Monday, 3 November 2014

Under The Rock

Woke up dreading the coming day. Not that I have anything out of the ordinary to do but the game being live makes me uneasy. I had a restless night, wondering about how it's performed. I always feel like this when something I've poured my heart into is suddenly out there. I just want to crawl under a rock and not look how my work is faring. I guess I'm not really suited to the harsh reality of internet life. I appreciate the good people enormously and it's why I do this. I feel lifted by every generous comment and email.

Good people make me feel better about the world and I know there are plenty of good people out there. I've been very blessed in my time as a blogger to have contact with many bright, encouraging, enthusiastic, and generous souls. I've also had the misfortune of attracting the scorn of a few whose vengeful ugliness really breaks my spirits. There really are too many Welsh Rottweilers in the world.

The outcome of yesterday was my releasing version 1.0.1 of the game. I'm taking an ambitious approach to my version numbers. The first 1 represents major alterations to the game. So, if I add a new big exciting feature, such as a new game mode, that number will increase to 2. The 0 will only increase when I add smaller but key features, such as new menu options or I fix some large bug. Last night I increased the last number, from a 0 to a 1 since I fixed a small but dumb mistake I'd made, positioning an important button in the space occupied by the ads. That last number represents everyday bug fixes. I expect it to get into double figures very quickly, possibly by early afternoon...

The other outcome of day 1 was my first look at my advertising stats. The numbers were higher than expected (due entirely to Tim Worstall, many thanks Tim)  but the income depressingly oval shaped. I don't understand it but I hope it will increase in the coming days and weeks. I never did this to make a fortune. It's more about achieving a goal and raising my competence as a programmer. However, I'd like to think that I'd get money for allowing people to paste their ads on my game. At the moment, if feels like I'm providing a charitable service to billionaires.

I'm honestly at a loss as to what to do next. I had a report from Barman who says that it's too difficult to throw the pucks the length of the board. I now have to go through my code very carefully, trying to figure out if I've overlooked anything that would make the throw power device dependent. The two main things that change from device to device are screen resolution and processor speed. But since neither should affect my calculations, I can't see what it could be. I could increase the power of the throws by any amount I like but I've spent weeks carefully tuning them to a point which doesn't break the game's physics. Time in computer games is not linear but discrete. A moving object doesn't have every moment of its path calculated to an almost atomic scale. Like slowing down a movie, objects leap through space. In a physics simulation, the objects also leap through space (but, theoretically, the gaps are much smaller) and if they're moving quickly, they can simply leap through other objects because the computer never examined the time-frame where the two objects would have collided. Of course, there are ways to calculate these things more carefully but it requires so much more computer power that, in the context of a simple game, it's unworkable.

However, that's my day. Solving a problem which I'm not entirely sure how to solve.

I drew some cartoons last night but they're lousy.

I'm going to hide back under my rock.

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