This morning’s update almost never came to be.

For newcomers to this blog, I commute about 5 hours (round trip) door to door from my home town of Poughkeepsie, NY to downtown Manhattan, NYC, where my company’s office is. I’ve been doing this song and dance since 2004, it’s quite old, I hate it, I hate trains, I hate people, etc.

The one thing that keeps me going is the fact that I do get to get a fair amount of game development. That is, if I’m able to stay awake…

There’s this really weird situation I’ve been dealing with for a while. On the train, there are certain windows of time where I can absolutely knock the hell out and sleep for the remainder of the trip. Luckily (or unluckily, however you look at it), my destination, either way, is always the last stop. So there are no worries about trying to stay awake so I don’t miss a particular stop.

But back to the real dilemma at hand. It’s this really short window of time, perhaps 20 minutes, where my body just starts to shut down. It takes a super amount of discipline to hold it off for the 20 minutes, but I can always tell myself that if I can make it, I’ll be good to go for the rest of the trip.

This morning’s trip was a little different in that I started to feel the window of time earlier than normal. I was about to just give in, since I haven’t really been getting the sleep I need for the past week, but something told me to keep fighting. I knew I had this feature I wanted to implement, and I knew I could get a good crack at it if I could just stay awake.

Thankfully, I was able to fight it, and even surprising myself, knock out this unit selection functionality for the unit menu/inventory screen I’ve been working on all month. It helped that I already knew what I wanted to do going into things, and it was more about implementation than anything else. Even still, I’m very happy with what I was able to finish in like… 2 hours or so.

This update also changes how data is sent to the unit UI in general. All of the previous updates were using static values, meaning I wasn’t pulling from any actual in game units. It was more important to lock down how things were going to look and whatnot. This is my first foray into taking the existing framework I’ve used, and applying it in the real world, and so far, I feel pretty good.

As always, this is a prototype, and will certainly change in the future. For instance, maybe it’s a better user experience to show tabs with all the units, so you can go directly to said unit. I mean, right here, there are only 4. But what if there are 10+? It could get cumbersome going through all of them.

I’ll keep this in the back of my mind as I push forward to finish prototyping even more things for these menus.

I’m hoping to finish off February with a bang.

Till tomorrow…