Happy new year everyone!

Happy 2017 everyone!

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet lately, but I had a bunch of real life stuff to deal with there for a bit, including both a broken down car AND motorbike so I’ve been stranded at home with just a windows laptop since Christmas. I should (surely?) be sorted by the end of the week.

Part of the problem here is that I moved into an office at the start of December. This is something I was reluctant to do for a long time due to the expense, but ultimately decided it was probably worth it for the sake of my sanity – I was getting just a bit *too* comfortable with not talking to ‘real’ people for weeks at a time! Besides, not moving would have allowed me to stretch things out a bit longer, but not long enough to make a real difference – what I really need is MORE INCOME!

The office itself is very cool though. It was very cheap thanks to a friend’s help (thanks Joe from The Arcade!) and best of all is in the same location as a bunch of talented young game developers (none of whom have ever heard of blitz, let alone monkey), so it’s got a great gaming-ish vibe to it!

The office moved disrupted December a bit but I did manage to clean up some of the mobile stuff – in particular, you can now build all required architectures (not just arm) for android/ios. Still in development and not too elegant yet as the archs to build are driven by env_platform.txt, but it does mean mobile has reached a kind of ‘minimum viable product’ IMO. I also put in a bit more time on cxxtomx2 for converting c++ headers to mx2 modules. I did in fact have it successfully converting the ‘bullet’ lib, even adding ‘glue’ code for mx2 unfriendly stuff like ‘Blah &’ params, ‘const Blah &’ returns etc. Not finished yet, but looking very finishable now.

And as for 2017:

as mentioned above, priority one is definitely to MAKE MORE MONEY. My current plans here are to:

This does mean I probably wont be spending as much time directly on mx2 as I have been in the past, but I don’t think there’ll be a whole lot of difference.

Finally, one last thing I’ll be trying: I will soon being adding a ‘3d module’ goal to patreon. The idea here is that if patreon hits 1000/month, I’ll be back full-time on mx2 and concentrating on a 3d module for mx2. It’s a fair bit of money, but it’s about the amount I think would allow me to forget all the money crap and just get stuck in and do it! And besides, his figure may change over time depending on how other stuff goes.

I have in fact been playing around with a hypothetical 3d module for mx2 and like what I’ve come up with so far and would love to take it further. I wont go into too much detail right now, except to say I’m aiming for something blitz3d-ish that’s fun to just tool around with, in an mx2 style (eg: making use of properties where sensible as opposed global functions), with built-in support for bullet physics (it’s cool and free and open source and I can almost build it!), and with a more modern approach to rendering (eg: shaders instead of ‘multitexturing’; PBR shaders etc).

The truth is that something 3d will probably eventually happen some day, it’s just a matter of when. I would love to be working on it right now, but it’s a relatively big project and if I were to do that while ignoring the current income situation the trip would be over pretty quickly.

Bye!
Mark

User comments
dubbsta says:

sounds like you have your cards in order and alot of great stuff coming up! let me be the first to say congrats and good luck with your journey, i hope to stay along for the ride. 2017 i plan to take this monkey by the tail and master it.


therevills says:

Sounds like a great plan, Mark and Happy New Year to you!

Regarding creating an MX2 game, I think that would be great as it would allow you to see what is missing in your game developer’s eyes instead of your compiler developer’s eyes.

From 3 Monkey 1 games, we currently have an income of our $1,000 AUD a month from AdMob alone… dont ask how as we dont know what the secret is! One game alone makes up the most of that… maybe its because we’ve got desktop versions of them out there, but it shows that you can earn some money from games 🙂

 


Playniax says:

I agree, sounds like a great plan!


shinkiro1 says:

The demo/tutorials vids for youtube are a really good idea.

Good to see a clear direction going into 2017.


Xaron says:

Hey Mark,

I’ll do my best to promote MX2 as well! I’m already creating my first MX2 game (after 8 Monkey 1 ones) and this one will be the most polished I’ve ever did. 🙂

I’m looking forward to your 3d approach as well, this would be indeed awesome as I never got really warm with Unity – even though I released my 3d submarine game using it. 😉


skn3 says:

Good luck, it sounds like an interesting plan!

