Ok we can’t write about the glamorous stuff everyday. But nobody really believes that game development is just a bed of roses, do they? We’re in the process of taking a good hard look at our situation and making the call on what needs to remain, and what we can let go of.
So Team Eilo has been getting rid of some obsolete stuff, things that haven’t been used in ages but which can clog up and slow down the system. This should improve our loading times for static data (meaning everything that doesn’t change while the game is being played, the world itself). It also really helps decrease the startup time of the project, meaning working on and editing the game can be quicker for all our teams.
This is an on-going effort that will spread across teams, with everyone chipping in for the next few sprints whenever they find the time and can cross-check with colleagues what is in-use and what can go.
The trouble starts though when you realise that removing things from the game is not that easy - they’re all part of a well-oiled machine that’s in motion. If you remove something that is only part of a feature - does the feature still work without it? Any compiler errors need to be fixed (what the hell is that, I hear you all say: it’s when your code doesn't compile - when you write code it goes into a compiler, which then poops out a programme, in our case SEED) and all unit tests need to pass.
(Side note on unit tests! Put it this way, if you have code that does addition, there might be a test to see if when you enter 2+2, the result matches with "4". In our case: we have automated tests that run over the game and see if we get the desired result after something has been changed. For example we could have “AreaEffectsInterruptedSleepTest", which makes sure that a sleeping Seedling wakes up if another Seedling turns on a nearby jukebox. Phew.)
Some things that will be removed are outdated attributes of Seedlings, or objects in the game that we thought we needed but no longer make the grade. Oftentimes, test-attributes and test-objects, used to help QA and devs test the game, remain, and become a bit of a drag. So out they go!