The Welcome Snake Welcomes you!

The Welcome Snake!

The welcome snake welcomes you to another tumbleweed in waiting!

Yey! It’s the welcome snake! And he says “Hello (rattlerattlerattle)”. You can chalk art up on the substantial list of things that I can’t do – still, it’s the thought that counts and welcome snake looks pretty cheerful and non-poisonous.

So I’ve been working on this iPhone game for the past year or so in my spare time. Spare time is a commodity that I’ve got very little of, especially now that there is a bundle of joy in the family. Between the little shrimp and vast quantities of work, I count myself enormously lucky if I have an hour to work on it during a week. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I work 12 hours a day, but when it’s the evening or the weekend I like to chill with family and friends, cook, stick my feet up or open a nice bottle of wine and generally do things that don’t involve programming… after all, it’s time off, and it seems a little rough to do the same thing in my time off that I do in my time on, even if it is for my own project.

One of the things I figured might be fun (this is using the special definition of ‘fun’ that applies only to me) would be if I documented, on and off, the progress of said iPhone game on this blog. That way, in a few years when my daughter is old enough to read, she can laugh like a hyena knowing that I’ve still not finished the game and probably never will. Furthermore, I can laugh my way backwards realising that I’ve spent more time downloading new SDKs and upgrading the source to new iOS versions than actually adding features.

Having said that, though, it is playable. I’ve got one level. I’m planning thirty levels for no particular reason other than thirty sounds like a good number, especially if I’m going to try and prise a dollar or two out of people’s wallets or purses for the privilege of taking my game for a spin.

Needless to say, I don’t expect to make my fortune, but for me it’s a pleasurable trip back in time. You see, when I was a little programmer, one individual could reasonably write and publish a game. Then it all became so complex. Just keeping up with Microsoft’s incredible DirectX deprecation schedule was almost impossible unless you had a team the size of a small country… and that kinda took some of the fun out of it. Between being buried in procedures, project bibles (now that was a way of beating the creativity out of a good idea) and meetings it all seemed to be becoming a chore. Now, with the iPhone, one person can reasonably do it again! Ok, so I’ll try and rope someone else into doing the art for me, but right now it’s not so complex that a team is required to write a game. If it generates enough revenue to buy me a crate of wine and some decent single malt scotch whisky, then it will have been a success.

Oh, and I’ll have written one full game myself in each decade for the past three. Yup, I’m that old.

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