Pacing - The secret to finishing

April 12, 2019, at 04:14 PM by mgarcia in 2019, Industry, Friends, Misc, Pics, GameDev, Blog, Electronics (0 comments)

Title: Pacing - The secret to finishing Author: mgarcia Date: 2019-04-12 16:14 +1000 Tags: 2019, Industry, Friends, Misc, Pics, GameDev, Blog, Electronics Comments: Open


SPOILER - Advice is in bold, middle of the page.

Introduction

This advice comes from an excellent source (which is more important then the advice itself!), so in case you don't know who André LaMothe is, he wrote a lot of excellent beginner to advanced gamedev books in the 1990's and 2000's.
These are just a few books he's authored:

Image: Blog.2019-04-12-Pacing-The-secret-to-finishing

LaMothe's style is verbose in a good way, breaking down complex concepts with a bit of humor here and there, it's educational and more importantly accessible and fun.

Crash Course In Electronics

He recently created an epic (nearly 100 hours!) course on electronic engineering, a comprehensive syllabus ranging from beginner electronic fundamentals (maths, analog, digital etc), building up to the goal of designing and manufacturing PCB's.
The course isn't scripted, instead he talks like a university lecturer (more like a friendly tutor) and he goes to great efforts in showing and explaining visually.
Admittedly I haven't spent much time on hardware (casually going through the course), but if you have even a small amount of interest in electronics, I highly recommend taking a look!
It's so cheap for what it is, let a lone access to the man himself, check out the free preview videos!
https://www.udemy.com/crash-course-electronics-and-pcb-design

It also includes two electronics PDF books and two game development PDF books:

Console Hardware Development

Lamothe isn't just a career author, if you didn't know he's designing the controllers of the Intellivision Amico, a newly announced 2D, family friendly, E rated console, due in 2020.
If you're familiar with the Intellivision, you'll know the original controllers were a critical part of that console!

But he's not just replicating the old controllers, in fact the new controller specs look like some serious piece of engineering!

    2 wireless Bluetooth controllers (up to 8 player compatible and connectivity).
    3 ½ inch (2:3 aspect ratio) Color Touchscreen.
    Pioneering tilting positional disc with surrounding interactive LED border.
    4 arcade-style tactile feedback buttons.
    Gyroscope & Accelerometer.
    Force feedback.
    Controller to be used horizontally or vertically including dominant left or right hand usage.
    Qi (pronounced “CHEE”) wireless onboard charging.
    Speaker
    Microphone
  Intellivision® Amico™ - Reveal Trailer (2018) 

Intellivision® Amico™ - Reveal Trailer (2018)


My Question

Anything related video game console development or game development always has my interest, so I commented on his latest course update.

I wrote-

Hi André, I like reading your updates :D
But no mention of Amico? xD xD
Sorry to be off topic, just wondering, for a bonus video, if you could do a retrospective on the books you authored?
The making of.. behind the scenes stuff... something not so serious I guess.
I still pick up and read through your Black Art of 3D and Gurus Advance 3D books.. of all the gamedev books (new and old) I have.. these two really resonate with me.
Actually I recently got a copy of Flight of Fantasy and thought of you!

LaMothe's Reply

Well, I am working on the Amico hardware for E3, 24/7.

As far as behind the scenes on books, it's really simple, imagine someone that works 120 hours a week, and never sleeps, that's it :) BRUTAL.
But, the take away from writing 1600+ page books that other people would benefit from is the simple rule:

If you want to get something MASSIVE done, you can't stare it down toe to toe, it would be overwhelming.
Rather, you set a pace, and maintain it
I had to write 10-20 pages a day on writing days, and on coding days, I had to write "demos" in 1-5 days.
As long as I kept that pace, I got it done.

Just like the project I am doing now, its very stressful, but I have done many large projects, so I know there's light at the end of the tunnel,
the trick is to not give up, not panic. And just keep fighting and sooner or later, you hit a point, where you can literally see the end and then it become fun.
So, in reality, people say the first 5% of a project is fun, then the remaining 95% is torture, that's why there are 1000000000 "game developers" that never finish a game.

The write some code, make a walk thru in unity, then when the ACTUAL game dev starts and the daily grind of it they give up.
Anyway, I say, that the first 5% is fun, then the next 90% is BRUTAL, but the LAST 5% is actually fun, since the project is DONE!
And you realize, hey this wasn't that bad, and of course, think I could have added all these cool features :)
Of course, if you did that, you would have missed the deadline.


Finally, Flights of Fantasy is one of a kind, just like my Black Art of 3D Game Programming, Mitch Waite the CEO of Waite Group knew how to let his creative authors do whatever they wanted, and the results were always best sellers.
There will never be another book like Flights of Fantasy or Black Art. It was a confluence of things; the authors, Waite Group and Mitch, the time, how game programming was a hot new topic, NO internet to speak of really, so BOOKs really were the best way to get information
Anyway, good times.


Closing

Wow... what a great reply! (he actually replies to everyone!)
I still believe books are the best way to learn, well maybe after a in-depth video lecture course like: Crash course electronics and pcb design! :D

Mitch Waite's Wikipedia entry is a great read and explains further LaMothe's sentiments, including Waite's connections to Apple and Atari.
I've always wondered how they got Steve Wozniak to write the forward to the Black Art of 3D Programming book and Nolan Bushnell to write the forward of Tricks Programming Gurus Advanced Graphics Rasterization.
Well there you go, both great books deserving of great forwards!
And both still relevant today if you're interested in simple, C/C++ graphic pipelines!

So in closing, a Glengarry Glen Ross quote which I've adapted:


ABC - Always Be Coding!

Screen capture of original conversation as seen on udemy announcement: 'Welcome New Students! And yes, its TAX Time Again...'




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