Older blog entries for futility (starting at number 1)

I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them fall away - Tool

Gaming

I was having an irritating conversation today with someone about a certain project that I quite respect. This person dismissed the project as "vapour", which puzzled me, then got me thinking. The project has only been going (as far as I know) since last August; only 8 months or so. That's a pretty short time in the world of game development, and even shorter for indie game creation. Why this tendancy to dismiss any project that isn't immediately productive as vapour?

I think the problem is that people are subconsciously applying the standards of professional game development to free software products. Proprietary, mass market games have limited marketing funds, which need to be used in the immediate pre-release phase to build a crescendo of hype to coincide with the actual release of the game. As a result, mass market games usually have little information available initially (to build anticipation) and then more and more information is available as the release date gets closer. Free software, on the other hand, doesn't suffer from this market-driven pathology, and maximum information is available throughout the life of the project.

The result is that we react to information the way we've been trained by the marketers and their hype cycles. We see all the information available about a free software game and conclude that its release is imminent. The project isn't released (after all, it's just beginning), and we feel cheated and become resentful.

What's the solution? As with most problems in the free software world, the solution is Smarter Users. We need to educate the willing-to-learn that game releases in the free software world don't follow the same patterns as those in proprietary software. We need to develop thicker skins towards the unwilling-to-learn, and hope that they evolve or move on. Finally, we have to work hard to keep the hype to an absolute minimum.

Something rules, something sucks

This is good: This is a very funny guy. Advocacy is a terrific game.
This is lame: Whaah! No new Tool album until May 15th.
8 Mar 2001 (updated 8 Mar 2001 at 08:45 UTC) »

Generation X-wing
That's got to be the death star
I used to dream about the future
I used to dream about a lot of things

- MGB, Generation X-wing

Twitch

I've finally released my first real game. Overall, I'm pretty pleased - it didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped, but definitely better than I expected. It looks worse but plays better than projected. I guess the big lesson is - if you base an SVGA game on a VGA one, you'd better create four times the graphics, or it's going to look sparse. Oh well. IMO, this is exactly what pygame needs right now - we're technically correct, complete and (nearly) bug free. We just need to attract developers, and what better way than finished product?

Something rules, something sucks

This is good: Marbles is a lot of fun.
This is lame: this thread about SMAC, the Sims and Loki.

Kill the moon, turn out the sun
Lock your door and load your gun
Free at last, yeah the time has come
To choose

- MGB, Omissions of the Omen

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