I ran into several technical difficulties last night while I was debugging my Hauler Agent. I know that most people think that EVE’s an easy game to write programs for, but it really isn’t. There’s a million different ways the developers twist up the user interface to prevent it from looking the same way over and over again. You don’t notice it as a player, but when you start NEEDING the interface to be consistent it becomes an issue. For instance, it took me three different if/then statements just to determine if I had just been offered a courier mission. And then, for some odd reason, sometimes an agent will leave up the missions window and you can just read it without having to reopen it. Then, other times, they close the window and you have to click “View Mission” every time you dock. Why? Probably just to give me a headache.
So these difficulties have slowed down my development. I can complete a courier mission, start to finish, right now if all the stars align (puns make me smile) but that’s pretty rare. The agent usually breaks about halfway through, either deleting a bookmark (instead of warping) or failing to warp to the correct location.
But it’s not a total loss so far. This was the first time I’ve written a new agent from scratch and I was able to make huge structural improvements to the program. Instead of having all the code in one long function, I created several small functions. This made it a lot cleaner and easier to write, and has lead me to think that I should create a sort of “master” class. But that’s an issue for another day.
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