Development Diaries

SpindleyQ's picture

MarMOTS Vision #6 Achieved!

In May of 2009, over 11 years ago, I laid out a vision for a collaborative game-making tool that I wanted to make. I had fond memories of being a kid and sitting in front of a computer with my friends, throwing ideas around and banging out goofy QBasic games, and I was frustrated that there didn't seem to be anything out there that would let have that kind of experience over the internet. The only improvisational game development tools I could get my hands on were decidedly single-user; every attempt I made to collaborate on a single project failed badly. The closest thing I could get was the Pirate Kart experience - everyone doing their own thing and sharing it with everyone else as they finished, and bundling all the results in a single package.

MarMOTS was my answer: a collaborative game creation tool built out of nostalgic textmode graphics, inspired by ZZT but usable by multiple people at once, where every change was live the instant you made it. I wanted to be able to change games while other people were playing them. I wanted making and playing games with it to be a party.

I worked on it fairly steadily for two years, putting it live as soon as there was something interesting, adding features, fixing bugs, responding to the GT community that was using it. In time it became a capable ANSI art and animation creation tool. Goofy collaborations happened. Folks made some incredible art with it, which was amazing and gratifying and kept me motivated to improve it.

Then I burned out on it, life happened, and nine years went by.

In the back of my head, in those nine years, MarMOTS was always there. It was a great idea that I'd gotten _so close_ to making happen. I'd get back to it someday.

In 2009 I laid out a vision, a TODO list, each item flowing naturally from the last, each step being useful on its own, to prevent me from working and working and working and getting stuck, getting lost in my own head and ambitions, and giving up without having anything to show for it. Hard as I tried, I could never push past vision #4; vision #5 turned out to not be necessary or even a particularly good idea, and vision #6... In 2009, I wrote of vision #6: "This is the biggest leap." I got close, implementing a scripting language complete with structured editor, so that the program was always in a runnable state; but the editor never quite became usable, and I never quite worked out how I would connect that piece with the stuff I'd already built.

Today I put live a version of MarMOTS that pretty much does everything I set out to do with vision #6. I pulled back the scope of what I'd tried to do in 2011 from "a full general purpose programming language" to "maybe a minimal Bitsy-like." You can now take an ANSI drawing and add interactive elements to it (in MarMOTS these are called "bots", inspired by MegaZeux's "robots"); as soon as you do, it becomes a game that other people can play. Virtually every change propagates in real-time; if you change a drawing or a script or add a new bot in the editor, all the players will see it. I tried to make the interface as self-explanatory and discoverable as I could - the editor tells you what your options are at every stage, and it's impossible to create a syntax error.

If you decide to mess around with it and have questions or suggestions for cool things to add please let me know! I'll probably keep adding stuff and fixing bugs as the days go on. You can use MarMOTS from your browser with your Glorious Trainwrecks account credentials!

SpindleyQ's picture

Return of MarMOTS?

Hey, remember MarMOTS, the MARvelous Multiplayer Online Telnet Server? (previous MarMOTS blog posts) I don't blame you if you don't, I haven't worked on it in almost a decade. I had this beautiful dream of a ZZT MMO; a realtime collaborative game-making tool, where we all could make cool ANSI art games together. And I managed to get to the part where we could all make cool ANSI art together!

With the various server moves over the years, MarMOTS has been up and down for a while. With the latest server move, I decided I'd dust off the ol' source code and see if I could get it running again. And... I did! MarMOTS is back up, and fully operational! It's also much easier to get running - it no longer requires Stackless Python, having now been ported to use the greenlet package instead. It also now works with a much wider variety of telnet clients than just SyncTerm - I have had reasonable success with Qodem and Netrunner, and I'm planning to see how well fTelnet does with it.

Why should you care if it's easier to get running? Well, I also took the opportunity to finally release the source code. It's now available under the AGPL, which requires anyone who makes changes to it and deploys those changes on a public server make them available from within. MarMOTS belongs to all of us, now.

I'm considering picking it back up and trying to get some simple bitsy-like interactive storytelling tools in there. We'll see how that goes. I have a half-working scripting system that I haven't looked at since 2011...

vampirkat's picture

Still klikkin after all these years

So here it is, 2020. I started freelancing after losing my nice gov't job in 2011. A lot has gone on since then. I've always had a part time gig so i could devote to making games, but most of my jobs were web design, not development.

In 2016 I bought Clickteam Fusion and planned on taking things seriously as a developer, but life took a different turn. I had to go back to the real world of work since I had a baby. My savings went pretty quickly and I had to move again :P

It took me 4 years to level up. I got a nice job. I bought a house. I was able to travel a lot and on my down time, I'd code. I never got around to taking it seriously which I should. Seeing Flappy Bird and Five Nights at Freddy's made me jelly. So why not get a piece of the pie? Then the reskinning craze hit and I knew I was going to be drowned out by a bunch of clones. So I chilled and worked on my games. My pixel art has gotten better.

