So, today, I borked the game temporarily by doing something stupid. I mentioned this to the guy sitting at the cube next to mine who is an animator and I was faced with the task of explaining to him exactly what a null pointer error was.
It was obvious from the blank look in his eyes that I was doing a bad job of this.
At least, I thought later, I could make my nonsensical explanation amusing.
(So I came up with this)
So, say you want to get a pet tarantula. You go to the pet store, and you can either get a cage and get the tarantula later -
Or, you can get the cage and put a tarantula in it.
Tarantula *beulah = new Tarantula();
The cage is big enough for the tarantula to get really hideously big and wander around and stuff, when you decide to stick the tarantula in it. Note that you can't get a tarantula without a cage, because it would inevitably escape and you would have no bloody clue how to find it, and the idea of having a tarantula running around on the loose is against the general order of the universe.
Above musings on tarantulas aside, let's say you get a tarantula cage without the tarantula, and you take it home and set it up.
Then you try to hold the tarantula.
This is the point where you become totally batguano crazy, or if you are a computer, you crash.
You have a null pointer error....the the computer has given you a chunk of memory space for your tarantula, assuming that if there's a tarantula cage there's going to be a tarantula living there, but there is no actual tarantula at that memory address.
So hopefully I've confused you even more with this dumb analogy and given myself job security. It's all part of the plan.