Blog

Nambug Evolving.

I finally realized last night that while the gameplay and general idea of Nambug has greatly evolved I myself have not allowed my conception of it to do so. From its original open-world RPG, ‘Bug has morphed into some bizarre sandbox-‘artificial life’-sim. So! A few notes:

  • First, I’ve scrapped all the work on Nambug except its overall flavor (kept safely tucked away in my mind, and on short GIFs here and on Twitter.) I know this is a massive statement to just chuck out into the universe, but it needed to be done, and to be said.
  • This was done so I could rework it from the ground up without tripping over my archaic spaghetti code. I am reworking my data structures to prevent bottlenecks. Honestly, it’s also because I’ve just learned a ton since I started work, and it would be a more difficult undertaking reworking the code.
  • I will be using an ECS methodology slammed into an OOP framework (with some λ sprinkled around where it makes sense.) It’ll make sense to me, anyway.
  • I really want to lean into the AL space where I can. This may ultimately lead me down an ML path. Where it makes sense, I want emergent behavior, but only in a guided sense. If any AL/ML elements make the cut, it will be only where they meet two conditions => An element must add something to either the gameplay or world flavor && it had better make the game more interesting for me to play.

So yeah, it’s going to be good to realign my work with my conceptualization of the game and its world. I’m also working on a smaller project to help get some funding in my pocket and it’ll be built using the same core code as Nambug, so it’s not extra work (at least generally.) Another big element is Music, and I’ve been working on some new stuff for both games. I won’t write about it today, but soon. I’ve also been writing a little creative fiction every day and working in Blender a ton. This is a year to hone my skill. This is the year of the ‘Bug!

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, or at least following me on Twitter.

Nambug is evolving, if a bit slowly.  A random shot of thousands of 'bugs' moving around.
So, this a shot from a failed Nambug experiment. Still a good thing, because I learned a ton while making it!

It’s been a while, huh.

So I went silent, as I have before. However, unlike preceding episodes of hiatus, there is a light at the conclusion of this proverbial tunnel. I came to recognize the need to work on myself: how I approach my craft, and even moreso my habits. In the past, when confronted with challenge or fatigue, I have resorted to hurling more effort at tasks – which is both self-destructive and ineffective. So I’ve started reframing my practice. I’m spending time refreshing and where called for, relearn skills. Slowing down and practicing my professional discipline, and re-architect how I code. The other significant deviation of this growth over similar previous circumstances is I have not abandoned my project.

Nambug will progress through another revision, but is not canceled, and not doomed to languish in some digital archive. I have a sharper conception for what it can be, and in the coming months I’ll further cultivate it. I aim to continue working on Bug more consistently and with a mind for precision. Going forward you can expect an update here at least once a week, so stay tuned.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you around.

The Decision to Bisect.

Nambug en réduction.

I made quite the challenging decision today, I hope will lead to a slew of positives where Nambug is concerned. When I originally started work on the game I wrote out a list of ideas that either inspired me to think about it completed, or that I just knew I had to include. For instance while I didn’t want the world to be simulated on an atomic level, I did want the NPCs to think for themselves, and to do so based on internal components and past experiences. Some of the more fundamental ideas that emerged out of this thought-soup stuck around for quite a while, and many of them survived until today (and by proxy, until this weekend). A few major concepts got sliced today, to provide a more measured experience for the player, and to allow the remaining systems room to breathe. I list now, a few examples of late stage cuts made this evening:

  • While the genuine sight and hearing systems survived, the fairly involved system of scent, flow, and diffusion was definitively carved from the game. While it was complete, and did work as intended it became apparent that it was taking up more time and resources to find interesting uses for than it was worth. This seams a shame, and I may someday return to some similar system for a future project – but not here in Nambug.
  • Another such idea was one of 3D printers. This game being set in some far future after an unknown ‘great collapse’ – it made sense to allow for such technology to exist. Thematically I really liked the idea of new proto-tribes forming around the use of these now seemingly magical machines. As with the scent system, I did get so far as functionality for both the player and the NPCs, revolving around a system of schematics. In terms of actual gameplay this seemed to funnel the game into some bizarre futuroid collect-a-thon. I cut this in favor of more time spent on genuine experiences.
  • Finally, (and this is a big one) I cut the fundamental system of materials. Every object in the game is essentially the same thing – a somewhat easy way to look at it: Nambug runs on a quasi-ECS framework. One of the earliest implemented ideas that was an underpinning system until now was the idea of Materials. I had a short list of 36 materials that in various combinations comprised everything in the game. I really liked this idea until I realized it was very cool sounding in my head, and had almost no visual application in the game. After cutting the 3D printer it was essentially vestigial and so, the axe.

I’m sure there will be more cuts along the way. I’ve been pretty good about scope creed throughout the prototype and first playable phases, but these cuts will lead to a more precise experience and allow me to lavish more attention on the ideas that remain. Stay tuned!

I am hard at work on Nambug.

I am working every day (weekends included) on Nambug. It’s a driving force in my life. Mostly I hope people will be excited to play it, and share stories about their experiences in it’s little world. Having finally reworked this site I will hopefully post here at least twice a week. I plan on using it to post progress update, development choices, and lore segments. I will find time this week to continue to work on this page, but for now I think this will do. If you find yourself here through any means other than my twitter, do consider following me there.

I also have a Patreon and it would be massive if you could even kick in one dollar a month. Thank you and stay tuned!