Have you considered you might be really well placed to be the alternative environment for programming VR? Currently the main options are unity/unreal/native(c++). I have always thought that monkey/blitz would be perfectly positioned to capture a portion of this market.

If it was possible with a few lines of mx2 code, to get a VR scene setup, with a cube, light, etc …and have it ready to run on a headset from the IDE… I think you would be onto something a bit special!


APC says:

Mark, Happy New Year to you!

Great plan you have and I hope you can make more $.

At the stage MX2 is can we make mobile games to sell it? Does MX2 have all the same mobile features as MX1?

In my case I was wainting for MX2 to be ready, I have some games in MX1 and did some porting to MX1 / Mojo2, but MX2 is the way to go.

 

 


arawkins says:

Happy new year Mark, thank you for your updates, it is great to read. Looking forward to trying out your game 🙂


DruggedBunny says:

Good thinking re. charging for monetisation modules, makes perfect sense.

3D would probably make many (including me!) perk up, whether commercial or Patreon early-access style. I wonder if a Blender-style “goes open-source when $ amount reached” would work… ?

 


SpaceAce says:

I’ve never had any direct interaction with you, but I’ve been using your languages for at least a decade, and maybe a bit more. I’ve always been a supporter of indie-oriented tools. In the Blitz/Monkey ecosystem, I’ve bought multiple copies of Blitzmax, I’ve bought Monkey, I’ve bought tons of libraries and add-ons, such as MaxGUI, TimelineFX, LogicGUI, SSwift’s sprite library, BLIde, and so on.

I’m sure it’s a struggle creating languages for a living, and I seem to remember a blog post you made some time back where you were contemplating going back to a 9-5. I think it’s important to have people like you, and products like the ones you create, in the community. I’d like to support you beyond the purchases I’ve made for my own use. If you are interested, I’d be willing to donate, say, six Monkey Pro packages to new users, or to current users who have not been willing or able to go into their pockets for the pro version. I’d also be willing to match ten new Patreon supporters at the $5 level. I think the former would be good for marketing, and the latter good for pushing people who are on the fence over to the “donate” side. If you are interested in something like this, contact me. I use this name on the Monkey and Blitzmax forums.


APC says:

Mark,

You can make more money selling Monkey 2 and extra modules/packages, in my opinion MX2 is not ready for the average programmer, and we spend time trying to make things work, like fixing paths. I believe if you make a version that address simple issues that below average users don’t have to send time to make Monkey work right after you install it , you have a better chance to sell more. For many people that is in this forum it is natural to make changes to source code and paths. I am not at your level and some times I struggle with simple things and spend time trying to make it work.

I support you and this is my constructive comment to help you and Monkey 2 to be a huge success!

You Tube and social medial advertisement of MX2 is very important and I will be posting the links in my WebSite and in my next versions of my games adding it to the credits, like “Powered By Monkey 2”


degac says:

Hi, Happy New Year to you!

Publicize mx2 better (and to users ‘beyond the blitz’ – that’s where the future really is…). I have been a bit pathetic here really and will try harder!
Produce some demo/tutorial vids for youtube.
Monetize the monetization stuff (ie: charge for admob, iap etc addons)
Write/sell a simple game in mx2 both to raise funds AND to have a decent ‘this was written in mx2’ demo.

Personal opinion, this should the ‘right’ order
Write/sell a simple game in mx2 both to raise funds AND to have a decent ‘this was written in mx2’ demo.
Produce some demo/tutorial vids for youtube.
Monetize the monetization stuff (ie: charge for admob, iap etc addons)

The last one should a simple consequence… or just more easy to reach if you have something to ‘show’ to the ‘rest of the world’.
It seems that you had a ‘reset’ of your life/job/hobby, this is good. And a wrecked car (and motorbike!!!) just means you walk, this doesn’t hurt too much!

