Let a billion videogames bloom

Everything game development: news, lessons, discussion

Weekly Links #309

01 March 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! It's another week with little in the way of noteworthy headlines, but still some good news on my part. For one thing, Glittering Light 2 now has a Python port!

Screenshot from a 3D game rendered with colorful ASCII characters, and using a desktop-style GUI.

Moreover, the original edition now has improved frustum culling (backported from Python), and both support strafing. It's less useful than expected, but still good to have. Also, comparing the two editions has given me useful insights into camera angles, zoom levels, drawing distances and so on. As I expect this engine to be used for many more games, that's worth a lot.

In the way of news, this week we have the book publishing industry hilariously thinking videogames (and fantasy) are a niche, along with a few headlines with little to no commentary. Details under the cut.


Tags: business, publishing, roguelike, rpg, news

Comments? Tweet  

So much for games on Linux

29 October 2019 — No Time To Play

Many years ago, I used to be a Linux advocate. You know the type: trying to tell everyone how stable and fast Linux was, that it looked great unless you chose otherwise and was easy to use if you just wanted to use it, and how it obeyed you as opposed to a distant faceless corporation, even while being able to do all the same things as commercial operating systems.

People were incredibly indifferent, and that puzzled me until one day. It was an ice-cold shower to discover just how well they knew all that and how little they cared.

Because they know and don't care, you see. Fast forward fifteen years to 2018, when Microsoft pushed a Windows 10 update that would literally delete all your files. A few people complained a little, for a short while, then the whole story was completely forgotten. And nobody did anything. Even literally losing all their work wasn't enough to make people switch. I think it's safe to say Windows could burn down their house and they still wouldn't budge.

Then again, who was going to convince them? Linux users? Let me tell you a story about those, too. In recent years I started putting out native games for Windows and Linux, thanks to a convenient open source runtime. And people would complain I only had 32-bit builds. (Turns out, 64-bit Linux is terrible at staying backwards-compatible.) So at the first opportunity I started providing those all-important 64-bit builds. And nobody's downloading them.

Linux users are just a handful of loud jerks. I should have known that, too, from my days in a Linux User Group. They don't actually use Linux. They fool around with Linux, not so much because it's fun (though it can be), but because it makes them feel smart. Oh, they want to run games, but only to prove Linux can do it too. So it has to be the same big-name stuff everyone else is already playing. Not that they actually play, they just demo.

At least Mac users make things with their OS of choice. And complain about it at every turn, even if they would never switch either.

Might as well go back to making games for the ZX Spectrum. Those are by far the most popular out of everything I released. Yes, really. And that speaks volumes.

Tags: publishing, platforms

Comments? Tweet  

Weekly Links #253

20 January 2019 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone. This week I can't think of anything to write an editorial about. Might as well talk about plans instead. And those don't involve any new games until summer, unless something happens along the way. Plenty of other things to do for a while:

  • redo the user interface of ASCII Mapper and release version 2.0;
  • port Electric Rogue to Python and Pygame, not so much for its own sake but to make the NoTime engine reusable as promised so long ago;
  • make a couple more tech demos based on it;
  • maybe take another shot at Deep Down in Darkness, now that I know what was wrong the first time around;
  • maybe tinker some more with Adventure Prompt and/or Ramus 2; their respective websites in particular need work.

Plenty to pick and choose from, then. It remains to be seen how much I'll actually get done.

In the way of extended news, this week we have an interview with Mike Cook about his creation Angelina, another with three leaders of GOG.com about the way they got to where they are now, and a write-up about the way game jams contribute to queer representation. Details after the cut.


Tags: game-jam, representation, retrogaming, publishing, interview, game-design, AI

Comments? Tweet