Hello, Spycursion fans. My name is Den Drown. I have heard at various points that there are eight or three or a handful of you. I had better introduce myself now, before you number in the hundreds or thousands. (Dare I say millions?) However many of you there are, know that I am thrilled to be part of the team bringing you Spycursion. I know you’re simply going to love this game.
How can I know this when I’m just meeting you now, virtually, on a blog post for this odd company (defun games ())? Essentially, I believe you’ll love the game for the same reason that I do. The people bringing it to you are thinking of you at every step. This is more of a challenge than you might imagine. Some of you are interested in learning some programming. Some just want to have fun. Generally, you think a dystopian world, rife with espionage and subterfuge, sounds intriguing. You are, of course, right about this, but your intrigue takes shape in various ways. Some of you feel a deep desire to make this tragic world a better place. Others feel they can understand the chaos, allowing them to manipulate it, bending it subtly to their will for fun and for profit. Finally, our greatest challenge will surely come from those among you who seek some winding path between the noble goal and the devious one. What are you looking for when you step into Spycursion?
No doubt, you’re already aware that (defun games ()) is coding Spycursion in Lisp. Believe it or not (likely a good number of game developers will not), this is a very good thing. My first experience with Lisp was way back in 1989 when I took a course in Common Lisp as an elective in the computer engineering program at North Carolina State. That was the semester I truly discovered the magic in programming. My career in software development has largely revolved around the languages of the industry (C/C++, Java and several others of their persuasion), but over the last several years I have been fortunate enough to find (or create) opportunities to design and develop systems using a number of languages that allow the coder to ultimately go beyond what is readily doable using a “mainstream” programming language. Most of these marvelous languages are members of the Lisp family.
Lisp is a key reason that I am joining Scott and Mauricio as we dedicate our blood, sweat, and tears to bring you Spycursion. Lisp does more than make it possible for a tiny team like ours to create a professional game that will thrill you, delight you, and even allow you to learn something in the process. John Foderaro called Lisp a “programmable programming language,” and it is exactly that. We are molding the very language used to create Spycursion into the perfect language to express in code the world that the game represents. To me, this beats the approach of plugging the game context into a mainstream gaming engine. It beats it by a mile.
I may be biased. Lisp has historically been considered the language of artificial intelligence, and here I am joining (defun games ()) just as I am working to finish up a PhD in cognitive computing. However, if you are already a fan of Spycursion, well before even a beta release, then I bet you can guess how AI-oriented design and Lisp are a natural foundation for a game that challenges you to survive and even thrive in a world where technology is perhaps the only thing holding everything together. In addition to AI, I will be drawing from a background in computer-telephony integration and information security. I look forward to putting these skills to use so that you may lose yourself in the dangerous and captivating, technological world that is Spycursion.