Brain Problems Releases, updates, and things you can play with

Should I continue to dream of impossibly large and complex worlds?

I tweeted this mockup last month.


It seems so easy to imagine and even implement some dreamy mechanics, but so hard to really put them together and make a genuine game out of them.

It brings me such satisfaction to cobble together things that look like game worlds rich with life and detail, because those things linger at the edge of my mind — not actual life and detail that I could answer, if asked, but imagining the shape of things, the shape of a game I’d want to play or a world I’d like to inhabit, that’s pure satisfaction right there.

The problem is learning the skills necessary to bridge that gap, as well as deciding when to cut your losses and run. When can an imaginary game become a real one?

How much time & effort am I willing to pay to see such dreams realized, and on top of that how accurately can I gauge those costs in the first place?

Videogame worlds are seductive.

I’ve been doing a lot of weird writing lately.


Somehow it feels different from the writing in Starseed Pilgrim; the writing in my recent game HANDMADEDEATHLABYRINTH issue 0, in my tiny jam game eastern forest, and in the upcoming Yrkkey’s Paradise, are a lot more explicit about trying to build worlds.

But as I really embrace my desire to simulate little self-contained worlds full of life and detail, I run into dead end after dead end, because I can’t make living worlds. It’s just not possible.

The beautiful infinite fractal depth that exists in our real lives can’t be reproduced by any medium, least of all the one that gives its aficionados the most explicit power to prod at the edges, to poke holes in the facade.

These gifs excite me, but I’ll probably never turn these playable mockups into anything more than you can see demonstrated above. I want to keep imagining worlds full of life, real life somehow, even if all I can ever produce and share are gold leaf-thin surface representations of them.

Releases, updates, and things you can play with

What Would Joel Goodwin Do? Another Year, Another Blog :P

Every year or three I find myself pining for a better blog backend — they all seem plagued by one problem or another. But, I had the same problem a couple years ago, when I wasn’t entirely settled on Unity and I wasn’t happy with any of the other options. I did finally land on the Godot Engine, and I’ve been extremely happy with it. I’ve uploaded ten things (see the collection of everything I’ve released so far in Godot here on and been through many more, with no sign of wanting to switch it up.

Maybe I found the right tool, or maybe something inside me changed.

So my friend Tav offered to help me maintain a better blogging habit. I’ve been using this scrappy little backend, Anchor CMS, but I thought: if she’s going to be helping me keep up a schedule and we’re going to try to liven up the comments section, I’d better really think about how hard I want to commit to Anchor. My absolute favourite blog to keep up with is Electron Dance. Joel somehow maintains an excellent comment section, the website looks nice, and he produces good & reliable output.

I swear I’ve looked at his website before and not found this, but there it was at the bottom of his blog, plain as day. In tiny font that blends into the background but still: I know how to navigate HTML. Could I really have missed that if I was looking for it?

Anyway, welcome to my new blog for 2021, a new year, a fresh start. Funny how I’ve circled back to using WordPress again. If you’re interested in my blog posts from the past, here’s a list of all my previous blogs (please let me know what I’ve missed):

  • (archives have been lost)