I Made a Game

It’s not that great. And it’s really, really, small. But I made it and it’s mine.
It’s called StarHex, because it’s got stars and hexes. It’s like a super cut down version of Hoplite, which is a really neat little game.


I’ve heard people say that when you make a game you should take your idea, and cut it right down. And I did that. And then found out that my idea was still too big. So I cut it all the way back to the very basics. And so it’s super-simple – you move to the exit and avoid or destroy enemy spaceships. You get points based on how far you make it. And it ends when you get hit once.

I made it after showing my son Game Maker, and introducing him to a really simple series on how to make a game with no experience by a guy called Tom Francis. Matthias has made a game too, which he’s handing in as a school assignment tomorrow. I figured I’d make something too, after planning on doing so for… many years.

Next up – seeing how much effort this would take to recreate in a different language, because I spend my days programming, and it hurts using Game Maker’s programming language. And then once that’s done, I’ll look at adding some of the bits I didn’t make, back in.

RodeoClown: Made a game. Finally.

Laughing at pirates

We have a crashing bug in the software at work. Well, actually this particular crash isn’t caused by us, but if you pirate it, there’s a good chance that the crack you used will expose an problem that would normally not occur and the application will crash. And then you will send us a crash report.

When that happens, we respond with a polite email saying that we know what’s gone wrong and if they purchase the software, it will all work as expected. Usually we never hear from them again. Occasionally we get an email saying “thanks for letting me know”, and they go and purchase the software (usually they ran into this because someone copied it for them, rather than out of malicious intent).

My favourite response is when you don’t hear back directly, but in the next day or so you get another crash report from the same person. Only this time it comes from a much earlier version of the software, as they’ve rolled back to try and get around the crash. Of course then I get to say “we’ve fixed this crash, to get the fix update to the latest version”. Which will, of course, result in another crash if they update and continue to try using the pirated version.

I love it, and it makes me smile.