Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Board game factory

1) Setup a factory that is all about producing small runs of board games with extremely fast turn around. 2) Start by only producing board games that are currently out of print
3) Charge ebay prices for $$$
4) Publishers find less risk using us and only use use for future orders making more $$$

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Frighteningly Ambitious Idea: Displace the app store model on mobile

The app store as a means for distributing applications is severely limited compared to the web.  The web allows anyone to publish whenever they want, whatever they want.  The web doesn't distribute packages that have to be installed, updated, and can be pirated.  On the flip side in the browsers world text is first class and everyone builds libraries applications on top of that.  Manipulating the dom and dealing with the fact that JavaScript is not the language of choice, but the language you are going to get.  This crazy idea is to create a new browser build for applications.  It would have a url bar just like your typical browser, but each url would have to specify the application that can render the url.  When following links if the application is the same the browser would be able to notify the application to load the new url without having to re-load the entire application.

The Hello World example would have to be a little game where each level is a different url and it specifies the game engine as the render.

Applications could be one of several different sandboxed solutions with at least a bytecode package and an interpreted solution provided.  One possible solution would be to use something similar to vmkit and let applications provide their own vm (and language) that their application can be written in.  One could of course write an application called "classic" that could render html :)

Beyond the application graphics primitives would be provided and on top of it anyone would be allowed to create rich toolkits.

Why not just make apps using nacl for Google chrome?  You could, but the only way this is interesting or takes off is if it is not in the browser we know and use today and is first on mobile.  If it is first on mobile than any new application that appears on it will first and foremost work on mobile, unlike the web today where you have desktop sites, and then mobile sites.  If it is not within the existing browser than it has the power of *new*.  Users love new things, developers love new things.  Developers hate minor features that only work on a subset of the browser market, but here if you make an app you know it will work on 100% of the app browsers out there.  Lastly by making something new with no intention of working in the old browser you can determine everything and don't have to compromise.  There is a good chance that the first sdk will be the default sdk for a long time.  Many companies have been built on the idea of creating a platform and making money as users come to the platform.

Finally at some point someone will make something like this and it will eventually replace the web browser and the app store as we know it.  The question is would you like to be in control of it or let someone else?

Code on a business card

Working for a company that prints a ton of business cards I have had some time to think about different business cards I would like to make.  As I am a programmer a very interesting one would be to make a set of cards each that have a different program on it.  Granted you could use each pixel to store data, but that isn't very interesting, much cooler would be to limit yourself to what users could read with their eyes.  With that constraint you can actually fit somewhere around 6K of text on the card.  At this point it is less about toy programs, but more about interesting ones and how you display them artistically.  Some different ideas include a C compiler, lisp interpreter, and vm.  Granted they might all be limited in one way or another, but it would still be a neat card.

Ray tracing on a business card

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Port a board game to the NES

Take a really good euro style board game and create a NES (or SNES) port.  It would be a way to explore making a program with limited resources, programming on the 6502 and in the end you will have a game that will be fun to play.   And by putting it on the NES you could even burn it to a NES cart and plug it into a classic console.  If you had a game like puerto rico where all information is open you could even have the game be multiplayer  (with up to five people with the SNES multi-tap).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sim Society

You are in charge of writing the constitution and laws for a new government.  Your citizens will mostly follow the rules and you get to watch the results as they rules play out and loop holes are found.

Friday, March 8, 2013


A game where you are in charge of a factory that builds cars.  There is a constant stream of orders that come into the factory.  You get to lay outthe factory floor how ever you want and choose how the day to day operations of the factory run.  If you are able to fulfill orders quickly customers will be happy and more orders will arrive, but if orders are slow and late then they will take their business elsewhere.

Beyond the basic layout of the factory floor and buying new and faster stations for performing steps in the process you would deal with suppliers, choosing how much stock to have on hand of raw material and when to order more.  Do you want to make some products before you get orders to ship out right away or only start building once you get orders?  How will you make sure your workers are busy?  Do you want to pay extra to run the factory over the weekend?  As the cars are made you get to watch them progress through the factory and watch the employees build each part or mill around if they have nothing to do.

The game similar to many sim games starts you off in a massive warehouse where your first production line only takes up a very small portion of.  As you would grow the primary interface would be managing the layout of the factory floor and its growth, but just like controlling the elevators in sim tower, how you managed the employees and the way orders were fulfilled would determine your success at fulfilling orders, generating more revenue and ultimately the size your factory could grow.