triptych

Creative works, working to create

Tonight I continue to work on my “Project Magi” in small ways. After a long day’s work and resting a bit. I’m spending some time gathering information, as well as going through some Godot tutorials. I see other’s catching on to the insights I’ve been having about “Playful Applications” but I don’t feel threatened by this. I only hope I can invest enough time and energy into my own projects to make a decent showing of it.

I appreciate all the effort folks have put in to things like tutorials and courses, because they not only want to see some kind of return, they also genuinely want to help other folks to do cool things.

One course I’m taking is helping me learn about how to build GUI’s in Godot Engine called “Complete Godot Course: Game User Interfaces Masterclass” by Alfred Baudisch. This course is going to supplement my knowledge of Godot Engine so that when I begin creating the Magi app, I’ll have a good idea how to organize it.

Godot has this meta theme to it, where it is built upon itself, and you can use Godot to create extensions for it. What this means is you can create applications which can create new kinds of things that can be “played” by other applications you create. It’s quite mind bending in some ways – but freeing in that you have the ability to do whatever you like and explore ideas.

Learning things from others who’ve come before can really accelerate your progress, and supporting folks to teach is always a good thing. I just gotta get that baseline level of proficiency, then look out world…

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay 

Today starts the day when I begin to do things “my way”. Which means I give my little project a funny name to inspire me to work on it and continue to develop it. I’m still trying to find my voice with this blog, but writing plainly right now seems appropriate. Hopefully I’ll learn to write in a way that is less abrupt or curt, but for now just getting the ideas down is the most important.

I’m calling my Godot Engine based playful writing tool “Project Maji”. The idea is to have someone feel like they are playing a game, but the output of the game is a creative work – be it a story, artwork, music, or game. I’m going to focus first on writing – as it’s closest to my own desires – and focus the first part of the tool toward that.

I also need to figure out the back story for the game aspect. I’ve been thinking about having it were you are a beginning magical student at an academy. You choose your courses and teachers and through the gameplay you end up creating something as your “final project”.

I’m just walking blind into this, but to be honest it’s what I’ve wanted to build pretty much all my life. A new kind of thing – a “Playful App” or “Appliplaytion” or something. And it won’t be the only one.

Inspired by such things as RPG in a Box, and the Storytelling Collective as well as One Stop for Writers, I want this so bad.

I created a github repo, and will be investing in learning how to do things with Godot and Supabase.

You’ll be able to log in to an account – add notes and gameplay – and see how others are doing. I want to add some aspects of NeoPets in here, but we’ll see how far that goes.

Right now – baby steps.

I don’t even know if the “app” will be called Maji, it just has some great connotations to it, and it sounds cool. And that’s what I need to stay motivated and make this new thing that I’ve never seen anyone else pull together.

I’m also inspired by this Learning App from GDQuest. I seriously love how it’s using Godot itself to learn Godot!

Photo by Fariborz MP:

I’m trying to make a thing. This thing will be a combination of many of my ideas. It’s hard to make progress on this – because usually I think about working on it, but do not spend much time getting the details down. It’s even hard to write about it here, on my blog.

And given that – I’m going to use this blog to begin to materialize it. Kinda like what you might see in a Star Trek episode — first the lights come on – then a faded image appears, and then the final product.

I’m tired of wasting time, so maybe this stream of consciousness writing can help nail some things down .

I’m trying to build something that allows you to create a work of fiction – while you are in essence playing a game. I’m going to use Godot Engine to make it, and Supabase, along with several bits of web technologies to support the output content.

There’s a learning curve here for me, but there’s nothing stopping me from getting this off the ground. Which is what I’m doing tonight. Getting a bit of a stake in the ground with this blog post.

I will blog about random stuff, and I’m going to stop worrying about if something is blog worthy. This may include progress reports here, as well as musings about things completely different. But the point is – I AM DOING THIS.

I struggled for a long time to decide where I should put my efforts in blogging. Should I self-host? Should I go with Wordpress? Post a blog on Netlify? There are so many choices – each one with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. I settled on Write.as because it gives you lots of choices and just kinda fits into the way I think. They have the ability to customize the CSS, but if you just want to go with the default, you can. You can embed lots of different content here, and it just works.

My only two issues with the site is 1) there’s no Markdown preview – so I’m often forced to either use the rich text editor or use another markdown editor to write the articles 2) the documentation is sometimes ridiculously hard to navigate. There have been several times when I wanted to know how to embed something, and even though I found out how months ago – I struggled to “re find” it later.

But, overall I’m super happy, and that should result in more posts, no?

I’ve picked up and moved to a new state. I left behind so many things – memories of the past, books, papers, old software. And now I’m making a fresh start with the remnants of what I felt was worth keeping. I’m hoping to write and blog more now that I’ve gotten my workspace better set up. I keep talking about writing more, it’s time to actually do it.

The first day of a long journey is always exciting. You are starting new things, you're full of energy, and your enthusiasm is bright and shiny.

On day 2, you're past the celebrations, the fireworks is over, and it's time to get down to actual work. For me, I continued to dive into learning Godot Engine a bit more, while also dealing with the anxiety that is permeating everything lately. Sure the Pandemic is waning for a while – until the next wave – but now we have other things keeping us all up a night.

