One Feature


One feature I will struggle with will be AI taking over local player.

The Hardest Thing for Programmer

What is the hardest thing for a programmer?

It’s not creating the game. Fixing errors comes second but that’s not it.

The hardest is testing.

Hitting that play button and searching for errors in your creation.

Imagine a parent that raises their child, only to give the child the test, with intention to point out any errors the poor child makes.

That’s the feeling of a programmer looking for errors in his code.

I used to wonder why companies have QA at all. Don’t programmers test their code?

They do. But they won’t do that sufficiently as it’s psychologically painful (looking for errors in creation we want to be proud of).

Actually, bad programmers would make the code and send it without testing at all.

Other team members are of little use.

I remember asking graphic designer to test the game. He simply didn’t do it.

I remember initiating rev-share projects. Kids come willingly and show their ideas in long discord discussions. And then don’t test the code they write.

I used to treat willingness to debug as something that differentiates a rev-share guy who will take things seriously. But frankly, no one did debugging.

The Solution

So what’s the solution to challenge of testing your own code?

To force yourself to do it. That’s reality.

The second option I found (apart from having your colleague test your code) is to make AI play local player. You only watch how it moves your ships and wait for errors to happen. It’s a brilliant idea, as you would use the AI anyway.

So it develops both AI in your game and tests the game by itself.

The Downside

It is also pretty complex, especially in multiplayer. It also won’t solve UI problems (as AI ignores the UI). And it won’t test places which aren’t handled by the AI.

But in the long run I found that it works. It serves it’s purpose and the effort pays off.

Will I do it?

I will probably do it. Actually, from a programmer’s point of view, making system for local AI is more enjoyable than testing the game, especially late game.

So this is the final todo for Gamma Empires.

And the green AI pyramid is not connected