Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Latest update to my friend's 19 year side project (pegwars.blogspot.com)
301 points by redbluething on June 15, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments

Wow. He could probably make some good money off this as is (if that was his goal), but I imagine if he added VR support, he's probably get money from everyone that bought a headset.

Projects like this always ended up being more fun for me to play that the vast majority of released polished games. Part of that is probably seeing updates happen that actually change the game. There's something visceral about that feed of updates, and feeling like you're there as something is being made. You can do a lot to engage a user base that way.

Yeah, wow. I backed VoxelQuest which is a kinda famously failed project now that was just on HN today: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11904287

Projects like this can be great because you have direct contact with the creator. That might also be a huge distraction to the creator...

It doesn't take much patronage to support an artist. Dwarf Fortress is fan funded. This is probably the original manifesto that started kickstarter + patreon etc.


I would suggest setting up a Patreon account and getting some recurring revenue that way. A few of the top paid Patreon's are working on games.

He has dabbled with the Rift:


Not sure if he has ever had plans to sell the game. I think it is mostly a fun (and epic) project to work on.

> Not sure if he has ever had plans to sell the game. I think it is mostly a fun (and epic) project to work on.

Which is perfectly fine! I was simply using money as an indicator of how polished and impressive it looks. Many of my favorite games have been free (roguelikes), and with impressive communities.

Mostly a fun side project but after my current gig, which hopefully will last no more than 4 years, I hope to kickstart or steam greenlight it in order to buy some artists and then release the game :)

For reference: http://pegwars.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-is-pegwars.html

Neat to see his project grow and evolve as he did for good bit of his life.

> Neat to see his project grow and evolve as he did for good bit of his life.

This genuinely makes me want to come up with some sort of long-term (life-long?) project. Like the Sistine Chapel... but not as good. :)

Yes, it's still very impressive. At any point in time these images could have gone up on gamedev.net as screenshots of the day/week.

To those saying he should sell this game, I disagree. This is obviously a very interesting and personal project and commercializing it would take a lot of the joy out of the work. It's also something that is obviously in perpetual evolution. Once there's a release, that adds constraints compared to freeform development.

Reminds me of Infinity by Ysaneya on GameDev.net -- he started building a space game engine back in 2004, and would regularly post updates over the years. Eventually it almost-launched as an MMO but apparently there was some kind of pivot recently.


Id like to play it just because this guy is actually living in that world for 19 years and its facinating

Am I the only one who finds it really hard to fathom that it's 19 years? Almost two decades. I don't think I can find a single device that I had 19 years ago, but this takes continuity and dedication to a whole new level.

I've still got a Casio QV-10 digital camera from 19 years ago (no idea if it works) but I suspect that's probably the only gadget I've got.

Garmin eMap from 1999 is probably the second closest.

My old man still has his first computer, a ZX-81.

Tried to get it working a few years ago, but couldn't get it to display on the TV. Wasn't sure if it was even powered on because the thing has no lights on it, it was prior to LEDs being commonplace. I didn't have an oscilloscope or the skills to debug it.

Having just finished off 4th year embedded systems I'm probably a bit more qualified to debug it now than I was in high school.

> My old man still has his first computer, a ZX-81.

And now I feel old because that was my first computer too.

I've got an Atari Lynx somewhere from about 19 years ago. It was a current(ish) console then. I imagine that this game is more the result of a 19-year journey in procedural space games than a game 19 years in development.

I have an original GameBoy which is about that age. Still works, still fun to play, but I need to replace the savegame batteries inside the cartridges.

> the savegame batteries inside the cartridge

:o. Thanks, I've learned something new today! I didn't knew the cartridges had battery-powered memory.


I'd be interested to know if the author followed the "alt.fan.elite" newsgroup back in the 1996-1997 timeframe. There were some discussions on the group at that time re: multiplayer online Elite-type games. (Specifically, I ended having a number of emails w/ a guy named Randall near Melbourne talking about game dynamics, etc, back in late 1996. I'm sure it isn't the same guy, but it brought back fun memories and caused me to dig out some old backups for a quick read today!)

Nope I'm not randall from Melbourne and I didn't follow all.fan.elite, sorry! I was playing elite on the zx spectrum around let's see, 1986? And then frontier and first encounters after that. In 96 that was the golden age of space sims, xwing and tie fighter...IWar, freespace, starlancer

My Elite experience was on the Commodore 64, but aside from that it sounds like we had a trajectory through subsequent titles that was similar. Your screenshots look great and I really enjoyed reading the entire blog.

I'm a huge fan for space-based games and these screenshots remind me of Freelancer (2003). Really neat.

I love Freelancer! And the Descent series. Looks like the space combat genre is coming back at the moment, which is great ... it's been a long time!

Freelancer was awesome, a pitty it was a bit too repetitive after a couple days playing...

Reminds me of the upcoming No Man's Sky on PS4

I noticed that too. Besides the Elite-like premise it has a similar pastel, day-glow aesthetic.

Thanks but there's definitely no comparison! Really looking forward to No Man's Sky, it looks like the game I've been wanting to play for years.

Reminds me of Limit Theory, both in the gameplay aspect, and the "single man project" side.

Really cool would be to have processes on planets (and stars) which would modify them. To be able to modify them at will and have modification persistent.

Probably quite doable.

Care to elaborate? I plan to have modifiable planets but stars? Sounds cool

I'm not sure if this is what you are interested in but here's a short summary of the variability of stars.

Stars in general are variable on a multitude of scales. The most popularly known cycle is the recurrance of sun spots, see e.g. the wikipedia page [1].

However, stars in general have their own 'life' from young to old. If you take a star like our sun, which has -- surprise, surprise -- one sun mass, it burns hydrogen to helium in a fusion process. Over billions of years it will deplete its hydrogen fuel and a core of helium will form. This leads the hydrogen fusion to move to the outer layers of the star which make it blow up. During this stage it will blow up like a balloon and have a cooler but very thin transparent surface. Hence the name of this stage: red giant.

During this stage, the sun's radius will become so large that it swallows the orbit of the earth. However, since its density is very low at this stage, the earth will keep orbiting inside the sun (though it's a bit warm then). Luckily we still have another 4 billion years or so until then.

When the sun depletes all of its fuel, it will collapse, and maybe (don't know about the current stage of research on that) a Helium Flash will occur where Helium fusion will occur for a brief moment.

During the collapse of the red giant the dense core will bounce back the outer layers and all what's left is the white dwarf.

It get's even more interesting once you take a look at massive stars which immediately start burning Helium (or even heavier elements). Their lifetime is much shorter than the sun's and they end up in different kinds of catastrophic events called supernovae, which leave high density cores behind. Those are either neutron stars, i.e. blobs of tens of kilometers diameter consisting ONLY of neutrons, or black holes.

If you want to model these lifetimes of stars in a crude way, I would start looking at Hertzsprung-Russel diagrams to figure out the paths which stars of different masses take [2]. From the main sequence to the terminal age main sequence, all the way to the red giant stage, possibly a helium burning stage, maybe a second red giant stage, and what have you...

Once you have a few paths figured out, you can toss a die for the initial mass of the star and then toss another one to find out its age. Then lookup the color, brightness, opacity and size.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_sequence

I'd like to see a shores of hazeron clone with modern graphics.

Looks really interesting. 19 years is an incredible amount of time.

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact