It’s a strange feeling to complete a project for the first time. I’ve been programming stuff for years, probably more than 10 years. But it was always something for myself, or just checking something, or a long term project that won’t be released for years (and of course my day job, but that doesn’t count). Now comes Nonogram Nexus, this tiny unimportant project, and becomes my entry to the published authors world.
What did I learn from this new experience? The main thing that struck me was how little of what I planned actually ended up happening. I thought about so many features, it was going to be the most amazing software in Android history – achievements, multiplayer, time trials, non-square boards, non-square tiles, campaign mode. Everything you can imagine and more. So what happened?
What happened is that I wanted to avoid the open source development trap. After many attempts at developing open source stuff, I realized that at some point in developing anything, the excitement ends. It might seem like the coolest project in the world when you start it, but after some time you’ll think about the next amazing idea and suddenly you have absolutely no motivation to work on the existing project. As a serious programmer, the solution is simple – put the existing project aside, and return to it later. After all, you can’t release a half-done project, can you?
The problem is, I don’t think it works. And I think here I benefited from working in the actual software industry – I learned that when you need to develop something, you will not complete it perfectly. And if you don’t, it doesn’t matter – you must release something. If you wait for perfection, you’ll never release anything. Thus I decided I want to release things, and if they will not be perfect – that’s fine. This imperfect project is not only, in my opinion, better than its alternatives, it’s also definitely better than countless projects that stayed in the developer’s computer forever and never became publicly available.
So I’m moving on to my next project, and if you want the perfect Nonogram game you’ll have to wait for Nonogram Nexus 2. Maybe I’ll get the motivation for it one day. I won’t say what the next project is, but I can say two things – it will not be perfect, and it will be released.