I jumped on a Kindle ebook reader yesterday, after 4 things happened this week: Amazon released a new Kindle lineup starting at $79, my Amazon store card balance recovered from the Photoshop CS5 purchase a few months ago, I came into a ton of free ebooks earlier in the week courtesy of the Baen Free Library that I don’t like reading on my laptop, and I had also gotten to thinking that it’d be fun for me to get back into developing interactive fiction with a toy like this.
It arrived a couple of hours ago. Yeah, I opted for one day shipping because patience is not my strongest suit, and I didn’t want to wait until Monday or Tuesday to get it. I just ordered a second one about half an hour ago, as a matter of fact. It was the only way I could get the first one back from Mrs E, who spent most of the afternoon running around the duplex playing keep-away and triumphantly shouting that it belonged to her.
Anyway, about the interactive fiction thing: I’ve always loved choose-your-own-adventure books and text adventure games. They’re a fun programming challenge, have a retro charm, and unlike graphically sophisticated media like videogames or movies, the barrier to entry is much lower. All you need (besides the tools) is some imagination and the ability to write engaging prose, and the fact that it leverages skills that I don’t routinely use at work makes dabbling in interactive fiction a very enjoyable diversion for me.
The Kindle software development kit isn’t out of private beta yet, but that’s okay because I’m planning to write a web-based interactive fiction engine in PHP that serves Kindle-friendly webpages as output. It’s gonna be fun, especially since I want to use Guncrawl mechanics to handle task and combat resolution under the hood.
Well, not quite a resurrection, but it sounded cute!
A few weeks ago, the Saga of the Uppity Robots stuff was moved to the Ebbles Labs section of the WWG storefront, and in the process of doing that, my interest in that product line was rekindled a bit, especially while composing the product descriptions.
Bad fiction occasionally has an inspirational effect, and it led to these 2 new models:
I wanted both of these models to sort of stay in the same family as the Crotale and the Percheron visually, while looking a bit newer and more “modern”, as it were. I also addressed several design aspects of their progenitors that bugged me. Unlike the Crotale, the Apsara actually has room on the underside for proper-sized missile armament. The Haflinger has a more efficient internal layout than the Percheron, with a rear ramp and outboard engine nacelles. It also has a proper set of landing gear that gives it enough ground clearance to hang external pod armaments.
I’m working on these models in my spare time, so I’m not sure when they’ll be released. Considering how overdue Chez Ebbles was for an update, I figured it couldn’t hurt to post the beginnings of another Workbench series.
The Roll Arena is now out! You can grab it here: Roll Arena Product Page
I’ve added 6 items to the Ebbles Labs section of the WorldWorks catalog.
First up, 3 oldies-but-goodies from 2007, all of which have received a bit of a texture refresh and now offer full machine-cutting compatibility:
Next, we have 3 new bundles for the Saga of the Uppity Robots models. There’s nothing really new here and half the planet probably owns these models by now, but I’m mentioning them because I thought you guys might like to see the shiny new promos and little backstory nuggets on the product pages.
Here’s an example of one of the new promos:
You can visit the Ebbles Labs section here: Ebbles Labs