Term-mites is the name for my new game project, which I won't be revealing details of just yet.  Besides, at the moment, I have nothing interesting to reveal anyway.

In time, you'll be able to read more about the game at: https://www.term-mites.co.uk

It'll be an SDL-based Windows game (but also written/tested/compiled on Linux too, so there's no reason it can't be more cross-platform to any SDL-supporting architecture) that I've been planning for a long time but never actually got around to writing.  Well, now I'm writing it and making space for it on these pages too.  It's currently about 50,000 lines of my own C code (not including half-a-dozen libraries for things like SDL, etc.) and has the beginnings of a game already - or at least the promise of one - but it's nowhere near playable or finished.

The eventual plan is to make a fun game that works on modern Windows (which I currently define as XP upwards), that I can distribute by myself without distributing the source code to (Why?).  Hopefully, I would then be able to get this through to a commercial product which I can sell and own the entire rights to (or at least enough that I can sell it freely and control how it's distributed).  I hope to get it to the point where people will pay for it even if it's in the "indie" sections for only a few pounds.  I fully expect to lose any and all money that I put into the project myself because I'm not aiming for "profit" specifically, just commercial-quality, and will be commissioning artwork and audio, paying for hosting, etc. as and when I need it at my own expense with no illusion that I'll ever make any of it back.  I will be spending inordinate amounts of time and money to bring it to fruition, no doubt, but at the first couple of dollars chinking into my PayPal account with a thank-you note, I will be happy that the investment was worth it.  Anything else is a bonus.

In my far-away dreams, I thinking of something like Steam distribution but I'm nowhere close to even looking into that yet.  Further work would include more ports to more platforms (but I wouldn't begin to think which ones even exist by the time I finish it - however there's no reason to exclude iPhone/iPad/Android etc. type devices) but probably not any kind of expansion packs or sequels, only bugfixes and patches.  But first, I have to finish the damn thing.


Why closed-source?

I'm a programmer in my heart, and most of my stuff I'm happy to give away for free.  In fact, this is the first project where I've ever even considered closed-source distribution, and I've been giving away my code and games since I was about 11.  The fact is that I've seen lots of games come and go and now many of them are turning up on distribution channels like Steam and the Apple Store and are starting to make money from relatively simple concepts.  I have literally said "Well, I could have written that" to myself about games that are selling thousands of units and done so so many times that it's time I saw whether that was true or not, and in the process cash in a little with any luck.

Making money is never a priority for myself, but if the opportunity exists to make some money from creating something that I believe I'm capable of creating(which, in fact, I'm already doing and have done many times in the past) I think it would be foolhardy to ignore it.  In the past I've made my own money, run my own business, been self-employed, even bought things at bootsales to sell on eBay etc. but where coding comes in, I generally just give my stuff away (usually under something like the GPL or entirely public domain - and the main driver to that is the licenses that I *can* legally use for that particular work - else I'd put everything under the public domain).

I've realised, though, that I can actually make money from a product created from my own fingertips.  The indie game market has exploded (and will probably be way past its peak by the time Project X is released, if ever) and I see code of my own that is up to the same standards as games that are selling thousands and thousands of copies.  In the past I've sold my knowledge and skill to various clients and employers and it would be hypocritical to claim that coding is any different.  I am more than happy to share my code and I don't claim it's some precious, unduplicatable secret shrouded in the mists of coding, but in this case I would like to create something that I can explicitly sell.  Yes, I can sell GPL code but so can anyone else - and I have had my code taken and used in other projects without asking (which is fine, but a little rude) and which has then gone on to make money for other people.  That was fine while I didn't care about that code, or didn't see the returns being worth it but with this project, I believe I can make more money from it by keeping the code to myself and "being my own boss" - at least until sales (if any) drop off.

In the future?  Who knows.  If I get bored of it, I'll probably open the source.  If I never finish it, I'll probably open the source.  If I hit a wall in my abilities, I'll probably open the source.  If it sells a million and I'm happy with the money it's brought in, I'll probably open the source.  If I get it all the way through to distribution and no sod buys it, I'll probably open the source.  But for the moment at least, it's going to be closed-source - as a way of ensuring first-sales (if any) come through myself so I can skim something off.