SPWA Week 1 Response: Code Hassles and Kittens

This week in So Play We All our topic was “Signup” and our budget was 4 hours. I originally pushed for more time, but I ended up glad that it was short as I hacked things out on the last day. I don’t need to belabor that, let’s look at how Luke and Jim did with their games.


Jim wrote about a lot of technical progress, but unfortunately it all falls into the category of invisible infrastructure, there’s nothing for a player to see. It really reminded me what a huge boost Heroku is for hosting: not only is initial deployment about 5 minutes, it prevents you from spending time tinkering with your server setup for only minimal gains. (I don’t know how he got more votes than me, I suspect sympathy from similarly frustrated PHP coders.)

In all, it’s been a difficult 4 hours... but well worth the effort, in my opinion. I believe the extra headaches I’m taking now will allow me better flexibility in the long-term.

The bulk of his post seems to be about improving his own ORM and site infrastructure. Ouch. It sounds like he’s written some nice code, but this contest is about building one game, not building the next ten games.

Maybe the Real Ultimate Power of Drupal will make it a breeze to drop in community features like a forum and a chat, but right now he has nothing to see and he’s falling behind.

Fantasy Adventure

I’m glad to hear Luke’s stepping up his game after his brief blog posts for week 0. Not that I don’t mind easy competition, but I don’t want people to think I rigged the contest by setting myself up against a sucker. :)

In seriousness, Luke did great this week, he got my vote in the poll. We both used Devise for registration, but he got his basic install much faster and then streamlined it to make it easier for people to get into his game.

Yes, into his game! I’m not sure if it’s just static text or he created a basic player object with a few attributes, but he threw together a decent template and you could click around to move between different locations. Currently there’s just a bit of cute story to read, but that’s enough for the player’s imagination to start filling in gaps and imaging a world. (Also, bonus points for using delightful PlaceKittens, I’ve bookmarked that as a resource.)

That ability to fire the imagination is a great sign for Luke’s prospects. Time for me to go step up my game in response.