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Thread: How do you handle different versions of your game in development and collaborations?

  1. #1
    Clicker Fusion 2.5Fusion 2.5 Mac
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    zip2kx's Avatar
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    How do you handle different versions of your game in development and collaborations?

    Hey guys, i just wanted to check something with you.
    I've been thinking lately on how to deal with different versions of a project in development. I currently save a copy every 2 or 4 weeks and name them a date. But this quickly can get out of hand with a lot of copies and sometimes things getting lost.

    I've also been thinking what the smoothest way is to collaborate on a project with someone when using Fusion, do you send them parts? Dedicate different people different groups and then merge?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Shadoku's Avatar
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    My partner and I use github for collaboration, this works out for us since the vast majority of the games assets are external (scripts, tilesets, sprites, etc etc). Obviously source control doesn't work for the actual mfa, so to avoid conflicts there and keep on the same page we have to employ close communication (usually voice chat) and sometimes even remote desktop while we're working.

  3. #3
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    zip2kx's Avatar
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    I guess that really is the only way, sharing the mfa and making sure who edits what.

  4. #4
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    Volnaiskra's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bother adding the date to the name, since you can see the "date modified" or "date Created" in Windows explorer anyway. What I do is just increment a 3 digit number to the end of the filename, like

    myGame001.mfa
    myGame002.mfa
    myGame003.mfa
    ...

    Occassionally, I'll add a note to the end of the filename, like:

    myGame004-addedNewPhysics.mfa
    myGame005.mfa
    myGame006-buildForPAX2017.mfa
    ...


    This method ensures that, no matter what, the files are automatically sorted in chronological order, even when just sorted alphabetically. It's important to use 3 digits, because on a big project you'll probably end up with more than 99 copies (and while alphabetical sorting will place myGame100.mfa after myGame099.mfa, it won't place it after myGame99.mfa).

    When you accumulate too many versions, go through them and delete most of them, since you almost definitely don't need an archive of every single version - just a snapshot of various stages of development. You could, for example, keep only multiples of ten (eg. keep myGame10.mfa & myGame20.mfa, but delete myGame11.mfa, myGame12.mfa...etc.)

    It's also a good idea, if you don't do it already, to keep different types of files in different subfolders of your project. I've used the following subfolder system for over a decade now, and it's always served me well:

    myProject\development (main project files)
    myProject\resources (external assets/tutes/etc. that I'm allowed to use in my project, such as purchased stock assets)
    myProject\references (external assets that I can reference but am not allowed to use in my project, such as screengrabs of other people's work)
    myProject\output (exported files, including PNGs I've exported from Photoshop or a compiled EXE)
    myProject\screenshots (polished screenshots for showing the world)

    Where necessary, I break those down into further subfolders. For example, I'm currently using several subfolders in development:

    myProject\development\graphics
    myProject\development\animation
    myProject\development\audio
    myProject\development\fonts
    myProject\development\story

    I don't have any advice about working on the same MFA with multiple programmers. But in terms of general project management (breaking projects into smaller tasks, assigning tasks to team members, discussing mockups, etc.) Asana is terrific.

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    thats some good tips volnaiskra. all my mfas, directories & assets are usually scrambled everywhere like spaghetti

    @zip2kx as for working in collab, just thinking randomness but maybe i wud work on completely seperate mfas & try to make sure that everything changed is documented, & then 1 leader person, that wud probly be u wud take the code & assets from all the changed versions & copy it into his MASTER version & make sure it all works, then update that onto the net as the CURRENT version, which the others wud download & continue from that version. also if u all keep most of code in "groups" then it should be easier to copy over. all tho i'd be scared with fusion to collab because of the undeletable objects & stuff lol.

    worst thing i ever did in my younger days wen collabing with sumone on sum code was to work on a same exact file as them updating it over a shared drive.

    its all about the moment wen after spending ages writing a code routine i saved it, then a couple of seconds later my friend saved his version over & deleted all my current changes! i then shortly after saved it again deleting all his current changes!

    it was like, "U IDIOT!!!" "NO, YOOOUR THE IDIOT!!!" loooooool

    dunno wat we were thinking

  6. #6
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    its a good idea to have only 1 person responsible for, and working on then main code file. others should stick to their specialty; ie graphics or sound.
    if you have someone else wanting to work on code; they should never write over the main, but save under a working file which the user working on the main, can copy parts from it and introduce it to the main code file.

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    It's good practice to make your code as self-contained and modular as you can anyway. So if you both you and your collaborator make modular code, it should be easy enough to slot their work into yours, even when working on different versions of the MFA.

    I do most of my own code, but for things that I find particularly tricky or don't have time for, I've sometimes hired another guy to do (SolarB from the forums, as it happens - if anyone needs a rockstar programmer for hire - I strongly recommend him!). I gave him a version of the MFA, which quickly grew outdated as I continued to work on the project on my end. But because the bits he did were nicely modular and self-contained, once he was finished, it was trivial to port his changes into the latest MFA.

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