This is from a series of posts I wrote about Fantastic Contraption when I originally released it. They were originally published on our travelogue but I have back dated them and moved them over here where they fit in more.

More in the series of articles about writing Fantastic Contraption.

With some measure of success comes some measure of administrative problems. The game is up and everyone loves it and all the press is good and the world is generally being my oyster. So that’s awesome.

But remember how I made this game in my free time? And how that is limited? Well development has dropped off to a slow trickle. Because all that free time I used to use to write code I now use to wrangle servers and write emails and put out fires.

Turns out having a massively popular flash game with login accounts, saved contraptions, a thriving board and a pay version generates alot of random little tasks.

Luckily Travis Stone is taking care of the hosting problems. So when the database went down today and when the hosting company is dragging its feet over upgrades he takes the brunt.

But when that happens there are also a bunch of PayPal payments that fail. Well, the payments don’t fail. I get the money. But the user is obviously never registered as paid. So I have to go correct all of those manually and write sorry notes to people if they’ve been waiting for a while.

Also it turns out there are just a ton of ways to buy things with PayPal. And I don’t support all of them as gracefully as I should. And my PayPal code is in PHP and I kind of hate PHP and don’t know it very well. So there is alot of trialing and erroring while I try to get all of that working.

And then there are the wonder-mails. The random emails of wonderous or possibly wonderous offers or events. Like job offers and offers to do things with the game and the like. Some of those are just awesome (thanks Pez for hosting the music for us!) but alot of them require negotiation and carefully worded replies. Which sucks up more time.

I think I spend more time replying to board posts about future development than I spend actually doing development.

But things are just going so peachy-well it’s impossible to complain. I’m not bitching, I’m merely cataloging. So the next guy knows what to expect.


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