Friday, February 8, 2008

Decade One

I was going to write about the progress I have made on One of those Weeks, but after seeing this I have decided instead to take today to express my current thoughts on Open Source and my plans for it. If you haven't read Bruce's article, please do so as it is a worthy read. While free software existed for more than 10 years, the term Open Source was coined then. As anybody who follows Blazing Games knows, I have released a lot of my code as open source. Blazing Games current policy is to keep stuff proprietary only for a year or so and then release the source code under an open license such as GPL. Once One of those Weeks is finished, I am thinking that the site will focus all future game development on open standards. With support for the Canvas in HTML 5, I am even thinking that I might go with pure HTML/ECMAScript for future web games or return to Java for more complex games. Future Game in a Day games might be the testbed for this strategy.

I am also thinking that whenever possible I should be using open source software. If the existing open source software does not meet my needs, perhaps I should invest my time making the software meet my needs. Migrating away from paid tools should be an interesting experience, but I already use a lot of open source software, with CS3 being the only real commercial tool that I use and if I am not developing Flash then even that won't be too hard to migrate from.

The problem with open source game development is the funding. Right now the advertising on Blazing Games covers the expenses but doesn't pay me. I am sure that if the site was more popular that wouldn't be a problem, but I am clueless when it comes to promoting things. The thing is, games don't require any type of support, so making money off of open source games is tricky. One thought, which seems to be what other people are trying to do, is to open source the game core but sell the content. I really do want to keep my games free, but will have to take a look at my options. All I can say is that Decade One should prove to be interesting.

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