Going overboard

This is a discussion on Going overboard within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I keep finding myself that when I decide to program anything I keep going overboard. As in I just want ...

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    Going overboard

    I keep finding myself that when I decide to program anything I keep going overboard. As in I just want to make a simple rpg and Im now thinking of making it have its own market system etc. Does this happen to anyone else? Or do you have any stories?

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    It's called ambition/drive. It's waht pushes you to become a better programmer.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Well I don't know if it's the same as going overboard but I have hit a couple road blocks before.

    A friend of mine invented a language for her fiction book, and she thought it would be cool to have a translator. Not a big problem for me - it was a pretty simple language; you could translate by doing text substitution. I didn't bother coding a solution that translated the other way though. The width of the phonemes was a bit too random for me to discern some sort of pattern and I was slightly afraid that some stubborn words would translate wrong.

    When I got the first half of the translator working, I explained the situation to her and she seems to understand. It was fun though! I enjoyed it a whole lot, and encouraged her to develop the language.

    Unfortunately it's in JavaScript. I should learn PERL but we wouldn't have been able to use it anyway since her hosting service doesn't give all its members cgi-bins (at least initially). Maybe I could figure it out in PERL but I haven't made new attempts on it.

    Being able to compartmentalize is important if you're tackling something beyond a snippet, I think. I split the project I was talking about in half: you'd have to do something similar. An oak tree does not fall in a single stroke.

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    Translators can be a great learning experience. You should continue to develop that project, and try and find new and effecient ways to solve the issues and road blocks you encounter.

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    There is nothing wrong with getting more and more ideas. Several games that are now on the market started in someone's head as a simple project.

    Sims started in the mind of Will way back in the days when Computer People first came out for the Commodore 64. Unfortunately he had to wait until technology actually caught up to his idea.

    The most important thing is that when you get these brainstorms to write them down and then decide on a final design before you start coding. Otherwise you will code yourself into a corner. Coding first and designing later would be like trying to paint your house but being unsure just exactly what color you want to paint it. Painting it the wrong color is a lot of wasted labor and time so it's better to decide on the color first and then paint last.

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    Well... RPG's aren't exactly "simple", but yeah, I get what you mean. I've had a project to implement an 1 person vs. 1 AI for a card game, so I created a game that could support any amount of humans or AIs. Had to create simple hash table to support strings, so I created one that could support any data type. etc, etc.
    Yes this is generally a good thing, though I find it helps you feel good about your skills intraspectively, to others they really could care less, and in many situations I had, you may actually be penalized for going "above and beyond" the call.

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    The most important thing is that when you get these brainstorms to write them down and then decide on a final design before you start coding. Otherwise you will code yourself into a corner. Coding first and designing later would be like trying to paint your house but being unsure just exactly what color you want to paint it. Painting it the wrong color is a lot of wasted labor and time so it's better to decide on the color first and then paint last.
    BINGO

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    I often find myself 'going overboard' but not to such a high degree. I'll write a program and then be like: "Oh i should add this," and "Oh that would help out and work great too." and soon enough i have added so many other features and such that the program went from simple to quite complex in a short amount of time. But... As was mentioned, the only way you can learn is to try new things, and to be honest, i've learned more from the members of these forums than any book or tutorial, because i wanted to do something, tried it, and had someone help me work through it until it was working. And then i know how to do it for the next time. See what im getting at?

    As was also said, it's this urge to make more and new and better things that makes us all better programmers.
    "Anyone can aspire to greatness if they try hard enough."
    - Me

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