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New Years Android Triumph

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December 1st, I made myself a New Year's resolution to completely create an Android game that I would not be ashamed to show people from (mostly) scratch before the end of December. What made it the most fun was that I started with practically no experience with the Android platform at all, and so I got to pick it up by the seat of my pants.

The biggest challenge was probably the last three days, where I was faced with some hard calls, when the deadline loomed, and my still mile-long list of wants had to be pruned down just about every few hours. I basically had a "buggy beta" by Wednesday morning, and all the problems remaining were ones I didn't know how to solve or hide, and while all the graphics where there, I could barely stand to look at them. I felt like I was spinning my wheels with no progress. My friend Dan tried to talk me down, pointing out with some clarity that there was no gun to my head, and I was doing this for myself, so I could stop any time. Amusingly enough, that was exactly what I needed to hear. I was doing this for myself, to better myself, to learn more discipline. I wanted to stretch my abilities to the limits. So, I pushed through. I found a book that showed me how to fix my problems, and I didn't stop until every bug I could find was fixed, and everything my poor family pointed out (I made them each play it like a dozen different times) was smoothed.

And last night, after about a hundred hours of total work this month, I slid under the wire with roughly two hours to spare. The game is not in the market YET, because at the end of it all, I concluded I would rather spend the few dozen more hours to convert it to OpenGL ES, and add in a few neat things I was unable to do using the Android canvas, but for a v1, I am immensely proud of the whole experience.

I can say, unequivocally; WHEW.

This challenge was a fantastic learning experience, and I had several great reminders of what my dad always told me growing up: just work smarter, son, not harder.

steve shogren

software developer, manager, author, speaker

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