On starting an unoriginal project



  • I've been wanting to get a project of my own out there since forever. The problem is I'm terrible at getting ideas that haven't been done better elsewhere. Mostly it's just as a way to get my name on something, and as a learning experience, so there's really not much of a point on getting hung up about it, but it still haunts me whenever I sit down to write code for something like that.

    The project I'm currently toying with involves making a generic configurable card game engine, but it already exists in Cockatrice, a fairly popular piece of software.

    Should I just go for it? Is duplicating the effort worth it? I know the answer is probably yes for both, but I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.


  • sockdevs

    If what you want already exists, then why not use it? Save the creative energy for something else ;)



  • Look at it from the bright side. If you screw up, you can always change your name, move to a different country and start life anew as a toothbrush salesman.



  • @dstopia said:

    Should I just go for it? Is duplicating the effort worth it? I know the answer is probably yes for both, but I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.

    What don't you like about the original? If you can do better, go for it!

    There's also value in starting an unoriginal project if you just want to learn or work on something.


  • sockdevs

    @dstopia said:

    I've been wanting to get a project of my own out there since forever.

    so have I, if you checkout my github there's quite a few projects i started and then they died.

    @dstopia said:

    he problem is I'm terrible at getting ideas that haven't been done better elsewhere.

    That was mostly my problem. until i started @SockBot as an FU to Jeff's assertion that one couldn't write a bot for discourse because it was "all javascript"

    to which i said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! and i'll one up you and do it in javascript!"

    i'm still floored that the project is still going and has spun off into SockSite and SockDrawer.

    @dstopia said:

    Mostly it's just as a way to get my name on something

    That's a great resume builder, but i find as an interviewer i don't care whether you are creator or contributor. i care about your activity. so starting to contribute to an existing project may be an option.

    @dstopia said:

    and as a learning experience,

    Every project is a learning experience! what kind of experience specifically are you looking for? do you want to learn about project management? a new technology or language? maybe about how one integrates one project into external dependencies?

    @dstopia said:

    it still haunts me whenever I sit down to write code for something like that.

    me too, and that's after almost fifteen years of programming, seven of which are professional; but you need to write so you get better!

    @dstopia said:

    The project I'm currently toying with involves making a generic configurable card game engine, but it already exists in Cockatrice, a fairly popular piece of software.

    are you looking at a ground up rewrite or an addition? would it be better to fork the project and move the existing code in the direction you want?

    @dstopia said:

    Should I just go for it?

    YES! Either as a new project or contributing to an existing project it's valuable and worth your time!

    @dstopia said:

    Is duplicating the effort worth it?

    if the reason for the duplication is valid for you, yes. i suspect it is or you wouldn't be considering it

    @dstopia said:

    I'm terrified of just doing a terrible job and being absolutely embarrassed in comparison.

    Every coder has a million lines of bad code in them. the only way to write good code is to write all that bad code first. so get started!

    and when you write that terrible code then you can learn how to take that terrible code and make it better! and then how to take that less bad code and make it even better! (repeat ad infinitum)

    so get out there and start writing! just don't forget to ask questions if you get stuck. I'd be happy to help!



  • @accalia has summoned me, and so I appear.

    <!-- Posted by SockBot 0.16 "Hazardous Hera" on Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:16:25 GMT-->

  • sockdevs

    ... crap. forgot you were turned back on after being off for the weekend...


  • sockdevs

    At least this time she didn't summon me :smile:



  • @mott555 said:

    There's also value in starting an unoriginal project if you just want to learn or work on something.

    QFT
    i learnt a lot writing a flight simulator. it was crap, but served me.

    also

    i have around a million projects, the only ones that got to something usable where the ones i had a need for.
    at least for me, doing something for the sake of doing it gets boring fast


  • :belt_onion:

    @Jarry said:

    Whats_Your_Problem.php

    You answered it in the title itself. Well done.


    Filed under: obligatory PHP joke



  • @Jarry said:

    https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch02_Whats_Your_Problem.php

    The problem is that I have no problems that existing software doesn't solve. Is there an app for that?



  • a coworker asked me why i laughed so loud. have a :cookie:



  • Make a strongly-typed Excel.



  • Or a GUI version of AWK, with live-preview.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Or a CLI trash bin



  • sure, it's called "candy crush"

    Filed under: no disconotification. a new bug?



  • Or a timeline-based video editor that can output streaming video in real-time... there's a challenge.



  • @accalia said:

    SockDrawer

    Laughing at that name!

    So, a tool for previewing knitting patterns? ;)


  • sockdevs

    @ijij said:

    Laughing at that name!

    it's the name of the github organization @onyx, @raceproUK, @Yamikuronue and I created yesterday to host the various sock projects, and simplify managing permissions for colaborators.


  • mod

    @ijij said:

    a tool for previewing knitting patterns?

    OMG can we talk for a minute about embroidery machine design apps?

    Actually no, I'm going to wait until I'm home and can grab screenshots, this shit is bananas.

    Someone remind me tho. In like.... checks clock 6 discohours.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Yamikuronue said:

    6 discohours.

