Friday, May 29, 2009

Goings On - Plus Info on Samantha

I've been working a lot on Project Samantha over the past week and have made quite a bit of progress, thankfully. I solved the problem I was having last week - it was actually a very easy solution once I did it correctly. :) I had been doing things somewhat improperly but re-examined how I was doing things and realized I was not thinking it through properly.
I've got almost all of the UI elements working now and, especially, have the tab elements structured properly and navigation is functioning. I have character data that I need to access and begin displaying on the screen now, so I needed to have some way of having some global data that could be accessed from numerous screens. I despised the idea of doing this via a global variable (I actually shuddered at the thought :), but wondered whether I could/should do this via the application delegate (or other pseudo-global class). I was looking online for a good solution to this when I was reminded of one of my favorite design patterns - the singleton. I found a great post that talked about an extremely easy way of doing this in Objective-C. Thankfully the author, Matt Gallagher, provided a quick template for doing it.
So, now I have a character data singleton. I can access it from whatever view needs to know what it contains. And I've been reading about table view and table view cells so I can really finish up my first user story and move onto the next one. I'm really hoping that over the next few weeks I'll be able to bring my idea to life.
On the job front, I have been applying for jobs and doing what I can to put the best foot forward, but I am really looking at trying to make Otto Von work. If I can get things done and tested by the end of June (a VERY tight schedule if it's even possible) I can make the deadline I've set for myself. The reason for the tight schedule? Project Samantha's motif. What is that motif? Well, here's the full disclosure.
Samantha is a multi-player wizard game. The player takes on the role of a wizard in our world and engages in quests for artifacts, experience, and money; duels with other players for experience; and joins or forms covens/guilds for group protection and to participate in monthly 'grand artifact quests'. Obviously there's SO much more to this game than just that, but that's probably the ten second synopsis.
Why Samantha? Samantha Stephens, of course. Not that I don't like the Nicole Kidman version (because I lurve Nicole), but it HAS to be Elizabeth Montgomery. :) Regardless, it was pretty much because of Bewitched that I chose the project name. 
So, that's what's up in a nutshell. Lots happening and I'm praying (and could use yours) that I can get this working and out before Harry Potter opens in July. Oh - yeah. The timing. I figure if people come out of the movie and check their iPhones for a wizard game, it would be best if mine were right there for them to download. Since the game will be free with micro-transactions for in-game items, I can hopefully get a lot of downloads and people will be encouraged to purchase some of these items.
We'll see. I'm doing what I can to make this end-of-June deadline and hope that things will work to my benefit. Fortune favors the bold, so let's be bold.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brief Update

As I've posted up elsewhere (LinkedIn and Facebook, in particular), my regular job is ending tomorrow. I'm looking at this with somewhat mixed emotions. On one hand, it's an opportunity to really jump the corporate ship and strike out on my own. On the other, we have a LOT of bills coming up (including Cathy's tuition for Waldorf) that having a regular paycheck would be, um, nice. :) I am looking to see if I can find more a management role in another company. If I can do that, I'll be happy for a while. I talked with Susie this morning and decided that if I don't get something at least in the works by the middle of June that I'll start looking at regular engineer jobs. There seem to be a lot of them, but I've found that I find it hard to work on code at home when I've been working on code for 8 hours at work. Regardless, it will be a tight few months for us (and over the summer - of course).
In the meantime, I've been working on Samantha. It's starting to come together but I keep stumbling into very stupid and easily avoidable troubles. Right now I have a weird issue where I've got a tab view (player profile). The player clicks a button and it goes to another view (detailed info). That shows up properly, but when I click the "back" button I created on the page it crashes with an "invalid selector". *sigh* I get the feeling that if I could just focus on this for a few weeks that I would make leaps-and-bounds improvements. AND I'd remember how to avoid these stupid little things. We'll see, I guess.
Well, this was supposed to be brief, so I'll end it here. Wish me luck in getting something else or making amazing headway in my Otto Von efforts.