Learning to do things to make a thing... for reals
This time a thing actually exists
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 - 9:34pm

When you've already been "working" something without making real progress for over 11 years, what is another 6 months, right? Exactly. So here we are, 6 months later, and I don't have much to show for it. I did zippo for 5 of those months. For the last couple weeks I did more Unity Tutorial stuff and then just today I created the Awesome Theory Idle game project in Unity and started setting some stuff up, hence the reason for this post. So I can, again, say that I have begun actual development of The Awesome Theory 2.0!

One thing that has never stopped is thinking about the game and doing some mental design exercises and just what I want to do exactly. Most of the list provided below is still true, though perhaps a little modified in my mind from that version of my vision. I intend to implement basic versions of stuff and then integrate into more complex versions of things as I go. I'll get there. Keep an eye on this space for news on development, as well as the link to the game itself once it gets to a playable state. I hope that won't take too long. Thanks for reading!
Learning to do the things to make the thing
Well, that last post was embarrassing...
Sunday, April 26th, 2020 - 7:03pm

A little over 2 years ago I posted about how AT 2.0 dev had begun... and nothing since. As you might have guessed, not long after that post, progress ground to a halt and that effort died. Partly due to the increasing technical effort that it required and partly due to other demands on my time (a Master's Degree, mostly). It was not a total loss as I learned some things and continued to hone my vision for the future of the brand. And here I will share what that future actually is, for total actual 100% really realz this time.

A couple of weeks ago I started a course that I purchased four months ago on Unity and C# 2D game development. The Unity C# platform is much better suited for the game part of AT than HTML/javascript over HTTP ever was. The vision of what the game is going to eventually be has changed as well. Here is a basic rundown of some design points:
You might immediately notice that this lacks any sort of interactivity that made the original Awesome Theory so much fun. This is true. Phase two will be to build back up this site with some of those features and have it benefit you in the main game somehow (maybe through codes or something - the technical details will need having out). But trust me, that stuff is on my mind, too. I don't just want to make a game, I want to make a community.

But, first I need to get there by learning the Unity editor and polishing my C# skills. My previous experience with Visual Basic is definitely helping here. Once I have something that runs and has at least a tiny bit of gameplay, I will post a link here so you can check it out if you like. This time it is FOR REALZ!
AT 2.0 Development has Begun!
For really actual realz! Promise!
Friday, February 16th, 2018 - 5:55pm

Wow. It has been a very long journey. Monsters, the most popular Awesome Theory feature, first attacked in March of 2008. The new, way too complex, equipment system went live in August of 2008. I first posted about some of things I wanted to accomplish with The Awesome Theory in January of 2009. Here we are, basically 9 years later and I have FINALLY made actual, real, legitimate progress towards version 2 of the Awesome Theory.

I have this closed alpha test running on a test server right now. I can create characters, form them into a party of up to 5, and explore increasingly difficult multilevel dungeons that are randomly generated. Each one ends in a boss that must be killed in order to advance to the next dungeon. Characters level up and get stronger.

Dungeon Mode

You have to find the dungeon entrance in a field before you can enter it. And in the field and the dungeon there are random monster encounters of 1-9 enemies. The battle system has an active time battle element in that faster characters will attack more often than slower ones, not just be the first to go each round.

Battle Mode

This are a lot of things that don't work yet. All you can do in battle is attack. You can't defend, move, use abilities or items, or flee. Where you are in the grid doesn't yet matter, but it will. There is lots of work to be done visually. There is no equipment yet. However, it is a start, and I am making new progress each week. I will try to make updates here every week or two showing the progress I am making. I will also open the test server up for a semi-open beta once it resembles something like an actual game. Right now you can't even create an account! I'd guess in a month or two I'll have that fixed up and be able to allow anyone to barge in and break my code. If you want to be among the first in the door, email me at buckramega@awesometheory.com.

I am seriously excited about this and I am having a lot of fun making it happen. Let me know if you care! Thanks!
Updated future plans
And how I plan to go about it
Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 - 9:12pm

One thing that was keeping me away from doing anything with this site was just the sheer enormity of the task situated before me. That made it really hard to start, and really hard to even formulate a plan on how to attack it. But, I've had a breakthrough! At least, I think I have. Hear me out.

