Week 371 July 2013
Two main focuses this week: Playable City, which moves ever-closer to launch, and Sore, which is in early development stages.
The majority of Playable City work focused on two completely new kind of object. Most objects behave in the same way, and follow the same rules. However, we wanted to add some objects that behaved totally differently. One type has something that resembles a “dialogue tree” in it, with a degree of branching; the other is how objects advertising the game – posters, banners, and the objects they’re attached to – behave.
The latter was a variant of what we already have, and not too complex to rig up; the former was more complex. Once Sam had worked up some example flowcharts of what he thought such dialogue should feel like, I implemented them as simple command-line sketches, printing and receiving input from STDIO. That helped me debug my logic around how I was choosing what piece of content to show next – and meant that once I’d solved the logic, I could port it into the stateful, database-driven Playable City code without also having to decide how it worked.
I also began thoroughly documenting the processes and logic involved to make them visible to the rest of the team, and to aid decision making. That’s also going to be useful as we try to put together a “burndown” – a canonical list of everything left to do.
Sore is still very much in development, but a long meeting on Thursday hashed out what it might be better, derisking some parts of it, adding a few new features, and over the weekend I spent a little time pulling together two prototypes: one, of the software that will drive out; the other, of a book it can produce. It’s an unusual project: a creative collaboration, but very much whatever I want it to be, so pushing it to some unusual places. In this case, into materials that are going to be interesting to work with: equal parts software, hardware, and print.