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Sun, May. 6th, 2012, 07:05 am
Letting Go of Crack Attack!

I think it is well past time for me to admit that I'm not going to do any more actual work to maintain Crack Attack! The last commit I made was three years ago. Not too long ago somebody popped up wanting me to pull a patch and I never really got around to it.

Looking back there was a beta release of 1.1.15 in May of 2006. I was still attending Georgia Tech and living with the man I considered the co-developer Kevin Webb. There was a big surge of activity because Thorbjørn Lindeijer came out of nowhere with a stack of improvements for the project. We added better model loading, updated the networking library, created customizable textures for the blocks. There was a lot of momentum heading into that release.

I don't know exactly what killed the momentum, but 1.1.15 never became official. Rather than just push the code out of the door during the summer I let myself get side-tracked into a project writing an actual AI so that everybody could watch the computer play the game.

What a lot of people didn't realize is that the versus mode was actually just a set of rules on how many blocks to return based on the score you'd just made. I took samples of how Webb played at his highest level and set up a pattern that reflected this and at the top would keep him challenged. It seemed to work very well for everybody.

Instead of getting the release done I put my time into making this AI into a code base which largely couldn't handle it. I didn't have the skill to do it right and the natural bloat that came with a bad plan for the processing led to it languishing and never getting done. I did make great strides, but never enough to feel complete, and this became the ultimate stop energy.

Now I have to wonder what exactly should I do about all of this? I don't know that anybody still cares enough about this game that basically works with its last beta release. Is there a lock box I can put the nongnu.org keys into in case somebody comes around and wants to handle it one day? As much as I long to see this game back into the community consciousness, it's been enough years that I have to know I'm not the one to do it.