Thu Nov 12 2020

I have an item for my bucket list.

  • Sell a game on Steam

This means that I have to make a marketable game, first!

I got inspired by Ironmouse playing games like American Truck Simulator, Cooking Simulator, and The Convenience Store.

I could totally have made The Convenience Store. It’s such a simple game and yet it’s got this deep story and immersiveness to it.

The whole idea of The Convenience Store is that it tells a story. It’s not a simulator where the player can do everything a konbini store worker would do. There’s a very specific set of things that the player is able to do, which advances the story. It’s a combination of a lot of simple interactions which make the game complete, and the good game that it is.

I say I could have made The Convenience Store, but I really could not have. There’s a lot of story elements that I would not have come up with. I should instead say, “I could make a game with the same complexity as The Convenience Store.”

It would be just lovely to have my favorite streamers play my game.

I got an idea when Mouse was talking to a friend and the friend combined two of Mouse’s greatest fears– birds, and space.

Naturally, I thought up the idea of Bird Astronauts, which could be a gimmicky game that people would get a laugh out of playing.

If it’s a game to entertain Ironmouse and her viewers, it could have a scary premise, but lots of comedic relief!

I haven’t really thought about story. Maybe it’s a combination game where there’s dialog like that of a visual novel, but then there’s 3D interactive scenes where the player influences the outcome?

I’m thinking like Casey Neistat right now. The way he puts videos together is never just to show something. Every video of his tells a story.

When it’s his vlogs, the story might be about how he’s always loved to run, but now there’s a big scary barrier to running which is that his knees are making loud cracking noises when he moves them. There’s all sorts of plot twists where he goes to the doctor and learns some things, then there’s the fear and realization that he might not be able to keep doing what he loves because his body is giving out. Then there’s the climactic mystery of not knowing what happens next..

That’s just a video of his that I remember. I don’t think that particular video had a resolution, because I think it was an ongoing thing that Casey just has to deal with.

The point is that Casey puts a story to every video. Vlogs where he’s having fun at the beach invariably tie in some deeper backstory, often bringing up Casey’s history.

I think good games have to be the same way. A sandbox game like Minecraft has a story that the players create for themselves. Obviously there’s the survival aspect, so we can use that as a basis for our story. The story is that we are spawn of the gods, and we use the environment to build tools and buildings so we can survive the dangerous nights. The more we build and industrialize, the greater our overall health and well-being becomes.

Minecraft is like a simulation of the Human experience. That’s the story, and I don’t think the game ever needed the Aether The End or the Dragon to be complete.

But anyway, I’m still glad that those two things were added. It became less of a simulation with a sandbox story at that point, and more of a simulation with a set story.

Anyway… Bird Astronauts. Hell, let’s call it Bird Cosmonauts. They’ll be Russian, for added flavor. That’s a classic Hollywood trick to create ferocious “bad guys.” People who look different who are from unknown cultures are potentially very scary as compared to someone who looks like you. It’s an outdated psychological exploit at this point, because of how the internet is a melting pot of cultures.

I could draft a story. Heck, I could use National Writing Month as a reason to create a story. Heck, I could stream my writing on Twitch because I’ve been wanting to get into Twitch streaming for awhile now.

I could use Twitch as my accountability coach. It’s my job to sit and write and remain focused for the duration of the pomodoro!

I think I’ll do it. I’ve been doing so much work with code and provision scripts lately, to where I’m spinning my wheels in the area of actually making progress on the shit that I want to get done. The shit I want to get done is… Actually stream on twitch, even if the stream quality isn’t good. I will get good just by doing the stream!

I’m going to do it right now. I’m going to stream for an hour.

I streamed!

omg I disabled the hiDPI daemon on my computer and for the first time in the life of this computer, the resolution feels correct.

It had become a regular activity for me to toggle from hiDPI to lowDPI. So many programs don’s support HiDPI and the text was not readable, or window size would be HUGE on two out of three monitors. I was always an inconvenience but I was just so used to jiggling the settings until the windows displayed well enough.

Holy shit, this is amazing. I don’t have the crisp HiDPI on my laptop monitor anymore, but I don’t care. I have a consistent UI across all three monitors, and that’s a FIRST.

Shit just works!

I wouldn’t have discovered this if it had not been for the efforts I am making in creating a cloud streaming setup!!

Speaking of cloud streaming, it’s time to destroy that VPS for the day. It cost me $0.08 to run that VPS. I accidentally left it running for a few days, and it accrued $0.42. 8 cents is a lot better than 42 cents!

Ansible is making the setup really easy. I still have a lot I want to do with the Ansible provisioning script, such as setting the Openbox theme to something that plays nicely with X2Go. Currently, the default window theme seems to have a texture to it, and when I move windows around on the screen, I get artifacts on the window border as the texture is transmitted over the internet.

I don’t want that. I want a plain color which transferrs effortlessly with zero artifacting! I think it might require finding a custom theme and installing it. Again, I want this to be a dev environment that I can configure once, then spin up and pay by the hour while it runs. It’s interface should be familiar and consistent, every time.

I’m getting there! It was usable enough to where I could do some writing in Atom editor.

Next things I want to add to the provision script are the theme customization, and ssh-agent startup.

It will need ssh-agent to be able to authenticate with gitlab, where I’d like to store all my repos going forward. For some reason, it isn’t started automatically like it seems to be on my laptop. I’m struggling to find the file on my laptop which starts ssh-agent, which I could use as an example for setting up the same functionality on my cloud streaming platform.