But, I'm coping as best as any and diving into Godot stuff. I have a list of games and game making tools I want to make that is a mile long. I'm happy thinking I'll spend the rest of my life drilling down into this and similar tools to make my dreams come true. If there's a world to have dreams in, that is.

I'm thinking about the kinds of projects I want to create – which consist of a lot of RPG style mechanics, only turned on their head. For instance I have a thought to make a Monster Healer kinda game. Instead of you going out and facing down terrible monsters and killing them, you are a healer who must seek out injured monsters and nurse them back to health, and eventually face down the party of adventurers who are leaving these creatures suffering in their wake.

I have many more ideas, but right now it learning to crawl before I can walk. I've been messing with Godot for a long time, and to be honest it's only recently that I feel like I have gotten a good grasp of the basics to create something fun. I just gotta do it. Let's get to day 5, 10, 30. And every day I'm going to spend some time in this game engine getting more comfortable building stuff. I'll even post games and things here.

I'm also spending time today relaxing and reading an amazing novel Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree which I heartily recommend. It's a “cozy fantasy” with low stakes but tons of heart and great characters.

Starting on a new journey

Today marks a new “time around the mountain” for me. I've been wanting to focus on a few things like making games with Godot as well as learning to make my own “Apps” in the engine. Today I started (re) learning Godot in earnest to begin my new “Journey”. I'm going to stay hyperfocused on Godot – learning how to create some games that I've always wanted to build, as well as explore how Godot can be used to make game making tools — to blur the line between “App” and “Game”.

Right now I'm starting out looking at the stable version's documentation and re-making the “sample” game to get myself back in the right frame of mind.

This day also sees me starting to blog again – perchance I will hit beyond a 2-day streak. I've decided to stick with Write.as as they have always been great for blogging – plus I have a lifetime membership I should be using.

The one problem with their tool is there's no preview for the markdown, so I'm using the amazing StackEdit tool ( link below ) which does do much as a Markdown editor.

I've waffled back and forth between using HTML/CSS/JS as an authoring tool and other tools like GDevelop and Godot. Godot gives me everything I can want and need and I can create things that run on the web, windows, mac, etc. and it's totally free and open source. And I want to support that.

Today while starting on the docs, I was wondering how on earth apps that use Godot like RPG in a box as their “engine” actually create some kind of editor that outputs games. Alfred Baudisch was so kind to introduce me to the idea behind Resources in Godot . I knew all about Nodes, Scenes, and Scripts which are super powerful concepts in that engine, but I had no idea about Resources.

He shared with me the mind blowing concept that you don't really try to compile some kind of 'game' from your own Godot-based tool, instead you essentially create two engines. One engine is the 'player' kinda like the Flash runtime. That has all the capabilities you want in the final output. So, you build that player which then takes in Resources and 'runs' them. The second engine is the editor you create in Godot which lets you mess around with the types of data you want to manipulate ( say a storytelling engine ) and it's 'output' are packed Resources that the other 'player' engine consumes. Brilliant!

This might seem obvious to some folks, but to me it's a watershed moment. I now know how to begin building my game tools using just the capabilities that Godot gives me. Heck, I could even go crazy and give my 'player' engine the ability to accept plugins. How Meta is that?

Anyway, it all centers on learning Godot. And building cool stuff with it.

In addition to this, I've been looking at how could I make a back end for my tools – so folks could log in , save things, keep settings, etc. I'm really happy with a project called SupaBase, which can handle Auth, user accounts, and other database stuff. It even does realtime things.

Finally, I'm getting to tie all my skills together into one set of code and projects.

With all the darkness going on in the world right now, this has shined a bit of light into my life, and renewed my drive to keep coding and learning.

I'm also spending some time looking at solo RPG's like Apothecaria and how I might be able to create my own ( again in Godot! )

On to cool stuff!

Written with StackEdit.

Today marks the second day in a row for me blogging. A major milestone! Today I learned how to pull in a JavaScript class from a remote location via fetch in Observable, and this will really change how I work on my tiny tools for storytelling. link here

I’m going to work on a tiny game where you come once a day and gather resources, solve quests , and see adventures. I’m getting a little low key excited about it. More to come!

Written with StackEdit.

I have been trying to start blogging since the year started, and I’ve had a kind of writer’s block while at the same time getting all kinds of ideas for writing posts, usually after I see someone else who posted something interesting.

But I’m not waiting any more. I’m going to try blogging every day no matter what, and will try to do it early in the mornings.

topics

I wish write.as had a markdown preview, but I suppose one can post anonymously then repost it later. I am going to try that out at some point.

Some topics I want to blog about * Godot Engine * Clockwork Apprentice * HTML stuff * Observable stuff * Storytelling * more!

This is being written on my new iPad Pro, and I have to say it’s a great device. Having a ginormous screen turns the iPad into a gaming and creation device as well as allowing me to jump from thing to thing quickly.

I’m also playing some games like Titan Quest on this device which is just pure fun.

This weekend I want to work more on some storytelling tools on Observable.

I'm getting the bug to write again. I am thinking about using Royal Road as the kind of stories I want to write seem to lend themselves to that format, and I want to work on serial fiction. My novel “The Clockwork Apprentice” has been around a bit, but I think if I can get it posted there, I can revive my desire to get it completed.

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