After action report: Disney World and BlizzCon

I’m back! The last couple of weeks felt like they lasted forver, mostly because it’s been an extension of living out of hotels for the last month or so. I’m finally settling down in a new apartment in Austin, though there’s still a lot of boxes everywhere. If you’re curious, here’s a quick recap of the last two weeks for me.

Disney World

My wife and I really like Disney, so admittedly we spent our honeymoon here (in 2014) and decided to come back for our second anniversary. If you hear me talk about vacations, you’ll quickly learn that for us, it all revolves around the dining. I wouldn’t say were “foodies,” but we do love to try new places and the Disney dining plans are great for that. Last time we didn’t get our reservations in until three months before our trip, so we missed out on a lot of the restaurants we wanted to try.

Here’s a few highlights from the trip:

Off the grid for the next 2 weeks

Well, not completely off the grid. But next week is my anniversary, and we’re heading off to Disney World for the week, so I’ll be ignoring the Internet for the most part and definitely not writing any code.

After that, I have to head off to sunny Anaheim for BlizzCon 2016! Sadly I won’t be enjoying it the same way the fans do; I’ll be spending most of my time locked up in a war room learning the ropes on operations. Keeping the lights on when so many fans are excitedly hitting the web site is a big task.

Good luck without me. I’ll be back before too long.

Documentation is important

I haven’t been able to do as much coding as I would like on Critterbits this week (busy with real life stuff). All I added was a little feature for creating timers and callbacks in the scripting engine. So instead I spent some time this weekend on some much-needed documentation. Even with just a few small features in the engine, I realized I kept having to refer back to my code to remember what I called certain configuration keys and scripting conventions, so I decided it was about time to write some documentation that I was going to need anyways.

This is probably one of my number one peeves with lots of projects (both open source and not). Documentation is usually an afterthought to the point that once someone decides its important, the project is so far along that catching up becomes a hopeless task. For something like a highly configurable/scriptable game engine like Critterbits, documentation is especially important, otherwise the whole project is kind of useless for other people to get into.

You have to start somewhere

As with all things, I have to start somewhere. I decided to make this blog so that, among other things, I could chronicle my development of a custom game engine (and a game to go along with it) that I call Critterbits. I might also talk about some other things from time to time as the mood strikes me.

I first started the Critterbits project in earnest back in August, though to be fair the idea for it goes back a couple years. Over that time, I’ve learned a few different engines and even some raw OpenGL programming to prepare for this. I even used Unity3D professionally for a while. One thing I learned through that process is that while all the available free engines I looked at were certainly handy for jumping right in and getting started, they were way overkill for the kind of game I wanted to make. I wanted to do something simple, and I felt like all the tools and bells and whistles just kept getting in the way.