Congratulation, free software FPS fans – id Tech 4 is now available under the GPL, as promised. Since a pretty large portion of the major open source FPS games are based on id Tech 3, I guess we’re going to see some news from that direction soon. I’m not much of an FPS fan myself, but they’re still nice to have around.
One day, when I start working more with 3D, I might get more interested in that stuff – I think engines like that might have some potential beyond walking around and shooting people, and someone needs to do it. Portal was a great start – we need more of these. Hopefully someone else will do it before I’ll have to.
After about 10 years of thinking about making games, and writing some code once in a while but not producing anything – I published two games in the past few months. This didn’t happen because I suddenly achieved enlightenment for the Tao of game programming, it happened because I was also not working at the time, which means I had time for making games.
Unfortunately, this can’t go on forever. I have rent to pay and food to buy, which means I’ll have to do something that earns money. But get a normal job again and have no time for my hobbies, including game programming?
So I decided to try a daring move. I’m going to try stepping in the commercial world – after making a tiny free game, then a small free game, I’m going to try to make a serious game and sell it. I think I’m ready for it.
Free software supporters, fear not – I think this is the best possible move for my free software career as well. Instead of going back to having a boring job and no time to work on games (as seen in my zero contribution over the past 10 years), if I succeed commercially I plan to both adopt the John Carmack way and set everything free after a suitable amout of time, and to still make some contributions directly to free software when possible. All it takes is for me to succeed.
Time to get to work.
This has been a good week. I found a great site called Good Old Games, which offers old games patched to work on new machines, for pretty low prices. I thought I’d never get to play some of those classics again.
Also, it made me learn something I didn’t know about myself – I really like tactics games. When I looked at their catalogue, a huge proportion of the games I was excited about were tactics – Commandos, Desperados, Fallout: Tactics, Jagged Alliance, and more. It’s too bad nobody (that I know of) makes those games anymore. I guess someday I’ll have to do something about that…
At last, my second game is released. You are welcome to enjoy Paddle Storm.
For now it’s for PC only, but I’ll probably start making an Android OS version soon (but no promises). Also I’ll try to use that opportunity to refactor some things and make it more organized, as I plan to use this code for a future sequel/spinoff with a multiplayer focus.
Meanwhile, one thing I’m worried about is performance. It works great on my computer, but it’s a pretty strong one. My only other computer to test on is an antique Linux machine, that doesn’t run almost any game properly, especially Java games. I hope to get some feedback from users to know if it’s really a problem, and if I’ll have to improve some things, or if maybe good performance with Java is not realistic and I’ll have to go back to C with SDL (I hope we won’t get to that).
I have some plans for what to do next, but that’s for a little later. Meanwhile, enjoy!
I’m slowly learning that there are two main difficult points in a project – one is when you’ve finished about 30%-40%, the initial excitement is out and you still don’t see an end in sight, and the other one is when you’ve finished 90%-95%, you’re already super excited about your next project but you still have to do the least exciting things that remain to be done on this one (because if they were more exciting, you wouldn’t have saved them for last).
These are good days for procrastination. I hope that stops soon.