How do you keep from being overwhelmed by a project?

This is a discussion on How do you keep from being overwhelmed by a project? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; It occured to me today, for the first time actually, that I may be in over my head on my ...

  1. #1
    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    How do you keep from being overwhelmed by a project?

    It occured to me today, for the first time actually, that I may be in over my head on my editor/engine project Clockwork.

    Not that I don't know what i'm doing, or where to go with it, but I just get a headache thinking about all that's left to be done just to get a decent beta release out.

    Part of it's my fault I suppose, since I created extra work by not planning enough before, resulting in a design oversight.

    How do you guys keep yourselves from becoming overwhelmed by your own projects?

    Sorry for being whiny and complainy, but it had to happen sometime ;p
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
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    Mac and OpenGL evangelist.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychopath
    How do you guys keep yourselves from becoming overwhelmed by your own projects?
    Slaves.



    in all seriousness. If I have something really big, I find out how I can break it down into several smaller projects, so that I can have something done within a few days. Even if it is nothing special and only 1/60th of the entire project, it's nice to be able to at least look at a piece of what you've done so far.
    ...Don't know if that made any sense at all.

  3. #3
    pwns nooblars
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    Just keep iterating Psycho.

  4. #4
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >How do you guys keep yourselves from becoming overwhelmed by your own projects?
    I forget about it whenever I can. The best way to get overwhelmed or burnt out is to constantly work on or think about your project.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  5. #5
    Fear the Reaper...
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    Code:
    for(;;)
    {
           printf("All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...");
    }
    That always works for me...
    Teacher: "You connect with Internet Explorer, but what is your browser? You know, Yahoo, Webcrawler...?" It's great to see the educational system moving in the right direction

  6. #6
    pwns nooblars
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    I get a good couple hours a thinkin in on any given project at a time. Then I go play video games and/or work. I recently rediscovered the joys of Starcraft after hearing about Starcraft: Ghost finally being cancled... Blizard under-thought then over-thought then under-thought... while(1)... on that project and look where it ended up.

    I probably plan as much as I code/debug and still design flaws are all over. I am thinking about picking up a design patterns book.

  7. #7
    {Jaxom,Imriel,Liam}'s Dad Kennedy's Avatar
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    My boss is so scater-brained that he hardly lets me work on one project for very long .

  8. #8
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennedy
    My boss is so scater-brained that he hardly lets me work on one project for very long .
    My bosses never let me work on a project for more than a few hours... at which point they fire me.
    Sent from my iPadŽ

  9. #9
    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    I always felt sorry for jack. The hotel used him!

    To be honest, if I'm writing a program, and if there are lots of problems flying at me from all angles and I don't know how to solve any of them, I make a number of side-projects. This way, I tackle one problem at a time. In fact, I have one pernament project on my computer called 'problem_proj', where I do my smaller sub projects, then file the source in sub folders within my 'problem_proj' folder when I solve the problem ... seems slightly obsessive, eh? I think of it as organised

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    Learn how to say "no" to certain aspects of your project (don't implement them, or take an easier approach) and take a break every now and again. Yes, it really can be that simple.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  11. #11
    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    Saying "no" has always been a problem for me. With everything.

    I'll probably try what twomers and system_159 said; breaking it down into smaller pieces.

    I've been away for the last 5 days, so I've had a nice little break from the computer. Maybe that's what I needed, because i'm now itching to get back at it again.
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  12. #12
    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    post it on sourceforge and get others to help with it to. This only works sif you project is actually interesting, which I think it is.
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  13. #13
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >post it on sourceforge and get others to help with it to. This only works sif you project is actually interesting
    And if open sourcing it is feasible.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  14. #14
    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    I would post it on SF, but I don't really have any intention of making the project open-source (yet).
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
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  15. #15
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Projects become overwhelming when you try to do too much with too little. Make a list of features and functionality you would 'ideally' like to have. Now go through that list and pick out the ones that are 'realistically' possible given the size of your dev team, time needed to implement, etc, etc. Your list will begin to shrink quite rapidly.

    Your editor does not need to do everything under the sun like 3DS Max and it won't. You cannot possibly produce a 3DS Max with the time you have and the number of people you have. And besides take a look at Blender. It does a lot, but doesn't do it all that well and the interface is horrible. But trueSpace and gameSpace from Caligari will do everything you want, will do it well, and the interface is much better.

    So what is it exactly that you want this editor to be able to do and what 'functionality' do you feel lies beyond the scope of the editor. Is it for creating localized objects or can it create entire worlds? Will it have various file format exporters or are you going to simply support a format of your own design and then allow people to create exporters. This is a simple process of creating an API of sorts for loading and saving data and you can implement plug-ins to do format specific tasks.

    I'd say plug-ins are the most important part of an editor. This allows you to focus more on the core code and then let the rest 'evolve' as people begin to use it and need more functionality.

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