ScrumbleShip 0.3 - Phoenix

Is ScrumbleShip Dead?

It's been over two years since the last full release of ScrumbleShip. What's going on?

Inexperience is a silent killer for indie devs. You slap together a handful of tools and GO, trusting that you're good enough to pick it up on the way. And for a while, it seems like it's working. I mean, you've made a few minor mistakes, but who's perfect? But you start wishing your older code was a bit more orderly. So you go back and spruce it up a little. Then a little more. And more. And more.

Suddenly you realize that you've just spent six months trying to correct for bad design decisions. Coding a game doesn't look so easy once you're ripping out thousand-line long hunks and recreating them from the ground up.

Mood can be another stumbling block. For me, the past year has been a spiral of clinical depression. On the good days, I could just about cope with day to day life. On the bad days, I'd sit crying in my bed at absolutely nothing. It's hard to be productive when nothing you do makes you feel better.

And depression takes a toll on relationships too - A few months ago I said goodbye to my partner of five years.

So that's it, right? The game is dead; time to move on.

Well... No.

We're back.

A lot of people give up when things look hopeless. I, apparently, am not one of those people. I sat down at my computer feeling exhausted before I'd even begun. I stared up at a mountain of threading errors that was literally innumerable - My tools wouldn't tell me if I had 20 errors or 20,000.

I began to work. I fixed error after error after error. Day after day of knocking one bug down only to have 2 more take its place. But, eventually... I won. I whittled that unknowable pile of errors down to none. ScrumbleShip is now more bug-free than ever, and performs significantly better on a wide range of computers.

I recreated the shader model, reduced ram usage, and redid all the networking code. I learned at least three new debugging tools which I now use daily. I rewrote the player/ship collision code from the ground up. I worked out how to compile for Mac more easily.

Then I thought I should add a couple new features for you. You like actual player models? We have those now.

How about full six-degree rotation for all players and all ships? Yeah, I'll throw that in for you.

Not enough? Maybe you'd like some... flight?

Yup. You can fly your ships now. Make a little fighter with a ton of engines and it'll be a fun zippy experience. Or put a few engines on a massive steel behemoth and take a stately sail across the sky .

We've also got lots of new blocks, a faster and better method of antialiasing, and instant-on server joining.

This release of ScrumbleShip is by FAR the biggest we've ever had. I can't even include the list of changes here, it's too big - Here's a link, if you're curious.

Now what?

So that's what I've done so far. Now what *will* I do?

First off, the flow of information is restarting immediately. New images most week days. New blog posts most weeks. Indiedb posts, youtube videos, kickstarter updates - It's all back. New, full releases will come out on average every 2-3 months, depending on features.

I'd also like to start a small yearly email, bringing everyone who's purchased ScrumbleShip in the past up to date on recent events.

Going forward into the future, I'm designing a "Tech tree" of scrumbleship features. We'll march down the tech tree together, researching far-future features together.

Clearly there's a ton of stuff I'd like to get done! But there's a problem...

I need help.

In October of 2012, I created a kickstarter designed to fund ScrumbleShip development for one year. It's been three years since then, and I am completely out of money.

My monthly bills are low, but my income is $300 per month below where it needs to be. If you'd like to help and haven't purchased the game yet, please consider doing so!

If you've already purchased the game, and have a few spare dollars per month, I'm opening up a Patreon account. Patreon supporters will get to vote on tech tree additions, may get to watch me code, and other prizes.

Click here to visit the Patreon

Any contribution you can spare would help this crazy dream immensely. Thank you.



Great news! Glad you finally got to the bottom of those threading issues and the game is looking better than ever!


Oh christ. I remember getting this back when I was still in school. I thought it died.

Way to somehow power back into it like a madman, Dirk.


Awhh yeah.

I always believed in you man <3


Good lord,

Fantastic work man, I am thrilled to see the new progress.
I was not expecting this today, can't wait to get home and try this all out.

In my eyes scrumbleship has the right plans/goals, especially regarding realism.
Although I am a student(technical informatics), and my income is spares, I shall see what I can miss.

Keep up the good work,you can do it.


hey man. never lost faith. keep up the good work

romey romey's picture

Well I have been checking in every other month or so to see if dev would continue. I told myself that if it hadn't by this year I would curl up and cry cause this game was everything I wanted in a game. thank you Dirkson for continuing the greatest game ever attempted

guestaccess guestaccess's picture

Here we go again!
Same Ol' stuff again!
Let's keep the beat this time a little more 'lively' shall we?

dirkson dirkson's picture

A-one and a-two and a-one two three four!

I like your idea of development as music. It's pretty accurate - Keep the rhythm, and things progress well. Skip a few beats and suddenly you're not playing music anymore.


JigenEagle JigenEagle's picture

Almost three years of following this project and never have I smiled more up until now. Partly at the sight of a little space ship spinning around in space.

Here's to you, Dirkson! It's determination like yours that makes ScrumbleShip as great as it is. I'll see what I can do in the coming months in terms of spare change.