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Give us the stuff!

Posted by mikel on August 3, 2003 at 5:35 PM PDT

I was looking at the games site last night, and was surprised to find that only one game was shipped in a binary format and ready to play: bouldercat.

That really disappointed me. I just wanted to waste time--not join projects, download source files from CVS, spend some time figuring out why the build process won't work in my environment, and maybe end up with something playable. I understand that lots of projects may not be in a state where you want the public to see them, but really, what's the point of having these things online if you can't play the games? An unfinished game is nothing to be embarassed about. Open source is great, but let's see the projects, too, not just the source code.

Bouldercat was clearly unfinished, buggy, and all the rest. It's not packaged nicely at this point--it's just a zip file that you unpack and run from the command line. Even when finished, it wouldn't be a state of the art game. But I wasted some time with it. It's addictive (as the author says) and runs well on an older laptop. What's more, my 7-year-old daughter wasted a LOT of time with it, and thinks it's fun. Her opinion is the one that really counts. And you won't get opinions like hers if the project only exists in CVS form.

I thought it would be appropriate to end with her review:

I liked bouldercat because it was fun and it was a nice challenging game perfect for my age and my knowledge. (Alexandra, age 7)

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