This blog has been on hiatus for about a year… I considered making a post explaining why, but I get the impression that no-one reads this blog. This is mostly my fault, of course! I’ve never been one for branding and advertisement, so it stands to reason that this place would be pretty empty.
I’m thinking of continuing where I left off, and trying to get more eyes on my work. But first, let’s talk about where I was and what I was up to.
The Blocky Elephant in the Room
If you have been following this blog, you can probably guess that Minetest was the source of my disappearance. As I became more familiar with the project, I got the impression that I would need to invest a lot of time into helping it along. As a result, instead of leaving it as a side thing I dropped my other projects and invested my time and effort into it.
I don’t regret doing this, but I’m also not sure how productive it was. RPG16 got a lot of love from the community, something I’m quite proud of! On the other hand, attempts at game development were bogged down by annoyances and engine limitations. Looking at the engine itself, it became quickly apparent that a lot of important things were broken or missing. So, I dropped that project and started working on improving the engine, telling myself “It will take a while, but once the engine is good I’ll be able to make something cool”.
There were some problems with this line of thinking:
- There’s a ton of work to be done, and not enough people doing it
- The pace of development is greatly slowed by the combination of strict standards and a small core team
- The standards can’t be loosened because there’s a fairly large community expecting backwards compatible and bug-free updates
- Joining the core team would effectively cut my own development time
This creates a cyclical problem, resolving the reasons that development is slow would slow development. Worse still, this was taking me even farther away from my original goal. Just resolving blockers was turning into a bit of a nightmare.
In the end, I decided to cut my losses and leave. I suspect that I could invest 5-10 years into Minetest work without seeing any “return”, and I just can’t justify that kind of thing. I don’t hold anything against the developers and community though, and I sincerely hope they can prove me wrong. I’d like to come back to a better engine someday.
At the very least, my time in the Minetest community taught me one important thing: I have the skills to make work that appeals to others. What I’m really missing is visibility.
How About Art?
On a happier note, my art practice has been progressing very well! This year I’ve been able to accomplish one of my original dreams and branch into landscape art:
I’m still learning a lot, but seeing the strides I’ve made over time is very exciting. I intend to continue for the foreseeable future, with weekly art streams on Twitch and pieces posted on my Twitter. Follow me in either of these places if you’d like to see my work as I make it.
The New Plan
I think that mostly wraps up the last year or so. Now that I have more time to myself, I’d like to continue my old projects and revitalize this blog a little. One of the first things I plan to do is rebuild everything under a new blogging platform. The nature of what I make has shifted over time, and I need something that can better serve my needs.
In addition to programming projects, I’d like to be able to post art pieces, photos, development resources, etc. on this site to give people more reasons to visit it. And finally, I need to start sharing and advertising my work more. There’s no point in rebuilding a site like this if there’s no community to enjoy it.