In-Depth Blog Post #3

Where am I right now?

Right now, I am still working on the first chapter of the game and building the framework for the rest of the game. While the idea that I am still on the first chapter of the game by February might be a bit concerning, this is because the first chapter of the game will include so much to build up to the next chapters of the game. Another note: I also want to keep the game bite-sized as I am still only 1 person delivering in a span of 5-6 months, so each chapter will include some dialogue, 2-3 battles, and some farming.

In development terms, I have 750 lines of code ready right now, 1.5 times as many as I had when I uploaded my last blog post on this topic, and I think that that is a good improvement considering where I am right now. I am almost at the part of the game where the first battle will be introduced, and after reaching that point, I think a lot of progress in the game will have been made, and that point will be the first mark of significant progress in my program.

I have also now learned the process of converting and exporting my game to a .exe file, so when my game is in open-beta status, I know how to easily release it to my peers for them to help me review the game for any typos or bugs.

How did I meet with my mentor? What happened?

Last weekend, I had my second meeting with my mentor. In such meeting, I presented my updated game with additional work. In my first meeting with my mentor, he had mentioned that I should organize the layout of my code, so I had done such and presented it to him, and he had approved. He was nearing the end of how much I had programming in my game, when he reached a piece of dialogue that I had made. In this piece of dialogue, it takes an input from the player, does something based on that input, and asks the player again but with that previous answer (and all answers before that) removed. There was also another case where there was a piece of dialogue and the program would pay attention to what the player had said previously and put that into account when generating a response. My mentor really liked this feature, and said that all good games have something like this: They pay attention to what the player is doing and generates a personalized response back to them.

He had mentioned that if I were to use this same feature multiple times later on in the game, then the game would bring back many old pieces of dialogue, giving the player some sort of appreciation for the detail. So, he then recommended for me to implement this same feature later on in the game. I am planning to have some sort of time-skip in the game so that I can call back on dialogue pieces later on in the program. Other than that, my mentor hadn’t made any significant comments towards my progress, and encouraged me to keep learning and growing.

Proof that I am making progress?

As previously mentioned, I am now at ~750 lines of code in my program. Below, you will find a screenshot of one of the fractions of code I have produced.

If you look towards the bottom right of the screenshot, you will see “Ln: 762.” This means that the line that the screenshot is currently viewing is line 762. This section of the game I have captured here is practically the end of my progress so far, so I have not done much more than 762 lines.

What are some issues I am running into?

Similar to my previous blog post, I am still running into the occasional technical error, but those types of errors can be easily fixed with some time and research (you will find my sources of information in the next section of this blog post below). Other than that, I am still having a bit of stress from how much I need to get done, but I think that I’ll be fine in the end if I just take things slow, like I mentioned in my previous blog post.

What sources am I using for my education?

I am still using the 5 sources I have mentioned previously in my 2nd blog post (Programiz, w3schools, Real Python, DataCamp, and YouTube). However, I have found myself seeking help in a Python forum in the chat service, Discord. There, I have asked many questions about problems I have run into for Python, and not only did the friendly community help me with my problem, they also taught me why what was going on was going on. After all, programming is all about logic and computing, so learning about how things were working is really helping my development towards the field.

How did I communicate with my mentor?

As you might know, with every blog post, I try to incorporate an aspect of De Bono’s “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” into all of my meetings with my mentor, and this aspect is about being interesting and responding to my mentor’s comments. In my meeting with my mentor, while he was going over my game, he was mentioning that he noticed the improvement of organization in my game, and that, as someone who was only seeing my code for the 3rd time, could easily read and understand it without getting lost in the lines of code.

I also noted that rather than him reviewing my game and giving me helpful comments, like my first meeting with my mentor, that I talked with my mentor a lot more this meeting, after feeling a bit more confident with sharing my work with him. Of course, he is my brother, but I think that there was still some sort of barrier that had to do with me trying to learn about the field that he is currently pursuing.

However, I do want to mention that after having another meeting with him, I feel more confident with showing him my work, and to not be afraid of possible failure. I am very lucky to have my brother pursuing this field as I am able to look towards him for help, and I do not have to bond with someone else who I may not have known before. The fact that my mentor is my brother helps me, at least I think so, with communicating, as I think that I would have been very shy coming towards a stranger for help, but for where I am right now, I am able to communicate with such ability to make the most out of our meetings together.