Plug-in completion formula

As I was working on my plug-in, one of the things I was looking for was a tangible way to measure my progress, instead of "oh, it's getting bigger." I wanted a percentage number, based on some hard facts. And guess what? I came up with one! (See, it's in my sig!) I came up with an easy formula so this can be applied to any plug-in. Here's how it works:

1. Estimate how many of each of the different resources you are going to need (misn, ship, flet, etc.). If you are in doubt, aim high. (I'm working on a TC right now, so even though I have no missions as yet, I specified 200 misn resources).

2. Each of your resources can be divided into five development stages (six if you count zero), and each has a multiplier. I'll use the ship resource to demonstrate:
Stage 0 - resource does not exist - multiplier X0
Stage 1 - resource has been created - multiplier X0.2
Stage 2 - resource has either initial set of data or graphics - multiplier X0.4
Stage 3 - resource has both initial set of data and graphics - multiplier X0.6
Stage 4 - resource has been initially game-tested (the ship flies, the planet looks like it is supposed to, etc) - multiplier X0.8
Stage 5 - resource has been fully alpha tested (the ship is balanced with others, the planets have the correct mission strings attatched, etc) - multiplier X1

In this example, from my plug-in, I have a total of 52 ships. 10 are at stage 3, 22 at stage 2, and 20 at stage 1. This means (10x0.6)+(22x0.4)+(20x0.2)= 18.8 18.8/52 = 36.15% My ships are 36% complete.

In order to get a grand total for the entire plug in, add up all your completion values (18.8 in the example), and divide by your total number of resources.

A few pitfalls:

If predicted numbers are way off base, the percentage becomes meaningless (but as the plug progresses, those numbers should fall into place)

This assumes you spend the same amount of time on graphics as you do on data entry. This percentage does not include the actual design time of the graphics, I'm assuming that you're either getting graphics from an outside source, or designing them is fun work and not related to the percentage development of the plug-in.

Tell me what you think!

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Gage Stryker
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It's coming - Visible Menace for EVO! Current as of 02/26/02 | | v 0.1.6 | | 8.1 MB | | 30% to Beta
gage2stryker@yahoo.ca

I think you have WAY too much time on your hands!

Seriously, though, I think that looks pretty sound, and is a good idea. So many people always say things like, "Oh, I'm almost ready to release it," and then take another few months that this might be a good idea if it is adapted by other developers. Very interesting!

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~ M A H A Y A N A ~

Although part of it is a bit...not-so-easy-to-understand-late-at-night-while-very-tired, I commend you for a very good attempt/result. I'm trying to make one of these myself. I think I shall just use yours, as it is worthy

/me hugs you anyways.

-Nat

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Lequis Design
lequis.netfirms.com
PhantoM_63ff@hotmail.com

This sounds suspiciously like Bart and Lisa sitting in the back of the car repeatedly saying "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" to Marge and Homer in the front.

When JRR Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings, he initially imagined it would be about 1/6th to 1/3rd of the length it eventually was.

What I'm saying is, any estimates you make now are meaningless, and in any case not transferable from one person to the other because everyone's creative style is different.

Just enjoy the making.

Regards

Martin

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M A R T I N Â• T U R N E R
(url="http://"http://www.ambrosiasw.com/cgi-bin/vftp/dl-redirect.pl?path=evo/plugins&file;=Frozen Heart - the No.hqx")Frozen Heart - the Novel(/url)

I am enjoying the making, thanks. And, once you start a project and get a good ways into it, you do have a logical estimate of how many resources you'll need. You usually don't go adding huge new governments after the basic idea is set down - I may end up with 100 missions or 300 missions, but once I start working on them, the numbers change and accurately reflect the progress. In fact, I realized that my spobs were more like stage 2 and not stage 3, so my percentage actually went down once.

The main reason I did this is so I could sctually see some progress, and encourage me to complete the plug-in, instead of "hey, nothing much has changed!"

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Gage Stryker
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It's coming - Visible Menace for EVO! Current as of 02/26/02 | | v 0.1.6 | | 8.1 MB | | 30% to Beta
gage2stryker@yahoo.ca

Here's my formula for completion:

(Creativity + Ideas^2 + Skill + Moral Support + Vital Signs)/(Time + More Time + Extra Time) = Finished plug

I may have underestimated on the ideas factor...

But I haven't actually finished one yet, so my data is rather shoddy.
I can say that I grossly underestimate ideas and time, constantly.

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- () () / }{ -
(formerly fatalin.tycho)
(url="http://"http://coldblood.cjb.net")Cold Blood(/url)
ZIING! The extra I means extra ZING!

Quote

Originally posted by Gage_Stryker:
I am enjoying the making, thanks. And, once you start a project and get a good ways into it, you do have a logical estimate of how many resources you'll need. You usually don't go adding huge new governments after the basic idea is set down - I may end up with 100 missions or 300 missions, but once I start working on them, the numbers change and accurately reflect the progress.

As far as I know there have been only a few dozen huge plugins for EV or EVO completed and released. I've been involved in the making of four of them -- Clavius and Beyond, Oreste (Battle Velocity), Frozen Heart and Femme Fatale. Vincent Bernard's Oreste/Battle Velocity was completely rewritten 3 times after it was originally finished. DynaSytems' Clavius went through a long genesis -- much longer than the authors had originally estimated. Frozen Heart took 14 months. It was substantially complete after two months -- but was then completely rewritten twice with all the graphics remade three times. Femme Fatale, on the other hand, took two weeks to write and two months to beta test. For those who are interested, several of the governments in Frozen Heart didn't appear until fairly late in the day.

I'm not trying to discourage you, I'm just saying that 'the course of true plugin making ne'er runs smooth', and that, until you've completed at least one major plugin and released it and taken on board the public feedback (older board members will remember what happened when the Universe Next Door was first released), it's going to be hard to gauge how much more work a plugin will take -- and even then it's hard.

Regards

Martin

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M A R T I N Â• T U R N E R
(url="http://"http://www.ambrosiasw.com/cgi-bin/vftp/dl-redirect.pl?path=evo/plugins&file;=Frozen Heart - the No.hqx")Frozen Heart - the Novel(/url)

Quote

Originally posted by Martin Turner:
**
Femme Fatale, on the other hand, took two weeks to write and two months to beta test. For those who are interested, several of the governments in Frozen Heart didn't appear until fairly late in the day.
**

This is a % to beta. After beta, who can tell. Even Ambrosia with EV Nova can't. This formula is also adaptive - if you add extra governments and stuff, the total numbers go up - yes, your plug-in might go from 90% complete to 85%, but it's accurate. I probably should have added an exponential factor because the larger the plug-in gets, the more problems it encounters

(Special thanks to Dr. L33TSp00n for late nite- spelling corrections)

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Gage Stryker
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It's coming - Visible Menace for EVO! Current as of 02/26/02 | | v 0.1.6 | | 8.1 MB | | 30% to Beta
gage2stryker@yahoo.ca