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Long time no see! - Printable Version

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Long time no see! - wyrmmage - Jul 28, 2014 12:45 PM

Hey everyone Smile It's been awhile! How is everyone?

I was thinking about dropping in to try to recruit some people for a game that I'm hoping to make, but then I realized that the software that I'm thinking about using doesn't run on Mac, so perhaps that isn't a good idea XD

What happened to uDevGames? It looks like the last one was in 2011?

RE: Long time no see! - SethWillits - Jul 31, 2014 08:05 AM

Howdy! It's been pretty quiet. The usual reasons apply for uDG: not too many people asking or volunteering, and I've been coding my brains out trying to get to the end of this app project which took much longer than expected. (Nearly done now though; it's in public beta, so woohoo.)

RE: Long time no see! - EvolPenguin - Aug 1, 2014 09:56 PM

We lazy! Grin

What are you working on?


RE: Long time no see! - wyrmmage - Aug 3, 2014 05:56 PM

Seth, that looks like quite a project Smile

EvolPenguin, I'm trying to get a team together to work on an RPG that's designed to teach a foreign language (hopefully Chinese and perhaps a couple of others) to people. Other than that, I recently graduated and should be starting a web design at a local place here soon Smile

I'm surprised that things have been quiet. Did things die down on the iPhone front?

RE: Long time no see! - SethWillits - Aug 4, 2014 11:24 AM

They're all off in their own worlds. Unity forums, Cocos2d forums, etc. Then there's the super popular third party iOS forums, and Stackoverflow etc. There are now many many many more places to get help than before. Decline since 2007. Pretty much hit bottom now.

RE: Long time no see! - wyrmmage - Aug 4, 2014 11:30 AM

Ah, that's too bad Sad The same thing has happened with the gpwiki site, which I've been a part of for awhile. It's sad; I miss the conversation that used to come from small forums where people knew each other Smile

RE: Long time no see! - sealfin - Aug 4, 2014 01:50 PM

At least this forum is still more active than iDevApps'... Ninja

RE: Long time no see! - EvolPenguin - Aug 4, 2014 07:21 PM

Haha.... noone goes on iDevApps. Ah well!

We're all still on IRC though! Feel free to drop by Smile.


RE: Long time no see! - AnotherJake - Aug 6, 2014 09:14 PM

I still drop by and do some moderating of spammers and move dumb posts. Sorry to see it's become a ghost town, but my interest in the forum lingers in case a pulse develops at some point Wink

My own perception is that things dropped off at iDevGames starting about two years after the explosive iOS boom, around about the time Seth took over. I perceived that developer blogs about iOS development spread like wildfire. It was the money. Here we were for so many years just fiddling around learning how to program games for the Mac and having contests, and then iOS comes along and some of the developers here saw some immediate financial success, with one known to be to the tune of like $200k per month (rough number, but to scale) off of a former uDevGames entry. That alone should point out the insanity of what would follow.

I remember posting some audio code here and then like two months later being directed by someone in a private email to some Japanese forum where everyone was thanking me for a copy of it, taken from the iDevGames forum. That was a pretty big WTF moment for me. Over the next year or two I received many private emails from anonymous folks asking for various help with iOS stuff. It'd be like, "Hey, I saw your posts at iDevGames and was wondering if you could help me with something". Some of them never even added one post to iDevGames. At first it was cool, and I was flattered, but after a while I stopped replying, some took the hint and left me alone, and in some cases I had to tell them directly to go away. I can only imagine what some of the better coders around here had to deal with in their inboxes. One thing that really pissed me off was an audio blog here in the US which blatantly ripped off some of my public code here at iDG without crediting me at all. Quite frankly, a lot of that stuff just made me not really want to help out so much, and I think I saw that a bunch of the really smart guys here started withdrawing too, probably for the same reasons.

Paralleling this was that the quality and quantity of publicly available documentation rose dramatically from what we were struggling with for ten years as a community. Where most of the documentation at the time was Windows-centric, and I had to translate a lot of that over to Mac usage, I started seeing some really great stuff available in books, and some incredible free university lectures from Stanford become available. Again, the iOS gold-rush was powerful.

The incentive to participate in iDG forums faded with the change in the industry. It's a success thing with Apple. We aren't programming on the underdog platform anymore, so a site geared for the underdog isn't as relevant.

Then there is the whole growing up thing. There are guys here who started at iDG in high school and are now graduated from college with children and salaries. Some of them even work for or worked for Apple. I first participated here in 1999. That would make me 25 back then, which is around the time Google started, but wasn't popular for some time after that. I invested in the IPO that year. Estimates were like $14 opening, but when my shares were purchased they were at $91. So I had to sell off that afternoon and the SEC banned me for four months for "day trading". It was the crazy days of the internet boom. I was so young and foolish back then. I guess now I am old and foolish, but fifteen years wiser, like many members here.

That year I had a 300 MHz blue & white G3 with a matching massive 20" CRT state of the art display from Apple. I remember watching Steve Jobs streaming live for the first time over the internet. Those were the days when anything about Apple was totally talked shit about on slashdot. That was also the year that Bungie's Halo debuted at the MacWorld keynote. Everyone was blown away, especially Microsoft. They liked it so much that they bought Bungie and Halo became the original Xbox opening title.

