One of the most frustrating parts of Game Development…

You will redo things…A LOT.  Having to redo parts of your art, code, levels, and concepts is just part of the iterative process.  Here are a few of the reasons I’ve needed a redo in the past:

  • My code was a mess.
  • I took a break for a few weeks, came back, and realized my code was a mess.
  • Art / Animations / Gameplay Mechanics that just didn’t work.
  • Came up with new / better ideas.
  • Saw a tutorial or read an article that showed a better way to do something.

Redos are stressful, but they make your game BETTER.

As you learn more about Game Development as a profession and a form of expression, your standards will usually rise along with your ability level.  When I started in 2016, I was a decent programmer, but I was still very new to Unity and C#.  Even if you understand basic programming structure, working with GameObjects and Unity components is…different.  There is a learning curve associated with any skill – and GameDev is no different.

When you redo something, it’s a chance to improve your skills – not a defeat.  This is one of the toughest and most important things to learn!

Redos can also be PITFALLS.

One word of caution: don’t turn into a perfectionist and get caught in the “Infinite Redo Loop.”  It’s important that you FINISH your game, SHARE it, and ENJOY THE RESULT of your work.  Failing to finish something is why most people quit GameDev.  Make one of your Redo moments “scaling back” a big project into a shorter experience or simpler mechanic.  Save recreating Breath of the Wild for your NEXT endeavor.

About my LATEST Redo.

I’ve written most of the engine to my Farm / Life Sim RPG.  Relationships, saving, databases, localization, weather, time of day…if it goes in a Farm / Life Sim RPG, I’ve written the code for it.

A good AND bad influence…

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know that I have what some might call a “dev crush” on Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone.  Solo dev, relentless pursuit of perfection, singlehandedly revived the Farm Game?  Barone is a self-proclaimed MASTER of the redo.  One of the things he struggled with was adding multiplayer to Stardew Valley.  It was one of the features that didn’t make it into the game’s initial release, despite being one of its “killer features.” Adding it later was such a complex task that Barone’s publisher was recruited to help finish the feature.

I didn’t want to make the same mistake.

As I started putting systems together and testing, I started seeing problems with how the code was tied together.  The key to reliable multiplayer is optimization – my code needed a substantial redo to make that happen.  The beautiful thing is that logic routines, data structures, animations, scenes, props, etc. are all reusable.  

I decided to open up a new Unity project and redo the code – with multiplayer in mind.  The amazing thing??  I’m writing better, more organized code.  The redo will cost me a few weeks, but I can already create games and spawn in multiple players.

What’s next?

I started creating a Lobby Browser that will allow players to search for and create games using specific game modes.  (Sorry, no details on those modes yet.)  Once I can put players in lobbies, rooms, and stages – I’ll redo the levels I created and RPC the crap out of them.  (RPC is “remote procedure call” – one of the fundamental basics of networking, and a BIG reason I needed to redo some of my code.)

I wanna make a Multiplayer Game…what are you using?