I write this as we are closing a family sailing trip in the south pacific (yeah, it's about as awesome as it sounds). Living with very little technology and only a few books is a refreshing experience. It's been a while since I posted here and I have a little laundry list of stuff, so here goes.
Trivie! The hot Dallas startup :) Projects of smaller scope allow for smaller teams and faster iteration cycles. Having less hierarchy and more responsibility in a smaller group lets you try more things, faster.
Some of the best practices that I had painstakingly worked towards at id were a breeze to setup. Within a few weeks we had an Agile process, QA procedures, test-driven development and some solid goals to drive towards.
We are entering a second phase now. Trivie established itself on the app store with a safe and proven technology backend (Apache, Django, MySQL and some secret sauce). Those solutions scale well, but our ultimate goals will require pushing beyond those horizons. We are now in the land of MongoDB, DynamoDB, Storm, Reddis etc.
Steam on Linux! And Valve's newfound love with the penguin. I was asked about that a lot recently. Over the last few years Linux support at id had become little more than some hand waving at QuakeCon keynotes. Valve is more likely to bring a consistent product vision with the team they assembled. They have a complete ecosystem: engine, digital distribution and steamworks. That may be enough synergy to make a difference.
As a gamer I'm pretty excited. I'm also curious to see how they will approach the specificities of the platform. Will we see a working VAC out of the box?
Shooters! There was a bit of news about my joining the Urban Terror team recently. Earlier this year I revived the GtkRadiant project, gave it a new home and started fixing things up. The main goal was Urban Terror support, but the effort generated more interest than I expected, so we're enjoying a bit of a revival. It looks like we will be able to offer QuakeLive support soon too.
My role with Frozen Sand has been limited to Linux and OSX support so far. It turns out I don't have a huge motivation to continue working on idTech3 stuff after all these years, despite how much I like playing the game itself. But I'm not rushing it, still hoping to find a good rythm on this.
It's tough to keep up with all the small budget shooters spawning left and right. It's a big free-for-all of what combination of game design, revenue model and styling will be sustainable. Tribes: Ascend was a well executed project with a sensible revenue model, I hope they will be around for a while. ShootMania seems to be missing the mark unfortunately (on both gameplay and revenue model).
Special mention to James Harding's Reborn project. Too early to really say much about what might eventually come out of it, but we'll agree it's the project with the most Quake heritage.