    So, any time between now and two days from now?



  • @accalia said:

    it's the name of the github organization onyx, raceproUK, Yamikuronue and I created yesterday to host the various sock projects, and simplify managing permissions for colaborators.

    I buttumed something of the sort.

    But what can of worms have I un-leashed?...

    @Yamikuronue said:

    embroidery machine design apps?

    :facepalm:

    I only know these things exist ... please, nooooo!
    CNC tools - maybe applied to steam locomotion - yes.


  • mod

    There's no reason they should be that terrible, I mean, you have to be able to translate pictures or whatever into embroidery machine files and put them on a usb so the machine can do the embroidery somehow....

    but my god.


  • :belt_onion:

    Is it written in perl?


  • mod

    I've got like four separate apps worth of rants bottled up here



  • Sounds straightforward. We PAY a company to do this. Either the process is too complicated for us mere mortals or the manufacturer is making some extra £££ from doing this, I'm not sure which.

    Another :wtf: here is they then courier the new design file over to us on a USB stick.


  • mod

    @Boner said:

    the process is too complicated for us mere mortals

    What you're paying for is probably not having to use this shitty software.



  • Then it's worth every penny.


  • :belt_onion:

    Brainfart! Joke fail!

    Sigh... It's only one letter off though!


    Filed under: And I know, not knitting, but it was close enough until I brainfarted on spelling as well...



  • One good way to come up with an original project is to make a game. You can make something vaguely derivative that is still very much a unique game. My game is largely based on unrelated parts of three of my favorite games, but because of how they combine, the end result is very different from all three.

    I've thought of ways to make my own version of StarTwine, themed after Summer Wars. The concept was so simple in the first place and so uncommon that it could probably work out, if I was any good at 3D math.

    You could also think about emerging tech: if you were to make a game or application for Hololens, for instance, you may have a larger amount of time before you're everyone. You could make your own Warhammer-esque AR tabletop game, or trading card game (like you say in the OP), or just about anything else. There are opportunities for things that are currently not easy to do on a desktop or tablet, but could be done in a new medium to great effect.

    There really isn't any limit.

    I may begin my Hololens development by making a Japanese Mahjong app.



  • @Magus said:

    I may begin my Hololens development by making a Japanese Mahjong app.

    That'd be cool. Is the API out and about yet?



  • They will release information about that in 8 days.

    Won't onebox it...

    Essentially, no info until Build, and then presumably we'll get information that is useful.



  • The problem with games IMO is that you'll spend 5x more time dealing with resources than with real coding. Even more if you use an engine.

    All my projects are because of a personal itch. Find something you do daily and scratch it. Also, check around for unmaintained/outdated software and redo it.

    When you find it, share it around here, someone might follow.



  • @Eldelshell said:

    The problem with games IMO is that you'll spend 5x more time dealing with resources than with real coding. Even more if you use an engine.

    In my case, I'm using a few parts of XNA, and borrowing sprites for development. But most of my time is currently spent building a character editor, which is helping me design my architecture on the game side in some ways. We have no artist, so I'm putting that off for now, but the only 'dealing with resources' I really do currently is writing code.

    Looking forward to Mahjong, where I only need images of tiles.



  • @dstopia said:

    The problem is I'm terrible at getting ideas that haven't been done better elsewhere.

    Because you're looking for problems people don't have.

    You need to look for problems people actually have.

    Once you learn how to do that, then you will start figuring out how to find problems people don't know they have.

    Then you go onto problems people will never have but you can convince them they'll have soon.

    So, in essence, you're not a marketer. Because it's a marketer that takes an idea from a problem people don't realize / don't have and turn it into a product they want.

    At what point before computers did people think they needed a machine that took them a long time to make holes in cards, and turn it into a program they'll only use a handful of times, into a machine that people can't live without because automation makes our lives easier, but doesn't really make our lives easier.

    Computers are very much workload front-loaded.

    Think about it. Computers just gave our bosses reasons to expect more out of us.

    solving actual problems is so last century
    now we just convince people they have problems that we solve



  • @xaade said:

    Then you go onto problems people will never have but you can convince them they'll have soon.

    and then you start a kickstarter

    also: i tought you were trying to stop post-editing



  • @Jarry said:

    stop post-editing

    fuck that.

    Peeps just have to respect



  • @xaade said:

    then you will start figuring out how to find problems people don't know they have.

    Then you go onto problems people will never have but you can convince them they'll have soon.

    Somehow, this sounds a bit like Discourse, but backwards. Discourse: A problem to a solution you didn't need, or something like that.



  • Embroidery machine software.



  • I thought about it, but then, I thought about dealing with those printer drivers and that file format and it was like if I was given a MS Access application to maintain.

    :eek:



  • If you're looking for something useful to code just for the sake of coding, my present wish list includes a version of swfmill that understands Flash 17.



  • I need an application that will allow me to stab people in the face over the Internet.

    Or even just over a LAN if that's too difficult.


  • :belt_onion:

    NAT would make it pretty difficult.

    Now if you don't mind stabbing everyone on a network segment at the time, I'm sure something could be done.


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