I realize now my essential mistake in the process of porting this game.  I played it and looked at the code and formed an opinion that it was a moderately polished but essentially uninteresting thing.  So I proceeded to port it by distilling the intent behind vast swaths of code, and writing that intent in AS3 instead of Java.

What I did not realize, but probably should have, is that the client looks at this game entirely differently than I do.  They see it as a highly polished flagship of their online community.  What they wanted was for me to make the game's Java code run in AS3, exactly the same.  I completely misjudged their level of caring by projecting my own distaste for the product onto them.

So, I direspected their game, and I did a bad job porting it as a result, and now they have called in the original programmers to detail every feature or non-feature that the original game had that I optimized out, and are telling me to put them back in.  Fine.  We need the money.  But the work grates, and the game is still exactly as sucky as it used to be.

I don't like being the guy who does a bad job, and I ESPECIALLY don't like being the guy who works really hard but still ends up doing a bad job, so this entire situation is extremely uncomfortable.  A polished turd still smells, but if that's what the client wants you better damn well give it to them, or don't take the job.  I wish I had figured that out sooner.

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