About 3d engine for Mx2 (… ): sincerely I have 2 choices: give you (via PayPal/Patreon or whatelse do you want – paid-module should be considered) the money for it, or spend that money to take a trip to New Zealand to kick your ‘talended’ass 🙂 Quite ‘motivational’, don’t you?

In any case, good moves!


supertino says:

All sound like good moves, publicising and getting to people outside of what feels like an ever shrinking bubble of “blitz”, but I still cannot help but feel most will be turned off with the lack of IDE\Editor options, then again I have not even tried TedX2 or what ever it’s called, I think this month I’ll have a go with Monkey 2.  OH! Don’t forget the Steam API.


codifies says:

I wonder if a small group of us, with Marks lead could moderate a reddit – I think this could help with publicity, maybe even run some coding competitions

In order to keep hold of people who have a quick look, I think we defiantly need a wiki with a plethora of examples, and some kind of manual, API docs are okay but they don’t tell you how things are intended to be used…


Cole Chapman says:

I really like the plans Mark but I see this 3D module slipping away like the others with this new condition…


tvault says:

This certainly sounds like a great plan for Monkey 2, I also look forward to your game too.

I believe moving into an office surrounded by other developers is super cool news too, hopefully
you will get new focus for your projects!

Any chance of recreating Gloom using MX2 ? 😉

The ride isn’t over yet!

 

 


I like the idea of using games to help support Monkey 2. This seems like an area that the community can help with. Perhaps members of the community can contribute their own games. I can certainly see combining several nice games together as a package.  The community can also help with asset construction (music, graphics, etc)  and contributions.  Bursting with ideas. 🙂

I also agree that getting behind an organized and thoughtful marketing strategy is a good idea. Videos, Steam, ITCH.IO and IndieDB are all great ways to get the word out about Monkey 2. I often include information about Monkey 2 in my post on IndieDB (as well as in my videos) as there are more then a few developers lurking there.  Regularly posting videos is a great way to show progress, new concepts and garner interest. I would suggest partnering with one or two individuals willing to assist in maintaining and fulfilling (media, videos, images, links and more) the various aspects of marketing. It might be time to start to share the load and include others in key roles as other large projects do.

I would like to start a thread about this in the Development forum and start to discuss some of these opportunities and issues. Speaking for myself I will contribute what I can, but I am sure others are also ready to step up for the cause. Lead us! 🙂

 


Mark Sibly says:

Whew, lots of feedback which is great!

I’ll try and answer as much as I can…

> it would allow you to see what is missing in your game developer’s eyes instead of your compiler developer’s eyes.

Yep, definitely agree with this.

> From 3 Monkey 1 games, we currently have an income of our $1,000 AUD a month from AdMob alone…

Yikes, not sure I wanna have to write 3 games. Hopefully game+admob etc sales will do the trick.

> The demo/tutorials vids for youtube are a really good idea.

Just hope people can handle my Kiwi accent!

> Have you considered you might be really well placed to be the alternative environment for programming VR?

There are already a few around now I think – unreal 4 has a ‘pure’ vr editor option which just looks amazing, and google have just released some awesome creation tool though I haven’t seen yet.

> If it was possible with a few lines of mx2 code, to get a VR scene setup, with a cube, light, etc

I think this is kind of a ‘must have’ these days as all the big engines have VR support. Shouldn’t be hard though, I got the basics going for oculus a few years back.

> At the stage MX2 is can we make mobile games to sell it? Does MX2 have all the same mobile features as MX1?

It doesn’t have admob or IAP or gamecenter etc yet, but these are coming soon as they are things I can ‘sell’ so are high priority now. Apart from that, I think it’s pretty much monkey1 equivalent.

> I wonder if a Blender-style “goes open-source when $ amount reached” would work… ?

Sounds interesting, will have to look into it…

> In the Blitz/Monkey ecosystem, I’ve bought multiple copies of Blitzmax, I’ve bought Monkey, I’ve bought tons of libraries and add-ons, such as MaxGUI, TimelineFX, LogicGUI, SSwift’s sprite library, BLIde, and so on.

