put ’em up!

2 11 2011

Alright, this post is mostly about complaining, it started off as two posts complaining about different things but I figured it’ll be better to concatenate them into one and be done with it. So let’s roll our sleeves, er… my sleeves, actually I’m not wearing a shirt which is probably more information than anyone wants to know…

Agile development
I’ll be frank here, I’m not actually sure I know what being agile is. I try to be agile, I’ve read heaps about it and try to make sure I follow the spirit of it (as far as I understand it anyway) but it’s hard and I’ve got lots to learn. That said I think by now I do know what agile isn’t… The following are just some snippets I’ve picked up along the way.

“Don’t worry about formalities too much, we’re agile after all, we’ll just do a couple of spontaneous scrums”

“Story points… what’s that? You’ve got 12 hours just pick the stories you think you can do”

“Are you synced with the repository?” –> “What, no, it’s been like 3 days since I’ve done a commit”.

“We only unit test the really important parts of the system”

“TDD is stupid, you’ll just break all the tests when writing new code and then have to rewrite them all”

“Don’t write new unit tests because it’ll take too long to set up the ENTIRE system in order to run them”

There are a few more but these are enough to get it out of my system.
The next point I’m going to complain about is also the last one, so without further ado;

Let me preface this section with some positives. Unity is a very nice renderer and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solution for mobile devices cross-platform deployment. That said,

Error/Warning Messages
It isn’t hard to write good error messages, they should be short and tell me what happened (and if possible some probable ways to solve it). The following are not good messages:

  • “Impossible” – really… really… Is that the best we can do?
  • “This shouldn’t have happened” – well no shit Sherlock, I don’t need the program to tell me that do I???

I know it’s hard to have something as complex as Unity at perfect stability, but my workflow involves the Windows’ Task Manager and in the words of a great poet, “it ain’t no good”.

Okay, I think that’s it. There is more of course, the magic methods Unity uses, or the insane object model but I’m tired and my system’s cleared. Stay tuned for next week when I’m going to start writing about actual game dev stuff, Yay!

“But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, ‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.”