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Shrooms N' Code
Everyone’s got a reason they love summer, I love it because staying up till 1:00 A.M. isn’t considered late for me. So that’s what I did, I remember one June night going into my Junior year in particular. I was solving issues with my code faster than normal so I kept drinking water bottles to stay up until every surface of my desk was plastered with plastic. Only my desk and I were illuminated in the room.
The room may have been empty, but the screen was filled with if statements, executables, and other code jargon. My goal, to create a world with floating islands, night skies filled with stars, and creatures of all varieties of size and beauty is what I hope to create. But it’s a work in progress and I only had a forest surrounded by blank tiles as far as the eye can see. But one step at a time, for now, I gotta fix a mushroom so it bounces me ten feet in the air for an upcoming level.
I shift the code around, trying to find the screw up. Maybe I put a semicolon in the wrong spot? No, I just checked again for the third time. I investigate the code but I fail to find anything. Maybe it’s a dumb idea anyway, I mean why do I want the mushrooms to work like trampolines?
I search through the code like a teacher examines a paper for spelling mistakes. Everything is spelled right, and the grammar is fine, but something still isn’t satisfying about it. I glance at the bottom right of my computer screen. I should just go to bed, it’s late…
“Do you need my help?” My friend Alex asks. Oh yeah, we’ve been sitting in silence for so long that I forgot about him.
“Nah, I could do this,” I reply. It didn’t show in my voice but it annoyed me when he asked. What does he think I can’t code the mushroom to act like a trampoline. I don’t need him to help me.
Half an hour later and I still can’t find any errors. I change the material of the mushroom. I change the physics and the gravity of the character for a short time. I alter everything I can think of to get the mushroom to act like a trampoline.
After around another 30 minutes I begin to give up. “Dude, I’m going to take a little break.” I sigh.
“Do you need help dude?” Alex asks again.
“I can do this dude it’s fine.” I raise my voice a little. “Just give me some more time.”
“Dude you’ve been working on the bounce code for so long let me help, you probably just need a fresh set of eyes.” I was reluctant to let him look but I decided I’d let him since I didn’t have any way of stopping him.
A few minutes go pass until he says, “You forgot to link the code to the mushroom. Some of the code you’d use would work but none of it works since it isn’t activated ever.”
“...” I sat in silence. After a while, I murmur, “Thanks.”
“Listen man, don’t feel you need to do everything by yourself. Do you know why we work together?”
“Why?” I sigh.
“To kick more ass together than we can by ourselves.”
It’s weird where you can pick up life lessons. I didn’t think I’d pick one up at 2:30 A.M. from my friend Alex of all people. I know he doesn’t realize how much of an impact he left on me. Leaning on others doesn’t result in dependence on others. After all, no one gets anywhere today without working with others. But don’t tell him I learned from him, he’ll hold it over my head forever otherwise.