It’s hard to imagine that this blog has been kicking around for seven years. And yet, the very first blog post was published on April 10, 2006.
In April of 2006, Vanguard hadn’t launched yet. SWG hadn’t closed. We wouldn’t see an iPhone for well over a year. Not only were we not all farming on Facebook, but Facebook wouldn’t even be open to the general public for almost six months. And we thought MySpace was pretty neat.
Tuebit and I were aspiring game developers who thought we could argue, act sophomoric, and hack our way to some kind of recognizable MMO cobbled together from third-party middleware. Oops. It sure was fun to try anyway.
Today, I am fortunate to have a small handful of released games, and some of them actually succeeded for a time. I’ve survived both the failure and the successful sale of a startup — and both at the same one! Tuebit and I still have never finished and released a game. And as of this month, I’ve moved on from professional game development to spend some time taking a stab at other cool things in technology (which is a blessing in disguise, as I suddenly find games relaxing again). Tuebit is officially a PHB-in-training, and is far too important and busy to MMO any more. Also he seems to spend time in that “RL” place.
Times have changed. In 2006, it was exciting to think that networked gameplay was within reach with just a little bit of third-party help. These days, it would be nothing short of silly to even think of writing an entire game from scratch; tools and frameworks and all sorts of other helpful bric-a-brac abound. The ludology elite live in a mecca of relatively inexpensive and easy game development, with occasional smash hits like Letterpress arising from nowhere to prove that easy, low-cost game development sure does enable a whole lot of cool stuff. A self-taught programmer these days can drop under a thousand dollars for hardware AND software AND hosting, and release a location-aware mobile game with social network integrations, in-app microtransactions, and data that floats magically in The Cloud. Also, e-books are the new blog.
It is a strange and wonderful future we live in. And now, back to our regularly-scheduled game dreaming!