The Status (and some thoughts)

Hey, all.

So Infinite Blank’s on ice again, for the longest time yet in its short history.  I still see evidence that people come to check on the game now and again, so I ought to explain the status.

A month and a half ago, I moved away from my birthplace in Iowa to Los Angeles, California, to go into business with a friend and collaborator of many years, Beau Blyth.  Together we’re working on a nifty little multiplayer game for handheld devices.  Around a month or two ago, the server (Blankcube) powered off and, distracted as I am, I didn’t take notice for a while.  As it turns out, its spot back at my university wasn’t available any more.  So I’ve had a friend pick it up and I’ll be thinking about how I can get it back on a half-decent connection.

In the meantime I’ve had an increasing itch to get back to work on Infinite Blank despite my somewhat busy schedule.  One plus is it shares a codebase with Plaid Notion’s project, so there could be some technical crossover.  Still, I’m doing contract work to feed myself, and juggling three projects might not be a great idea.  MMOs don’t make good side projects.

Yet I’ve had so many ideas bumping around in my head for the Blank.  An important (and painfully complicated) algorithm that might fix the brokenness of the painting tool is in a state of semi-completion, and other technical features I’ve added to my engine promise to speed future development.  I’m having ideas for solving the “loneliness” of playing and making the community aspect of the game exist IN the game, and not just in disused forums.

This project is special to me.  Not because it’s my most “successful” in terms of the number of people who have tried it and the recognition received, nor because I’m happy with its progress — it has a long way to go and frankly I don’t think it’s ever been very good to play.

See, I remembered recently the reason I started work on it.  The first month of a lazy summer had gone by, and I hadn’t worked on much of anything for a while.  I started a few little projects, including snatches of music, art and writing, but quit each out of dissatisfaction.  It’s frustrating having a creative mind when so much technical skill (and time!) is needed to make something that can be shared.  It’s frustrating to have an idea bumping around in your head and not have the skills you need to get it out.  (See “why?” for some thoughts on how the internet makes life hard for novice artists)

Then I remembered an old idea for a collaborative drawing game, and it gradually dawned on me that it could be an answer to that.  Infinite Blank wouldn’t rate creations based on technical skill.  It would encourage people to take those vivid ideas filling their heads, and represent them with whatever ability they have.  It would help people to represent their ideas well even if they weren’t great artists.  And it would help them learn.

Other games I work on because they’re the sorts of things I want to play.  Infinite Blank is a game I’m making because I want it to exist, as a remedy to the depression I felt that summer — wanting to share an idea but failing to make it into something sharable.

The very same creative frustration has held the project back more than once.  This lull is not over, and will probably not be the last.  But I hope to have the resolve to see this vision through, one way or another.  It needs to exist.

My sincere thanks go to those whose encouragement has kept me going so far.  That includes you, for reading.

Over and out–
–Evan

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9 Comments

  1. Willi

     /  2011/09/16

    You’re welcome. :)

  2. Gear

     /  2011/09/16

    Have you considered allowing people to host their own worlds?

  3. Kim

     /  2011/09/18

    I really hope that the game will be available again :)

  4. solidfake

     /  2011/09/21

    yay!

  5. Hypersomnus

     /  2011/09/23

    Keep going, I think that this project has great artistic and intellectual potential. It is destined for greatness!

  6. Kastuk

     /  2011/09/24

    Healthily…

  7. M

     /  2011/10/17

    Hope you will find time to work on it.
    I really believe this game will be great. :)

  8. zoid

     /  2011/12/11

    Ping InfiniteBlank :)
    Still waiting for new release :)

  9. gray

     /  2012/01/27

    there are a ton of people waiting for you to release the best game ever! (even though some of those people don’t know yet.)

    you can do it. :D

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