Getting used to Software Half-Assery

Please take a look at this short list of things which happened to me today: And the day hasn't ended yet.

As software developer, frustrating stuff like this has become the daily norm for me. The more complex stuff you have to do with software, the more stuff is breaking in hilarious ways. I may be getting old, but I feel software isn't doing anymore for me what it was supposed to do: Getting out of my way and make my life easier.

I'm not sure how to improve this mess which is how software works today. Maybe we should just get rid of the "wait for the next update" and "if it compiles - ship it" culture. Or maybe it's just time to die for me. I'm probably too old to make sense of all this.



Let's play's and my Confusion about them

I just found a "Let's Play" video of a youtuber named Petre who is finding out all the new features in my game.

I like how he is experiencing the game and the features:



This was exactly how I hoped people would play the game. But there are others of course, for example a few weeks ago I saw a youtuber standing in the landscape and commenting on how ugly the trees, the grass, the walls in the buildings, the sky and everything looks. After doing this for about 15 minutes, he was slowly dying of thirst because he didn't look for food or water, and just kept on talking about the uglyness of the game. When he finally died because of this, he declared that the game sucked because he died.

Not sure what to make of this. I improved the graphics since then a bit, but I'm still confused about all this.



RocketCake 1.3

I just uploaded version 1.3 of my free responsive website editor RocketCake. It includes some neat new features, like support for text shadows:

Which was interesting to implement. For example, the specification says that it doesn't give the exact way to implement this, but no pixel in the result image may not deviate by something like 5% from a certain specification. Ha. :)
Besides lots of other new stuff, I also rewrote the rendering algorithm so that website editing is now much, much faster if you are using many or big images. Previously, this was very slow on some systems.

Hope you like it!



New Year Sale, Happy New Year!

As every year, I offer a discount on some of my products for a few days. This year, there are 18 products on sale. Eighteen! Until a few days ago, I haven't realized that I have created that many products so far at all.


The sale page is a bit more structured than last year and I even made it responsive. But the probably more interesting part is that I give away all products for -50%, some even for -75%. That's quite a lot. But it's only for a few days.

Hopefully I am giving a few people a nice start into 2017 that way.
Happy new year!



My 2016 in Review

December hasn't nearly ended yet, but I though it would be a nice idea to recap what I did in 2016. I have the feeling that I wasn't very productive this year, but let's see:

The most interesting event this year for me was that Valve opened the floodgates and more games than ever before were added to Steam. Including my small hobby project, PostCollapse.
Originally written in JavaScript, I re-wrote it in C++ and released it in October as Early Access. It is a survival game, it is ugly because even the horrible graphics are created by me, but interestingly, a handful people on Steam seem to like it and its unusual approach to this genre. I created these updates for it:

3 PostCollapse updates:

RocketCake, my free responsive website editor is rather new, and people really seem to like it. I should invest a bit more time into that next year as well. This is what I did for it 2016:

2 free RocketCake updates:
  • 1.1 - new slide show features, better images galleries, headings
  • 1.2 - more templates, better master/client pages

Also, I spent quite some time updating and maintaining CopperCube, my 3D game engine. User/Customer support is probably the most time consuming task for this product. These were the updates:

4 free CopperCube updates:
  • 5.4 - Texture packer, heightmaps, compressed WebGL
  • 5.4.1 - internal update for enterprise users
  • 5.4.2 - Dynamic day-night cycle support
  • 5.5 - Steam Integration and more open source

Of course, there is still CopperLicht, my free and open source WebGL JavaScript library. I did a few updates for that as well:

2 free CopperLicht updates:
  • 1.11 - compressed files, full page rendering, etc.
  • 1.12 - faster collision detection, nicer touch support


And I released two updates for WebsitePainter, my website designer for beginners:

2 WebsitePainter updates:
  • 3.0 - a big update improving nearly everything.
  • 3.1 - basically minor bug fixes for that big 3.0 release


Additionally, I did a lot of experiments with various app stores, wrote about 40 blog posts, tweeted about 100 tweets (I know, I should do this more), and created 5 youtube videos. All in all, it looks like I wasn't that lazy.

This was a year were I had a lot of distractions and my time for developing software was a bit limited because of personal reasons, but starting with next year, this should be much better. I hope to continue creating nice new software and updates for my existing ones, and hope that people will continue liking my work, also in 2017.



Minecraft mode

A lot of people wanted to customize their headquarter in the game, so last weekend, I experimented a bit and programmed a Minecraft style mode for the game:

It actually works nicely, but is of course limited to the buildings. For now, once finished, this mode will likely only exist for the fun of it, but it could be possible to extend it to make more sense gameplay wise. But let's see.



Reviews

I'm used to getting strange software reviews on various app stores. But I think Steam reviews are one level ahead. I'm confused for example about this one:

Is this good? Is it bad? I don't know. But he played it for 23 hours, so it shouldn't be that bad. Right? Hm.



TV will be dead soon

Just had to explain to an upset child that on TV, you cannot "watch again" or "watch another episode" or watch something different. Yes, on TV, you have to watch what they are sending, and when they are sending it. Being used to Youtube / Netflix / Amazon Prime Video and similar really makes it difficult to understand how TV is still in business. And while I had to explain how TV works to this child, I noticed that at least when that generation is older, TV will be dead.



CopperCube 5.5

Finally, I pushed out a free update for CopperCube again, we are now at version 5.5. New features are:

There is also a new CopperCube website. It is responsive and minimal, and not very overloaded with information. I personally don't like that. For a 3D engine, I want detailed information, but it seems that people prefer this style now: Few shiny images, just very few lines of text, and that's it. At least all the information about CopperCube is still there, but now on the 'features' page. Let's see how this turns out. I'm looking forward to see what impact this has on sales and downloads.



Most Unity game ever!

I think this is the most funny review I received until now for PostCollapse:

Apparently that youtuber doesn't like the game, and he calls it the "Most Unity Suvival Game ever!". Ha :) That's especially funny since I'm one of the very, very few people out there which did this: I wrote nearly every line of code in my game from scratch, myself, in C++. Including the 3D engine. And sound engine. And collision detection. File System. Translation. Input handling. World generation. Hell, I even composed the music myself.

I'm interestingly not even mad, it is actually a bit entertaining :)