I haven’t posted for a while. There’s some reasons for that. Some might call them “excuses”.
- I was consumed by the FAQoverflow project. It launched five days ago, and I’m resting, preparing myself for the next project.
- It’s school holidays, so we’re doing extra things as a family.
- GeekSalt have just launched the website for Fibber McGee’s, so I’ve been writing other blog posts on other blogs, and that’s exhaused whatever muse I might have.
- I’ve used up my backlog of posts (for a while there I had six in the queue ready to go).
- Bloody Minecraft.
I recently wrote a series of posts about my favourite games of all time, talking alot about my love of procedurally generated content, conservation of matter, emergent gameplay, sandbox environments, exploration and so forth. If you tilt your head and squint your eyes, it’s possible to join the dots between those games and Minecraft.
Funny thing is, I first played Minecraft about a year ago, when the project was first announced on The Chaos Engine. And I didn’t like it. The graphics were slow and choppy, I balked at the whole Java thing, and I just didn’t get the appeal of the creative mode (which, back then, was the only mode). Today I read through Notch’s blog, and I’m kicking myself for not following developments more closely, as it appears that the game I’m enjoying now was coming together much earlier this year. Oh, well.
Probably the biggest lessons I’m taking from the whole Minecraft phenomenon are that
- it’s still possible for an indie developer to make a bucketload of money from a game that runs on home computers;
- the programming language that you use really doesn’t matter; and
- complex games that are hugely popular within a small niche, such as Dwarf Fortress, can be boiled down into their essential components and presented in a nice way that will have a huge appeal to everyone.
In other news, I’m thinking of marketing FAQoverflow as follows:
FAQoverflow: It’s sorta like Minecraft.