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Monday, December 16, 2019

Battle Gem Ponies (November DevLog): Getting the Little Things Right

Despite numerous distractions like travel, coma-inducing Thanksgiving meals, and an intense workout regiment to counteract it all, progress is still being made towards BGP's public prototype launch. There's a lot of little changes being made behind the scenes to turn this into a super smooth operation that can sidestep mistakes of the past and there's still a couple week's worth of problems to solve before we can touch the combat system itself.

Or for now, come checkout a summary of the past month's progress below the break.

State of the Game

The current task is another big one to chew away at, but is gonna result in incredible and visible progress come December's winter break. I need to make some script templates for every object in every interface so Royal Pizza can see how it's all supposed to work together. In the meantime he's tackling the ones I've already covered with him in the Wednesday meetups.

Separating all the pieces of the game into little manageable chunks and configuring those chunks to each be largely independent (or is dynamic a better word?) in a way that allows for rapid changes in the future that won't result in an avalanche of bugs like before.


So I guess here's a good a place as any to bring up the biggest factor for slowdown this past month. Lately I've been skipping out on exercise in favor of getting in more BGP time despite the 41+ hour day job workweek sapping away my lifeforce. There was even that period a few months back where I was just super depressed and exhausted by the end of the work day I couldn't get anything else done and just ate and slept off the stress. 

Well, all that stuff over the past year caught up with me bigtime. I go to the doctor for a physical around my birthday every year to see if I'm dying or not, and for the first time... The answer was a "kinda". It was a warning. 

My family has a history of diabetes and according to the doctor those 30 pounds of fat I gained since the last visit are put in the bright red danger zone of TOO MUCH SUGAR AND CARBS so his response was basically "Stop skipping exercise and start eating less bread, ice cream, breakfast donuts, pasta, and pizza or you'll be too dead to enjoy a long career working at that game company of yours." 

So I'm taking this seriously. Home-cooked meals and daily salads. Dumbbell by my computer so I pick that up instead of my phone when my computer's compiling. Random stretching throughout the day to stay ready for the next workout. A stricter sleep schedule and setup that'll have me knocked out in minutes instead of 30 or so minutes of YouTube. I need to get on top of this and still find a way to make 4 hours of BGP work. 

So now I'm making sure to include a solid, MINIMUM, uninterrupted hour of exercise into my daily schedule no matter what (and that's not counting prep, warm up, cool down, or showering after). I don't think I can replicate the 2-3 hour sessions I did before getting a day job without seriously putting BGP behind, but this outta be a great holdover while I'm trying to get this off the ground and free up an extra 8 hours of my day. 

Lucky for me, the new office building my employer had us move to is literally 5 minutes of "Get up, put on shoes, walk to car, drive there, and park." as a commute, so traffic is no longer a problem and I've gained the ability to eat lunch at home, meaning either an extra 40 mins of BGP in the middle of the day, or a quicker lunch break that'll have me home half an hour sooner. 

In addition to all that, I had an intense talk with my bosses the other week about things to change up so I can perform my best, which was lowkey making my day job relationship with the team a lot more like how I work on BGP now. Focus on design and direction, less on programming, troubleshooting, and debugging (which are the real sources of stress for me in this field). 

They've accepted my request for a lighter workload and are allowing me to delegate a lot more which is a huge load off my back. So hopefully I can translate that extra energy to more BGP and more intense workouts day-to-day. 

It'll all be real nice once I get into the groove with things and feel like I'm making notable progress in all these important aspects of my life.

Next Steps

So soon I'll have about 2 weeks to myself to sit here with my programmer on call (and a short 10 minute drive away) and crank out something incredible for everyone to play during the new year. April is approaching fast and the game needs to be in beta by then for the convention plans to work so the fire is lit and we're going for it!

Should hear back about whether the panel/vendor applications to any of em were accepted by the next DevLog.


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