It’s been a month since my last post. I rarely have much to write about because it often feels like my life is mostly just treading water, maintaining the status quo, or full of things I either can’t, or am unsure whether I can, talk about. The joys of working on highly confidential stuff in the games industry, or highly technical stuff we don’t want to leak details about to competitors. This somewhat limits my ability to talk about the cool technical stuff I work on except in only the most abstract of terms, but it is what it is.
Not talking about things is hard. Keeping secrets is easy enough, but it’s the burden of having all that pressure on you that is the real killer. When they are also secrets that have an effect on your life, then it’s extra hard, because you feel trapped, unable to talk about your own worries because in doing so you’d reveal someone elses secret. The stress that creates is pretty intense, and I’ve been feeling it a fair bit lately.
Pair that with the stress of responsibility, when you know ultimately everything falls to you to get it done, that if anything goes wrong it is your fault and you that has to fix it, that if you don’t do it, it wont get done and debt of leaving it will just keep mounting up is exhausting. It’s been a hard month and while the cracks are beginning to show, there is light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m holding on to that hope.
For some of the stuff I’m working on, I need to apply some maths I haven’t really had to use in anger for a long time. Mostly it’s sorting and limiting of n-dimensional sets of data. Mentally, I’m kind of visualising it as a bin-packing problem of n-dimensional geometry, which I’m not sure is a harder or easier than just thinking of it as a series of properties being compared. Given bin-packing is NP-hard, I’m not expecting to find any fast, optimal solutions with my high-school level of maths, but it’s been fun to ponder about and research. Adjunct to this, been looking at redis modules for the possibility of making n-dimensional ZSETs, for sorting n-dimensional data. It may be achieveable though with lua scripts and multiple ZSETs (one per dimension), but I’m not sure that is fast enough for the kind of things I want to do.
Been playing more Caverna and I’ve been exceedingly pleased to have been beated by Kerry multiple times. She’s really getting quite good, though both times she was ready to give up before the end and only realised she’d won after scoring. This most recent time she destroyed my score with a lead of 25 points! Super impressed!
Life in Unity has been good so far. For the most part, it’s been little things that have changed that just make life easier and remove little sources of stress. Nothing major has really changed yet, which is good really, as disruption is probably the most harmful thing to productivity right now.
I’ve been trying to learn Unity (the software) since it feels like I should probably have some base level understanding of the central product, and so far I’ve experienced a mixture of awe and frustration. The tools seems really nice, but as a guy who basically never uses IDEs, sometimes it is very frustrating when I just want to make the damn thing work, but instead have to fiddle about with a bunch of menus and objects and dragging and dropping of things to do something I’d have just written in code much more elegantly, and reproducable exactly to boot. I imagine a lot of that is just down to the fact I’m a complete amateur with no idea what I’m doing when it comes to the IDE, but I’ve got access to a lot of tutorials and things, so it’s just finding the time to go through them all and start applying their knowledge. As for making games with Unity, I have a few ideas but mostly I’m interested in it as a machinima/cinematic tool for making films or short experiences. Not seen a lot of indepth ‘Unity for Cinematography’ type tutorials out there yet, but maybe when I feel a bit more confident with it, I’ll go a-hunting.