Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekly Plan - 1/17/2011 - 1/23/2011

* Objective *
* Cover Letter Template *
* Font Adjustment *
* Installer *
* Combos *
* Android Project *

   Due to the success I had with my C++ Swap Meet Server project last week, I am stepping up efforts a bit with that particular project this week. I am still a little disappointed with how the Android version of Swap Meet Server is coming along, but some weekend work really stalled my progress on that front. Anyway, this is no reason to slow down. As always, I present to you my plan for the week. As you read, start thinking about your own objectives. Please feel free to share them in the comments.
   I did fairly well with my resumé last week. The final product actually looks decent. I may or may not make a couple of more edits before I leave it alone, but for the time being, I have decided to move on. The next step would be to come up with a template for a cover letter. Generally, when using cover letters, you want to tailor it to the particular company you are applying for. Like any letter, it is always better to have a name to work with as opposed to, "To whom it may concern." However, we can certainly work to come up with a general template that can be quickly edited to suit the needs of the position being applied for. I will be working on my cover letter early in the week. I do not believe it will take much time, as a cover letter really only need be a couple of paragraphs with a few sentences each.
   I am having an issue in the Windows version of Swap Meet Server in which the font does not display the same across all monitors. For the most part, this is a non-issue, except for the fact that part of the order is cutoff on some screens. I need to come up with a way to have the text in the game display legibly across a wide variety of screen resolutions and pixel densities. There are several ways to go about this. I could simply shrink it. I could also adopt a system where I normalize the screen and position and size of the font within the screen. This basically places the font at a certain percentage of the window as opposed to putting it at a specific pixel. This is the more appropriate way to handle this situation, but I am not completely sure which I will pursue.
   After I have the font situation figured out, I will want to make a proper installer for Swap Meet Server. This will be your typical installer that you see when you insert a disc with a program you intend to install. This is mainly for presentation purposes. My project runs as is without an issue; however, the correct way to distribute is to include the redistributable packages for end users for both Visual Studio and DirectX projects. I have never created an installer, so I expect this to be a little bit of a challenge. However, this is invaluable knowledge for me, because it is something I will definitely be using for the rest of my career as a programmer.
   As an added bonus this week, I want to get back to working on the Windows version of Swap Meet Server. The first thing I want to do is incorporate a score multiplier for consecutive correct orders. This is more than just code, because I also need the player to be aware of the fact that it is happening. In the code, all I need to do is keep track of how many correct orders in a row have occurred and assign a multiplier to the subsequent order accordingly. The second portion of this is displaying this information visually within the game. I plan to do this by showing the amount the player earns on the order using floating numbers. For instance, if the player earns $31 on the order and it is the third consecutive correct order, the player will see $31 X 3 on the screen for a brief amount of time.
   I am kind of starting to give the Android version of Swap Meet Server the back-burner treatment. I do not want to do this; however, I have quite a bit stacking up on the personal life side of things. I am mostly focused at this point in making my C++ project better for use as a portfolio piece. None the less, I still have the hope of at least getting the menu screens implemented in my Android project. If I get any time at all this week, this is where I am putting it.
   That concludes my goals for the week. I admit, it is actually a bit of a tall order. I also have some other things going on like packing (less than five weeks before I move back to Sacramento) and taxes. However, staying busy is the best any of us can do for ourselves. Now that I have shared, how about you? What are your plans for this week? How do you intend to accomplish them?

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