Sunday, 27 November 2011

Busy busy

Although I have managed to get out a few times these last few weeks, a blues only jam with students at the Mezz on Thursday being a particular highlight (I even tune...kinda) I've been in marking hell this last 2 weeks.

This is my biggest issue with teaching, I need to give assignments, rather than question tests to prove they are using what they are being taught. This is almost always a simple retro game at this stage, which by their nature need to be played and checked for issues but that takes time. Sometimes a lot of time!

Since most of my students are still beginners and think nothing of little gameplay prevention bugs getting in the way, after all they know to avoid the thing that causes the crash....In time of course they will realise that having ANY kind of crash is not acceptable, but until they do I have to either find and fix the crash myself or continue to play avoiding the crash.

This all takes time, 1 assignment took me nearly 5 hours to complete, in a couple of session. Amazingly he passed just. He had no major coding bugs, just no bloody idea how to make a simple game interesting and playable so that it flowed from 1 part to the other, and it was hamstrung by a bug we have discovered in I7 cpu's which causes delta time checks to fail. So games are often absurdly fast and unplayable or absurdly slow and equally unplayble.
Since they are taught game design in a different module I can't in all fairness mark them down for shockingly bad game design....yet.

The i7 timing issue is being looked at but for now I have to swap computers around till I find one that works..usually my old samsung laptop is ok but it takes a while to set it up to run the games.

This weekend should finally see an end to it, or at the very least get all but the most problematic done.

Those who passed did ok this year, we have a good bunch of students and I am hopeful that as the year progresses their skills will increase...and their attention to gameplay with it.


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