Posted on February 07, 2017 at 15:21
There was nothing I wanted more than to be part of a community where people shared my interests and I was a bit disappointed to see that programming as a hobby was pretty much unheard of when I started using GM back in early 2004 (in the mostly rural town I grew up in, of course). Literally the only other programmer I knew in middle school was this insanely genius kid who would make his games in C and Allegro, and he ended up getting a full ride at MIT when he graduated high school.
What is most amusing is knowing that had my new PSP never gotten stolen from my backpack during freshman year in high school, I would have never gotten bored enough at home to start using Game Maker again, especially after my 4-5 month hiatus following my failure to establish an indie (freeware in 2007 terms) game development club at my school. Eventually I just settled for Robotics and Comp Sci AP, but by then I had already settled with joining several online GM communities and it just so happened to be that 64digits lasted the longest.
I also would have never imagined I'd be the one redeveloping the site from scratch, as well as ending up with ownership of the domain itself. Now that I've gotten past my two month rough patch (which involved me losing my SF apartment and boomeranging back to my parents), I'm left with some time to work on v4 on the train rides back and forth. As for progress, I have ported most of the php bbcode parser that JoshDreamland coded for us to Node.js (demo here
), and now all bbcode is processed server-side in the context of a user's session. In addition, I've now set up activity feeds at the user level to display whenever a user posts a blog or comments on one.
I'm looking forward to getting the file manager up and running, so this week I'll be coding the abstraction layer which will allow us to choose between hosting all users files on the server itself or using a cloud storage system such as Backblaze B2 or Amazon S3. So far B2 seems the most promising (and cheapest), so I'm gonna start creating the hooks against this API first. Once this is solid, I can finally move on to developing user game and media submissions, as well as file and picture uploads at the comment level.
I feel like at this point it would be too optimistic to say here's to another 10 years, especially considering that firestormx can pull the plug on our dedicated hosting any day now (which I'd be happy to take over as well), and the fact that the same self-gratification I used to get from my early GM days is the only thing that is motivating me to continue working on v4 now that most of my buddies have moved on. I would love to eventually get to the point where I can pass the torch to somebody else so I can refocus my persistence on game development.
It would probably be too optimistic to even say we'd last another year, but I guess we will have to wait and see where the current takes us.