Wow…forgot about most of that 3rd party stuff! There has indeed been some way cool stuff done in Blitz/Monkey to date – hope there’s more coming!

> I’m sure it’s a struggle creating languages for a living

It is, esp. these days as there are a LOT of languages around now and they are all FREE. I remember buying ‘Watcom C’ back in the day for 500NZD, a huge amount of money!

> I think it’s important to have people like you, and products like the ones you create, in the community.

As long as people actually use and enjoy using them, it feels worthwhile.

> I’d like to support you beyond the purchases I’ve made for my own use.

Definitely interested! Will email you soon and thanks for the offer.

> You Tube and social medial advertisement of MX2 is very important and I will be posting the links in my WebSite and in my next versions of my games adding it to the credits, like “Powered By Monkey 2”

Thanks, I think anything to spread the word will help.

> just means you walk, this doesn’t hurt too much!

Office is about 20Ks away – I’m too lazy to walk that far!

> About 3d engine for Mx2 (… ): sincerely I have 2 choices: give you (via PayPal/Patreon or whatelse do you want – paid-module should be considered) the money for it, or spend that money to take a trip to New Zealand to kick your ‘talended’ass Quite ‘motivational’, don’t you?

Umm, if I get to choose, the first one please.

>In order to keep hold of people who have a quick look, I think we defiantly need a wiki with a plethora of examples, and some kind of manual, API docs are okay but they don’t tell you how things are intended to be used…

A wiki’d be nice, but it’s just too much for me to take on. There are a lot dead wikis out there too, so I suspect it’s the sort of thing that takes a fair amount to time and effort to make work. Hopefully a 3rd party might one day, but I wont be holding my breath.

My priority is (and always has been) to aim for a clean set of static docs (including both APIs and ‘manuals’) extracted from modules that can be read via browser. I will definitely be doing more work on this, adding more to the existing manual, adding example code etc. There is also a lot of stuff in the forums that should be relatively easy to copy/paste into the docs, ditto the monkey1 docs can be ‘borrowed’ etc.

> Any chance of recreating Gloom using MX2 ?

Maybe! If I can’t get Patreon up to 1000/month, I may well consider diving into a 3d game instead of a 3d module and gloom2 would be kinda cool to do!

> The ride isn’t over yet!

Certainly not now that my bike’s back on the road!

Bye!
Mark


therevills says:

Oh before I forget again any ETA on importing all the external resources graphics,sounds, etc using #Import “*.png” or similar?


gcmartijn says:

I would suggest this.

Ask these questions to yourself.
– why would people use monkey 2
– how can people find monkey 2

With that in mind

1.) don’t use monkey 2 as a subdomain (not 100% SEO proof, and link solid)

monkey2.com is for sale http://whois.domaintools.com/monkey2.com maybe you can buy it for less then $ 2500,-

Or just choose a other domain extension.

2.) Use some fake it till you make it website.
– With some real demo’s
– short highlights WHY people need to use monkey 2
– mention the huge free support forum with many user
– do mention a comparison with some other engines (in positive way)
– do mention that its fast and do support IOS/Android/Desktop

After that, you need to be found, so use some keywords in google like: “game engine” and find lists where your site can be added, (like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines)

3.) Make money
– using your own fast knowledge, for example people can pay $ 45,- for 1 hour code support
– making/adding custom modules for $ ?,- per module

4.) the most people just want to click (download) and program/play keep that

So go back to the basic, and make a solid (website) start.


scurty says:

I’ll try and use my limited knowledge in computer science to help further increase Monkeys reach in programming domains.
I believe there’s more potential here than just video game programming. Monkey should be considered nearly general purpose by now. All it would take is someone to take the I2C api and boom, Monkey can now control some motors and stuff.

Wrapping more of the C standard would allow a great potential in OS development too. That’s in the far future of course. xD