In today's main Gamasutra feature, excerpting a chapter of the recently published book Object-Oriented Game Development
, Microsoft Research Cambridge developer Julian Gold covers iterative development techniques as he seeks to explain what order programming tasks should be done, and when a game should be considered finished.
In the introduction to the section on prioritizing game tasks, Gold explains:
"The worst thing in the world as far as development is concerned is to be writing system-critical code towards the end of a project. Yet this is such a common occurrence you would think someone would have spotted it and put a stop to it. Not only will (and does) it induce huge amounts of stress in the team, it is absolutely guaranteed to introduce all sorts of problems in other systems that were considered stable.
Ideally, we would like to pick an order to perform tasks in that does not lead to this horror. Ideally, we would like to be able to know in advance which are the tasks and systems that we need to work on first and which are those that can wait a while. If we cannot attain this ‘ideal' state – and I would be foolhardy to suggest we can – we can certainly do better than writing critical-path code during Alpha or Beta phases in a project!"
You can now read the full Gamasutra-published extract
from Gold's book (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).