Family man, musician, techie, and lead programmer for Zombie Panic! Source.
I've talked to a few friends, and I think I'm going to enter back into the foray of small-time game development.
Not sure what I'm going to develop just yet, but I am leaning towards something 2 dimensional, with a focus on gameplay. I have had one person suggest that I take on the fighting genre, and that has certainly given me a few ideas. There's been some things that fighting games don't really do, and I could focus on that. Or I could also combine a few ideas, and come out with a fighting game that is something new entirely.
Another thought is puzzle or platformer. I like both genres, and think they would go over pretty well. Just have to fine tune a few ideas I have, but I think both could work out pretty well.
What do you guys think? Would you like to see me make a fighting game, or a platformer? Maybe a puzzle game?
Okay, so after hearing some European guys badly butcher the word "bayou", I feel the need to educate some folks. I don't know if I just find it silly because I'm a southerner and live near enough to bayous to take them for granted, but I find it hilarious and annoying at the same time that nobody knows what a bayou is.
A bayou is a low, slow-moving body of water. Much like a swamp, but more like a very large, shallow lake. Bayous are common in Mississippi and Louisiana. Go find out more about bayous on wikipedia.
Now, for the pronunciation. Wikipedia says it is pronounced /ˈbaɪ.oʊ/ or /ˈbaɪjuː/. But for the non-linguists among us, that isn't very informative. I pronounce it by joining the sounds "bye" and "you", with the emphasis on the first syllable. But probably the best way to tell you how to pronounce it is to demonstrate how people FROM bayous pronounce the word.
And so, I give you this video. For the relevant bits, go to 1:08 in the video. He is singing "Born on the Bayou".
For those of you who don't know me (which is probably everybody), I am frikazoyd. I have written maybe 70% of the source code for Zombie Panic! Source. I've been a head idea person and overall team coordinator since late 2005, and have been a key player in making almost every decision that has affected ZPS since before it was even released.
I spent hours and hours of time helping to make ZPS what it is. For me, ZPS was initially a way to continue to program. I couldn't find a job writing software like I wanted to, and had stumbled onto modding right after college. So I decided to find a mod that I liked and try to help its developers write software. Zombie Panic! for Half-Life was a great game, and so I jumped on it immediately.
What ended up happening though, was that the only programmer left the project and left me to my own devices. He helped somewhat, but I had very little functional ZPS code. He wrote much of the inventory and pickup system, and the lobby system, but that was really all that he had functioning. The round code was barely there, there was no life counter, and we still didn't have unique player models.
So I dove into the Source engine, and got my hands dirty. I learned a lot through Rhone's code, but also learned a lot as I implemented more code. Leading a team was very hard, and trying to learn the ropes while doing so was an immense undertaking. At times, it felt like it was more than I could handle.
Tatsur0 and I did finally decide to push the team for a final rush, a release date. It was hurried, it was frantic. It had all kinds of pitfalls, and we barely got there. But ultimately, if we hadn't done it, we would have never released ZPS. I'm thankful for that rush, and for the people who helped us get ZPS out the door. They made ZPS popular, and the timing was perfect for us.
After releasing ZPS, the mod became about entertaining other people. I gave my time before the mod's release so that I could be part of a big project. But after realizing how many people enjoyed it, I kept developing for the players. ZPS became a way to entertain people and have fun doing it. Whether anybody admits it or not, hundreds of people enjoyed ZPS. They have played it constantly since its release, and so I am glad to have entertained so many people for so long.
However, all good things must come to an end. Effective pretty much immediately, I will be departing ZPS as a lead developer and coordinator. I've dedicated much of my time to it, but would like to take a break and potentially pursue other opportunities. I feel that we reached a major milestone in ZPS, and reached my personal goal of "finishing" a final major release. ZPS, in my mind, is done in terms of software development.
I'll be publishing the Christmas release of ZPS (an art finishing point), but won't be in charge of any more decisions on the ZPS team. I pray blessings on them, and thank them for being part of such a great thing. And I thank the players and fans of ZPS, you've made the entire venture worth the years I have poured into ZPS.
It is raining like *crazy* here. Thank you Gustav! My streets are flooded now!
As for Zombie Panic, programming work is mostly done for the 1.3 release I think. Waiting on a few other things, and for good solid playtesting, then I think we'll be talking about releasing that. It will be in the public hands soon!
We've shifted work now to the Content Patch, so people excited for that can start getting excited. We may be doing it differently than previously announced.