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Part 29: About the Demos

August 17, 2011

I'm reasonably happy with the amount of traffic the blog is getting, and it seems fairly stable. I'm still getting hits on all the parts, indicating that people are finding it via Shamus Young's blog, Stumbleupon or Google, and reading forward. That's all good.

What isn't so good is that almost no one is downloading the demos. There have been fewer comments lately too. I can guess why that is, but I'm not sure. Perhaps the erratic posting interval has made it hard for a community to form. The early demos had things you could do (build in the world), but then there was that endless run of demos where I just concentrated on speed and platform issues. The latest two (trees and landscape) have just been technology demos, separate from the game, and with nothing to do.

For me, the blog is all about the demos. I write a new piece of code, get it debugged and running on all three platforms, and then show it to you. The writeups revolve around the code. A part gets done when I get a piece of code running, not on any regular schedule. And then I wait for feedback, either downloads of the demo, or comments or both. Which isn't happening...

Instead of guessing about what you are thinking, I will just ask. Here is a poll:

If you have a reason not in this list, let me know in the comments.

I've also noticed that although 25% of my readers are Mac users, hardly any of you have downloaded the last two demos. If you are a Mac user and want to download the demo, pick one of these reasons why you don't.

I also haven't been getting many comments. Give me some reasons why not:

Finally, here's a poll on the style of the blog. My style so far has been "watch the programmer write a game", but I could do it differently.

As for the future, my plans are pretty dull at this point. If you don't want me to change the blog, this is what you will see:

  • Next is the GUI, which I really need soon. I also need to get overlay text working on Linux and Mac, so that the GUI will work there.

  • I want to get "Craft of CraftCraft", the block world version, released again as a separate project. Since all of that code will be in SeaOfMemes as well, it shouldn't be much trouble to maintain two versions. The goal is to build a codebase for people who want to develop block-world games.

    The released version will include a distant landscape, the ability to add/remove blocks again, save files, and import/export for pieces of the world. I haven't decided whether to unpack Notch's latest save file and let you import from Minecraft.

  • Sea of Memes will return as a real world, not just a scenery demo. You'll be able to walk on the planet, moon, ringworld, asteroids, generation ship, etc. You'll be able to build structures in the world. Geometry will be curved instead of forcing you to build square buildings on curved terrain.

  • The next tech demo will be atmosphere -- sun rise/set, clouds, fog, etc.

  • I need to finish trees, adding leaves and figuring out how to do forests efficiently. That and the atmosphere code the will be mixed into the landscape demo, making a nice little infinite world you can walk through. It would also be a codebase for anyone who wants to write a game and needs a landscape.

  • I need to try doing an iPad port. I bought the silly thing in June, but haven't been able to face another OpenGL version...

I don't know how long all of that is going to take me. Months, I expect.

Thanks for any comments.


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