stickmanland.com

Victory Pug

Because "hello world" is for nerds

Posted: July 22, 2022

If you've programmed anything, no doubt you've heard of the "hello world" program, that quintessential rite-of-passage of programmer culture. In every introductory tutorial to every programming language and piece of technology imaginable, it's always "hello world" this, "hello world" that. But here at stickmanland.com, I'm all about challenging random mostly harmless social norms. That's why I'm introducing my new blog with... Victory Pug!

This is a blog about game design, programming, and maybe even other wacky random stuff. Usually posts will be focused on one topic, but this first one is just gonna spill out everything like beans on the floor. Hope you like it.

An Itch to Ditch

Previously, I've had an itch.io page, but I've recently asked myself: Is itch.io really a good platform for family-friendly creators? Well, particularly due to some of the forsaken content that ding-dang website holds... I would say maybe not quite. I'm not your dad, but I don't really wanna walk up to some kid and tell him, "Oh, head to itch dot io and play my game!"

And yet, in spite of myself, I'm still torn on whether or not to simply offer itch.io as an alternative, rather than totally abandoning ship. To be fair, as with any user-generated portion of the internet, you have your bad and your good.

We'll see what happens. In any case, stickmanland.com will remain the best place to play my games! My... three games.

There are Only Three Games on This Website

Sometimes I think that, like some of my favorite YouTube channels that upload every once in a blue cheese, I might have to take the famous "quality over quantity" approach here. Since I released Millie's Weird World in 2020, I seem to have forgotten how to make games. Dang! I started chasing the Ultimate Perfect DevOps-y Developer Workflow and gained complete decision paralysis as a result. Even worse: I started participating in all the social media platforms! Do I ever have focus? I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen.

But hey, check it out! I've discovered PuzzleScript, which is really great for little puzzle games and prototypes. Earlier this year, I shared You Make a Mean Move Counter, which a couple people liked enough to mention in their blogs! Someone's even posted a playthrough?? Cool. I'm shaking off my programming paralysis, and for some practice, I've made some tools that I used to build this website.

Turns Out I Do Know Jack

You see, I originally wanted to use Markdown for these blog posts. But I didn't want to depend on any external libraries, nor did I have time to do the whole Markdown implementation. So I, uh, made my own markup language.

Jackdown is a lightweight markup language that's similar to Markdown, but with a different set of goals and not as many features. Right now, you're reading Jackdown that was converted to HTML, so that's nice. Maybe one day I'll write up a Jackdown spec or whatnot.

This probably would have been more painful to create without this cool video called A Compiler from Scratch from Gary Bernhardt. Thanks, Gary!

Delicious Static Sites

Also, this is a static site! That basically just means I pre-write all the pages on the site, instead of using a database to hold the data. Of course, if I write every page by hand, then adding new content and reusing page elements will be literal heck! I needed a static site generator so that computers could do that for me.

I wanted a generator with the power of a Real Programming Language– I wasn't keen on having to learn some templating language. So I wrote a library and cheekily named it SSR for some reason. Basically, now I get to use React-flavored TypeScript to plot out the structure of my website. It's pretty neat, I like it. Not sure I could expect end users to feasibly end use it, but it works for me.

Making tools is fun! Might be more work, but it means you're in control, and you don't need to learn how they work. It's great. I'd recommend it.

That Was the Post

Woohoo! That's about all I have for now. Stay tuned for when I figure out how to set up an RSS feed and a Donate button. Anyway, thanks for reading.

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