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A look back at OBS Stream Effects 0.4.2 and the path to 0.5.0

It’s been over a year for the next update to OBS Stream Effects, and most of that has to do with burning out, bad planning, bad code, and just overall refusal to accept that things aren’t going the way they should have been. But what exactly went wrong?

The last version has over 24000 downloads total, excluding any downloads from AppVeyor. As this is just a Plugin for OBS Studio, seeing these kind of download numbers is kind of insane – it’s basically rivalling OBS AMD Encoder in downloads

But Then Things Went Wrong (TM)

It started really simple, just some “Ah I don’t want to do that right now…” that turned into something much worse: burnout. It was the worst time of my life, I got nothing done in that time without needing an extra alarm to remind me to do the thing. And ultimately it ended up also causing difficulties with my day-to-day job at the time.

I still wrote code on the side, but there was another problem: too many projects.

throw new TooManyProjectsEx();

I was flooded with work from other projects that I enjoyed more than working on OBS Stream Effects. So I paused work on OBS Stream Effects, to continue on those Projects, only to make next to no progress on those and move back to being burned out.

Back to square 1, and now it was worse than before. I had left a mess in all the project I touched before I burned out a second time. I just… took a break at that point – couldn’t really do anything else, and went back to slow coding, only on days where I actually felt like it. And it’s stayed like that since then.

I think I’ve learned my lesson from this: Don’t force yourself to do things if you aren’t doing well mentally.

Code Quality and Stability

During my burn out period I wrote a lot of crappy code. And not just bad crappy code, but outright terrible crappy code. Code that caused heap corruptions, memory leaks in the hundreds of megabytes per minute, or worse, just crashed the software for no reason.

Even after fixing all the known and reproducible problems, I still think that about 60% of the Plugin needs a proper rewrite, but I don’t think I’ll be able to ever do that. I can only reduce the number of bugs over time and fix things, and hope that I don’t do that again in the future.

Xaymar out.

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