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Unified Germany

So... Been in Köln about a week now, mostly working on the word game. Will be staying here about another week, although the last couple days the wife will be here and I'll be switching to tourist mode with her (and a few days after that will all be Netherlands and Belgium, so will be more of the same in new places, plus the wedding part). But for now, the trip's been every bit as productive as I'd hoped: I've pretty much completed a first pass at the word game, even gotten far enough along to do some initial playtesting, which resulted in a rewrite of some of the core mechanics. A few cosmetic things are left to be done, as well as data persistence (for saving the current game when paused or closed, as well as high scores), getting the internationalization tested (don't have any data except for English yet, don't know if I'll find any or not, but I want it), and a tutorial.

But... It's functional, complete with unit tests and such. I've even been able to spend a fair bit of time refactoring the code to make it more maintainable/easier to make changes down the road.

So... Unity? I've gotten used to it, I guess. It helps that all the work I've done the last few days is in the code (i.e., all C#), so I haven't had to deal with the Unity editor thing beyond running things. I mean, the APIs for doing things are... Weird and unintuitive and clunky (it makes me nostalgic for Cocoa and Objective-C, and that's considering that XCode and I haven't ever been the best of friends), but I've figured out what I need to figure out, and since the incantations have been made, I can encapsulate/cargo cult the shit out of that and ignore it from now on. I suppose a significant part of my dislike of Unity is a dislike of MonoDevelop (or at least, the Unity version, I don't know how close to the main branch it is). Fortunately, the terrible memory leaks are pretty much managed by the constant crashes, so it's fine! But I'm planning to try working with Unity with a different editor sometime soon, and at that point, maybe Unity approaches reasonably tolerable. Or at least, I'm getting accommodated to it.

I suppose at this point, the biggest thing that makes me uncomfortable about Unity is the license model. I don't like licensing software, especially anything this key to my workflow, I'd rather just buy it outright, because if all I have is a license, there's nothing that keeps the license from changing out from under you, and, well. It's similar to my discomfort dealing with app stores and the like, too, it's pretty easy to change stuff and just screw developers. But it's a necessary evil, and you deal.

So. I might still try something else like Godot or Cocos2D (i.e., something open source — my needs aren't extreme, it just has to have the right feature set for me). But I guess we'll see, I'm not sure if that window has passed or not.


Tags: köln, travel, unity, word game

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These are Doug's bloggish thoughts on game development, specifically on the games he's writing for Lensflare, or on Lensflare-related topics more generally. Or whatever he wants to write here, really, but those are the sorts of things to expect. Doug has strong opinions (loosely held) about many things — he could claim that he doesn't speak for Lensflare Games, but that'd be silly considering that (for all practical purposes) he is Lensflare Games. Still (for what little it matters) he's not always wearing that hat here. And yes, this is an actual picture of Doug (okay, not really, but the story behind it is too long to go into right now).

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