Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Make Great Modifications

November 24, 2014

Hello all,

I have seen many programmers create modifications for ANY kind of code base, whether that would be a text-based game (like for most of you reading this) or for an enterprise application. Obviously, most if not all of these modifications are created differently and all of them have a different code base. However, there are some things that you can do as the developer in order to ensure that your modifications come out as anticipated if not even better!

  1. When request is received, document the request. This is something that I don’t see much if at all anymore. If you are a customer who is requesting a modification from you, wouldn’t you want to know exactly what all the modification involves before they start? Surprises are your worst enemy as a modification creator and documentation will prevent a lot of this surprise from occurring.
  2. Provide a timeline for this request. If not for your own satisfaction of knowing that you will complete this modification, create a timeline and give this timeline to the customer. Not only will you be happy knowing that you will complete it within the given amount of time, but the customer will have advanced notice of its completion in order to notify their users ahead of time of the upcoming modification, which for all those playing those games is something that is great to hear: a new feature!
  3. Stick to the timeline. Do NOT be late with the delivery of your modification if unless advanced notice is given to the customer ahead of time of this problem for emergency reasons. You created the timeline, and the customer now has the expectations of you to finish it. So do so!
  4. Assist the customer in the modification installation. I am very surprised to see how little help there is sometimes with this point. Help your customer out! Customer service can be your greatest asset in receiving new customers, regardless of the number of attempts it took and work it took to get the modification installed appropriately.
  5. Talk to your customer throughout the modification creation process. Keep the customer updated on your progress! It is a great feeling for a customer knowing that your modification is at a certain step of its creation so that there are no surprises.
  6. Provide lots of documentation. Again, this is also very surprising to me how little documentation is given for a modification, especially when the customer is paying for it! Give them documentation to work with so that they can understand how the modification works! The more they understand, the better the chance that they will be asking you again for another modification.

This is only a subset of a very long list of things that you can do as a developer in order to ensure your modifications regardless of the amount of code needed will be successful. Now get out there and start your coding! 🙂

Do you have any tips on making great modifications? If you do, leave a comment below!

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Let’s Get Some Net Neutrality!

November 14, 2014

Hello all!

As many of you know, net neutrality is very important in today’s society in the United States especially. Well on Monday, the United States president posted a video discussing net neutrality, which you can see below.

It sounds to me like the president is on board with most of us to keep net neutrality alive and well. There is also another comedic video with John Oliver through the show “Last Week Tonight” that is posted below as well.

What are your thoughts on net neutrality?

President Obama – Net Neutrality
Last Week Tonight – Net Neutrality

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Organizing Your Files

November 10, 2014

Hello all,

So last week, I discussed about MVC, and in that discussion, I mentioned that MVC is also a way to organize your code base. I am sure many of you have your own method of organizing your files, but if you do not, then this is your wake-up call.

File organization is extremely important. Without it, your files will be all over the place, and if you are attempting to track down a bug in order to fix it, it may prove to be very difficult in order to follow the chaining of the files without some kind of organization. Not only that, but many people need to have some kind of organization in order to be more efficient in what they do. If you are one of these people, then without some kind of organization structure, you will prove to not be very efficient in what you do. Also, most of you have your files somewhat organized on your computer, right? So why not on your game?

I certainly cannot say that I am perfect either because my files are not organized 100% of the time, but this is still something to heavily consider if you are an owner of a game. You want to be organized!

So, if you do not have any file organization right now, what can you do?

My first suggestion to you first is to map out your game. Sounds tedious, doesn’t it? Well it is vitally important to do so. Not only will you be able to easily trace the file chaining for bugs, but you will have a complete understanding of where all of your files link up. For those of you who purchased engines, you may also find that some of the files that you have are not even used!

After mapping out your game, your next suggestion is to figure out how you would like to organize your files. Figure out a structure that makes sense to your game in particular. MVC is not suggested if you already have your game set up, but it can work. The link to my post discussing MVC is here: http://g7470programming.com/blog/wordpress/2014/11/mafia-games-monday-mgm-what-is-mvc/. Most of the time, you should pick a organization structure that makes the most sense to you.

After picking your structure, the next step is to start organizing your files. This is pretty straight-forward, so put your files in the proper defined directory that you have decided.

The final step is to adjust your code base to reflect the organization change. If you have your mapping available from the first step, this will be rather simple to find the files and rename the include paths appropriately.

I know that this sounds like a daunting task, but file organization is very important in any kind of application or even on your home computer.

What kind of file organization do you have? If you don’t have any file organization and choose not to organize, why not?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – What is MVC?

November 3, 2014

Hey all,

So there are many text-based games out there, but what is the framework of which you are using to organize your code? Is it just built off of a directory structure? All the files mashed into one area? No organization or framework?

Within the past couple weeks, I have just started to work with a fellow programmer whose name is Kyle (shout-out to his site: https://toplistedgames.com/) to work on building a small example of a text-based game using a framework called MVC.

So, what is MVC?
MVC is a framework that separates different interfaces in order to give not only a complete organization of your code base, but also encourages re-use of most of the code base with the exception of what the user sees.

What does MVC mean?
MVC stands for Model-View-Controller.

How does MVC work?
MVC works by separating the interfaces, yet having a link to connect the three interfaces together.
The controller is your base code. Basically, this code will run on most, if not all, pages in order to run the necessary background logic. Most of the time, this code is used to define functions which can be used in the models as well as create the very base layout which will be used throughout your site or application.
The model is the code that layers over top of the controller and makes a connection between the view and the controller. The model has some background code as well, but it uses functions that can be utilized in the views. The model usually displays most of the site or application-wide layout to the user.
The view is code that is specific to the page of which you are viewing. The view will display the page-specific layout to the user.

Is MVC specific to a programming language?
No it is not! MVC is an organizational technique, which is not limited to any language. I have seen these done in C++, C#, and PHP before, but MVC can be done in many other languages.

Any examples of MVC?
Of course! Here are a couple MVC exmples:

What are your opinions on MVC? Is this a good framework to use for text-based games? Why or why not?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470