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Kirk M. (@saricden)'s 17th Year as a Coder (Dev Retro 2022)

Kirk M. (@saricden)'s 17th Year as a Coder (Dev Retro 2022)

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Kirk Morris
ยทJan 6, 2023ยท

7 min read

Table of contents

It's been an exciting year in my life as a software developer.

Originally, I took the Dev Retro 2022 contest to mean reflecting on my entire path as a developer. But to be frank with you, that would be a severely long post (subtle nerd flex ๐Ÿ’ช) as 2022 marks the 17th year I've been writing code.

So for the purposes of keeping this a blog post and not an autobiography, I'm going to focus on the noteworthy events of 2022.

Hello, my name is Kirk, and I love writing creative code.

I joined Hashnode!

In 2022, I decided to take the plunge and migrate my dedicated blog, here at saricden.com over to a Hashnode blog.

This decision was not made lightly, but ultimately I decided I wanted to focus on blogging over other functionality and love Hashnode's built-in article networking.

I wrote a more in-depth post describing why I made this choice later in the year, which can be viewed here:

This process has felt really good so far and including this article I've written 8 posts to this blog. I plan on writing more in 2023!

I participated in the thirdweb x Hashnode Hackathon

In January, I participated in the thirdweb x Hashnode Hackathon, the objective of which was to develop a web3 application leveraging thirdweb's suite of SDKs and blockchain contracts.

I decided to develop a web app using Next.js and thirdweb which would allow users to mint NTFs of and monetize HTML5 web games built with engines and frameworks such as PhaserJS.

Here is a screenshot of the original homepage:

Ultimately, I ended up pulling minti.gg from the hackathon because, at the time, I wanted to pursue it further as a business, and wasn't comfortable releasing the server's source code as FOSS.

This was a bittersweet moment, as I later learned I was "a strong contestant to be one of the winners of the hackathon":

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the technical and economic implications of web3. I ultimately decommissioned the project after a month or so of further development due to misgivings regarding the ethical state of the underlying technology powering blockchain networks.

I built a P2P multiplayer FOSS web game called Farzone

Although never seen through to completion, working on a FOSS web game with completely handmade P2P multiplayer was a lot of fun.

The game, Farzone, is still playable here. The game is designed for play on desktop computers and requires a keyboard and mouse.

Its development involved a lot of interesting libraries and techniques, including:

  • PhaserJS - A desktop and mobile HTML5 game framework

  • Phaser Raycaster - A Phaser plugin which provides raycasting for geometric objects and sprites

  • PeerJS - A JavaScript library providing an elegant abstraction for WebRTC P2P connections

The project received a little bit of love on GitHub (a lot for me):

And seeing as this project is open source, I can share its source code. You can find the repository here:

I enjoy developing FOSS projects and hope to make a return to this community one day in the future when I'm able.

I built an augmented reality app for the Nreal AR Jam

July was a fun month wherein I spent a lot of my time developing an augmented reality app for Nreal's AR Jam. I was ambitious with my idea, yet managed to develop an (albeit buggy) integrated development environment which ran in AR glasses.

The IDE came complete with a set of tools including:

  • A modern web browser

  • A fully functional Linux terminal

  • A code editor based on Microsoft's Monaco Editor

Here's a video of 2/3 of the app's tools in action:

I had persistent issues with memory leaks throughout this app's development and was relatively new to writing C# code in Unity, therefore when it came time to submit the project I wasn't quite ready and accidentally uploaded a broken copy of the APK installer.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed working on it, and would like to continue with AR development in the future.

I worked on a web3 game for Geyser Forge Studios

I worked alongside developers and founders Chadwick and monolith to build out a playable prototype of a PvP 1v1 arena game to be included in Trident.

The game was a platformer in which players would engage in a fencing duel in an attempt to pass the other player and reach the opposing end of the map.

I was rather taken by Chadwick and monolith's vision, technical prowess and creativity and would happily work with them again in the future.

I was featured in an article on Indie Hackers

I was approached by email if I'd be open to having an article written about working full-time while simultaneously working on entrepreneurial ventures in the tech space. I was provided with a list of questions and answered each to the best of my ability.

The resulting article was posted on Indie Hackers by Bobby Burch on August 24th, 2022 and can be read here:

It was an honour and a privilege to be involved in an official Indie Hackers article. I've admired the job they've done maintaining the quality of their community since I first discovered their website.

I started making demo FOSS games and writing tutorials for Hathora

In September, I began working with a company named Hathora to assist them with developer relations. I'm enjoying working with Hathora to this day, and believe in their vision for a FOSS multiplayer game framework.

In my time with them so far, I've created two demo games: a topdown shooter, and a 3D platformer.

The topdown shooter leverages Hathora Buildkits and PhaserJS, and it's source code can be found here:

The 3D platformer utilizes Hathora Buildkits and Enable3D:

I've found the folks at Hathora very warm and welcoming, and look forward to continuing work with them moving into 2023.

I celebrated my one-year anniversary of teaching at Code Ninjas

On September 15th of this year, I reached one full year's worth of teaching at Code Ninjas in Westshore. I even got a little badge on my profile to prove it:

Code Ninjas is an after-school program wherein children aged 7 to 14 years are taught computer programming. We mainly teach them game development, because if there's one thing kids get hyped about... It's video games.

I want to give a huge shout-out to Jesse, and all my fellow Code Senseis at the Westshore location. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time working alongside you all.

I passed 1,800 reputation points on Stack Overflow

Not a whole lot to say here, but I wanted to include a mention/shout-out to the Stack Overflow community for helping me reach 1,814 reputation points in their community, alongside "top 14% this year".

It means a lot to me to be recognized in this regard by a community I've long used when the going gets tough as a developer (a sentiment I'm sure many of us share)!

I began beta development of Hex Club: a multiplayer PvP web game

Earlier in the year I spent way too much money on a domain name... But it's an awesome one alright?

Ready?

Wait for it...

๐Ÿฅ

hex.club

However, until quite recently, I hadn't used it for anything! Because I'm primarily a game developer, I wanted to use it for a web game, but had a few things in mind I wanted to define the project's scope with:

  • I wanted to make the game multiplayer

  • I wanted it to have a "pick-up-and-play" kind of feel

  • I wanted it to have a spellcasting/magic theme

The game is nearing its open beta stage and has been a blast to work on thus far!

I received a mystery gift box from Nreal

A nice little surprise to wrap up the year came in the form of a mystery gift box from Nreal! Roin from Nreal reached out to me on Discord with the following message in November:

And shortly thereafter, I had a package waiting for me!

I opened the package that evening with my wonderful girlfriend hmbb333, wonderful friend FetchBot, and wonderful father at a live-streamed opening party on Discord.

Just in case my fellow Nreal developers haven't received and/or opened their gift boxes yet, I'll keep what was included a mystery...

But suffice it to say the gifts included were very thoughtful and pragmatic!!


Parting words for 2022

2022 was certainly an interesting year for us all, and reflecting on my journey as a developer throughout this year has been a fun little project which I hope to continue doing in the years to come.

Know that wherever you are, I'm wishing nothing but the best to you, your families, your friends, and everyone in between.

Let's keep on creating in 2023, and see just how far we can push the envelope!

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