Monday, January 9, 2012

Thank You

This post is going to be a little bit different. I don’t have bits of Java code to throw at you. This is just a simple article saying, “Thank you for downloading Forge.”

(Card picture from the set - Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas)

When I started working on Forge I was at my lowest point and very depressed. My college degree was getting me zero interviews and I had recently got myself into a huge heap of trouble which gave me a little too much time on my hands. I knew that I enjoyed programming so I started working on Forge as a hobby. I thought that more than likely no one else will ever see my work but it would at least give me something to do.

Now other people actually contribute code to Forge and I just blog about it. Most open source)projects don’t ever get off of the ground but with Forge there has always been people wanting to work on it, which is exceptionally rare. For some reason open source videogames are rare and I’m glad that Forge is a shining example.

The current developers have to deal with my design decisions and I say “Thank You” because they have done such a good job programming around Forge’s limitations. I created Forge as well as I could but there were gaping holes in my logic and architecture. I am humbled by the fact that they have added so many more cards to Forge than I would have been able to do as individual programmer. Sometimes the group is smarter than the individual (but not always).

I also want to say thanks to you for reading this blog. Most of my life seems like a failure: no job, no girlfriend and I’m 33, but writing for this blog is very satisfying. I get 200 to 300 hits a day which is very impressive considering that I only post one article a week.

If I would have been able to find a job, Forge probably would have never been written. The same thing probably could be said of J.R. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. She began writing because she was nearly homeless and didn’t know what to do with her life.

I enjoy telling people that I started a thriving open source project. Creating and working on Forge have been one of the highlights of my life. I would encourage you to try to do something “big” yourself, even if the odds are stacked against you. Even writing this very geeky, niche blog is very rewarding.

Even if I never get a job programming professionally, Forge has given me confidence in my skills.

Humble programmer and writer,


-- I also understand that Forge is far from perfect. I wrote Forge to very flexible but that flexibility makes Forge harder to use. Thanks for powering through and being able to see the beauty of Forge.

--A side note about my recent programming activity. I haven’t written any Java code in three years. I don’t know if it is burnout or just laziness. The main reason that I avoid coding is because it takes so much concentration, which is exhausting. Programming is like doing an extremely, long math problem. If you get the right answer it feels great and when you get the wrong answer, you feel like crap. I try to praise the coders who work on Forge because I know how strenuous it can be. Trying to fix a bug can be like the 3rd circle of hades.

I do enjoy programming and maybe I can prod myself to work on a small project. Trying to tackle a big project is like wrestling with a bear, you might win but it won’t be pretty.


Anonymous said...

thanks for those words, usually forge for me is about escapism so wasn't expecting to see that.

I certainly feel similar about my life at current (probably most of my "failed generation” do to) and this story is an inspiration to keep using my skills however I can (there difinatly not any use to Forge) and know that it could achieve grate things regardless of being dumped by the economy

Anonymous said...

I've been coming here for years. Forge is fantastic and I've rolled more quests than I'd ever admit to.

Thank you and your group of programmers for all you do.

Anonymous said...

I only found Forge just last month, but playing it has become a delightful new addiction to my day. :) It may sound sappy, but it truly brings me feelings of nostalgia, as well as new discoveries, both at the same time. A big thank you to both you and the hard-working programmers! :D

Anonymous said...

your blog, though it only has roughly 1 post per week, really draws attention because of your insight into programming and the little tidbits about the game that you post. it's always interisting, that's why there's always someone reading it. keep it up ^^

Anonymous said...

Desde Barcelona

Thanks for all nice time playing with your game. And your continuous improvements

moomarc said...

Thanks for the thanks! I discovered Forge a few years ago when you were still very much the lead developer. I lurked in the forums and trolled your blog waiting for new releases, seeing which new legends, power cards and features would appear next. It was only a year or so later that I first brought myself to post on the forum... A card request. So I started getting more involved in the forum and then last year, with the big DMCA I finally decided to contribute my time and talents. I created the copyright free plant wall artwork in an effort to helpthen went on to some small icons while work got busy. Then I got involved with the start of the homescreen revamp with Rob and Braids with the splash screen. That first version that was only available through changed environment variables had too many issues to release publically, although the splash screen made its debut. Since then I've been involved with the new 1.2 UI and also got in on the card scripting action. So I want to thank you in return for the countless hours of joy not just playing Forge, but also now developing it further. You sure started something great here!

Gabriel said...

I have an Xbox 360 with about a dozen games, a Steam account with probably 40 games, and several old school NES/SNES/SEGA emulators with hundreds of games.

What do I play in my gaming time? Forge.

We should have a Forge convention. I vote Atlanta.

Hellfish said...

Hey, stop by the forums soon, man. Doublestrike suggested that you be the one to commit the 10,000th card to Forge and I think that'd only be proper. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making Forge bro. It has helped me to like MTG again and somehow saved me money to learn about the new cards too. I hope everything goes well in your life. Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Hellfish, we would have to pick a card for mtgrares to slip in there and make sure it stayed out of the loop. Of course, finding new scriptable cards nowadays is next to impossible. Perhaps that card that ChrisH was working on a while back...

Hellfish said...

Anon: Dark Ascension provides plenty of candidates, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for starting and continuing the best open source project ever..

Forge said...

Forge is very addicting. I think trading card videogames are just great but Forge is really the only offline game for PC.