Making THE OCTOBER GAME: The Autodidact’s Problem
Early on, after I’d decided on a career involving computer technology, I decided the best way for me to learn was not in a classroom, but on my own. This decision has served me well, letting me get into the graphic design field just as desktop publishing took over. But I do recognize a serious disadvantage to this approach. Self-directed learning can leave you with holes in your education that a more traditional method would cover. Back in the early nineties this was brought home to me when the lead electrical engineer on a video hardware project didn’t know the term “ferrous metal”. If you build electrical circuits, you’d know that using thin sheets of it was a cheap and dirty way to block interference inside the noisy interior of a computer back in the day. He was also self-taught and far, far smarter than me but this tiny hole in his education tripped him up.
That was a long-winded way of saying I have much to learn about programming and software development. I’m such a noob that I just realized how incredibly useful the NSDictionary class is for storing game level data. You can just incrementally build out your data structure by adding more key/object pairs. So convenient! I want NSDictionary to have my babies…in a threesome with NSMutableArray.
Later when you need to save it, you just make sure all the contained objects follow the NSCoding protocol and Bob’s your uncle, easy persistence to disk.
You could build a world out of all the things I don’t know.
Come to think of it, they did, it’s called the world.