
     
  8. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Member

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    Like i thought it seems many of you feel this is not the best thing to do. I figured it was a bad habit to get into for more then one reason plus it really prolongs a project. @ouch67 good advice and that totally makes sense. In fact that's exactly how I handled one of my most popular games. I got it all working first then fine tuned it over time and it's better and more mature then ever.
     
  9. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Every time I've started a project over, I've ended up with two unfinished projects instead of one. :p

    Seriously, don't do it. It's easy to enter an endless loop of restarting the same project, and nobody cares HOW the game works as long as it works. Only switch to a 'better' solution if it cuts down on your workload, fixes bugs, or does a huge optimization in some area the game had issues in (e.g. lag as soon as a boss shows up on the screen). One bird in your cage is better than ten in the woods, or however that figure of speech goes.
     
    Cpaz likes this.
  10. DariusWolfe

    DariusWolfe Member

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    I'm actually working on a remake of a project I was working on in GM8. I tried to import the original project into Studio Pro, but even after I got the run-time and other errors taken care of, it was still broken in crazy ways. I couldn't click on some pawns to select them, but I could select some through their tile in the crew list, but not all of them; The kicker was that the game deleted all of the pawns whenever I moved one of them. I couldn't find ANY code that would be causing that, so I eventually gave up and started over.

    I'm nearly back to where I was previously, and have implemented some features I didn't know how to do the first time around, in a fraction of the time. I was able to import all of the assets, and I knew how I wanted things to work, so it was much, much quicker. I think the code is a lot less kludgy (which isn't to say that it's not kludgy) and I built certain things from the ground up for extensibility, which I hadn't done the first time around. I think my chances of actually completing this project are much higher this time around.
     
  11. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    And this is why nobody will recommend switching engines halfway through a big project :p
     
  12. JasonTomLee

    JasonTomLee Member

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    Ive done this far too many times lol... . It eats up alot of precious time coding the repetitive & stale stuff But you can learn alot from it. You can improve your overall organization by rewriting your code. You find new & better ways to code things.

    Just remember to at least make an effort to learn & try new things if you do start over! If not, just stick w/one project cuz finishing it is priority #1 ~
     
  13. DariusWolfe

    DariusWolfe Member

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    Please don't take me out of context. Yes, I ran into problems, but I also got to the same stage a lot faster, was able to implement features I didn't know how to do during the initial attempt at the project, and am more likely to finish the project now than I was previously.

    Edit: Also, it's not at all uncommon to update an engine during an ongoing process, if the engine updates during that time. Granted, it's usually a lot less drastic a change than GM8 to GM Studios Pro with tons of updates, so the update is usually less of a problem. If a project is ongoing and not close to being finished, taking advantage of the newer engine (Unity 4 to Unity 5, for example) may give a lot of improvements for a project; If a project is near the end, you may not want to take the time to update everything to work with the new engine, of course.
     

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