Witch Doctor

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Witch Doctor

Almost typed Necromancer again, but this time is way different than the last time I had to worry about exchanging a hard drive. In this installment, it turns out that A) the hard drive inside Shiney (that’s the old laptop for those of your keeping score at home) is just underneath a single panel. Unlike in Lazarus (that would be the one before Shiney – much like in Project Mayhem in death, a Star Frog Computer gets a name) where I basically had to reduce the system to pieces and literally pry the thing out. Also, B) Windows Vista and Windows 7 use the same file structures. Unlike, I figure, Vista and XP. I know this because my data just copied right over, uncorrupted, and without extra “Zombie” characters.
After some doing, I’ve even managed to get the whole thing dancing on my ultrabook.

Now, I know that the readers (HA!) prefer to hear about the things that go stupid, since this can sometimes come across as all congratulatory or “positve.” In that case, here’s the bad news. Turns out that XNA and Visual Studio 2010 don’t really get along too well with each other. Worse, VS10 tried being all helpful and stuff, converting my code to VS10 format. Which is swell, but you know what can’t read VS10 format? Visual Studio 8, that’s what. I could copy the files from the Shiney Drive (which sounds like the engine on the USS Happypants) and I think I may end up doing that.
Also, would you believe that an ultrabook has a smaller screen than a full fledged laptop? That’s because it does. Would you also believe that XNA does not support the resolution that my ultrabook runs at? That’s also true. Instead, it shrinks the game window on my already smaller screen so it’s like I’m playing on a Game Boy. I’m not sure if that’s just something I’m going to have to deal with or not, assuming that it’s Visual Studio 2010 trying to be helpful again. Bastard.
If that is the case, I very well may be learning the fine art of motherboard replacement in a laptop so I can Steve Rogers Shiney and its bigger screen. I’m sure that’s gonna go just fuggin dandy. Although, this is the kind of thing that plagues / makes indie dev special. I mean, the dudes at BioWare are catching flak about the ending to Mass Effect 3, meanwhile me and my no budget get to worry about trading coding and development time to actually fix hardware. I keep having to remind myself periodically, that if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be cool – and then try to get back to work.

Also, I was going to install the memory (all 4 high quality gigs!) into the Ultrabook, but they are the wrong shapes. So that fails.

Finally, something else did go wrong. You see, I tend to code in a series of tests. I’ll start writing a bit of “Test” code to see if something works or is possible. If it does, I usually just keep whatever it was called and move on. So I occasionally have bits of code that have odd names. Sometimes these are tricky toc change after the fact, since other parts of the code may reference said function by name. This happened today with a little something called LearningGame. It’s a class that handles certain drawing duties. The name is a leftover from when I started coding up Paper Zeppelin to see what I could do. Test ran into test and eventually I had an entire engine to show for it.
Problem is I also had a program I called LearningGame where that was the entire program. When I imported Paper Zeppelin into Visual Studio 2010 it could not find the bit called LearningGame that was supposed to be in the engine. Like a dumbass, I just inserted the wrong one. So, technically speaking, when I compile I run 2 different games at the same time!
I want to hate it harder, but it’s difficult to hate something that appears so tiny on my screen.

Work it harder, make it better
Do it faster, makes us stronger…