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Author Topic: Vapourware?  (Read 4399 times)

Amazigh

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2022, 12:45:05 PM »

If I was to summarise my points:
Here's my 2 cents about these:

- Solid Principles / Clean Code
I'm not a professional programmer, so i can't comment properly on this, but as a "hobby" programmer i've found the documentation in the API sufficient to help me figure out various issues i've ran into.

- Incremental Releases
With mod compatibility, this would be annoying, if Alex pushed an update every week, which may or may not break mods, that would increase the workload of modders to ensure their mods are compatible, not good for the modding community.
And often features Alex is working on (quest lines, new features/mechanics) take a long time to produce and are not suitable to be released in small chunks, so don't work with this idea.

- Customer feedback and communication early
Alex is active on the forums, (from my experience) he will reply to the devblog/patchnote threads on a daily+ basis when they are "fresh".

- Simplicity over obfuscation
I don't remember the specifics on why alex has some of the game code obfuscated, but i'm sure he has a good enough reason, and he will de-obfuscate code if modders have a good reason to want access to it, so i (personally) have no issues here.

- 'Rough' roadmap of what might be worked on (it can be cigarette packet 10 minute thought) With a caveat
While it would be nice to have a list of what alex plans to do in future updates, but it's not vital imo as long as we know he is working on the game.
Speaking of, you can check his twitter and see him post previews of things that he's working on, which for me is enough.


Also the edit post button exists for a reason, please use it rather than posting the same thing four times in a row.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 12:48:24 PM by Amazigh »
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2022, 12:54:56 PM »

All I’m going to add here is that I’ve personally tried both ‘agile’ and waterfall release methods for my mods… and for this application, as a solo dev? Agile sucks on toast. It disrupts the user experience, it fragments the design, and most of the work, code and assets both, ends up needing to be redone eventually.

Not all software benefits from the same working methods and release schedules. It’s understandable, perhaps, that incremental releases provide a little dopamine hit to players and a parasocial frisson that some of them just can’t do without, but for a solo dev or small team, it really does seem like a bad idea that results in a worse end product.
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Ryan390

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2022, 01:05:00 PM »

All I%u2019m going to add here is that I%u2019ve personally tried both %u2018agile%u2019 and waterfall release methods for my mods%u2026 and for this application, as a solo dev? Agile sucks on toast. It disrupts the user experience, it fragments the design, and most of the work, code and assets both, ends up needing to be redone eventually.

Not all software benefits from the same working methods and release schedules. It%u2019s understandable, perhaps, that incremental releases provide a little dopamine hit to players and a parasocial frisson that some of them just can%u2019t do without, but for a solo dev or small team, it really does seem like a bad idea that results in a worse end product.

You clearly don't understand agile or haven't implemented it correctly then, I guess. Agile done properly does not fragment the design or cause rework.. not sure how you can say that or substantiate it. What's the alternative, big bang release? I'm sure that will still be a relevant design and not contain bugs on release date..  ::)

You're point about dopamine is kind of facetious, but really it's not about giving your customers/players a rush, it's about getting feedback early to make sure the product fits the customers needs, can't tell you how much stuff comes out of a demo and pivoted changes, when you put a product in front of people that's when they start to actually realise what they really want, happened every single time we've ever done one. 

It's a fairly common tech practise, even in the games industry with pre beta releases that allow players early access. For a limited time frame, so devs can generate feedback. Again, Elite Dangerous was done in the same way.

Even star sectors early releases was a single system with a bunch of pirates you could shoot.. 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 01:22:09 PM by Ryan390 »
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Ryan390

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2022, 01:06:33 PM »

I think you're right, we will have to agree to disagree here.  You keep putting words in my mouth, making assumptions, contradicting yourself, and to top it all off ignoring massive chunks of what I've said.
Trying to twist me up with quotes is fine, I know what I know from experience, a lot of stuff I'd swear by professionally isn't really subjective. Ask Kent Beck or Robert C Martin.

The suggest anything other than that would be like saying: Ok Lewis Hamilton, You can drive an F1 car pretty good, supercars, sports cars, regular cars..
But I want you to get in this Peugeot 107 and forget all you're practises and principles because it won't apply here.

Well actually, it still does, a car is still a car.
You could almost say that it:

while relevant isn't the exact same.
as I have multiple times.

This conversation has gotten way off the rails, and most of what you're trying to debate with me has nothing to do with the original post or questions.  Nonetheless I'm glad you got the information you were after, enjoy your day mate.

Not trying to put words in you're mouth Fireside, you started getting extremely quote heavy, but your very first reply I didn't really understand frankly.

I think we've disagreed on both:

- Customer communication
- Dev practise crossover(s)

Which is fine, disagreement is healthy but yeah cool happy to disengage, enjoy you're evening pal, thanks for the talks.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 01:23:52 PM by Ryan390 »
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Ryan390

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2022, 01:19:26 PM »


I'm not a professional programmer, so i can't comment properly on this, but as a "hobby" programmer I've found the documentation in the API sufficient to help me figure out various issues i've ran into.

No worries and yes API documentation such as (swagger) is sufficient for a single stand alone API. You can argue that code should document itself (at a code level) but swagger is great for throwing in tests requests without having to dig out something like Postman. when you work professionally in a corporate environment, you end up integrating your API with other dependencies, it might be other teams' API's and external databases, etc.

