Ten Years Running!

Jul 15, 2014

Time flies. The gaming and internet institution known as the Grumpy Gamer Blog has been around for just over ten years.

My first story was posted in May of 2004. Two thousand and four. I'll let that date sink in. Ten years.

The old Grumpy Gamer website was feeling "long in the tooth" and it was starting to bug me that Grumpy Gamer was still using a CRT monitor. He should have been using a flat screen, or more likely, just a mobile phone, or maybe those Google smart contact lens. He would not have been using an Oculus Rift. Don't get me started.

I coded the original Grumpy Gamer from scratch and it was old and fragile and I dreaded every time I had to make a small change or wanted to add a feature.

A week ago I had an the odd idea of doing a Commodore 64 theme for the entire site, so I began anew. I could have used some off-the-shelf blogging tool or code base, but where's the fun in that. Born to program.

I'm slowly moving all the old articles over. I started with the ones with the most traffic and am working my way down. I fundamentally changed the markup format, so I can't just import everything. Plus, there is a lot of crap that doesn't want to be imported.  I still need to decide if I'm going to import all the comments. There are a crap-ton of them.

I'd also like to find a different C64 font. This one has kerning, but it lacks unicode characters, neither of which are truly "authentic", but, yeah, who cares.

But the honest truth is...

I've been in this creative funk since Scurvy Scallywags Android shipped and I find myself meandering from quick prototype to quick prototype. I'll work on something for a few days and then abandon it because it's pointless crap. I think I'm up to eight so far.

The most interesting prototype is about being lost in a cavern/cave/dungeon. The environment programmatically builds itself as you explore. There is no entrance and no exit. It is an exercise in the frustration of being lost. You can never find your way out. You just wander and the swearing gets worse and worse as you slowly give up all hope.

I have no sense of direction, so in some ways, maybe it was a little personal in the way I suppose art should be.

I worked on the game for about a week then gave up. Maybe the game was more about being lost than I thought.

Rebuilding Grumpy Gamer was a way to get my brain going again. It was a project with focus and an end. As the saying goes: Just ship something. So I did.

The other saying is: "The Muse visits during the act of creation, not before."

Create and all will follow. Something to always keep in mind.




Ploe
The site is looking swish!

Sorry to hear about your malaise in the projects department. At least you've finished something, champ! Remember you're *the* hero to some of us folk. =)

Emma
I'm liking the new look.

We all get into slumps every now and then. I hope you find your way out of the cave soon, and that everything is OK.


LazerFX
Huh - would you look at that, the RSS feed suddenly kicked into life... hasn't been working for a while.  Oooh, new articles... and a new design.  I like it.

Nathan
You are my hero. You are the reason why I wanted to make games when I grew up. You're also the reason I flunked my frst job interview in the gaming industry.

I was interviewing to be a tester at Midway and everything was going great. The last question was, "What is your favorite game?"  I responded, "Monkey Island 2."  I couldn't tell if the interviewer was confused but he had a very strange look on his face. He abruptly ended the conversation and escorted me outside. Never heard back. Looking back it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I didn't understand that the gaming industry had shifted, but it was pretty much after that interview that I realized that I would never have the opportunity to make the games I wanted to make and I wasn't going to waste my life making stupid shooters or sports games.  

I don't want to say it, because it's not my place...  You don't know me and I don't know you, but maybe it's the one game you can't make that is blocking your creativity.  I hope something clicks for you though, because when that light turns on you make some of the most amazing games I've ever played.

Just seeing this revamped site makes me nastolgic and excited at the same time.

cigumo
If I were you I would ascii-art the grumpy gamer image.  :)

Arminator
"You can never find your way out. You just wander and the swearing gets worse and worse as you slowly give up all hope."

If the game is doing the swearing for me (maybe in Monkey Island style swordfight swearing), I'd play the heck out of it.

Add a GLaDOS type entity that is mocking my attempts to find my way out.

darko
I find no Codes, maybe i will find on Gamersedge.de try it ! )))

Guillermo
I love the C64 theme. Cheers, Im sure that inspiration will come soon.

parrastaka
Congrats on the new look!! Just love it. Even typing right now feels greattt!

I feel like I need to say this:

- Monkey Island changed my leisure time habits. Maybe because of the maps, the adventure, I felt like traveling while on holiday, and I went abroad many times, some of them on my own! I was more curious about life, a pity my humour sense did not improve much...

- I played the second one first. Then played the first one. Many times.

- Then my sister played them.

- Then my friend played it.

- I don't have a dog.

- I have "Big big castle" running on my iPad. I play everytime I'm on holiday.

- I loved playing The Cave. When the camera scrolled down, and I saw that bonfire, and the character selection... It was only then when I really understood THAT quote...

"I feel something, a presence I have not felt since..."

- Yes, I played Maniac Mansion first of all. That was the beginning.


Show must go on.

g3
I like the new look. But you need a lot more blink tags if you want to be authentic 64.

Always wanted to do a site mixed with Wargames, Asteroids, and Missile Command.

Because, and I will go to my grave saying this, UI has never improved in any game (or site) ever, in any way, over the original Missile Command.