Five years have passed since I joined this site and posted my first game, a spontaneous collaboration with Mark Gobbin. Doing so drew responses from SpindleyQ (who I also have to thank for founding this glorious site) and anna anthropy (whose inspirational KotM entries posted on her blog led me here in the first place).
It surprises me how much these comments meant to me at the time (and evidently still do), especially considering one was just "BAM". As a belated display of gratitude, I made two WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames inspired by games SpindleyQ and anna have posted here: in the dark and Xmastime!
I definitely wouldn't be the game maker I am today (i.e. an adequate one) without GT. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who's come here, past and present. I have another five year anniversary relating to this site coming up in a few months, which I aim to celebrate in a similar fashion. Hopefully by stating this now I'll be less likely to weasel out of it.
i got bored and drew these.
not entirely sure if I'd actually make a game because I'm working on a bigger project, but whatever.
it would be amusing if somebody would actually make a game using these sprites.
During a Twitter conversation about the current state of Glorious Trainwrecks, an idea suddenly dawned on me: if the site, as it is, is badly designed, and this is hurting site participation, why not just go ahead and do a rewrite?
While we could just upgrade to the latest Drupal, there are several reasons why that is a terrible idea:
- Drupal is written in PHP. PHP is a terrible language.
- Drupal has too much complexity, and this bleeds into both the user experience and site maintenance. A lot of Drupal's abstractions are aimed at trying to be useful for many different configurations, but makes managing all of them more confusing.
- Despite these abstractions, Drupal doesn't provide what we need out of the box. There's already a significant amount of hackery in this place to incorporate a list of registered games, and it took multiple attempts to get it working with events. This would have to be done all over again if we were to upgrade to a newer Drupal, and this is made harder by the fact that, again, PHP is a terrible language.
Instead, I would like to focus on creating what I'd like to call a "creative content system". This will be a CMS-like system where everyone can participate by default. While typical CMSs like Drupal allow for this, it seems like they are primarily aimed at things like organizational websites rather than open participation communities. This will be software that anyone can install on their web server, especially since SpindleyQ has always wanted something in the form of a "Glorious Trainwrecks kit" for other gamedev groups to set up and host their own Klik of the Month Klubs or whatever. However, I would also like to design this around Glorious Trainwrecks and its needs.
Additionally, when I refer to "creating content", I mean all kinds of media, including art, music, games, or whatever. Hence when I talk of functionality you'll see me refer to "creations" rather than, say, "games". I want to make something that artists working in other mediums can use, too.
For the sake of ease of use and cleanliness, I am going for a simpler design. I can always add more bells and whistles later, but this way we can start off on a clean slate. Here is what I currently have in mind:
- The main page will be the Activity Stream, even when browsing as a guest. This will be similar in function to the "Recent changes" page already on this site (for those who prefer "Recent posts", I might add a "new content only" toggle or something to that effect). Only here, it would be much richer, since it would provide image previews and a synopsis of each post inline. In fact, think of it as a combination of "Recent changes" and the Newest Games list currently in GT's sidebar, or a combination of a community hub and a social network (except not really). You will be able to filter by different types of content, or switch to an index list view for archive viewing purposes.
- All content is created in the form of a "Post". A Post may either be a "Communication" (which I need a better name for) which serves as a blog/journal post, a "Creation", or an "Event".
- A "Creation" can be media of any type that the site provides. For example, a site might choose to support both "Music" and "Game" type Creations, and the user would select which one to use. While I am not aiming for a very pluggable/customizable system for version 1.0, I would at least like to make the Creation types customizable.
- Events are displayed at the top of the main page, above the Activity Stream, to draw attention to upcoming and current Events. In the case of lots of Events, the system will select a few at random, and provide an "All Events" link to view the rest.
- Site staff can "pin" posts to the top of the Activity Stream for site announcements and the likes.
- All Posts can be assigned to one or more tags/categories. The site configuration can define one or more "categories" for each post type, which are like "official" tags that are always presented to the user during post creation.
- Users get basic profiles including username, avatar, homepage link, and a list of all of their posts.
- Users can also send private messages to one another.
Because I am aiming for a relatively simple system, there are some features that won't appear. Namely:
- There is no wiki, or at least there probably won't be a wiki in the initial version. If at all. I just think a lot of CMSs try to do everything and end up only doing a few of these things well. This project is not like that. I'm not even sure how a wiki would fit in with the user experience I have in mind.
- There are no forums. If you think about it, Communication (blog) posts are basically the same thing: a user can post something to start a topic, and assign it to a tag/category and it will show up if filtering activity by tag/category. Users can comment on it like one would reply to a forum topic. So really, I think it makes all the sense in the world to not have forums. It would just be pointless duplication.
The project itself will be a webapp written in Python. I think I should be able to handle it - I'll be using a "microframework" with extensions for things like SQLAlchemy for DB access (I kind of doubt this project will see any deployment on sites large enough to need something as scalable as a NoSQL-type DB), and OAuth (so that users can log in with Twitter).
Also, I really enjoy designing things and I think this is a pretty good design so far, but I'm worried the UX might be too radically different from what GT currently has. Also, I might have missed a thing or two. Please provide some feedback, if you can. Again, I want to base a lot of the design off of GT's needs, so it's important that I get to hear some opinions from other GTers. I do not currently have any UI mockups, but I'd like to make some soon so that I can better illustrate the design I'm going for.
One last thing: Since this is software that I don't intend to be limited exclusively to Glorious Trainwrecks, we'll have to think about other sites as well. GT has a super great community full of nice people, but not all communities are like this. Much of the design revolves around assuming good faith instead of expecting people to misbehave. I have been thinking of adding in admin-configurable limitations (such as each user only being able to host three events at a time, etc.) as well as the ability to remove EG. posting permissions from problematic users. Right now I feel like I'm trying to straddle the line between creating something aimed at super nice communities like GT vs increased adoption elsewhere in not-so-happy climates. Thoughts?
Tiny Cave was originally started for a short Twine jam, in both senses of that phrase. You couldn't use more than 1,000 words, which is why everything's so laconic. Anyway, I didn't even get started on this before the jam-thing ended, so this is mostly for my own benefit than anything else. I hope folks enjoy this!
I'm back from the dead.
I just haven't the time to upload games any more, and now that I'm focusing on quality, not quantity, for my Klik and Play Games, it's taking more than half an hour to create one.
SPR9Monkey Games is working on a game called Cops and Robbers, and we've got roughly 3 frames completed. It will be up when we are finished.
Submarine Wars (kind of like a war between you and another enemy)
Music Player (scraping this project, it was very buggy)
I will update soon.
i feel excited to think about new games and making games
but when i start to actually make them i feel bored and tired
ok, so I took the plunge and submitted by first 100% homebrewed wreck. Now, more, more, make games, games, try to see the light, at the end of the tunnel, even if nobody cares. Onward !
I got late into the extension game. I'm still using TGF for retrofungoodnes. Here's some pages that I found useful:
88 extensions for TGF.
Here's a manual for the Games Factory. Enjoy.