Sunday, August 9, 2015

Text-based Games and the Future

I just wanted to do a quick update since it's been a little while, been a bit sidetracked lately with a book editing project I'm doing as well as helping my brother to try and push out a text-based game for Android on Google Play called Blood Touch (look for it soon!).  While that is in Java, he is handling the coding and I am simply helping with content, coming up with "monsters" and stats and numbers for him to add to a JSON file.  I've done very little video tutorials as of late, but have recently started to try and pick that back up and mess with Android Studio again.  My brother also plans to send me the code for this simple game so that I can mess with it and try to understand the various pieces and activities and concepts, and figure out what is doing what.

By the way, this "simple" text-based game is way more complicated than either of us thought it was going to be. There is a lot to it and a lot he had to research and figure out, but then again that is what he says the essence of programming is all about basically.  All of this will be a great stepping stone going forward, which was a major point in making this game. Don't get me wrong though, he also loved these games growing up and enjoys playing them (and I have really enjoyed testing it and helping him with tweaks and additions and testing it again and again), so there is the whole nostalgia aspect as well, and a genuine like for it.  We are both perfectionists, so it's hard for us NOT to put 100% into something we do, sometimes to a fault.  This game may not impress anybody and may not garner much attention, but it certainly is not half-assed nor seen as JUST a learning experience.

Anyway, the latest news in regards to my learning Java: my brother feels as though the Android Studio courses and videos I've been watching may not be as beneficial to me at this point, because they are focused so much on Android features and things like XML layout files, or Gradle build files, or Android widgets and the such.  He thinks I should practice with more straight Java code, hence why he wants to send me this Blood Touch project to play around with. I also have an idea to try to mimic a simple looking app that I have to use at my "regular" job all the time.  It's very basic white screens with black text, with buttons to access the various parts of the app. At work, it runs on iPods with a scanner attachment that we use, with it's main purpose to keep track of inventory. Obviously I won't have a scanner to actually activate, but I feel like I could at least make all of the different screens and replicate everything else about it, just to see if I can. So that's kinda where I am right now, a little disappointed that I've been away from the tutorials for a few weeks after I was making such good progress for a chunk of time before that... but I am very excited to be this close to having contributed to something that will soon be on Google Play, I will probably come back to this post and add a link to it, so again look for that in the future!

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