Brass Watch Games

What Happened to Shipyard?

by Jonah on May 20, 2018

You may have noticed that this website hasn’t been awfully active lately, with only one off-topic post in 2017 and none this year. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which being poor overall mental health sapping my motivation to take care of myself at a basic level, let alone develop video games. I have, occasionally, still had intermittent bursts of inspiration to work on things, including a full 3D shipbuilding game in Unreal Engine 4, which you can check out on my gamedev.net profile. But what about Shipyard? As I remember, I had hoped to release one last, glorious update before officially putting the game on hold, but even that never happened and the last actual patch was more than three years ago.

The thing is, when I started Shipyard, my only programming experience was Minecraft modding. I was entirely self-taught and had an attitude of “if it works, it’s good enough,” with no regard for things like optimization and good code style. A couple times during my absence, I did have ideas for new directions to take the game. However, the old code is such a disgusting mess of bad design that adding anything new would require rewriting huge sections of it. The more ambitious the change, the more old code would have to be demolished and rewritten to allow for it. It would almost be easier to make a whole new game…

I still wanted to finish Shipyard, but I was never going to get anywhere with the mess that was the old version. Instead, I’ve decided to scrap it entirely and start with a clean slate. This way, I can incorporate all my current programming skills and make the best game I can, unhindered by old mistakes. The project is currently less than two weeks old so I don’t have anything cool to show off, but I’ll (hopefully) post more as I make some actual progress. The one thing I can tell you right now, at least, is that it won’t be made in f***ing Java.

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