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Tuesday, December 29

Setting up Development Environments

I'm all about instant gratification. I get this kewl idea for a game. I wanna get started on coding. I wanna see something up and running in an hour. I want to have a functioning prototype in the following day or two. I wanna do it and I wanna see results NOW!

*sigh* The details always seem to get in the way. If you are a game developer and have done more than two games, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Before I can get one lick of code written I have to setup a "playground" for myself. Generally this involves the following:

  • Create a web directory (root, images, js, include folders)
  • Create a database
  • Ensure connection to the database
  • Create a login page
  • Create a registration page
  • Create a shell template
Maybe it's just me, but I find all this stuff ... boring. I'm interested in alternatives that folks might have, but this is what I do right now.

I have a copy of XAMP (Apache, PHP, mySQL for windows). It all exists in one directory.

In the root directory I have a template folder which has a login, register and basic template. I copy this folder when ever I start a new idea.

In the mySQL folder, there is a template database (user tables mostly), I copy this folder to create the database folders. This creates my databases.

I then edit the config file to connect to the correct database, this usually gets me off and running.

This usually takes me about 30 min to do, which I'm really kewl with as it gets me off to the races quicker. But I sure wish it took me 30 seconds. *grin*

So, to all my developers out there, how do you setup your development environment and how long does it take you?


Anonymous said...

Totally feel ya! I focus mostly on the MS stack and Web applications. MS has created a great tool to setting all this up quickly and even package some applications with it that will do a lot of te thing you mention above...

Pedro said...

Some years ago we created a tool that does exactly that. I specify via UML the game's entities or objects, and the tool generates the data access layer, database structure, auth and authorization modules, administration zone, some UI modules per entity, and much more tools.

The generated exe config tools is able to reset databases. So, it's pretty fast and simple. :)

My tool is in .NET. But you can also achieve this kind of features out of the box using RoR or Django.

mobeamer said...

Wow, Pedro I certainly wouldn't mind taking a look at that script of yours. It sounds like an awesome time saver.

That's one of my beef's with .NET. I like the language but everything just seems to take a lot longer to build.

I'm kinda old school in the fact that I like my tools to stay out of my way and let me code.

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