When things are happening quickly, it is difficult to take the time to write about them.
Over the last month, I have been really busy. Pretty Good MahJongg 2.1 was launched on January 18th. It now includes more tile layouts, the ability to dynamically use (formatted) bitmaps for custom tilesets, and the Pretty Good MahJongg Screen Saver. I am currently working on Action Solitaire 1.1 for release in the near future, and it will have a number of new solitaire games to play against the clock for points.
Our annual community service project, the Pack 224 Pinewood Derby (for which we wrote automated timing software) was run on January 20th, and this was a transition year as I turned the actual operations over to new volunteers, with some expected teething pains. I have been unable to fully turn over the leadership reins in the ASP, though, and I am now helping to build traffic and community in the brand new ASP Indie Games SIG. One post, an examination of the unfortunate direction of current DirectX development entitled “Where DirectX Lost Its Way“, is published in the current [February 2005] issue of ASPects.
January also marks the start of the ice racing season for the Michigan Ice Racing Association. For fun, we race automobiles wheel-to-wheel on frozen lakes around the area. I ran a silver 1989 Mazda 323 (#23) in Class A the first two weekends. Unfortunately, my car got just a little bent out of shape (literally) when I was passing to retake the lead in a race. I followed up the disappointing end to my racing season by getting a bad cold (unrelated) which kept me out of service for the better part of a week.
February marks the 10th anniversary of our first development contract, coming shortly after the decision to make a full-time commitment to the company. (I have not been employed anywhere else since that time.) This first contracted product was Z’art Photo Painter, a program/service which creates a custom paint-by-number canvas from a scanned photograph. The product was featured on television, appearing on QVC and Inside Edition.
It has been stated that a software title takes 10 years to become successful… [cue foreshadowing theme music]