Hello World #2

As Fiz said, now that we are live on Kickstarter it’s time to introduce us and greet all new visitors coming here.

So… Hi there! 🙂

I am Giulio Marra, or Tanek for everyone who knows me online, and I am the lead developer, project manager and algorithm mastermind of Dealer’s Life. I will be the harbinger of… release notes, technical insights and advices for all of you who are curious or want to learn more about game developing.

Let’s talk about me! I have 10 years of experience in working in Java on the “backend” side of a lot of important IT projects, ranging from massive data analysis structures, API design and implementation, an e-commerce platform and payment gateway integration.

And I am bringing all of this in Dealer’s Life!

tanek_prof-01

Yes, you heard it right, everything I learned since my first day on the job as a software engineer can (and should) be used during the development of a videogame.

Let’s start with the most obvious aspect: from the code perspective developing a game is not so different from developing anything else. You have to design it and evaluate design patterns, you have to think about the data structures and accessing the database, you have to think about modularity and reusability. And in the end, you have to write it in a clean and readable code.

Another important aspect is project management: even if our team is composed of only three people, the project cannot be left growing on its own, it has to be supervised and managed. Some examples of what has to be done are: identify, plan and assign priority to tasks, set milestones and estimate effort needed to reach them, use tools to share project planning, design documents and knowledge, and so on, not to mention try to stop (or at least delay) Fiz from implementing his latest crazy idea for some animations. Those guidelines help us drive, or steer, the project towards the best route, trying to avoid bumps and obstacles.

After 4 months of working on Dealer’s Life I can say that we chose correctly a good number of things to prioritize. Now we have a stable version with a Google Play integration for our testers, everything is running smoothly under the curtains, all the services providing algorithm implementation are working and generating content. Of course, as DL has procedurally generated contents, algorithms are very important but I will talk about them in another dedicated article.

Oh look, a line of code!

And what’s in for the future? Well, we have a lot of things to do and to manage: the closed beta is currently ongoing with more than a dozen of testers (or should I say friends? 🙂 ), we worked during last weekend to release a major update and we have just planned our next days, we will to continue the work in progress on the graphics while also implementing end game (with win and lose condition). In the meanwhile we have to manage all the work needed for the Kickstarter campaign and all our social media.

Pretty much a 24/7 job, isn’t it?

But there is no problem, this is our job now and I feel realized and happy while working on these things. And as a matter of fact this developer diary makes me feel even happier, so there will surely be other articles with updates or insights on technical details of our game. 🙂

Thank you for reading and… stay tuned! 🙂

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