Oh hey, I could totally make a business out of cloud streaming! I could offer a selection of desktop environments to choose from, along with a Mumble server which streamers would connect to and stream…

This all sounds super complicated, and not something that has much of a target audience. The target audience would be

  • linux users
  • coders or writers (non-gamers)
  • familiar with x2go

Anybody who falls into that category can probably create their own, custom cloud workspace and they don’t need my help LOL.

Well, it has taken me several hours to get this all together. It’s not something that anybody can do, because it requires Ansible knowledge, another thing that has taken me hundreds of hours to learn…

I think a cloud workspace might have appeal. Something simple and cheap which can be used for any purpose, not just streaming.

I could charge triple what Vultr charges me, have customers pay by the hour, offer a couple locations, and offer a couple choices on what type of OS to run.

It would be powered by Terraform (VPS spin up) and Ansible (VPS configuration.) There would be a super simple UI, and a payment gateway via Stripe or Square.

The simple UI is the hard part. I am thinking of ways to do UI in my head, and I jump straight to SSR with Express+Nunjucks or SPA with React+Headless CMS.

There’s gotta be a simpler way to go about rapidly making UIs. It’s a solved problem and I know there’s gotta be something out there which combines programmatic flexibility with speed and ease of use. I want drag & drop UI creation and near-instant backend creation.

If I look, I’m sure I’ll find something. It probably cost money LOL.

There’s lots of UI toolkits out there. So many, it’s ridiculous that anybody makes new UI toolkits.

Here’s what I wrote today while I streamed

Syber woke up to the blaring sound of the ship's alarms.

The ship's public address speakers announce that the ship is critically damaged by meteor impact

There's like a big hole in the side of the ship

There's fire... in space... which is like a plasma ball

The fire is spreading to the inner hull of the ship

The automatic bulkhead doors close to seal off the damaged sector

Many Bird crew get blasted into space by the compressed environment spilling out into the cold darkness of space

Bird crew desperately attempt to stay in the ship as their talons grasp onto the nearest object. It is futile, and the birds are blowin into the abyss clutching bedsheets, broken girders, and other debis.

Luckily, Syber is not in the sector which has lost compression, although the sounds of the destructive chaos can be heard.

Syber throws his shiny space covers off his body, and rises to his feet-talons.

He's in his underwear, and he grabs his uniform from his closet.

His roomate in teh bunk above turns and looks from under her space covers. The feathers on her head are ruffled.

> What's going on?!

Krystal Kavés chirps, half-awake

> I can't believe you slept through that. The ship has been struck by a meteor. It's venting atmosphere, get teh fuck up!

The two roomates go to the corridor and jog towards the sound of the damage.

As they appreach a 90 degree turn, a corparal appears and hastily beckons.

> Stryle, Kavés, get the hell over here!

They get to the copreal and make the turn. A locked bulkhead enters their view, revealing J. "Jung" Aufta with his leg crushed beneath the massive door.

> Ahhhhh! My leg!

Jung writhed in pain as his pinned leg bleed profusely. It was obvious from the door's weight that the bone had been completely crushed.

> Holy shit!

Stryke explaims. Kaves holds back vomit.

The corporal

> We gotta get this door open! Give me a hand!

The corporal grabs an iron rod, debris from the damaged ship, and uses it as a prying tool to try and open the door.

Kaves wipes her beak and jumps in to help, grabbing the end of the rod and applying force downwards.

Stryke joins the two, prying the door with the rudimentary tool.

The three apply dowward force, bracing themselves against the walls to get better leverage.

The door doesn't budge.

> These doors are magnetically sealed! It's no use!

"Jung" wimpers.

The three struggling birds wipe sweat from their brow.

> He's right, I remember airlock training. These things won't open unless you've got the worlds' greatest hydraulic lift.

Kavés added her two cents.

Just then, the lights in the corridor began to flash red.

> DANGER. Oxygen levels depleted in section 5D. Evacuate to 5A immediately. Danger. Oxygen levels...

the message was on a loop.

> Shit! We gotta move, now!

`@decision option to leave Jung`

> Ahh, I knew I would die alone!

Jung cried.

> We can't just leave him!

> He's coming with us, give me that rod.

Stryke firmly grasps the rod, holding it vertically, with wedge side down.

> Jung, grit your teeth!

Stryke thrusts the rod downwards towards Jung's talon-leg, severing it.


Jung cried out in pain.

The three healthy birds dragged Jung, and they all hobbled to the section of the ship which still had a supply of atmosphere.

And now I’m going to wrap this up for today.

2. My focus is my secret weapon. I will use it to succeed!

I’m grateful for the sun. I hope it melts the snow loi.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to stream today. I’m grateful that I got a feel for it, and I’m grateful that I was brave and I did what I thought was hard.

I’m grateful for group therapy today. I didn’t mention that at all, but I was the only client that showed up!!! I got a virtual gold star LOL. The meeting was cancelled because nobody else showed up. I had a brief conversation with A., the group facilitator, before we ended the meeting. We are going to resume next week.

Why am I grateful then? I got an ego boost, LOL. Yeah there is that, but there’s also a success story there. I have been completely and absolutely reliable, on-time, and persistent when it comes to therapy. I think I deserve a pat on the back for changing myself to be punctual and resolute.

*pat pat pat*

Ok now I’m going to go take a break. I might go to the grocery store now. Not sure yet. I want to ride my bike but it’s snowy and I’m unsure if I’d be able to get there safely via bike.

Oh shit, looks like heavy snow and blizzards this weekend. I guess today could be my last change to restock my yum yum foods. I think I’ll go to the grocery store today, one way or another.

Ok bye!









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