And here we are, a few months since my last post, so it’s time to reflect on a Summer and Autumn gone by. As I’m juggling school, studies and projects, free time has been in short supply again. To start things off, I found a fun read here on why Godot is extremely suitable for complex app development. Great! I feel even more validated than I needed to. So, without further ado… how have my different projects evolved over the past few months?

Wellbeing App: Progress update

The Wellbeing App so far…
The Wellbeing App so far…

In a nutshell, I’ve been keeping busy with this one! Some of the changes I’ve made over the past few months (some visible, some under the hood):

  • Code refactoring: I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the code this month. Nothing exciting, but following “best practice” tips available in the Godot community, I’ve split sections of the app into scenes, made sure code duplication didn’t happen (wherever possible), etc.
  • User data storage: I think I’ve built a pretty solid system for data storage, which means user data won’t get lost when restarting. You also can’t do anything until you tell the app your first name, at least. It’s a start. It currently keeps your first name & your date of birth.
  • Large File Storage on Git: I should have a properly running LFS setup now on the repo, using my Synology in the background. It seems to be working, in the sense that I can push and pull large binary files, so… yay!
  • Time-dependent greeting: It’s such a small thing, but for the app to correctly call out “Good morning” or “Good evening” depending on your device felt like a nice little touch. Since I can also read days and months, I may also do a little seasonal thing now and again.
  • UI work: Theming a UI in Godot is incredibly easy and such fun. Had a real go at developing a working interface. Not flawless. Not perfect. Not delightful (yet!), but good enough to move forward with an early alpha version soon-ish. As you can see in the screenshot above, the colour scheme is coming together. Not quite there with the button shapes, layout, etc, but, progress!

If you want to see what I’m putting together, feel free to check it out on GitHub and contribute some suggestions or ideas!

Online communities: ISENG & Leren Leuker Maken (LLM)

  • I’ve dusted off the International SEN Group community website and reached out to people who were previously engaging with it. It’s slowly beginning to gain members again, which is great to see!
  • LLM: This Dutch education website is still getting plenty of site visits (a couple of thousand each month), in spite of me not doing much with it. So I’ve spent the past few weeks slowly adding more resources to it. I’m toying with the idea of bringing a Community Forum to this one as well. So… we’ll see if that idea goes anywhere!

Game: Fhaloness

Godot Fhaloness proudly showing off an integrated skybox and a very VERY basic day-night colour
Godot Fhaloness proudly showing off an integrated skybox and a very VERY basic day-night colour

I don’t have all that much to say on Fhaloness. As I wrote in my devlog over at Itch, the decision to shift from AGS to Godot hasn’t been an easy one to make, but, since I’m diving deeper into how Godot actually functions, I’m so glad I made the jump. The skills I’m picking up on Godot tutorials & the Wellbeing App directly translate into how I’m working on Fhaloness, which is a great bit of synergy. Deciding to dig down with Godot and GDScript (and not drown in the ocean of programming languages and IDE’s to choose from) has been so, so worth it.

  • Updated Escoria & Godot to their latest versions. This was more of an involved process than it sounds. Updating Godot was fine, but the Escoria plugin was acting up for quite a while. However, thanks to some excellent support over on the Escoria Discord, it was resolved quickly and I can now crack on again with development.
  • I’ve started coding an in-game clock and day-night system. Currently I’m thinking I’ll take a similar approach to Breath of the Wild (as in, sleep/fatigue won’t play a role, so it’s more of a superficial system). My aim is to have to draw a reusable skybox, reusable assets and easily “build” pixelart background that way. Hopefully this will allow for an easier way forward in building environments, which should help with a more “Baldur’s Gate” style of working when it comes to environment building for the larger RPG-esque areas. I always like how Baldur’s Gate showed an in-game timer on saved games (to see my character had been journeying for months added a little bit of realism). So plenty to toy with here and it’s great to stumble around in Godot with this kind of modular design.

Book: Revising draft for “The International SENCO’s Field Guide”

Don’t be fooled - the picture may be pretty but the draft is still a mess! :)
Don’t be fooled - the picture may be pretty but the draft is still a mess! :)

I’ve finally had the nerves to go near this monstrosity again. I’ve got 40.000+ words written for this one, but it’s a little bit of an untidy creature at the moment. Definitely not in any place for anybody to take a peek at yet! But, I’ve started to redraft some areas, now that I know what I’m actually trying to say with this book! It’ll be slow going, but it’s really nice to see some of these paragraphs and chapters begining to come together.

Software Release: Time Sampling Form

I’m proud to say I have also released my very first piece of software. The Time Sampling Form is specifically designed for SEN staff who observe students and colleagues in schools. I continue to chip away at it (check out my GitHub repo to see where and how), I’m always open to suggestions and ideas on how to improve this one! Next challenge: iOS/MacOS App Store release… after I’ve improved it some more.

In closing

And that’s about all I have to say after a few weeks of no-work-no-study time… I imagine updates will be slower from here on out. Feel free to drop me a comment now and again to check in! (Now that I’ve got Disqus up and running at long last on this Hugo site) Or, if you’re into that kind of thing, follow me on Mastodon for some more semi-irregular updates!

See you next time!