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Studio News2021-08-31T09:40:01+01:00

Space Station Simulator

I have decided to make a Space Station Simulator. Here’s why and how.

Amongst other things I’ve got a background in Web Development (front end). I want to get some new skills in programming. But not in a web friendly programming language. I’m a bit over “The Internet”. I wanted to learn something a little more hardcore. Like C. Good solid language. Maybe even a little C++. As it’s also pretty useful. 

I’m gonna learn C / C++.

The best way to learn something is to use it in a practical application. So I am.

I love games. I’ve made a couple of board games and am playing around with a small video game. I tabletop role play incredibly often, war-game Space Marines and occasionally crack out an old board game. Plus, I love complex open world video games like Skyrim, No Man’s Sky, Dwarf Fortress, Spore, etc…

I’m gonna learn C/C++ by making a game.

I also like science fiction. Hard science fiction. Science fiction that feels realistic. (You can see where this is heading).

Put all 3 together and I’m gonna make a hard sci-fi video game written in C / C++. 

Now, I really like sci fi shows and films that are set on large ships and space stations: Solaris, Sunshine, All the Star Treks / Wars, The Expanse, Event Horizon, 2001, etc. It’s that future where the universe is open to you and you can go anywhere and do anything. Love it.

So I’m now going to make a hard sci-fi video game written in C / C++ about space stations. Great. This sounds amazing.

And so here we are. I have several books and references on how to learn C / C++. I have an Obsidian knowledge base full of space, science, physics, code snippets and formula. And I’m thoroughly excited about it all.

Yes, I know it’s going to take a long time. Yes, it is going to be a series of very, very small steps. You know, I’m okay with that.

Let’s do this. You in?

Concentration and Support

Hello. I want to talk about my lack of concentration and supporting myself going forward.

I have trouble concentrating on things for long and seem to want to chase after the new shiny leaving half-finished projects in my wake and the inevitable depression, self-loathing and ennui that follows.

Slowly documenting stuff on Sparkwood and 21 should help me calm this down a little and FOCUS on completing a thing. If I have two(2) things to work on I can swap from one to the other and hopefully keep everything fresh. Any more than that and I’m liable to take on too much and burn out. The reward of getting something completed and out there makes me feel amazing, so more of this please.

The other thing I’m gonna need to do is organise this site to help create a small income to support me as I develop these games. I’d like to give Space Station Simulator away for free (much like how Dwarf Fortress does it) so I can develop relatively publicly and grow a community of folks who are interested in building space stations and science and shit like that.

I currently have DAYJOB(TM) which keeps me in food, anti-depressants and coffee, but eventually a full transition to working open projects like these is on the cards. All going well withe the world.

Currently this is involving unique prints, t-shirts, and other things that fall out of my head and appear to be relatively relevant to games, technology, geek space stuff, maps etc… for sale through the Sparkwood and 21 shop.

You will know that what you’re buying goes straight back into supporting this game.

This is of course a 5+ year plan and we’re starting out with very, very small, slow steps.

August 2021 Progress Report

Better late than never?

Okay, August had some time off in it, but have been doing some of the following:

  • Updating website & plugins to latest versions
  • Lots of writing things in notebooks and then crossing them out again
  • Planning an alternative game to develop so I can swap between Medicine Edison and the new one so I don’t feel like things can get stale
  • Moved the Sparkwood and 21 periodical newsletter over to mautic.org which is now self-hosted and means that I don’t share newsletter data with ANYBODY else
  • Started using obsidian.md to document development of alternative game and learning the language to program it
  • Sea swimming
  • Land lying around
  • Thinking about setting up a floating game development studio office

Thinks that’s it. See you next month.

Movement Test

Quick example of a movement test. Obviously, the images and backgrounds are going to change.

Medicine Edison Kickoff Post

Hello. I have decided to write a video game. I’ve done a lot with analogue games but this is going to be the first video game I have developed since the 1990s.

It’s going to be called Medicine Edison because I like the rhyme. It’s a small game about a Plague Doctor trying to save his village.

This is going to be a 16 bit platformer designed to be played on MacOS and Linux (specifically, Elementary OS) where your character has to explore a weird medieval world and collect 100 herbs and spices that will brew the potion that will cure their village.

Tech Stack

I’m going to be trying to use an almost exclusive Open Source tech stack.

This covers gameplay loop, graphics, distribution, soundtrack and sound effects.

If you’re interested in following along with the development of this teeny tiny game, then the project homepage is probably the best bet for you to bookmark.

Progress Report July 21

It’s the summer so not much is going on. Here are the highlights.

  • Website revamp: aimed at showing products, getting people to signup to the newsletter, having content that I can market myself with.
  • Working on pre-production for a silly little game about a plague doctor.
  • Shop collection 12-Inch Prints needs a little bit of work and loving in the way that they’re presented. Thematically, they’re all over the place. They don’t feel like a collection. Starting work on that.
  • Worked on a few more collection ideas, but not in a place to start designing yet.
  • Outraged by how many cookies on my computer are related to this website. Aim to do something about this later this year.

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