I finally got the basic layout (i.e., made and placed the buildings and stitched together borders) for the agricultural town in Forgotten Times 2. Wow. That represents an incredible amount of work, and is basically what I’ve been focusing on since my last post back in August.
It’s strange, but people generally seem to overlook the kind of effort I’ve been putting in over the last few months when they think of programming. When I was in law school telling a girl I knew about my efforts to put together a coherent plot for Forgotten Times 1, she remarked that she’d never thought about programming being about plot, rather than about essentially mathematical problem solving. The same sort of thing happened when I told a friend of mine here in Cincinnati about my programs – to get some sense of them, he asked to measure the number of source lines of code I had written in the engines, and completely ignored the data files.
I suppose it’s not that different from thinking of authors on the Internet as “content providers.” However, I still think it’s a mistake. Since I started writing games, judging the program by focusing on the basic mechanics has begun to seem something like judging a fine wine by looking at the bottle. True, the bottle can tell you something (e.g., where the wine came from, year, etc) but it’s what someone put into it that really makes it special.