Howdy PizzaClubbers! I need to rant. And praise. But mostly rant about third party tools and integrations.
Before that though, let me introduce myself. I’m an original at Pizza Club and I’ve been making games my whole professional life. You could say I turned a childhood addiction into a career. I made the big switch from PC/Console to mobile games a few years ago and I found, to my suprise, that I actual love making mobile games more than PC/Console. There is some dirty baggage though, and that is all the third party trash that you need to make a mobile game.
I’m talking about all those acronyms on random billboards that you might have seen before: AWS, EC2, Docker, Jenkins, Route 53, iTunes Connect, Google Play, AppCenter. These are necessary evils that ultimately help developers of all sizes make an app. But they also kinda make me want to punch my monitor too. As you can see, I’m conflicted. When you finally get something to work, it is magical. With one click of a button, you can build your game for 2 platforms, deploy that to AppCenter for immediate download and testing, deploy your server to a cloud-based AWS cluster that will automatically scale as more users login into the game, and even restart automatically when something goes wrong. Pretty cool right? But reaching that euphoric dream requires hours and hours of cringe worthy, frustratingly esoteric setup and debugging that has definitely shaved at least 5 years off my life expectancy.
Because everything is more entertaining in lists, here is a list of my top 5 things I hate about third part integrations:
1) Useless Errors
Why can’t you just tell me what the problem is!???
2) Multiple configuration locations
Ahhhhhh!! Why do I need 7 tabs open to create one service!! You’re killing me Amazon Web Services. You may be talented server providers, but UI/UX design is not a strong suit.
Ok Amazon, you’re embarassing yourself. Is this really necessary, you are running out of letters in the alphabet. There are 2 other columns of crap just like this one:
4) Keys, Credentials, Ids, Tokens, Fingerprints…
I’m convinced no one understands why all of this is necessary. Yeah, yeah… I’m sure there is somebody who works in network security ready to defend this practice of arcane keys and SHA1 fingerprints…but let’s be honest, you over-engineered these systems and you know it. I still use the same password for all of my accounts. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
5) Apple Developer Portal
Yep, I dedicated a whole section to Apple. Whoever designed the system for getting apps on the AppStore should be ashamed of themselves. As punishment, they should have to work in Apple Developer Support so they can answer endless questions about what provisioning profile they need, which pList entry is missing, and why the certificate doesn’t match even though xCode signed it properly.
If you don’t what I’m talking about, you know just as much as I do about this horrible system.
Phew..that was actually really cathartic. I feel better now. Let me know in the comments if there is something you really hate about using third party stuff.
Until next time.