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March - May 2024; droqever and mobile

Started by droqen, May 16, 2024, 01:15:39 PM

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March - I created droqever.com and shared some of the initial games with paradise.

but it's interesting to note my thought process evolving steadily through the few tweets I make...

November 25 last year, in response to which Brin suggested Kinopio, I twote: " I'm trying to find... a software or service to keep track of multiple projects in a way that's publicly followable and user-friendly. Not sure I can fully explain myself, but is there anything like this? Like . . . GitHub but for more types of projects than just code stuff? // And *ideally* something I can self-host or customize to my liking to a significant degree?"


In retrospect it is fascinating to look back and see how these dissatisfactions have been clearly resolved by droqever... I'm obviously not in the habit of compromising. Here I have found a solution which tracks multiple projects, something highly customizable (as I am building it myself nearly from scratch), and which avoids (as much as possible) my problem of large downloads. However. I wasn't done yet. I continued to work through little snags...


I considered replacing Godot for reasons that may or may not be well-captured in my forum posts. They say hindsight is 20:20. I wanted, I thought, and said, to be able to structure my data myself, in a more authored form.

 I had been spending a lot of time in MySQL, and enjoying databases, you know? Tables and queries. Data types. At the time I thought the problem was Godot; I blamed the engine.

I now suppose the problem was focusing too heavily on one type of game, on The Platformer. On more broadly the experience of having a little avatar.


Then some thoughts culminated in still life games, haiku games, a stronger focus on the underlying system and its nature, rather than the surface-level control scheme. I might say, less about the designed experience, and more about that which is experienced...


Oh yes, and in the meantime, in parallel, some Paradiseans back in March noted that the droqever games were not playable on mobile. And, like, yeah! They're not! So at the beginning of April I implemented mobile controls using the js-Godot bridge, and struggled for a month or more with my dissatisfaction with that control scheme.

At the time I thought of my dissatisfaction as being solvable by creating "a better d-pad," but now that I'm free of the platformer assumption it seems obvious that there is a core conflict. I don't like mobile controlled platformers, and it's honestly been a while since I've enjoyed any platformers.

So the goal changed: What obstacles present themselves to a droqever for mobile?


I also realized... I love doing things myself. I want a level of control over my platform, over my data, and I know how to separate concerns but not in a platformer — the indie platformer seems a particularly awful genre for collaboration. It is perfect for a solo dev.


To wrap things up. Where am I now?

I've become more fascinated in underlying systems and novel ways of interacting with them... Databases have been fascinating me lately, as have strange APIs, as well as the ability of a thing like ChatGPT to process a lot of messy data and present it in a human-readable way.

There is a lot of data in the world.

In terms of input scheme, I have begun to think of the platformer character controller in Starseed Pilgrim as deeply incidental, not core at all, just the control scheme that I happened to be familiar with. I am not against platformers but SSP was not a deeply interesting platformer, was not a project deeply interested in platformerness. It was a simple control scheme that suited my platform  (no pun) in order to enable interaction with the 'real' system...

And lately, indeed for many years, I have not really been in love with playing platformers. On the keyboard, on a controller. I just haven't. I loved Cave Story and La-Mulana and even FJORDS but these are ancient games. Old news.

So it's not in my comfort zone. So what? I want to make a game I can play on my phone. I want a game where I can point and click on systems. (I also enjoy typing a whole lot, but I think it's a better bet to focus on developing point-and-touch design patterns; typing is nicer on a keyboard than on the phone and it's something I can already enjoy without a game to make it enjoyable.)

This is going to be rough. Seriously. But, it makes sense.


So where am I now? There are a lot of things that have basically been settled in my mind, which is a good place to be. I like it here.


I am making games that will work equally well on mobile as on desktop; touch and mouse controls, though I might include keyboard shortcuts on desktop. This feels right: a timeless control scheme.

I'll publish games on the web. Self-hosted, not on itch.io -- I want direct control over the presentation environment, as well as the possibility of passing data between one game and another, or with an individual's persistent data. An 'account.'

I don't like touch or mouse controlled platformers. The platformer is... gone? Wild. Hmm. I won't go into too much more detail here, since it's ongoing and this new forum (Things That Have Happened) is meant to be reflective, not prescriptive or predictive.

Please see my current active project: