Spring is Here

I return to this blog in the manner of our local weather.

The calendar says that it has been Spring for more than a week, but this is Michigan. Last Saturday morning, there was measurable snow on the ground from overnight flurries. Yesterday, we breached the 60 degree barrier for the second time this year, reaching 66 degrees (Fahrenheit) on a beautiful sunny day. This morning it was grey, but warm, with a few sprinkles. As I started this post, there was a rain shower in bright sunshine. Now, it is particularly dark, from a thunderstorm, and raining heavily.

Just to get everybody up to speed, development on the next major project for Goodsol Development has come along well, although there is yet more to do. We have reached the stage of having a technology preview of the product. For those unfamiliar with Microsoft euphemisms, a “technology preview” is a substantial implementation of a program design which is still buggy as hell. In this case, there was a lot of development between the prototype and the point where we could actually see glimpses of the intended functionality. However, this version does work, and with a few essential fixes, it is usable. Now the real testing begins.

Speaking of bugs, whatever happened to the old “stack overflow” error? One of the problems (the worst bug, and the easiest to fix) was not exactly a typographical problem, but in a similar vein. In a certain case, within a derived virtual function, the program was supposed to call the same virtual function of the parent. I accidentally typed the wrong class name and created a theoretically infinite recursion. Instead of the trusty “stack overflow” message of yore, which would give a clue, this program just locked up or crashed. The debugger information was no help at that point either, as the recovery process apparently lost any worthwhile stack data.

Anyway, the bright spot, aside from the sporadic blue sky outside, is that it appears our company, Digital Gamecraftâ„¢ (SophSoft, Incorporated), will be moving closer to full speed operation in the next couple of weeks, as my business partner returns. Not coincidentally, this also means that I will be getting back my wife after more than 3 months of separation as she was taking care of (extended) family matters. I can hardly wait to get back to what passes for “normal” around here.

I am preparing the promised series on quality game development, and I intend to post the introduction on Monday, so please check back after the weekend.


Oops… Not Ready Yet

My eyes are still adjusting to the light outside my cave.

I am currently engaged in an epic mission to complete a large project for Goodsol Development. We are now in the part of the implementation phase where all of the design and challenging coding has been completed, but lots of fairly mundane code needs to be written and tested. Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be a bigger job than originally anticipated, but it is my highest business priority (above blogging). The ironic thing is that once this done, it may only be immediately apparent to readers of Gamecraft or perhaps Thomas Warfield‘ s A Shareware Life.

On the personal side, I took the day off last Sunday in order for my children (and me) to try curling for the first time. Despite our proximity to Canada, where there are more than a million curlers, and the fact that our own city has more ice rinks than the entire country of Turkey, the closest curling sheet is more than an hour drive from here, at the Detroit Curling Club. The Detroit Curling Club is one of the oldest curling clubs in the United States, founded in 1885, but this was the first time they had an open house. They were overwhelmed with the response, having to turn people away at the door, and those of us who stayed had more than an hour wait before hitting the ice. Still, it was a neat experience and worth the drive (at least once).

I plan to begin publishing the series about quality game development in the near future. First, I must do before I can afford the time to teach.