From the Programmer’s Den — Pt. 1

Hello all you peoples on the interwebz. “From the Programmer’s Den” is going to be a string of posts by me (Andy Brennan) in which I will detail the work done in Pork and other related things. Remember that as you’re playing Pork please send all your thoughts, suggestions, constructive criticisms, and bugs to! Pork may be crude as hell now, but with time and work it can become far better! Now let us begin…

PART ONE — Ideas

I have to thank the creation of Pork to my being bored one day in a computer class I take at my high school. Since much of the work done in that class is easy to do (if you actually put in just a little effort), some friends and I have always been far ahead of the rest of the class. Looking for something to do, I decided to download a portable version of DevC++ (which is one trashy program, btw) onto the school computer so I could do a little C++ programming to pass the time. It took me a while to think of a minuscule, pointless program to make, but eventually I decided upon an atrocious text-based game where you enter in a number to see if you can guess a number the game chooses. It was called CannonGame and it was terrible (but gave my friends and I a good laugh at trying to guess the numbers since the guess was multiplied by 3, incremented 2, divided by 6 and whatnot before it was compared with the game’s chosen number).

Once I was nice and bored with that piece of work I thought of a project more constructive than the previous one. A text-based adventure game (built to be a parody of Zork). I spent some time developing a simple framework that was based on commands (separated by spaces since I was using the std::cin stream object to handle input). I also made it so ‘maps’ and items were classes and eventually created it where the game was defined outside the source code (in the .pmf files). At first my take on this program was nowhere near serious and I would only work on it during class. Very soon, however, the game started growing and the project looked more promising. It wasn’t until an assignment from English class, though, that I had decided to take on the project at home as well, allocating time to it rather than another project currently (and still) in the works.

The assignment I had received from my English class was something I had never dealt with before. We had to do something for our community then do a speech on what we did about a month later. Since I had Pork coming along I thought of what my project could be right away: finish a first iteration of Pork and sell it on USB flash drives and then give all money made to charity. At the time of this post, I am still selling these flash drives and the speech is this coming week (on my birthday, no less 😛 ). If it weren’t for the English assignment I probably wouldn’t have taken Pork seriously enough to continue it (although I’m not sure whether that matters or not at this point 😛 ).

So that was pretty much the whole story of Pork’s inception. Seemed a lot longer while I was typing it… Anyway, tune in next [place unit of time here] for Part 2 of “From the Programmer’s Den!”

— Andy Brennan


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