So you have to network and secure your apps and they have to orchestrate of a more complex, bigger picture. That's where other layers of documentation come in like UML diagrams, backstage or Consul (service discovery) When I was a junior dev I never used to give much thought to documentation, but it's really useful in bigger organisations especially when people leave and you need that quick visual knowledge on a system, or set of systems.

With mod compatibility, this would be annoying, if Alex pushed an update every week, which may or may not break mods, that would increase the workload of modders to ensure their mods are compatible, not good for the modding community.
And often features Alex is working on (quest lines, new features/mechanics) take a long time to produce and are not suitable to be released in small chunks, so don't work with this idea.

Agreed, but we never used to be forced to update unless we clicked an update button, not sure if that's still the case. I'd imagine a mod has a certain supported version so we would obviously still need a system to use a specific version.
I've tried mods and personally prefer the vanilla game so would just stick to mainline master branch. But the option should still be there, I wouldn't imagine that being too much of an issue.


I don't remember the specifics on why Alex has some of the game code obfuscated, but I'm sure he has a good enough reason, and he will de-obfuscate code if modders have a good reason to want access to it, so i (personally) have no issues here.

Every codebase ever written will have levels of obfuscation, messy coupled code, it's normal. But you have to sometimes spend lots of time liberating code, breaking dependencies, simplifying code. Code rots over time when it isn't maintained.
last time I asked about this they have done a lot of clean-up, so I imagine Alex has deleted a lot of stuff and pulled things apart to try and give things more single responsibility. I can imagine that's really hard in terms of a game development because everything almost needs to know about everything else, so dependencies will naturally get quite messy. Be interested for one of them to take me through the code base on a screen share and explain some of it potentially.

Also the edit post button exists for a reason, please use it rather than posting the same thing four times in a row.

As stated I did press edit but for some reason it was spawning a new window and leaving the old post, might of been doing something dodgy, it wasn't intentional.
It's not really hurting you either so not sure why you felt necessary to bring up an honest mistake, but hey ho.

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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2022, 01:26:23 PM »

Can we get this guy to stop double- and triple-posting? The edit button exists.

You're point about dopamine is kind of facetious
I’ll grant you it’s funny, mostly because the way you’re jonesing for a hit here is also funny. You can deny it all you want, but a lot of what you're asking for amounts to ‘show me visible evidence of progress so I can jam it directly into a vein’.

but really it's not about giving your customers/players a rush, it's about getting feedback early to make sure the product fits the customers needs
At least in my case, ‘customer’ is a null concept, because my sole interest in modding is to make the thing I personally want. If it stops being fun for me, I just stop working on it. It’s one hundred percent optional for everyone involved, and I’ve personally found that people like my waterfall releases better, I enjoy working on them more, and the overall quality is better because I get more preliminary testing feedback.

I’d venture to guess Alex is working more consistently than I am, but that he’s found the same; more testing, less frequent releases, and in the end, a better end product.
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Draba

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2022, 01:33:42 PM »

All I’m going to add here is that I’ve personally tried both ‘agile’ and waterfall release methods for my mods… and for this application, as a solo dev? Agile sucks on toast. It disrupts the user experience, it fragments the design, and most of the work, code and assets both, ends up needing to be redone eventually.

Not all software benefits from the same working methods and release schedules. It’s understandable, perhaps, that incremental releases provide a little dopamine hit to players and a parasocial frisson that some of them just can’t do without, but for a solo dev or small team, it really does seem like a bad idea that results in a worse end product.

You clearly don't understand agile or haven't implemented it correctly then, I guess. Agile done properly does not fragment the design or cause rework.. not sure how you can say that or substantiate it. What's the alternative, big bang release? I'm sure that will still be a relevant design and not contain bugs on release date..  ::)

Not all software is the same, not all devs are the same. Recognizing what tools to use comes with experience and is part of being good at your job. Evidence shows the current method works very well for Starsector.
Also see Harmful Mechanic's post, dev's QoL is a valid concern since enjoying what you do has tons of benefits.
That dogmatic "this is the one true way for EVERYTHING" approach is part of why uncle Bob is a laughingstock in the majority of groups I've worked with.
Agile does have a place, in my experience "agile is best for everything" people are trying to sell books/consulting or are enthusiastic novices.

And yep, vaporware is off the mark: there has been a very playable game for years now.
The combat missions were narrower in scope but already did enough they could've been thrown on steam and be one of the better games there.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 01:37:22 PM by Draba »
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Ryan390

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2022, 01:59:33 PM »

Wow, is it even legal to wave your *** around as openly as Ryan (is try to)?

Time to get personal is it? Very productive of you. Clearly quite a defensive community that isn't really open to any change or thought processes.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 02:07:35 PM by Ryan390 »
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Thaago

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Re: Vapourware?
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2022, 02:09:51 PM »

Aaaaaand scene! *clicks slate board shut*

I'm just going to stop things here as it seems this thread has run its useful course and is about to explode. Thanks to those who engaged in good faith. @Yunru, please don't post ad hominem's like that, it breaks the forum rules. We can disagree with people without insulting them.
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