Archive for Programming

Review: The Polynomial (Videogame)

Thomas Beard is a musician with the Consortium. He’s also a writer and a dedicated gamer, and currently hard at work designing the soundtrack for the first Consortium videogame. In the meantime, he’s offered to share some of his gaming experiences in a regular column here.


I opened The Polynomial with the screen brightness turned all the way up and the first word out of my mouth was “Shiny.” It was just before Christmas and the game’s techno “Jingle Bells” filled my little apartment as the game confronted me with a menu full of options. Behind the menu, bright neon fractals flowed across the screen. Not one to tinker before testing something out, I was pleased to find a “Start Game” button right where I wanted it, so I ignored the options and dove right in. Read More→

Still Waters

Things have been a little quiet around the website lately, but that’s not to say the Consortium’s been quiet. Quite the contrary: we’ve all been way too busy to talk about it.

That goes double for me. Last time you heard from me, it was just a little press release announcing the release of Gods Tomorrow — forgivably, I figure, because most of you understand how much work that was.

It was also something of a last-minute accomplishment before the monster that is National Novel Writing Month moved into my life. I had a mighty successful one — featuring the conclusion of the third sequel to Gods Tomorrow, which I look forward to publishing early in 2012 — but it was everything I could do to keep up with absolutely critical responsibilities. Pleasant diversions like blogging, watching TV, hanging out with friends and family, and even talking with friends and family all got pushed to the back burner.

Which is to say, Dec. 1. Read More→

Loving What You Do

Last weekend I took two days to go hang out with some extended family from the Dallas area for a family reunion. I talked to several people about the Consortium, I got a blog post written in spite of the distractions, and I spent some time studying a major competitor’s product (but more on that later).

For the most part, I hung out, I caught up, and I chilled in the pool with my kids and nephews and nieces. It was quiet and relaxing.

Then, of course, on Monday I got back to work. And on Tuesday I headed to the first class in my new Master’s program. It’s pretty apparent there’s not going to be a whole lot of “quiet and relaxing” in my future. Read More→

New Artists, New Opportunities

It’s been a thrilling week! My niece had a birthday, my daughter learned to read three new words, and I doubled my knowledge of VBA scripting, bought a videogame, and devoured the nearly-final-draft of my friend Becca’s novel Flawed: The Empath.

And, of course, that doesn’t even touch on the exciting things going on with the Consortium. Let’s take a look: Read More→

Preparing to Serve

Programming is a master craft. Videogames are works of art. I understand that’s an argument that will have to be made, but I’m prepared to make.

Oh, don’t worry. “Prepared to make it,” I said — not “about to make it.” I’ll save that for another time.

The Consortium is all about making and distributing works of art…but that’s still a long way away. Right now we’re in the building stage, and we’re building it on our crafts. And this week my programmers have been superstars. Read More→

Parallel Paths

This week I’ve spent a whole lot of time advancing hundreds of different projects and goals in hundreds of parallel paths. The net result is probably only a gain of a few inches on average, but miles and miles if you add them all up.

I suppose that’s too vague to be useful, but getting into all the specifics would probably be tedious. So I’ll just give you an overview of the more interesting pieces. Read More→

Automated Conversation

This week has seen some fantastically exciting progress for the Consortium, and when I say “seen,” I really mean it. Read More→

Week in Review

It’s been an absurdly busy week, and that’s nearly all because of the Consortium. It’s been productive, though! And more fun than you might guess.

As a matter of fact…I’d say this post deserves a checkmark for every single one of the categories I’ve got so far. Which is to say, I’ve got something to report for each of the Consortium’s initial schools of art.

Read More→

Consortium Programming

Last night I met with programmer extraordinaire Toby Nance for several hours to work out design requirements for the Consortium’s web app platform. To put it mildly, it went really well.

Read More→