Six years ago or so while I was still messing around with new features for the Awesome Theory I wrote a random dungeon generator. You could generate a dungeon and then wander around in it. You could choose the size in X and Y dimensions. I don't think I had floors and I am not sure if I had exploration fog, but both of those would not be too hard to implement if needed.

I am going to start with that piece. The Awesome Theory will be reborn as simple little web game in which you create a party and then do some dungeon diving. From there I will build all the features I eventually foresee for the site and the game. I can incrementally add features and things to do, just like what happened with the original Awesome Theory. If I keep thinking about making this thing from the ground up as a complete entity, I'll go mad and never get anything done. However, this tack has promise.

Now, I still have some web building obligations elsewhere before I can really get started on this, but I am crushing those pretty quickly lately, even with being in school (my Master's Degree program is really easy so far). I expect being able to start on this process for real within 3-4 months. I'll keep everyone posted. I am pretty stoked about it!
This is not how the awesome dies!
We will not go quietly into the night!
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 - 12:20am

This is not the landing page you are used to, at least not if you have been here before. The problem is that both php and phpbb (the entire framework upon which the site was built) have been upgraded repeatedly since 2008 and the site has not, leaving large swaths of code mired in a morass of deprecated functions and other random brokeness. I tried a couple of quick fixes, but nothing worked that let me log in and not suffer through tons of error messages.

Thus, for now, this is all you get to see (unless you remember the actual page file names - they are still there, just no links). Please know that my plans for this site live on and I still plan on doing something with it, it has just been a struggle to actually start. I have still been doing some coding on another site, so I am keeping my skills at least a little bit fresh. However, I start a Master's Degree program in November and during that all bets are off on whether I will ever get to what I want to do on this site.

The Awesome Theory will never die. I hope your memories of it are as fond as mine. The Awesome will return. It must, else the stupid will rule forever!
A plan slowly takes shape
And when I say slowly, I mean slowly!
Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 - 7:49pm

So, I think I have finally stumbled onto a realistic way to get this site back up and running to something resembling what I want it to be. That would be the programming language/tool Unity. Unity looks like something I can learn in a relatively short time and use to create a web based game for the Awesome Theory that will live up to my high expectations.

It is crazy to think that it has been nearly 8 years sine the Awesome Theory launched. It is still something special to me and I doubt I will ever let it go, even if it never comes back and becomes anything again. It is just too awesome.

If you read this, I hope you look forward to the eventual return of the Awesome Theory as much as I do!
I have a Dream
...and a vision, or maybe a plan, or something.
Monday, May 30th, 2011 - 9:09pm

Yes, I still want to do something with this site. It has been around 2 1/2 years since a new feature was added (the new equipment system), and around 2 years since the site went into the toilet, traffic-wise.

I've wrote this out before in other places, but this is as much for my benefit as anyone who might be reading this. The plan moving forward is as follows: keep everything that currently exists and shove it off to a legacy sandbox side of the site, like a zoo or museum. It will still mostly function, but will not get any development at all. Relaunch the site with pretty much new everything. The RPG-style game will be the main focus of the site, but other things will be included like the voting and all of that.

The web RPG game I am envisioning will be like a cross between an old school console RPG and a strategy RPG with both PvE and PvP content. You will create parties of characters, with a maximum of 4 characters per party. However, you will be able to create multiple parties and have unlimited characters. There will be a plot with progression and eventual resolution. The systems will all be fairly complex, but hopefully not too difficult to understand.

Existing users who have put a lot of time into the Awesome Theory and beefed up their characters will get a significant bonus to start out in this new game, plus anyone who plays during the beta will find advancement easier anyway.

I have tons and tons of ideas, but here is a basic list of some of the things I have to do:
1. Come up with a visual redesign, does not have to be super significant, but what we have is not going to work for the new version.
2. Finish my own custom forum and login/registration system - this is almost done.
3. Develop the login/registration pages along with character creation pages
4. Develop an AJAX based combat system (this might be a challenge)
5. Develop a new database, migrating user info over

I have learned a ton about php development since I started on AT and I know I'll do a better job the second time around. I hope to start for real pretty soon, but keep an eye out for updates!
Little House on the Mullet