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View Full Version : How do you keep from being overwhelmed by a project?



psychopath
10-17-2006, 05:05 PM
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

System_159
10-17-2006, 05:39 PM
How do you guys keep yourselves from becoming overwhelmed by your own projects?


Slaves.



:p 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.

Wraithan
10-17-2006, 05:43 PM
Just keep iterating Psycho.

Prelude
10-17-2006, 06:00 PM
>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.

Happy_Reaper
10-17-2006, 06:48 PM
for(;;)
{
printf("All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...");
}

That always works for me...

Wraithan
10-17-2006, 07:18 PM
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.

Kennedy
10-17-2006, 09:57 PM
My boss is so scater-brained that he hardly lets me work on one project for very long ;).

SlyMaelstrom
10-18-2006, 11:27 AM
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.

twomers
10-18-2006, 12:33 PM
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 :p

BobMcGee123
10-18-2006, 04:53 PM
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.

psychopath
10-22-2006, 09:57 AM
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.

manutd
10-22-2006, 10:41 AM
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.

Prelude
10-22-2006, 11:03 AM
>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.

psychopath
10-22-2006, 11:15 AM
I would post it on SF, but I don't really have any intention of making the project open-source (yet).

VirtualAce
10-22-2006, 01:27 PM
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.