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Sprint II

Sam here,

Phew. We just finished up our 2nd sprint today and ended it with another late night coding session. I have to say, I am incredibly impressed with what our team accomplished this sprint. There are a ton of new things since the end of our last sprint including: phone deployment, item usage, HUD screen, item spawning, boss spawning, pathfinding, menu screens and much more. Needless to say this was quite a successful sprint.

This sprint, the gameplay team worked on a number of key features that needed to be done in order to complete our MVP. At first, Clement and I started on item mapping. This was very technical and forced us to learn new coding techniques like function pointers and we also had to learn how Marmalade implements text file parsing. After many tries we got this kind of working. We still had no way to test because HUD hadn’t been implemented. In the mean time, Gerrit and Dan worked on pathfinding. They implemented an A* pathfinding technique, that basically checks the cost of each potential path to the target and chooses the one with the smallest cost. After a little polishing, they got this working great.

After items, I moved on to bosses. Bosses proved to be a lot harder than anyone could have imagined. Basically, all the regular enemy code was implemented on the idea that every enemy is only 1 square. Unfortunately for us, bosses are 4 squares. This led to problems of adjacency checking, attacking and moving. Dan really saved the day on this and had an idea in his head of what he wanted to do. 20 work hours later, after testing and checking all possible cases we got bosses partially functioning, but they don’t currently move. Just shows how hard it was getting this to work.

Like I mentioned earlier, we had another late night coding party equipped with a Costco run and Rockstar energy drink a’plenty. (Just as a side note, Lemonade Rockstar Recovery is really not good. First it only contains 3% lemon juice, which should be a red flag already for a “Lemonade” flavored drink. Also, it contains something called Milk Thistle, which does not sound like something that you want to be in your energy drinks.)

Anyway, I managed to start my sugar crash literally minutes after consuming my first Rockstar and struggled to stay focused for most of the night. I ended up staying until about 3:30AM, drove home, got a couple hours of sleep and then came back for our final scrum of this sprint. Clement and I were the scrum masters this sprint and this was our last scrum with that title 😦 Seems like only yesterday I was just a naive little kid learning how to master a scrum. Boy, how the days fly by…

Overall, this sprint was an amazing success. I am incredibly proud of the team and really am looking forward to implemented all of these cool features we thought of for future sprints. Until next time, I am signing off.

-Sam “I hope Rockstar isn’t one of our sponsors” Jenkins

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24

The following takes place between 9am-7am on the final day of Sprint 1. I’m UC Santa Cruz Programmer Sam Jenkins, and this is the longest day of my life.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a little, my day wasn’t quite as hectic as typical Jack Bauer day, but I felt a connection between Microventure’s 24-hour codeathon we experienced today and the long running Fox TV show, 24.

As I just mentioned above, we experienced quite a long day today. We found ourselves a little behind schedule for Sprint 1 and ended up having to cram the last of the code in one day. We started around 7 or 8 because many of us had to finish up the PacMan project in our Game AI class. While everyone was finishing up AI, Zak, James and I went to Costco to stock up on food for the night. The ride home from Costco might have been the toughest part of the night. We took Zak’s truck that could fit three, the ride there was bearable, but the ride back was another story. Trying to fit 4 pizzas, 3 churros, three humans, two drinks and a bin of cinnamon rolls in the front of a pickup truck was certainly not easy. I had “bitch seat” on the way back and I was straddling both halves of the car trying not to let my left foot slip and hit the gas petal, we didn’t want another car accident during one of these all-nighters (Sorry, Clement). Anyway, we got back safe and sound, the trip was worth it because the pizza and cinnamon rolls were delicious and the RockStar energy drink allowed me to stay awake all night. Shockingly, the combination of only pizza and caffeine in your stomach doesn’t sit well.

My goal for the night was to finish up the Gameplay tasks(there were 3 left). We realized that the tasks we created this sprint were much harder because we didn’t have our UML at the time outlining all the functions and classes we would need for the MVP. The second sprint should be much easier to plan. Anyway, Dan, Gerrit, Clement and I all worked on finishing up the Entity class, basic Entity movement and item spawning and interaction. We ended up finishing it all up at 4 or 5am, did a quick wrapup scrum and then I waited an hour or so for the first bus to show up, while some members said “screw it” and crashed on the couches.

I ended up getting home and falling asleep for about 2 and a half hours before I had to get up and go back on campus for the scrum review. The review was successful and we brought up many issues from the previous scrum and suggestions for the next scrum, that will be very helpful.

I am proud of my team for bearing down and grinding through the final parts of the sprint until we got it to work. Overall, it was a successful sprint and very cool experience. The next sprint starts in a few days and lasts another 3 weeks. Until then, I’m signing out and going to sleep.

-Sam “Barely Functional” Jenkins