My travel job has me furloughed and suddenly I have lots of time on my hands (and savings(!)) I might as well try to make something stick. My dream is to work at home as I got a 4 year old to take care of and a house to fix (for it to be 10 years old, my roof leaks!). While finally getting around to unpacking things, I came across my old Klik and Play floppies. SO MANY GAMES.

I want to be more active on here instead of wasting my time and energy on bookface :P It was a good nostalgia trip seeing what I was playing and how far I've come in my coding.

Keep klikking and making awesome stuff! <3

danyburton's picture

screenshot to game that will not be made


Here is a screenshot to blue wizard of the desert 2 that I was going to make. However, I am not going to make blue wizard of the desert 2 anymore so this is all it is. I am already working on league of piss 2 so too many 2 games is a bit decadent or something I think.
I was going to make blue wizard of the desert 2 as the test drive game for my new engine I have developed primarily for the creation of league of piss 2, but recently I had a much better idea for a spring game where you are a water spider which I think will be a lot better so now I am making that instead. Well I will be when the engine is finished, it still has a lot of stuff that needs to be completed before it will be usable.

Bidets: Innovating the Toilets for Good

TOTO Washlet C100 Round Bidet Toilet Seat.png

A few people mistake bidets for unbalanced sinks, water fountains, second toilets, or uncommon urinals. Others think bidets are utilized for washing their feet or in any event, keeping their beverages on ice (shower beer, anybody?). Perhaps you've heard accounts of individuals incidentally splashing the entire restroom! Or perhaps you've recently observed a cool real estate posting for a master suite complete with his and her cupboards and extravagant ensuite bath with bidet toilet and pondered, "what is a bidet?" Bidets are gradually turning out to be an essential component of contemporary American restrooms and have been an essential piece of other nations' washrooms for quite a while. We will explore over here what bidets are.
Despite the fact that there are numerous shapes, sizes, and sorts of bidets, all bidets are utilized for a similar reason: to clean yourself! A bidet is a particular washroom installation fixture for washing your undercarriage. It's the primary way that numerous individuals around the globe tidy themselves up after using the toilet. Present-day bidets splash a focused stream of water precisely where you need it, tidying up even your most noticeably terrible heap of messes delicately and without any problem. A bidet has customarily been a different porcelain installation that stands beside the toilet. To utilize these standalone bidets, you utilize the toilet first, at that point move over to squat or sit on the bidet for cleaning yourself. You most oftentimes observe this kind of bidet in Europe. There are cutting edge toilet and bidet combos that are a recent innovation. They are included in an existing toilet with a basic DIY installation, supplanting the toilet seat. You'll be able to use the bidet functionalities while still sitting on the pot – no waddling across the restroom! A sterile spout reaches out underneath you to splash, at that point withdraws inside the seat when not being used. Electronic bidet toilet seats even have coordinated water heaters, so you can relish warm water washes. In addition, these cutting edge wonders have a wide range of additional features like warmed seats, night lights, deodorizers, and warm air dryers. During the 1960s, Arnold Cohen (otherwise called "Mr. Bidet") assembled the first bidet toilet gadget, considering it the American Sitzbath. Being genuinely relatively revolutionary, his combination of bidet/toilet seat was to a great extent dismissed by the American people. In 1980s Japan, a manufacturer, a maker came up with a derivation of Mr. Bidet's toilet seat and now over 80% of washrooms in Japan have one! Since bidet toilet seats are anything but difficult to DIY install and don't require any significant remodels, they've gotten probably the most mainstream bidets in American washrooms, as well. There are certain bidet models that are really popular with people and are used in large numbers in most of the public and private toilets such as TOTO Washlet C100 Round Bidet Toilet Seat or TOTO Washlet C200 Round Bidet Toilet Seat that are really efficient, sophisticated and lets you clean your mess with ease and convenience.

spiral's picture

so, we're plural

hey everybody, corvin here today. maybe some of y'all have noticed us, as mno, attributing our recent games to a more or different people than simply "nikki", or how we often sign our comments these days with a name. we're doing that because we're not just one person, it turns out, but a bunch of them sharing the same body. a plural system, in other words. if you want to know more, this is a pretty good page: and we have our own system page over here: also for context, our current avatar displays nikki specifically- we will

so, what's gonna be different from now on? not much other than what I said above. **EDIT: we have changed our account name from "mno" to "spiral", as that is our collective system name. if you don't know who you're referring to at any moment, please simply call us "spiral"**. if a game is made by or a comment is signed by a particular one of us, please address your responses to them, not to "nikki" by default. and that's about all we ask for, in addition to the respect and understanding we'd ask for to and from anybody.

