My plan for the sabbatical was to release two video games. The first was this one. I figured it would take about a week to get it ready for release. If I hadn't decided to change things that would have been a realistic estimate. Instead I decided to clean up the Space Smilies movement, add levels, add a level editor, redo the graphics and things like that. I figured with all that it would take a month. It took about 4 months. This plus a bunch of other demands on my time mean that I'll probably not get to do the game and game editor I wanted to.
I have other projects to work on. In fact, it's quite hard to set priorities. Part of the problem with deciding on what project to undertake is that it's not clean what's worthwhile unless your part of the conversation. That and Myster set the bar for success really high. We would get 10000 downloads a day when we released a new version. Most days we'd only get 300 downloads. That's still impressive. It would be even more impressive if I hadn't made a bunch of newbie errors early on in my installers that made most users simply not able to use the application on Windows. Painful doh!
Every field has a conversation. If you're a Starcraft player you can think of it as the current state of the meta game. It consists of what is known, what is done, what needs to be done and what is not worth doing. Actually, it's more complex than that includes all the little arguments that are in progress and all the relationships, camps and tribes that are squabbling at the moment. I used to be very connected to these things but some of the conversations have moved in 10 years.
Games and indy gaming especially. The tools available to modern indy game developers are impressive. Part of me is saddened by the fact that application development frameworks are no where near as good.
This means that creating a game is much more about learning the tools than learning exotic programing techniques. I'm not sure I want to bother to learn a tool whose sole purpose it to quickly make top scrolling video games. I would love to WRITE such a tool. In fact, that was kind of the idea, but it looks like I am 5 years too late there.
Doh. That's what happened when you don't pay attention.
Oh well, I'll figure out something. Stay tuned. :-)