Thursday, January 31, 2008


Let me just state, for the record, that we're insane for trying to do this, and that I will be fairly surprised if we actually succeed.

We are, however, still moving. Since the last update, I restored the server (it's amazing how much easier GameClay is to setup than Diffle...yay setuptools), created widgets to display actions and action sequences on screen, moved all the JavaScript editor to a separate project, created a build script to concatenate them together in dependency order and minify the whole lot, added a bunch of unit tests, auto-generate JSON data for menu items from the GameclayCompiler runtime libraries, and I'm working on refactoring to SequenceWidgets and CompositeWidgets to simplify the customizer code. I just sent Mike some things he could look into for asset libraries, and will hopefully have a conceptual demo of the UI up fairly shortly for critique.

I'm going to keep working on this as long as I have money (likely for the immediate future, since I'm still living at home and most of my wealth is in cash) and we're still moving. I'm noticing that a lot of my startup friends are giving up and getting jobs though - they're spooked by the economy. In a way this is a good sign, because it means no new consumer websites are coming out and people's attention will be primed for anything good that comes out. OTOH, it's unlikely that we'll be able to get cash anytime in the near future, which is a little worrisome.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Editor widgets and recessions

I did basically nothing yesterday, other than backing up our server (GoDaddy has a required OS update, so we have to reprovision in the near future. Better now than after we launch). But I finished 4 JavaScript widgets in the two days before that, and got the skeleton and structure of the JavaScript game editor in place in the week or so before that. Seems like I always need time to recharge after periods of high productivity. Still not fully recharged, else I wouldn't be writing this blog entry, but I've started working on the code to display widgets when a customizer pane is selected.

I've been watching the turmoil in the financial markets with some interest (perhaps more interest than I should - I oughtta be building the product instead!) I expected this - one of the main reasons I quit my job was that I was in a financial software startup, and it's highly likely that in a financial crisis my job would be toast too. I was completely wrong about the timing though. I figured this would happen in early 2009, after the Beijing Olympics, and we'd have a chance to hit the market and make a big splash before everything went south. But the recession's a year early and the product always takes longer than we expect, so that's not gonna happen.

If the recession's a normal one and lasts for about a year, like 1991 or 1981-1982 recessions, it might be better that things worked out this way. We underestimated the amount of time it'd take to build the product; if the recession had come in 2009, it would've been just as we were getting to market, and then we'd have to support a (hopefully) growing userbase on skimpy revenues. While if we entered recession around last October and start recovering around the summer, we'll be just getting known (hopefully) as the recession abates and then get to expand into the recovery. Same situation that, Flickr, and PlentyOfFish were in, and we all know how it turned out for them...

There're still a lot of variables though, and given our previous track record of predicting the future, I wouldn't bet on them all coming out in our favor. At least I've got plenty of cash; as long as I live at home and my mom doesn't lose her pension, I can keep doing this indefinitely, and even if I were to move out and get roommates, I've still got about 3-4 years saved up.