Thursday, September 16, 2010

I keep distracting myself...

I've found that when I'm working on things that occasionally I'll focus on things that aren't terribly important rather than getting something working. For instance, I've been working on Alpha 3 and making some good progress - got the entire create new game system reworked and it's acting well. Now I need to start looking at changing the game logic and display to work with the Easy, Medium, and Nightmare modes. And what I did I most recently find myself doing? Taking a snapshot and working on the background for the main game screen.
I mean, the background does need to be completed, but honestly - it can wait until I'm closer to being completed with the game play. It's hard, though, because I know that it needs to be done, it's something I can work on in my mental background, and I'm playing with the colors and layout anyway due to the Easy and Medium play. Still, though - like reading quickly - I sometimes have to remind myself to re-focus on what's important.
The clunky main game
interface screen
It's a little harder with independent projects because I'm not tracking it as closely as I would a project at work. The background IS ugly as compared to the rest of the app now because it's all clunky (as shown to the right). I did ask if the interface seemed non-intuitive and such and got back (from one person) that it seemed fine. I'm hoping that if I can make it a little prettier, use some better images, etc., that I can make it clearer what's being used for what. I need to just make sure that it's not becoming a "high priority" item for me, but rather staying in the background. I know that I'll get it done before I put out Alpha 3 and I'm actually making faster progress than I expected. Still have a couple of changes to make to the data flow to support the additional checks for letters - which ones are right and which ones are in the right position. Sort of brings in some skills I haven't done with Xcode and objective-C, so it'll be a good learning experience. I just hope that I can get it sorted out quickly and back to doing what doesn't matter.
What kinds of things do you do when you're developing to keep yourself focused on the major tasks and not get sidetracked by the "cool" things you still have to do?