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Text based sim game ambition update

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Back in april 2015 I wrote about the ambition to build a 1D asci sim game.

A new ambition

If you read my earlier post, you might not say it was lacking ambition. But in a way it was, because it didn’t say anything on how it was ever going to be played by people and have a real impact.

Smart text input gaining traction?

Developers in general, but perhaps more those who use tools like Vim [1] have known this for a very long time, but you can use the keyboard to do more then write something. These texts can be commands to empower you to do stuff quickly and precisely. I believe that the success of Slack has much to do with that quality.

[1] the site Vim site looks fake, but lets just say their target audience is not your typical designer..

Recently the app Peach has gotten a lot of attention, it’s a social app where you can share text, photos, etc. The unique feature is that it handles ‘magic’ keywords. So you can easily write ‘here’ and it will send your location.

The added goal: make it a Slack app

My new goal is to turn this game into a slack app. I don’t really know anything about building Slack apps, so that’s something that I’ll have to learn.

In order to be able to do that, I first need to learn more ‘back-end stuff’. The kind of things I also want to learn to eventually get my Idea Growr app online. Concretely this means improving my Python skills and learn to work to work with a back-end framework. I have chosen Flask, because it seems to be the most simple. Another part of the equation is that a (web/slack) app needs to be deployed somewhere.  So I’m also trying to figure out what platforms like Heroku have to offer.

Step 1: Turn the game from a terminal game, to a web based game

The initial game I had made only worked on the terminal, so my goal was to transfer the game to the web. I had to rewrite quite some code, including a nice recursive one to handle the user input, but now have it working online.

Since it’s not ready for user testing, I will not post that link, but here are some animations that show a little bit of how the game works.

Sim Karakter 1And here some more..

Sim Karakter 2

Let’s get some things out of the way..

Yes it’s ugly. Since the goal is to eventually have this run on Slack (a chat client), selecting nice colors and a font don’t have a high priority.

The game is not that fun yet. I believe that there is enough of the game working that if someone tests it, they can imagine ‘what would be cool’ and gather great feedback.

The game is very far from done, but I’m learning a lot of new stuff, like how to set up unit tests with pytest (not 100% code covered yet..) and just getting more experience with coding things that have a little complexity to them.

Concluding; the extra criteria makes it easier

By defining it has a Slack app, I have made the project much more of a MVP that I can see working. This gives me extra motivation to dive into this project even more and see where it takes me.

Like always, let me know what you think. And if you think it sounds like a fun project, I’m always open for collaborations on projects like these 🙂

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