So, just spent the last 5 hours gaming with Meg and Daz, it’s been a while since I did so with anyone, and it’s a helluva thing
It’s taken my mind off a lot of the frustrations of learning a new … everything really (from a web dev context).
I’ve come back to it all, and whilst I got it in the first place, I’ve now understood this even more and it’s a rare moment where I’m *really* excited about coding a proper solution to the Hard Reset site. It’s a little bit of a roundabout way but:
- Code an SOGC site using CodeIgniter and the MVC method (I can’t believe how different it is to Symfony, it feels so much more open and less like a giant, monolithic black box of a framework)
- Use this code and replicate the Hard Reset site with it, the challenge will be using the existing schema of the Hard Reset site at present.
- Implement MPU’s site as well to handle this
- Roll out to the rest of the MPU Network events that request this
CodeIgniter, and it clicking into place and my choice to go ahead with it for the MPU network – it feels like the right thing. I haven’t had this feeling in a long time.
Well, I spent most of the afternoon trying to get my head around Symfony – I think, given the scope of the project, and all the bells and whistles on offer from Symfony – it’s perhaps the wrong framework.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s elegant, extensive, and extremely powerful – but it adds abstraction that isn’t necessary for our scope of work. I took a look at CodeIgniter as well this evening, and I don’t know — it just clicks with me so much more than Symfony does.
It feels like a gentler learning curve both into the world of OOP and MVC design for my PHP.
Guess we’re going with CodeIgniter now
Well, most of the basic functionality required for the HR website has been completed. And in my short coding break, I decided to take a look at potential frameworks for developing the new LEGION project, and the MPU website going forward (to infinity and beyond!)
I came across Symfony, an MVC-based framework. As far as I can tell, a lot of projects out there are actually based on Symfony, although a lot of them don’t make mention of it.
The framework itself seems to have considerable staying power!
Why bother with all this?
Quite simply, writing everything in flat-file PHP, even with elegant includes and MVC based structure – still doesn’t work because:
- There’s too many opportunities for security flaws
- Maintenance is inefficient (changing the name of an included file means you have to track where ALL those include(‘file.php’) are, and change them – not easy when there’s 10 planned sites, with over 3000 files between them)
- Developer-agnostic code. No single developer on the project can wholly own the code, making them the source of truth. Instead, the code remains the source of truth, and the developers the craftsmen who shape it. Bringing in additional developers will be easier, and faster.
- Base skill level increase. All devs who are currently in the team would need to learn this framework, it’d increase their skills, and change the way they do things to an MVC paradigm. This also makes the barrier for entry for community members more difficult, as the vast majority of them are not familiar with this paradigm. It means whoever does apply to help, would already have high enough level skills to understand the concepts of MVC (and thus, meet a certain skill requirement for the team)
- Art & Science become separate. Church & State so to speak. Artists and designers can work on assets and required aspects of the site, entirely separately from the coders.
Hmm, I guess there are a lot of reasons to move on with how I code things.
Hard Reset Site Dev check-in
- Events Admin Backend
- Create/Edit/Delete/Hidden Events
- Manage Guests (Uninvite, Paid/Unpaid)
- News Admin Backend
- Add Comments, Hide Comments etc.
- Add/invite gamers to guest list per event
- Front-end news/reading + comments etc.
I’m sure I’m not unique – but there are times I code and develop, and spend a day doing work on something, only to have a real snail’s pace of work done on the overall project as a whole. Coding is a passion of mine, seeing the lines of code I put, come out as something people would interact with on-screen, is really what floats my boat. I think most devs and coders feel the same way (or they wouldn’t be in the business!)
But recently, I had this issue where I couldn’t code any more – I just hit that wall where everything I typed was uninspired and the code I churned out worked but was inelegant and unsatisfactory.
So I watched some clips about game devs, and developers – and it was the most inspiring thing for my Coder’s block. I ended up watching Minecraft: The Story of Mojang - which is actually freely available on The Pirate’s Bay (from the producers of the film themselves!) but I strongly urge you guys to buy it if you love it after seeing it.
Seeing people talk about their games so passionately, and watching them type things out in their little development hubs – it’s inspiring watching them work. And it immediately got me back in the mood to code (bow chika wow wow)
Watching true masters at work. Love it.
Well, as we rush to towards the new year, I’ve got a crunch mode going on. Hard Reset is the new LAN project that Ben’s working on under the Multiplayer United banner, and I’ve taken it upon myself to develop the website for him. Another notch on the belt so to speak.
But it’s brought to my attention a lot of various issues that I need to resolve in the way that I develop, and produce these sites. The scale and scope of these developments are so much larger than just a single website (a la SOGC or the MPU site) – in fact, it affects both those mentioned sites too.
A lot’s happened in a very very short few months towards the end of the year, and suffice to say – 2013 will need to be something spectacular to out-do the highs and the lows of 2012.
Back to how I was developing the sites though – a lot of the time, I just spit out several thousand lines of code/script that is iteratively written. That is, each page is done as necessary, bespoke and customised. Whilst there’s a market for that, it’s an inelegant solution to developing something of a ‘network’ – which the Hard Reset site will be (a part of at least).
So I’m faced with the already-solved-but-too-tiresome-conundrum of how to proceed with my code. Logic would dictate that Hard Reset requires something delivered ASAP, something functional to handle the influx of users that may potentially happen. Regardless, it’s a business and opportunity waits for no one.
I’ll have to develop the Hard Reset site iteratively first – and by all standards, this would be well and good enough for a single website. But it isn’t when the new MPU begins as well on January 1st, demanding everything from me really in terms of skill, and content creation. Life will be pretty crazy, pretty busy and pretty stressful come January 1st. And it’s only really dawning on me now the extent of the work required.
It’s exciting though
This update to WordPress looks pretty shiny! It’s very minimalist, I kind of like it – and for simplicity’s sake, I’ll probably keep it as is. Rather dull, but at least it’ll force me to focus more on the content than on the site’s features. Stay tuned for more musings!
Since probably…the Steam/Valve version of the SOGC site – I’ve always been striving to improve my web design skillsets, most recently delivering the latest version of the SOGC website, a site that really took into account better design and content delivery over the features of the site itself.
Now, I’m making the call. I’m designing the next MPU.com.au website, more than the current placeholder on there at present – this site will aim to deliver the core news, media and services that LAN Party and event goers in Australia will be looking for. That’s the core of the content.
Rather than aim for being another generic news site with heaps of media and esports stuff – we’re focusing on the one part of the scene that is often neglected; events news.
The site itself I believe, will be the best work I’ve done to date, both from a coding end, a backend usability, and front-end design perspective. I think the site will look great, be responsive, and not have the rubbish that overloads a majority of the other sites around. It’s not done in WordPress either! Rather, the site is a carefully hand-coded work of art from the ground up.
Here’s hoping for the best.
I found some free graphics to use over at Lost Garden – so I’ve plonked it into some basic c# coding with Torque 2D.
Pretty handy! Managed to get a little sprite dude to move left/right with the arrow keys, and spacebar to jump!
Download the Game.zip file here (about 1.8mb)