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Day 6

Today I continued programming the two components that were my main task, while implementing them I also implemented other parts of the diagram I designed as they were needed or when it was simply more efficient because I was touching related code anyway.

In the afternoon I had another meeting with David, Mike, Stijn and Rene about the project. I went through what I had implemented so far and we discussed my tasks for the coming days. I will round up the work I have done so far on the project, after that I will focus on helping a few programmers to switch to the engine I have been working in. Another project will be created using the same engine, so it’s important plenty of my knowledge is transfered to other members of the team. I’ll also be working on the other project for the coming weeks, and it’s a quite big project so I’m excited! For now I’ll also do some research as to how a GUI can be implemented best, either using an in-house system or middleware.

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Day 5 – End of week 1

I continued my work from the day before and continued setting up the new project and importing all the assets and code I needed. After completing this phase I started to ease my design onto the existing design. This basically meant that I reduced linkage between components to keep them more flexible and independent, improved code efficiency, removed dead code, made the code adhere to the official coding guidelines and generally just prepared the code to fit into my new design.

Again, the downside was that I deviated from my initial plan of attack, so only at the end of the day I started work on implementing the component that was my main job. In hindsight I should have known that if you make a new design and pick one component to implement, you can hardly expect to just implement that component in a project that doesn’t adhere to the general design in the first place, since your design is new!

At least I did some good work on improving the project and removing some of the inefficiencies and mistakes in the design and implementation. I now have a more solid base to build the new components on, so on monday it’s full speed ahead!

This was also the last day of the first week. Near 5 PM we generally stopped working and said farewell to Harry, who was starting a new job at Fox-IT. After that we started drinking some beers (Grolsch) and there were a few snacks; the infamous Vrijdag Middag Borrel! It was a fun way to say goodbye to everyone and close off the week. Can’t wait until it’s monday again!

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Day 4

In the morning I received feedback from David about the design I created the day before. My design was generally good and only needed a few improvements. One of the errors in my design was actually a mistake I had noticed myself but had forgotten to fix; in one place I needed to have a composition arrow, but I had drawn an inheritance arrow.

After fixing the design I had a general meeting with the project’s Technical Project Manager Stijn, Game Designer Rene, Lead Programer David and Technical Director Mike. In this meeting I delved deeper into the reasoning behind the design and we discussed some of the best ways to implement the game logic.We also discussed my tasks for the coming days, and it was decided that I would start work on one component that had the least chance of conflicting with the work the other company was doing.

After the meeting I took all compiled feedback and created a new version of the design diagram. I asked a few more questions and iterated a couple of times on the layout and after that the design was done!

After completing the design I created a quick plan of attack and wrote up what I would do for the rest of the week and how many hours I planned on spending.

I started work on implementing my component and also spent some time examining yet another new build that we received. Again, some things were broken in the build. I decided to not just “hack in” my component in their project, but to create a new project. I could now layout the project as I liked and reimport all assets and code that I needed from the existing project. As a result I got a new project that was much cleaner, but the downside was that I lost some time as I deviated from my initial plan of attack.

 

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Day 3

I continued my work on the Technical Document. I went through the Design Document again and wrote down every single bit of information that was either confusing or that had an impact on the technical design. When I was done I was left with a rough idea of how the game’s structure should be set up and a load of questions about the game and how it should work.

After lunch I had a meeting with Game Designer Rene and Lead Programmer David about the Design Document. We both had questions for Rene about various aspects of the game and its design. After all our questions were answered we had a short discussion about how some of the parts could be implemented.

My next job would be to create the game’s final design in diagram form. Basically a kind of Class Diagram created with UML. David told me he liked the program yED best for creating these kind of diagrams, so I installed it and started work on the design.

We also received a new build of the game with some improvements and some newly broken things, so I had another round of examining and feedback.

At the end of the day I sent my design to Rene and David for examination and feedback.

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Day 2

This day I continued examining the latest build of the project and writing down feedback. I also finished my read of the Game Design Document. I was happy to receive a second display to hook up to my PC and about Windows still wanted me to install another batch of updates.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with Lead Programmer David about the feedback document I had compiled. Basically we wanted to assess how well the oursourced work had been done and what needed improving. During the meeting it was also decided that I started work on a final design of the game. This required I first compile a Technical Document with all technical challenges and considerations that would likely arise from implementing the Design Document.

The rest of the day I worked on this Technical Document.

 

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Day 1

First day!

As you’d expect, I spent most of my time setting up and exploring.

My workplace was already set up, but my PC wasn’t completely ready yet. The image that was used to install it was out-of-date, so I needed to install about 130 updates, a Windows Service Pack, an Office Service Pack, another 40 updates and new versions of all drivers.

After that I installed some more software I needed such as Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Perforce, Notepad++, Firefox and a few other tools I probably forgot.

During all this I was busy reading the Game Design Document of the project I’m going to work on and examining the latest build of the project itself. Part of the project has been outsourced to another company in The Netherlands, so I needed to familiarise myself with their sourcecode and structure. While doing this I compiled a two-page document with feedback on the project, including various remarks about game logic, performance and code cleanliness.

After this I got a tour around the office, learning many new names and shaking many hands. It will probably be a while before I have memorised them all and have properly learned who everyone actually is, but so far it’s been okay. There are a few English-speakers around the company and even two Belgian interns, but most of them are Dutch. The number of people from Brabant, and specifically Eindhoven, is quite high I’ve been told; but that makes sense since we’re the smartest region in the world, right? 😉

I probably did some other stuff that day, but I don’t remember anymore. I guess that’s what you get for starting your blog a week after the fact.

To be continued!

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Introduction

As part of my internship at Vanguard I’m going to write a blog, with a new post each day, as a kind of logbook of what I’m doing here. Writing this blog is compulsory, but I don’t mind because I’ve wanted a blog for a time now; my problem was that I never knew what to write about. Well, problem solved I guess.

So, enjoy my blog and I’m happy to receive feedback.

Thom.