Sunday, April 23, 2006

Humble Beginnings

While poking around the hard drive tonight, I came across this 1998 screen capture of the first attempt at HeroMachine. The file name is "Hero Maker", I'd forgotten that was what I originally planned to call it before discovering someone else already owned the moniker.

I almost can't believe how crude it is and how humble my ideas were. I look at the four pathetic little items you could change on the character and I have to laugh -- the final tally ended up at what, 35 or so? No way to change colors, no alpha values, no genres, only one figure, it's almost laughable. But it's a good reminder that even if your ideas aren't fully fleshed out yet, you should start working on them as soon as possible. The longest journey is the one you never begin.

That image represents the first code I tried to write for HeroMachine, eight long years ago. At the time I was working for 3M in tech support, making more money than I knew what to do with (can you tell I wasn't married yet then?) and finding myself with both scads of time to play around at work and the best computer resources 3M could buy me.

It's hard to remember my life at that time. I think back on the person I was then, and I feel really happy for him. So many wonderful things wait in his future, and he has absolutely no idea. He was crazy in love with this gutsy hot blonde chick and full of hopes -- hope for the love of Annie, hope for a better, more creative job waiting somewhere for him, and hope that one day this vague idea called "HeroMachine" might turn into something. All of those dreams came true, in more spectacular and exciting ways than he dared guess.

Is it greedy to hope that, eight years from now, my future self will feel the same thing about me, looking back in time? Probably, but I think I'll hope for it anyway. After all, sometimes dreams do come true, as I've been so thankfully reminded of tonight.

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