Flickguy (warning: decidedly non 1 bit content ahead) has been a runaway success (imo) over the past few days. There's already a ton of different guymakers (as you can see in the background) and even some versions that incorporate modifications and hacks like this 1 bit setup (phew!).

It feels like it's been around for a lot longer than it has (I have to keep reminding myself, just over a week), based on the features/modifications/creations that have come out of it. I feel some investment in following how it develops because I pulled together the drawn bits for the demo of how it works, but it's almost entirely been programmed by candle and was pretty rapidly spun out of their ongoing flickgame study project, and improved by feedback from the small tools and tool hack circles we're in.

It's really cool to me how fast candle has been able to build modular tools and functions like this, and how readable the code is even to a "non-programmer" (inasmuch as writing HTML and modifying other people's CSS and Javascript slightly is not really considered "programming!") like myself. I also like when these tools are in phases where they feel very permeable and fertile, when it brings out completely free creativity in a variety of people and keeps replicating itself into different forms, it becomes a very "organic" form of digital creation.

And like, functionally, this is how the web, and programming and games are at their most basic level, right? Their modularity and the ability to rip and re-use and so on, how it's not just easy but the first lesson you learn and the primary way to work in a lot of early computing history and hobbyist game design is what reinforces this stuff as still interesting to me (because it's fundamentally unruly and against any idea of ownership or scarcity) even as, in general, videogames and media art related stuff just seems increasingly removed from this quality of itself, and kind of locked down, cleaned up and trite.

Like I can't really bring myself to be excited about the stupid onboard pseudo-bitsy or whatever that's coming with the Playdate. Sure, that you can allegedly also run the maker in the browser and export... something (proprietary crank-based game format? lol) is better than the options for the same crap locked to the Switch, but beating Nintendo on something like this is a subterranean bar to clear.

And it's also a matter of principle, coming from a company that has an existing habit of steamrolling other small scale elements of the indie space that seem to be "in its way." The shady way they apparently "cleared" the project with the creator of Bitsy once it was basically done rather than actively involving or collaborating with any small scale developers is just another case of corporate swooping in to cherry pick the aesthetics and features that suit them while completely missing the point on what makes something like Bitsy, and its community of modders, hack collectors, enthusiasts, etc so valuable. Not that I'd personally want to work with any twee proprietary device advocates trying to forcibly enclose their little serfdom anyways, and would discourage pretty much anyone from getting involved if they wanted to make work they had long term ownership and access to, but lol. As soon as corporate entities try to put a lid on these things, to finalize them into a controllable little commodity, it becomes the slab lowered onto their own gruesome crypt. Web tools, hacks, cracks, mods and pirates will never die!

Anyways, starting from the 5th of July I have a contract job doing database and XML management for a digital textbook company. I'm glad bc A) grinding for job applications/freelance work has been exhausting B) I get to give my partner more time off to wrap up the first major arc of a new game project he's working on C) it makes immigration/taxes/proving residence stuff easier in the long run and D) whenever I have a kind of mechanical 9-5 day job the back of my brain is always kind of flipping over and storing new ideas, and I feel like I can write for pleasure when I "get home" (it'll be WFH for the foreseeable though) rather than having to wring Work out of myself at all times. It's six months for now, which will give me a chance to see how this type of work plays with my other priorities or if it burns me out similarly/more than freelancing.

I've also been writing some more fiction that builds up the world in Flesh/Circuit a bit more, though I'm not really sure how/where to put that kind of stuff! I was drawn to writing fanfic over the past few years because there's such a culture of independent sharing and discussing around it, idk if that infrastructure or culture is there for anything but the most big-budget ubiquitous original fiction. I've been thinking about making a separate zonelet to serve as a sort of chapbook-in-process, or maybe making a separate category for it here. I'm curious what people would think or if they have any experience with sharing/self-publishing/otherwise publishing original fiction nowadays, and since I have no comments, if you have any thoughts on this you can get at me on the Neocities backend, or email me.