Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Small world.

This morning, when I woke up I checked my email at a desk in the Southwest UK. The internet routers somewhere in London spoke to my positech server in Dallas, and sent me messages from all across the planet. One of them was from a flash developer I have never met, whose game I am sponsoring. I have no idea which country he lives in. Another was from a business partner in Boston, (as I recall), about a port of my game. While I read these, I also checked share prices of companies around the UK whose shares I buy and sell as a hobby.

If I chose to check, I’m sure there would be people from every continent currently browsing the dallas-hosted server of my UK owned company.

I’ll probably chat to some other indie developers today on forums hosted god-knows-where and who live all over the world. Most of the people I talk to on a daily basis are more than a thousand miles from my home.

My parents were born and worked all their lives in one city. My grandparents were born, worked and died 80+ years later in the same city. My grandfather left the UK only once, as a soldier during the war. My mother remembers before TV, before plastic, before indoor plumbing…

And online, we think people are old now if they remember alta vista, or windows 95.

When the world is so amazingly fast moving, it’s easy to forget to stop and reflect on what an amazing time this is to be alive. Life has never changed with such an incredible pace.

9 thoughts on Small world.

  1. It’s true. It seems the world is in ever-accelerating loop and humanity has to move faster, do everything better, make everything more and bigger and work harder.

    Back in my childhood (I was born -89) everything was relaced and laidback. Now it seems everything is just about efficiency, speed, tinyness and maximum power in that tinyness and what not.

    Computers sure have changed life.

  2. Warning; pensive semi-silly rambling ahead…

    Gratuitous Space Battles’ forum-active modding community spans the entire globe. With apologies to the geographic reach of the late, great British Empire, “the sun never sets on the Friendly Community Mod Squad”. When the international date line becomes a factor in communication with a fellow modding partner, you know that you’ve got some *serious* reach going on. :-P

    Once you turn the discussion from the spatial axis to the temporal one, life gets even more wonderfully weird.

    I clearly recall when Lego bricks were available only in red, blue, black, white and yellow colors. There weren’t any movie franchise tie-in Lego sets because George Lucas was still just a mostly-unremarked noob making movies with warm, family-friendly titles like “THX-1138”.

    My youth was marinated in black-and-white rerun episodes of “Flash Gordon”. I still don’t think that Darth Sidious can compete with Ming the Merciless. And those Ewoks? Forget it, man; the Clay People of Mars – now *they* were scary. Alas, they’ve been overtaken by power-mad fascist politicans and drunken investment bankers for sheer scary.

    “RISK” was the apex of casual tabletop strategy boardgaming; “Diplomacy,” if you were a grognard. And if you *were* a grognard, you were mostly out of luck unless you lived someplace populous enough to support a regular gaming group.

    I’ve done a lot of of Play-By-Mail gaming. How would you like a game where each turn took two weeks to process, kids? Back then it was pretty cool. If you lived in one of the many places where there was no regular gaming group, you’d think it was cool, too. Of course we also thought that shag rugs, purple paisley and Las Vegas-era Elvis were pretty cool, also. ;-)

    Compared to gaming back then, Gratuitous Space Battles would have literally been a religious experience.

    I saw the Apollo 11 launch and moonwalk live on network television. We now have a satellite communications infrastructure so widespread that it binds this world more tightly than a typical small town back then was with Plain Old Telephone Service. Speaking of POTS, remember Bell Telephone? Or actual outdoor phonebooths?

    Still recall my first pocket calculator. That was a game-changer, believe me. I now use a hunk of silicon that’s eleventy-trillion times more awesome, purely for the noble scientific goal of the Plants Versus Zombies minigames.

    Heck, my *phone* now has enough CPU horsepower to have probably doubled the Pentagon’s computing abilities back then. They would have had a seizure if I showed them even an underpowered IBM Thinkpad with Windows 95 on it.

    The “4X” splendor of Master Of Orion that I could have installed on the Thinkpad would have given ME a seizure if I could have seen it back in the day. Hmmm, would I rather have that, or Atari’s craptastic port of “Pac Man” on the 2600??? Decisions, decisions…

    The past wasn’t all just slow-motion life within a lethally-boring monoculture, though. There were advantages which the present era lacks. For example, gasoline for $0.30 per gallon. That was worth putting up with the shag rugs. So was still being able to easily buy foods that were sweetened with actual sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

    Our understanding and acceptance of the pace of change has grown enormously. It has also made our world feel a great deal smaller. As long as this metastable environment keeps giving me fodder for drawing amusing parallels between then and now, it’s all good. :-P

  3. Haha Wendy, 89? You are still a child of this generation. Try ’79 and you will have a better understanding of what cliff is talking about. Nice try.

  4. Have you heard of the Singularity, a point in time where things are changing so fast that normal rules no longer apply.

    The theory is that the stages in advancement or evolution of technology are getting shorter and shorter.. e.g. TV, VHS/BETAMAX, DVD, BLUERAY, SSD

    And the speed of information processing/transmission is getting faster and faster.

    So at some point machine intelligence will surpass our own and leapfrog humanity++ far beyond our current understanding.

    It’s expected about 2:09.39 AM GMT July 02 2019.

    **** Takion Transmission Ends *****

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