December « 2016 « Tidepool News

Been making some progress on cave walls in Adventure. There’s 94 “rooms” in Colossal Cave, which all have different exits (north, east, up, etc). Since the original game is text only, I need to create the dimensions of these rooms myself. I started with a fixed square room in all 94 rooms, but after walking around it because clear we needed differently shaped rooms to correspond to descriptions such as “east/west canyon.”

Until now, players could only make a room by dropping four points while walking around, then using the /path command.  To help with Adventure, I decided to move the issue KM-289 (floor/ceiling/room commands) from Milestone 5 to Milestone 4.  Three hours later, I can now type “/room 1000” to make a square room and “/room 1000 3000” to make a rectangle.

There’s a curious bug though. Sometimes the created room has an irregular shape, as though some of the drawing steps were skipped. My code literally moves the player while drawing the room (though the player doesn’t see this). At first, I thought it was because the player was hitting objects in the world, but it’s happening in clear areas.  A mystery.

I have 12 days till I need to halt Tidepool development to focus on billable income. That’s 72 dev hours and 24 sales hours before January 9th.

My goal is to launch Alpha 4 and send an email blast to schools in 25 states. My project schedule tells me I have *exactly* enough time.

Issues will go long. Bugs will be found. Laziness will happen. No matter!

This is my last chance to make something happen before getting distracted with something else.

Happy Solstice everyone!  Today is three years since starting Tidepool, since writing the first of 1671 current pages of code. So far I’ve spent 89 solid weeks of work, nearly two years of three, representing $534,000 of billable income.

Today I’d hoped to launch the beta, but we’re still two months away. Between scrambling for work and homeschooling Isabel, I never got a groove going until a few weeks ago. Coding requires a focused mind and unbroken stretches of time, especially with a codebase this large.

If able to keep my current pace, I could realistically finish by March, though only with $6000 to get us there. Otherwise, it’s back to billable, which would delay the beta by another year.

Two months to go after two years of work. Conrad had it right: “Why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?” To finally get some real momentum going, then have to stop with the end in sight is frustrating.

Especially when I need just $120 a day to keep going.

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