So, I guess in internet years, iDG is now one of the dinosaurs. That iDevGames is still up and operational is thanks to Carlos and now Seth. I often wonder what will happen to iDevGames, or if it can be revived at all.

RE: Long time no see! - SethWillits - Aug 7, 2014 10:02 AM

That's a trip down memory lane.

Everyone getting older, getting real jobs, or moving on from gaming has been a problem. There's no one with a burning passion to create content, and I think that has a lot to do with everything you said. Boiled down: there's now tons out there, and the people here have already helped tremendously.

I'll briefly say that iDG does need to change its focus a bit to make it relevant and useful. I have not had the time to begin that change (see coding my brains out, above), and it'll require some specific help which doesn't exist at the moment, but it's something on my radar. In the mean time, I see nobody is too broken up about the status quo.

RE: Long time no see! - EvolPenguin - Aug 10, 2014 02:51 PM

Quote:Everyone getting older, getting real jobs, or moving on from gaming has been a problem.

That's for sure. Real life is tough!

The rest of Jake's points were great too, this was *the* place for Mac Game Dev, now there's plenty of iOS (and basically Mac as well) resources for everyone. I know there's some posts in the forums recently where we've talked about taking iDev in a new direction, interesting ideas in there for sure.

I still like it here, it's been almost 11 years now Grin.
Edit: 14 days until 11 years exactly!


RE: Long time no see! - monteboyd - Aug 11, 2014 11:26 PM

iDevGames will always be a special place for me. I never would have finished the Mac version of Slope Rider had it not been for the help I received here. As Jake said, back then Mac development wasn't easy to get help on.

I'm still trying to find time for making games, but as others have said, life gets in the way quite a bit!

RE: Long time no see! - stevejohnson - Sep 23, 2014 11:40 AM

AnotherJake hit all the main points, but I'd like to add a couple of things.

First, the OS matters a lot less than the tool chain now. iOS and Mac share a tool chain, and iOS is bigger business, so the Mac community got eaten by the iOS community. Unity developers have no reason to hang out on a Mac site, etc.

Second, Ludum Dare ate contests. Weekend iron man competitions are accessible and easy to publicize. Normal adults can participate. Three months, the uDG norm, is an enormous commitment.

Now, with respect to adulthood:

I'm one of the kids who showed up before he knew what a cosine was. I entered every single iDG contest minus ~2. This is where I learned the meaning of burnout. LOL

I never stopped making games. When I was working as a Big Data Software Engineerâ„¢, I still made games in my spare time. Now it's my full time job, but I still don't hang out here because my platform of choice is the web browser. Plus it's a ghost town, but you knew that.

So what good is iDevGames now? Fortunately there is some.

One thing I hate about Ludum Dare is that unless you're famous or amazing, you get lost in the noise. I liked uDG because there were never more than 50 entries. It felt manageable; you could track it like a horse race. It was exciting. The prizes were extremely welcome when I was in high school and had no money, but wouldn't matter to me now. It's all about the size of the contest community.

And that applies to the rest of the site too. On sites like TIGSource, every joe shmoe is posting at all hours. It's very noisy. Here, I know all you people. I just don't give a crap about the whole Mac thing anymore, even though it's the only computer I use (that doesn't fit in my pocket).

Random: It might be cool to have a 'game dev tournament,' where you write a game in 48 hours, vote, eliminate the bottom half, and iterate on the same game the next weekend. You'd have to give people some number of freebies to allow for life events, but it could be a good combination of commitment level, community size, and horse raceyness.

RE: Long time no see! - SethWillits - Sep 24, 2014 07:52 AM

I do like our small community. (Unfortunately it's a bit too small at the moment!) The incredibly large number of entries made me never want to enter Ludum Dare. As you said, the reasonable size of entries for uDG made it so interesting to follow.

RE: Long time no see! - AnotherJake - Sep 24, 2014 08:46 AM

(Sep 23, 2014 11:40 AM)stevejohnson Wrote:  First, the OS matters a lot less than the tool chain now. iOS and Mac share a tool chain, and iOS is bigger business, so the Mac community got eaten by the iOS community. Unity developers have no reason to hang out on a Mac site, etc.

These are great points. The available tool chains nowadays are pretty impressive. When I started out, the only thing I could afford was Think C++ (was that the name? my memory is fading). Then Codewarrior. Wow, those were primitive compared to what we have now. Unity? Unreal? Pretty insane stuff for wannabe game devs.

(Sep 23, 2014 11:40 AM)stevejohnson Wrote:  I just don't give a crap about the whole Mac thing anymore, even though it's the only computer I use (that doesn't fit in my pocket).

This is an important point for me as well. Computing technologies have matured enough in the last several years that I am happy with the thought of developing on most of them. It used to be that I couldn't stand Windows, and Linux just didn't do the trick. But now even Windows doesn't make me pull my hair out so much, and Linux has become much more attractive as a primary desktop.

Sadly, for me at least, this fundamental change to a cross-platform development viewpoint going forward makes Mac-only sites like iDG much less useful. Other than basic services, I don't use any Apple-only APIs anymore, so I'm not as interested in discussing them.

I agree with you guys, the small community is nice, and somewhat unique nowadays. There is indeed a lot of noise on the larger sites. It would be great to come up with a way to make iDG relevant and useful again.