As I’ve stated in earlier blog posts, there are times when I go into “radio silence” for a variety of reasons. Whatever the underlying reason(s), the silence aspect of it usually boils down to two explanations: I have nothing coherent to discuss, or posting something somewhere (besides flippant Facebook posts) is “yet another thing to do” on the task list and I just can’t be bothered. For this current blackout period, both explanations are valid.
After making some decent strides with Epoxy, I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. While I know that it’s solvable, it’s going to take a bit of trial and error to, first, find a solution, then second, find the best solution. The difficulty is that I’m using Ruby to not only poke the underlying graphics systems in three different operating systems, but that I need to provide a comprehensive message handling system for all three in a way that is Ruby-esque. For Cocoa, with its Objective-C underpinnings, that means creating new dynamic Objective-C classes and implementations, using Ruby, that will work with the Objective-C runtime library, without using any actual Objective-C code. Does this make your brain hurt? Add in a degree of difficulty: all online documentation is about Objective-C, not the underlying runtime layer. Also: Apple’s documentation is a bit obtuse. I feel a bit like I’m poking a large bear with a sharp stick while blindfolded.
Hurting that effort is that I have too many irons in the fire and/or things on my mind. One surprising change happened at work after I returned home from the trip to Italy & Slovenia. Without going into detail, my role and responsibility set has been adjusted to allow me to focus more on engineering than on product management. The good news is that this adjustment allows me to focus on my strengths without sacrificing my title or compensation. The bad news is that, at least for the near term, I need to hit the ground running in this new role. This shift has mentally pushed my personal projects to the back burner, for now.
After a couple of months of stagnation, the last alpha playtest of Steel & Steam was held yesterday. We had a nice six-player short game, including one player who was playing S&S for the first time. We all enjoyed ourselves quite a bit, including Max, our newbie. He had a very positive experience with the game and confirmed the notion that, while it’s a bit overwhelming at first, that the strategies and decisions in the game play are excellent. I feel that S&S is at the point where it needs beta playtesting with fully edited rules and maybe a couple more play aids. I’m entering playtest kit territory, which is going to take a bit of my time as well. Still, it’s time to get this game into the next phase of development and production.