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ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Friday, January 12, 2018

Update 25 - Untangling Quantum


It's been four weeks since the last regular update on VNgen. While normally that'd be enough time for some major changes and improvements, between the holidays and personal family matters holding back development, this weekend's focus will be slightly different than usual, with regular VNgen updates to resume next time.

Even with delays and reduced work hours, however, progress has certainly been made. Some of it has been largely experimental and required rolling back, but not without gaining valuable knowledge in the process. The rest has been the polar opposite: fundamental changes and enhancements to VNgen's core framework, Quantum.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Meaning of Work (So long, 2017!)


In every life, there's always that handful of stand-out years that mark events which go on to be catalysts for great change. As I look back on my own, it's not hard to recognize them. In 2011, I hit rock bottom and spontaneously traveled halfway across the world to rethink where my life was going. Seemingly unrelated at the time, I also started a blog which would eventually evolve into the website you're reading right now. In 2014, I pivoted from writing about the creative industry to becoming a creator myself. (And also contracted a chronic illness I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, but that's a story for another time.)

In 2017, I took everything I'd learned, reorganized from the ground up, and published my first new product in over a year: the world's most advanced consumer visual novel engine (yes, really!).

As 2017 draws to a close, I think it's safe to say that this year will be included in that list of pivotal moments in life. Not to imply I've arrived yet—far from it. But the seeds are planted, and I bring with me into 2018 a work ethic that I'm confident will produce a harvest if I keep at it long enough.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Update 24 - Less is More


It's almost hard to believe it's been two weeks again. Not because they flew by (they did), or because they dragged (they did). In fact, they were filled with as many ups and downs as usual. And yet, after spending so long stuck in documentation purgatory (which you can read about here), just getting things done was a startling change of pace.

VNgen's to-do list grows shorter every day, and since the last dev blog I've published not one, but two updates to the Early Access release. You can read the full changelog here, if you're interested. But what the changelog won't tell you is just what these updates mean for the future of VNgen—and how it's gaining features even as the codebase gets smaller and smaller.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Update 23 - Extra! Extra! Read all about it!


As a developer, sometimes you've gotta write code, and other times, you've gotta just write. For me, November was one of those months. With VNgen out in the wild, it is now my priority to support the Early Access release with information and updates that will lead it to version 1.0, and that means providing resources to help users learn how to use it. In the space of only a few weeks I wrote the amount of a small novel doing just that, and at last the effort has paid off.

But don't take my word for it: this weekend you can finally see the results for yourself.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Update 22 - Itching for More


It's hard to believe, but it has already been two weeks since VNgen entered public Early Access. A number of you have already become early adopters and left some great feedback. On that note, a big thank you to everyone who's participated so far!

But VNgen's just getting off the ground, and my work is cut out for me for the rest of the year. I can't wait to get on with the more exciting tasks ahead, but in the here and now, there's more important groundwork to be laid—things that will greatly impact all VNgen developers, moving forward.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Update 21 - VNgen Early Access: Available NOW


You read that title correctly: after many missed estimates, VNgen is finally here, it's real, and it's out in the wild. It's been a long time in coming, but I promise the extra time has been put to good use. When I first sat down to write the design document for what would become VNgen, I feared I was being too ambitious. A year later, not only have I achieved the goals of that original design document, but also surpassed them in almost every way and even added at least a dozen more features to boot (not counting additions planned for further down the road). What's more, the core logic that VNgen is built on proved so useful that it has since been spun off into its own library, Quantum, which will go on to power further tools in the future.

It's been a truly productive year, but the release of VNgen doesn't mean it's all coming to an end. On the contrary, this is quite literally just the beginning.