See Ya Later 2019!

This is our end of the year well wishes as we are closing out for Holiday Break!

This year has been a big push on what EXACTLY are we doing with The Machinery. We initially decided to do the VC tour and pitch to get investment, but in the middle of that, we actually got an acquisition offer. This is the second one since our conception that we went down the long road for. In the end, we all walked away from it. We still don’t know what we are going to do with funding, but we put more of our personal funds in to get our contractor, Karl, hired. It’s super nice to have a new co-worker and I honestly can’t wait until we can afford to hire more people.

We presented The Machinery at the awesome Handmade Seattle and got a lot of great feedback, but the biggest takeaway being among peers:

  1. we are definitely on the right track
  2. there is a huge need for what we are creating
  3. developers want it now.

The Our Machinery Podcast is doing very well considering that we thought people might get bored of us talking about technical things. And we finally updated our Alpha Release. Currently, we are preparing our GDC demo, what “Open Source”means to us exactly, and more thoughts on how to make this company financially viable for next year. Please catch up on our blogs and podcast when you have downtime and if you have questions for a podcast episode, interested in playing with the Alpha, or want to talk to us, we’ll be checking email sporadically. Get some rest, enjoy the winter, and we’ll see you in 2020.

– Tricia

To be honest, 2019 has been a bit rough for me, both personally and work-wise. I’ve struggled with keeping the motivation to push forward with my coding as hard as I feel we need to make The Machinery a success. There are several reasons for this, but I think one of the biggest factors has been that 2019 was the year when I really started to miss having a team of coworkers to bounce ideas with and get inspired by on a daily basis.

Taking the Creation Graph concept from a rather vague idea to something useful and production-ready has been much harder than I first anticipated. While the vision always has felt right, the creative process of actually translating that vision into code has been rather painful. It’s in situations like this when it really helps to have coworkers in the same room that you can discuss and vent frustration points with. Luckily, I now have Karl working with me and while he’s not working specifically on the creation graph system, his work on improving the graph editor frontend is closely related and has been a great inspiration for me to push forward.

Finally making the decision that The Machinery’s main purpose is to become a platform for game development also really helps when it comes to steering our development efforts. I’m fully aware that entering the game engine market today is going to be tougher than ever, and that a lot of people rightfully have serious doubts in us succeeding. And while we are far from having a clear path to success, what we do have is a solid and truly modular foundation of a full game engine, built on top of a codebase that has been carefully tailored to be scalable to a large number of developers.

– Tobias

Hi, it’s me, Karl! I have only worked at Our Machinery since November, but I can already say that I enjoy working with the team and the code. I have done my fair share of C & C-ish C++ programming, but I was a bit surprised how easy it was to read and understand code that is simple, linear and uses few language concepts. My first tasks have been to improve graph editor workflows, making graph node properties editable within the graph view itself. I will continue with similar things in 2020, making the graph nodes more dynamic. It has been great fun to work with the team again (I worked on Bitsquid/Stingray). I am based out in Stockholm together with Tobias. Before I came along he used to be out there by himself, but now he’s no longer lonely. Also, we both have someone in person to quickly bounce ideas against, which with no doubt will seep into the quality of The Machinery.

– Karl

For me, 2019 has validated a lot of technical ideas we had and chances we took when starting out with The Machinery. Some of our decisions were kind of extreme: writing everything in C, only including headers in .c files, writing our own UI toolkit from scratch and basing everything around plugins. Initially, I wasn’t sure how it all was going to work out. But now, after another year of development, I think we have discovered some really useful patterns and workflows that make these initial ideas sing. I’m very pleased with how things turned out and wouldn’t want to work any other way. I’m also happy to have another programmer working in depth with our stuff, and it’s great to see how fast Karl has taken to the codebase.

On the business side, I think we are still struggling a bit with finding a way to embrace open source as much as possible and at the same time making a living out of this endeavor. We are also trying to figure out how to get some people to start using our tech at this still somewhat early stage, when it as not as feature-rich as some of the competition. In 2020 we hope to find some really good partners that appreciate the simplicity and flexibility of what we’re building. See you there!

– Niklas

Tricia, Niklas, and Tobias