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 Copyright Eric Pietrocupo

E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

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News: The Programmer's Curse

Page: News.News201204180413PM - Last Modified : Thu, 19 Apr 12 - 1566 Visits

Some of you probably know that in a previous life, I was a computer programmer that never actually worked in information technology. At that time, video game were one of my main point of interest and one of the reason I studied in computer technologies was to learn how to make video games.

I had a couple of video game project that never made it to the end for various reasons, but the most interesting project I worked on is Wizardry Legacy. It's an attempt to make a free version of the wizardry video game engine that the people could use to create their own adventures. A bit like Zelda Classic. The project was put to an end 8 years ago after working on it for more than 3 years. The main reason was that it took too much of my time. From then I decided to take a vow to not touch computer programming ever again besides for web development. I became a library technician a few years later and I decided to recycle myself in board game design.

But computer programming skills is not something you can get rid off easily like some old clothes. If you are programmer one day, you are a programmer forever. It will haunt you down until the day you die! Recently, I had some ideas to revive the wizardry legacy project and use an SQLite database to make data reading and writing much more easier (it was one of the problem of the original game). Unfortunately, the temptation was too strong and I decided to break my vow.

I re-installed a new compiler. Apparently, Dev-cpp is out, now people now use Code::Blocks. The good thing about code::blocks is that the program is also available on linux. Another change is that I don't use DOS anymore (My netbook does not support it). So I'll try to use linux as a primary development OS since it's much more strict. Right now, I patched the game so that it run successfully on windows without errors and little warnings. The game will eventually be available on linux and windows.

Now I have to de-construct the game. There is a lot of things to remove and I have to completely remove the database system with the new SQLite database. I also need to test and learn SQLite and find a good software to input data (I don't know why this is something that is missing). Then once this is done, I'll be able to create new code and make the project progress.

The primary objective is to make the core of the game work, so that people could start designing adventures for the game without problems. I am hoping to take at most 6 months to do so. Once the core works, it's easier to add features here and there when I have the time. I'll make an official announcement and release when I'll have a presentable playable game.

The rules will be re-designed, I'll probably have a design document in the months to come that explains the rule like a table top RPG. I want the game to be playable on paper for play testing before implementing it in the video game. This will allows people to test the rules and gather feedback before implementing it in the game. (Something I failed to do in the original design)

This project is also a test to analyze how much time it would take to make it work. I am also testing to see what impact it can have on my everyday life. Since programming is a very complex mental operation, it is possible that my health (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) improves after doing a large amount of programming. That would be very interesting if it could happen and it would give me a reason to continue. It might even improve my board game design development later, who knows.

So from now on, you won't hear much about board game design since I am working full time on wizardry. It's possible that it's just a temporary coding frenzy and that I will eventually mix that project with the rest of my board game projects. Maybe mix and matching video games and board game design could give positive results.

Does that implies that I could make other video games after wizardry? I don't know, we will see.

For more information about the Wizardry Legacy project, you can take a look at the archives:


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