The Importance of Commenting Code

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Dungeon University is the work of a tiny handful of people. I do the basics myself, calling in others when my own skill doesn’t seem to be enough. When I first got to work on it, I assumed that the people I started with would stay with it–after all, it’s not a huge project, right?

Well, a lot of time has passed. I’m faced with issues like trying to get a newer character artist to mimic the previous one, waiting what seems like forever for music, and, finally, learning to program for myself.

It’s not that the original programmer has left or anything. Actually, we’re good friends and I talk to him a lot. But this isn’t his labor of love like it is mine, and he just can’t put in the hours every week like I do. So I’m trying to write code based on a framework that I don’t fully understand or even know about. I tried using my basic knowledge to get going, but that resulted in a lot of errors that I couldn’t seem to trace effectively.

How much better would it be if I just knew what was going on? In order to help solve this, I decided to right a wrong in the previous programming–almost none of it was documented. So, I went into every class, variable and function and gave almost all of them the C# summary tags. Often, the names of these things made them super obvious, but I documented them in detail anyway.

The documentation is now there for future reference. More importantly, in doing this I had to go into every script and examine its parts carefully. Some of the explanations took a few extra steps to come up with, but now that I’ve seen it, I get it.

If you’re working on a programming project now or in the future, I recommend documenting it thoroughly. Even if it seems silly, it’s not a waste of time. Who knows when you’ll come back to it again?

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Status Report

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Here’s a few updates on how things have been going with me lately, in no particular order.

  • Although my girlfriend and I were only casually looking at the house market, we found the deal of a lifetime, so she went ahead and made an offer yesterday. She might close on a great house today.
  • Since getting home last weekend, I’ve submitted about 20 job applications. Some of them have already responded, but I’m on the fence about those particular ones.
  • Trying to write 1000 words a week on The Demon’s Guardian. That’s going fine, but I fear I’m just writing another complete mess.
  • A small change in Dungeon University has revealed a lot of bugs that I don’t understand. Today I’m going to start commenting all the programming, and if I don’t know what something does, I’ll find out. (Someone else got it all started, you see.)
  • I really suck at remembering Japanese vocab and characters. Good thing I have Anki flash cards.

Thanks for reading. I’ll probably expand on some of these in separate posts later on, but this is the basic summary. How are all of you guys doing? I want to hear from those that visit me!

What’s Dungeon University?

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On this blog, there’s going to be a lot of video game related content. Besides my side work reviewing games at opRainfall, I’m also creating my own video game known as Dungeon University.

Wicked Sprout Logo

Dungeon University‘s, uh, “mascot.”

Basically, it’s a turn-based RPG heading to the PC, filled with dungeon crawling and character interaction. Uniquely, each character’s level is the total of the bonds they share with other party members. Between battles and special dialogue sequences, each character will get to know each other as partners, as well as the group as a whole.

As the name suggests, our heroes are college students, but most of their courses are in things like sword techniques or healing magic. You can choose topics to study in order to work toward new and better skills, then take your pick of mysterious dungeons to explore and battle in. As you learn more about the school’s dark secrets, some scary people might come to challenge you…

If you’ve played Persona 3 or 4, or Trails of Cold Steel, it draws a lot of inspiration from them, but I wanted to tie the character links even closer to the battle gameplay.

This is just the overview, obviously. It will take time, but I hope to make this website the home of all things Dungeon University. So, stay tuned!