Thursday, March 24, 2005

Chess Avatara

posted by John Blanco @ 7:34 PM


So, lately I've been studying Palm programming, as I've shared with you, following a sale-less venture of Counterpart...which is now 99 cents. :-)

Although a sales failure (as I'd expected), Counterpart was a huge success for hopeful career. It's the most advances game I've made...and it's only the start. There's so much more to accomplish. And I think I have the next idea.

For real this time.

While Palm is obviously the best portable platform for a next game, I'm thinking of cutting the portable platform short in favor of something totally different. Something I never thought about tackiling, but I'm totally psyched about. And here's the story.

Today, at work, I was sitting there at lunch with a notepad, eating my Boston Market meatloaf, brainstorming what it is I want to do. Studying Palm has gone smoothly, but I'm not feeling inspired by it like I did J2ME. Sure, it's the best chance for sales, but does it get me motivated, excited, or inspired?

The answer has so far been "not quite." Aside from the C API, which makes me want to vomit, I think the prevailing feeling is that I had so much fun with Counterpart, but felt limited by the capabilities of the platform.

If I'd written Counterpart for the desktop, I could have had the smooth scrolling that I wanted. Instead, I had to do the paging. What if I had the power of that desktop though...oh, so much more I could do without worry.

And so, I added it to my list. This was the list of platforms I could write for: Palm 4, Palm 5, Palm 6, J2ME for Blackberry, J2ME for mobile (again), PocketPC (not bloodly likely), and Java.

Hmmmm, Java. Plain old Java. Plain old, full-API Java. No stripped down J2ME. Full. On. Java.

But as is the problem with something like Java is: How to sell? Sure, you can package up a game or what have you, but there's no way I can compete in the market. For an ISV, you've got to be a top-notch game developer to compete with the big boys...and even then, it's gotta be something REAL special.

Maybe one day...but not now. No way, now. That's the point of this whole learn the art. I ain't ready now. No chance.

But that's with a serious game. What if what I was making wasn't just a game? What if it was something different? Something Internet-based? Something seen before, but never before seen?

I can't give details right now, too early and just in the possibility mode right now...but, the idea came about when I basically joked to myself about reviving a prior Java project I worked on when I was unemployed. :-) this blog will keep its secrets, but the one thing I can say is that I'm in serious design mode right now trying to determine if I should go for it.

This would be a HUGE Java project, which is what I like. :-) it would be pure-Java, not J2ME...J2SE baby. It would require harnessing new skills, including emerging API's and skillsets that will benefit my career, especially if it takes a Java turn at InsureWorx (my current job).

This would fit into my New Years Resolution of finishing one large-scale project. This will easily take 9 months. Patience will be key. It will not be finished in 2005 more than likely. Perhaps a smaller version, as I like to code in iterations, can make it towards the end of the year. If I'm lucky.

No aspect of this project is insanely complicated. All of it offers a big challenge, but I can achieve it all. And the final result will be something fascinating, totally entertaining, something I myself would play, and a potential cash cow.

This could become huge. This could become a new full-time job.

I'm extremely intrigues right now. This is totally fascinating. I must get back to work. :-)


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