Joining the Real World (TM)

It was really hard to watch Poker Kingdoms languish on the play store, I’d poured a whole lot of time into it, and Mike had given me some great assets, everyone who I could get to play the game really enjoyed it, but I just couldn’t get people to play it. There was a lot of “I don’t know how to play Poker”, which is fair enough - I tried making an interactive tutorial, but it wasn’t happening; so I settled for a visual instructions.

This was the start of my next set of problems.

It was about now that I put the game on Greenlight (the link above; please vote, tell your friends, seriously) - and got a collection of really decent support, and some complete ass-hole responses. I tried to start adding features to the game, but porting from ImpactJS, to UnityScript, to Boo had left the game in a fragile state, and bound together in such a way that changing one system, would bring all the other systems crashing into a heap. Largely I blame this on the Javascript phase of development - it’s not a language that encourages compartmentalism.

My stagnated project had no clear way to move forwards, and not only did it stagnate, but I did too, I actually rage-quit to the point of deleting my project folders and having a man-child tantrum. (I’m never programming again, I’m going to learn to crochet instead).

After some prodding, I entered my first Ludum Dare, with the personal goal to “Finish a Game” which I managed and this gave me a lot of personal motivation, but I didn’t see a clear way forwards with Poker Kingdoms, by now, Boo had been deprecated, and any work I tried to do was now fighting Unity, and the game.

I spent a large amount of time beating my head against the broken code (which still had outstanding bugs that would not die) - until I finally came across the realization that rebuilding it right would be for the best - get rid of the cruft, and build from scratch. Not only that, but because I was so familiar with the game logic, this would be a perfect project to try new things with, as I could focus on those rather than the game logic. The first manifestation of this was to build using Test Driven Development.