Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Status Update and "The Long Zoom"

This is my first post in quite some time, and unfortunately someone else's work inspired me to write it, rather than my own.

Stephen Johnson has written an interesting piece for the New York Times called "The Long Zoom". In it, he discusses conversations he had with Will Wright about Spore as a game and a philosophy. I recommend reading it.

What about Vyde? There's good news and bad news. The good news is that since my last post I have written some code. The bad news is that it's only a console application demonstrating my idea for a boundless tile grid. On the outside, it's not terribly interesting, and it's generated more questions about the approach's value than it's answered.

I think about Vyde every day, but life has gone and gotten busy. I have this great girlfriend with whom I spend a lot of time, and as a couple we spend a lot of time doing couple things. So when I have free time, I'm typically so tired that I just end up playing WoW (Ramshackle/Anvilmar) for an hour or two.

So, Vyde is still, for the most part, a picture in my head. I've setup a Subversion repository to hold the technology prototypes I've been working on, but I still consider myself to be early in the design phase.

My most significant decision lately has been to settle on the shape of Vyde's first public appearance. I'm going to build a web application to exercise the tile engine, dependent on an ASP.NET web service. In my mind's eye, I envision a simple tile-based playfield in which multiple clients can move around and "dig". My thinking so far leads me to believe that, forgiving some concurrency issues, this probably won't be too difficult to pull off. The hardest part will be coming up with some art assets to use for the tiles.

At this rate, it's hard to imagine ever being "done" with Vyde, but I keep telling myself it's a hobby. You could argue that it's better to have a perpetual hobby than one which will end predictably.


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