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  • Andrew Jonhardt

Doubling weekday work is hard

My output for this past week totals slightly over 3 hours. That's an unacceptable number.

After I post this update I'm going to put at least 2 hours of work into Psychic Scrap Racers. Then, starting Monday, I'm going to give this new schedule 1 more shot. If I fail to put in 5 hours of work (or, at least 1 hour per weekday), I'll be forced to return to only working on weekends.

As of now, I have no idea how some people work full time in the service industry, then go home to a family or partner, and then stay up an extra 1 to 4 hours every night to put in more work. I have met these people, these people who attempt to consistently meet a strict standard of social interaction quality through both physical and remote means, and though they have zombie days they somehow continue to soldier on toward X goal without falling under the quality standards that are demanded of them.

Maybe such successful behavior demands a level of comfort only obtained from years of field experience. Or, maybe such individuals have a better idea of how to avoid over-investment into their current careers. Or, I could also be in the wrong job for my current goals. I know that, at the very least, I've got weekends to fall back on. That may have to be enough.

In terms of where I'm actually at with the game, I'm at the step of adding AI. I haven't added card effects yet, and there's definitely no multiplayer. My current thinking is to make the prototype single-player for 4 reasons:

  1. The foundations of the game, particularly the way I've got cards and decks working, is not compatible with what I would want for multiplayer.

  2. Multiplayer requires a community the game will not initially have and, should that community ever taper, the fun will be gone.

  3. Multiplayer implies a level of support I'm not prepared for. For example, community building and maintenance.

  4. This is an attempt at a rapid prototype, and utilizing only AI players is easier to set up and test. Moving to Alpha-stage production would require a complete overhaul of the game regardless of where it's at now.

The biggest stumbling block with the AI is how to create it. My systems are simple, so the plan is to have the AI simply calculate a value for its hand against the current board before making a play. Similar to a Monte Carlo method, but easier. Hopefully. This requires grabbing values from every card that should be visible to the AI and storing it somewhere, while avoid conflicts with a similar script I'm using to enlarge cards.

The programming is a mess. I've never done anything like this before, and I'm honestly just happy that everything is working so far. If I had to use a pure scripting engine, or an engine that holds my hand less than Unity does, I'd be pulling out my hair or worse.

I'll be back next week. Time to go to work.