Over the last couple of months I've spent quite a bit of time building and planning this visualizer. Unfortunately, I am calling a halt to the project.
It has become clear that if I were to finish this in time for the Entelect Challenge finals, it just wouldn't be what I would have liked it to be. While I have thoroughly enjoyed building this visualizer I can no longer focus on this as a side project.
Of the handful of reasons that I'm shifting my focus away from this project, the most important is the near-at-hand birth of my second son. I did toy with the idea of using my two weeks paternity leave to finish up and polish this project... With a new baby in the house, and a two and a half year old to entertain, that wasn't going to happen.
The only sensible thing for me to do right now, is to step away from this project. I would like to think that I'll pick it back up once things have settled down and finish it at some point in the future, but that is also pretty unlikely.
What went wrong? Where do I start...
First off, while I did set a deadline for the project from day one, I did not set milestone deadlines along the way. I had vague ideas of what I wanted to get done by roughly which dates, but I never put any of this on paper. Without these, it made planning and scheduling needlessly difficult.
In terms of timing, some decisions I made early on in the project to save time and get up and running fast, turned out to make things slightly more complicated later down the line. Some minor refactors fixed these, so not much of a setback, although I think I got lucky on that.
Being relatively new to building anything more that a couple of test elements in Unreal, I made some silly mistakes relating to setup and structure of projects.
Finally, creating assets for this was relatively simple, but took up a fair bit of time. Eventually pulling them into the visualizer, at the chosen camera scale, meant a lot of detail could have been omitted without degrading the quality. I spent too much time and put in too much effort on areas where it wouldn't be noticed.
Well, now not much. At least not immediately.
I will be spending the last two or three weeks before our baby is due to do some learning, catch up on some reading, and preparing some work things before I go on leave.
After things settle down, I will be looking at starting up a new project in Unreal, but I don't have any concrete ideas yet.
Of course, if I can plan the new project (with proper deadlines and milestones) so that I can pause it, I might give the visualizer another go for Entelect Challenge 2020.
During the Entelect Challenge 2019 posts, I mentioned a few things that I didn't explain or didn't discuss in any detail. Those are all obvious topics for blog posts, until I pick up a new project to document here.
If there is any topic mentioned you would like to see discussed please drop me a message HERE.
Right, that's it. EC2019 Visualizer is now abandoned.