My Christmas Project

Ballikin 0.2.0


Built in Clarion and Axialis IconWorkshop.

Because that’s how I roll :)

Latest screenshot at top

The Campfire
It's tiny, but the Campfire is to the left of my character
"Make Stuff" Interface
There are two recipes right now, a Flyswat and a Campfire!
The Inventory showing a Campfire
A Campfire in the Inventory after being made
Inventory and HUD
The selected Action now appears in the HUD, and the Inventory uses a large Image
Ballikin 0.2.0
Ore, Caverns, Pathways and Tree generation!

Fifty Down, Ninety To Go

Fifty stories, one hundred and forty words long.

Really, that is not a lot. Not a great big total of words, and not a great big total of stories.

It’s a start though. And for this project, it marks some kind of a milestone.

Seventy will be better, half-way .. But fifty is okay.

The next few, a dozen-ish, are breaking the rules a bit. A few years ago I wrote up a short story in the world, for a character, of a book that’s still very much in the early stages of writing.

The short story was called “Proudblood’s Revenge”. Needing some impetus, being a bit lazy, I decided to break it up into 140 word chunks.

Hope you like it.

The One Forty Words Project, Progress

I’ve written 25 “140 Words” stories (some of these are scheduled over the next couple of weeks).

That’s over one seventh of the target one hundred and forty stories.

Yay for art!

It’s a measurable target, and it’s not too big.

That is, it’s not like some of my old project ideas .. like writing a computer game or an entire novel. Ha.

This however takes almost no time, and it happens without too much thought needed.

Google Docs is my friend. I open up a new document and start writing, pressing C to check the word count towards the end.

If the story doesn’t fit, doesn’t come, doesn’t fly .. the doc gets named “(140 Words)” and saved, then I start over with a new one.

A simple process.

Just started thinking about the word count for this post. Nice.

My Minecraft Clone: Storytelling, Innate Aptitude and A Flag To Start With

Okay. I just don’t have the brains to get around Tessellating Quads and Perlin Noise and other wonderful game development understandings.

A few weeks back I looked around at 3d Engines and came across Panda3d. In a swirl of intensity I got a demo to the point of .. A square block moving about on top of other square blocks.

Huzzah for the world!

It came to me that I probably don’t have the quickness of understanding OR the time to be intensely single-focussed (that’s a decision, not an excuse) to get any further with any great speed.


Here’s my brief. It’s a game I think would rock the world. Because it has it’s roots deeply embedded in Minecraft (mega shouts out to @notch). And because it’s quite different.

It all starts with a flag.

You begin the game in a world of forests. There are hills and valleys and mountains in the distance. Random-generated, this is important

And the only piece of equipment, the only thing you have is a Flag.

“What is so special about a flag?” I hear an eager 14-year old reader ask.


This game, this Minecraft clone, is all about YOU.

A flag has two singular (can’t be both) purposes.

1. Either you place the flag, or 2. You keep the flag on your person.

Placing the Flag

Placing the flag would instantly create a circular-ish ring around it’s location. Here I was envisaging a kind of Settlers (the old versions) or Civilisation mechanic.

This is your Kingdom.

And in this you have made your first choice. To be the sovereign of a Kingdom. To care for the kingdom (or not). To nourish it (or not).

Keeping the Flag

Deciding to keep the flag means you have chosen the lone wolf, the brave sell-sword, like Drizzt first out in the above ground world, seeking a place, a name, a cause.

The flag gives you strength and ability in some form. Depending on what RPG mechanics are put into the game

And so you journey about the game-world without a fixed abode, but far stronger (and it would grow with you, not a static effect) than if you had placed the flag.

Random Story-Telling

I haven’t yet worked out exactly how this would roll. But first thoughts are that with either path chosen you would have quests. Random within themselves, but also chained in various instances. So a quest could have a number of linked quests (because the randomness is placed upon the group, not the single quest).

BUT .. If you do choose to Keep the Flag there would be an over-arching story. Something about a growing evil.

In fact (making this up as I go, as you can see) keeping or placing the flag wouldn’t change that. A growing evil is in the land.

Innate Aptitude

One really cool (but untested) mechanic I wanted to try out was this.

Your character is generated with an innate aptitude towards a randomly selected Skill Set.

That means you start the game and you are good at something, but you don’t know what.

It could be building things, or mining things, or killing things. It could be that you find Treasures (another single mechanic) better than usual, or that you have much more influence over the people than usual.


Which reminds me of one of the things that sparked me on this journey.

Playing Minecraft (single-player) I was really, REALLY, lonely. At heart I’m a single-player junkie.

So the world would be populated with non-playing characters. Some would be merchants. Others would come to your kingdom, or be Friended (like a Facebook or Twitter mechanic) if you’re going the Lone Wolf journey. Not exactly sure how to get around that as a Lone Wolf you could at any time place your flag


Treasures would be chests or other stashes that you can find. They have to be found. They might be linked to a quest, or a character (eg a Dragon’s hoard), but they are found.


And there you have it. The beginnings of what I think would be an awesome game.

Thanks for reading.

Once I teach my brood to code I’ll have a team to make this game and many more. Mwhahahaha, the Family Business!

My First eBook, Thanks to David (@dmscott) and his “Real Time” Seminar

Today I had the privelege of attending David Meerman Scott’s “Real Time” Seminar.

It was fantastic!

One of the many great topics raised in my mind was that of eBooks.

It got me thinking. And that got me hungry. But then I got thinking again .. Here is a perfect opportunity to try out this “eBook” thing with the talk I’ve done a couple of times, “A Super Heroes Guide To Development”.

So, without further ado, leading mcduff on:

I’ve also put a page up, under the “Books” menu item above.


wilberforceI’m ashamed to say I’ve only just watched the movie "Amazing Grace".

As the story finished, as the piper slowly marched, left then right foot arching slightly inward .. As each section of the band came into view and joined the symphony of sound that began with a bagpipe, I was lost in wonder and awe of the song.

Amazing Grace.

If ever there was a movie that respectfully gave Christians an uplifting account of God’s good Grace, it is this one. While "Chariots of Fire" is a wonderful film, "Amazing Grace" is surely the most intelligent and thought-provoking movie about a man used mightily by God.

The humanity of Wilberforce was so evident. His sickness, his frailty. But equally so was his fervour, his passion, his dedication. How simple and potent was the prayer (or the beginnings of) to God as he lay in the grass, and the following conversation with his butler-fellow.

And the way they cast John Newton as an older man, humbly mopping the floor in almost sackcloth and ashes .. It seemed right. A little bit grumpy, full of care for Wilber, a man driven to speak the Word of God against the evils of that day.

It’s a great movie. But it points to an even greater reality.

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.