what's different about the past? we're gonna assume any comment or work by us prior to 2020 can be safely attributed to nikki. we've been self-aware for a little over a year now, but it's not easy to disentangle who was who when retroactively. we're also not gonna try to edit our old games and posts to be more specific about who did or said what, for the same reason.

if u have any questions feel free to ask here. thanks y'all for being such a good community for us!!

danyburton's picture

The Game to End All Games

Hello my friends. I have not posted on here in 3 years or so because I have been in a game development wormhole for 3 years working on league of piss 2. They have not been hugely productive or satisfying years. The reason for this is that league of piss 2 require a fully custom engine plus I had a few weird mental breaks where I started developing it as an isometric block game etc etc. Originally piss 2 did not have a custom engine but I had ideas that were too cool for godot and they needed to be brought to life.
Anyway, the point is that game development can be a very slow and demanding process and it can even get in the way of other parts of your life that ARE more important, and so I have conceived the idea of a game that never ends. You may remember that when minecraft came out it was in alpha status and people played the game for years alongside it's development, enjoying new features as they came out. I would like to do the same thing but with a story driven game, simply release new stories again and again, basically treating the game less like one game, and more like a program and a vehicle for the delivery of whatever stories I like. This game is not going to be in alpha status like minecraft thoiugh because that implies progress towards an end. This game will just cease development when / if I am sick of it.
I am very excited about this idea because I think that it has a lot of benefits both for me, and for the final product. I very much like small details and funny secret characters and things in games, but when you are busy and stressed this is difficult, but when you are simply creating content and the overheads of creating the game and world are already behind you, there is no reason not to add as much detail as you desire.
I also think that having all of these stories and characters within one game and one world benefits each thing, but it allows interrelation and connection between them, and a sense of exploration.
Since all this content comes out in phases, to help people keep track I think I will have a system similar to super mario 64 where you could see your progress in completing areas, as this way when areas of the game become bigger you will know to go back there. I dunno I will try that anyway.
Anyway you get the idea but that is the plan. Once I finish this engine I am never going to make another one (maybe I will make a little roguelike or some nerd shit like that but nothing worth posting here). Hopefully I will be able to post the initial playable game on here later this year.

P.S. The engine is open source so if you hypothetically wanted to make your own myst 3 + touhou clone you can do so without the cost of 3 years of your life.

Let-Off's Leap Year Flash Drive


ONE DAY, 24 HOURS, ONLY! 18 FEBRUARY 2020 It's the let-off leap year flash drive!!!

18th February happens to be my birthday. 2020 also happens to be a leap year. $0 is typically what it costs to download and play my games. So I figure once every four years is good for an experiment like this.

For 24 hours, I will raise the minimum price of all my games posted on to $2. I’m inviting you and humbly requesting that you buy just one thing from me, once every four years.

Your generosity can gain you some other stuff, too. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Contribute $2 and you get a game I’ve posted on
  • Contribute $10 and you get a game plus I spend 2 hours to make a game inspired by your requests (I’ll contact you via email).
  • Contribute $20 and you get a game, plus I will send a pair of custom-designed wooden coasters inspired by your requests, made with my Glowforge (continental USA addresses only).
  • Contribute $50 and you get a game, plus I will send you a custom-designed, hand-made, single-deck card game inspired by your requests (shipped to continental USA addresses only).

Games available here:

Examples of card games I can make for you are here:

Examples of Glowforge stuff are here:

Kate B's picture


What did you make in 2019? Answer with some checklists or screenshots or whatever. Doesn't have to be finished

Simplicity: Interior Design services for wherever you feel home.


When we think of interior designing, what comes in your mind? A home that will have its curtains taken off and placed somewhere else or repainted with a different color or just tossing some items out and replacing it with something fancier in their place. Simplicity, an Interior design company adds the perfect blend of luxury to conventional interior design practices making the aura more vibrant, lavish and sophisticated. A place more comfortable for your loved ones and also the friends and guests who will take away nothing but a fresh set of memory of a place no less than a palace. Simplicity provides its Interior design services by choosing wisely the most suitable and elegant layout of the interiors according to the architecture of specific rooms and of your home overall. You can get an idea from different works that they have done over different rooms and also commercial spaces. You can also have your ideas of any design come to life for any specific place at your home that means all your plans can be customized to your personal needs. For commercial spaces, Simplicity will acknowledge the kind of business you are running and create an ambiance that makes your workplace an ideal and luxurious place for your clients to know how seriously you want to take care of their business and also your sincerity towards your profession. Simplicity takes your home’s interior a notch higher and gives it the extravagant atmosphere that you and your loved ones deserve.

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