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So you want a blog post, do you?

So it's not enough that I code me fingers to the bone stayin' up 'til four in the morning most nights, you want me to write about what I code?

Well then!

Latest updates:
1. Type GREM in a chat box to have your last comment removed.
2. Type AFK in a chat box to go Away From Keyboard (turns your chat icon grey).
3. A new Mount Accessories system is coming along nicely.

Honestly most of what I've been doing the past couple of weeks is cleaning up and tweaking the new commentary system. :P

So, that's updates out of the way! Now let's talk about indie gaming. Hit "Full Article" for the rest.
When I saw the announcement that there was a new XBox 360 coming out for three hundred bucks, I briefly toyed with the idea of joining this generation of console gamers.

Then I realised I'd still be playing the exact same damn games I was playing five years ago, slapped my forehead and went "D'oh!" Honestly it's not even as if the graphics have improved enough for me to justify it - compare the massive leap in graphics in Silent Hill to Silent Hill 2, and then look at the... um, massive, uh... bunnyhop in graphics from Silent Hill 2 to Silent Hill 5. Not what I'd call three hundred bucks' worth of visual advancement.

The more I thought about it, the more I become convinced that we can't and shouldn't support another generation of games consoles. The real difference between the Playstation 2 and 3 is that making a game has become a far longer and more expensive undertaking - the graphical difference between a PS2 and PS3 game is well into the area of diminishing returns. You spend twice as much time and money making a game that only looks a little bit better. And when you spend that sort of time and money, if the game turns out to be a flop, it'll hurt like a bastard. So, we see sequels and sports sims and, with few exceptions (Portal, Braid, I'm looking at you), nothing that we haven't played before. Safe investments.

You can't blame the designers for this; to make a visually-interesting console games these days you're looking at five million quid, easy. You don't gamble with that sort of money. If we have another generation of games consoles, capable of even higher polygon counts and texture resolutions, then the costs will increase even further and games will get even more bland.

But there's hope! The indie spirit is alive and well and living on the Internet!

In 1980's England, there was a computer called the ZX Spectrum. It had horrible rubber keys, sold for a hundred quid, and came with BASIC (a programming language) built-in.

It was the first proper home computer that people could reasonably afford to get their hands on. Result? A whole generation of people who could program a computer. This was back before proper consoles and development teams and big budgets; back then, games were made by teenagers in bedrooms, and came on audio tapes. Yeah, seriously, just ordinary, everyday cassette tapes - you could even tape games from the radio.

(you could also pick up a magazine that boasted "FIFTY games for just 75p!" and then you'd open it up and realise that rather than including a tape, the game's BASIC code was actually printed inside the magazine - you'd have to copy it out, and then pray that you didn't make any typos or - even worse - that there was a mistake in the magazine's printing)

(and then you'd walk fifteen miles to school in the snow with no shoes)

Back then, making a game was easy. Buying a game was cheap. You'd be looking at a fiver for the latest and greatest, a couple of quid for a bedroom programmer job, and anybody with enough spare time on their hands could make a simple game and try to sell it (sometimes at car boot sales... big stacks of tapes with photocopied inlays, programmer wearing a psychedelic bum bag full of coins to make change, bloke in the chip van next door selling Tizer and Marathon bars... *nostalgic sigh*). Copyright back then was something that happened to other industries, so you'd see scads of Pac-Man clones and such, but you saw a lot of really unique, original stuff too - the ratio of new stuff to cloned stuff was greater, and the clones were more immediately obvious (pick up a tape called "Spectrum Invaders" and it'd be pretty clear what you were getting). Games weren't made by blokes in suits, they were made by hippies and madmen. And they were ace.

These days the indie spirit is alive and well! But you'll not find it on console games - most interesting, adventurous indie games are Flash-based games you play in your browser. One person can make a game like this in a few months.

While we're on the subject - guys, programming in Flash is hard. It's an animation package with a programming language crudely bolted-in as an afterthought a few versions after its first release. The code is bizarrely non-linear - you've gotta think about time and motion as well as lines of code. So when you're playing a Flash game, please disable your ad blocker and consider giving the creator some money!

Indie gaming will only survive for as long as people play indie games and support their creators. So go play some indie computer games right now! (hell, you're already playing one, it shouldn't be too much of a leap)

And yeah, I'll keep updating this blog with development news and whatever interesting crap I come across and random thoughts that pop into my head. Laters!
So you want a blog post, do you? | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Re: So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: Xith on Thursday, June 17 2010 @ 10:11 PM UTC

Yay, CMJ actually listened to something I said in Banter. And then did something about it!

'Course, it was someone else who made the forum thread, but hey, I reminded him!

I feel so special now. Thanks for the blog update!

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Re: So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: MadMad on Saturday, June 19 2010 @ 08:45 PM UTC
I loved this blog: somehow I'm sure now that I'm from the same generation as CMJ.

Indie programming was the best out there. Even activision started out as an indie company :)
And there is still quite a great indie scene out there:  http://www.indiegames.com and IGF http://www.igf.com/

Let's get back to this: I'm happy about this blog entry: it's much more than I expected...
All I asked was a little more recent updates about the game functionality so that especially n00bs see that the game is being cared for, extended, thought upon.
However stupid this may sound, but this does ensure that more players will stick around with the game. The future will tell how high that percentage is. But the more people stick around, the more potential donations, the better for CMJ and, in the long run: the better for all players.

A self-referencing future function  :)

"I see," said the blind man to his deaf daughter while picking up his hammer...

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So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 29 2011 @ 07:27 AM UTC

{spam deleted}

Edited on Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 11:30 PM UTC by Count Sessine
[ # ]
So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 11 2011 @ 02:55 AM UTC

{spam deleted}

Edited on Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 11:29 PM UTC by Count Sessine
[ # ]
So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 12 2011 @ 05:17 AM UTC

{spam deleted}

Edited on Wednesday, October 26 2011 @ 11:29 PM UTC by Count Sessine
[ # ]
So you want a blog post, do you?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 30 2012 @ 07:06 AM UTC

Bah, another one missed. Spam deleted.


Edited on Wednesday, May 23 2012 @ 09:24 PM UTC by Count Sessine
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