Issue 146

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Jan 03, 2024 · 8 mins read
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DRD146: The 2023 Year-in-Review Issue (Sort of)

« A 3D Image of a Book With Numbers on It » by BoliviaInteligente.

OPED — The Year in Review

Some things from this past year’s newletters that you liked, some that we liked, and a few things that never made the cut but really should have!

DRGTK Celebrated

In 2023, DragonRuby’s rankings have skyrocketed. In Amir’s 2023 Year End Review the engine consistently ranks extremely high under Popular (currently #11), Best Selling (currently #10) and Highest Rated (currently #3). This will only continue to improve with every passing day as more and more people discover DragonRuby.

Amir and team powered out an astonishing 20 releases in just the first six months of 2023, with many new features, culminating in the release of DRGTK 5.0. They slowed down — a bit — in the latter half of the year with a mere 13 releases. 😱

The Year Ahead

The coming year has all the hallmarks of an exciting one. May I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2024!

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THE BEST OF 2023 🏆

AI is Everywhere
DRD130: April 19, 2023

Seems like this year AI was cropping up everywhere. This humble newsletter was no exception. It did seem like a lot of you were interested in a couple of the tools with built-in AI that I posted about. They were Warp terminal and Arc browser. I am still using these, months later — in fact, they are now my ‘defaults’, so how about that?

Color Doggy
DRD129: April 5, 2023

You likely already know that here at DRD, we’re dog people. 🐶 So you could have knocked us over with a feather when we came across Color Doggy from Adrian Nier. It’s “your loyal color helper”. It’s a super simple app while still scratching an itch for a lot of people—almost always a winning combination.

To that end, what super simple app could you start building today?

DRD133: June 14, 2023

We are pretty sure we have previously mentioned the new Playdate handheld game system which is currently taking pre-orders for “late 2023” delivery. Looks pretty cool—particularly the little hand crank on the right-hand side.

In any event, they’re busy ‘cranking out’ games for it that they’ll deliver automatically via wifi ‘while you sleep’. That said, we’re not sure in a collaboration which includes companies called Panic and Teenage Engineering there will be a whole lot of sleeping going on.

In case you’re wondering why we’re bringing this up now, our memories were recently jogged by this toot 💨 from Mike Piontek.

UPDATE: Playdate is now taking firm orders for “Estimated delivery: January 2024 (please add up to 2-4 weeks for non-U.S. destinations)” which sounds like they’ve just about hit their stated milestones from earlier this year.

Playmicrocade's Road Trip Edition
DRD135: July 12, 2023

When we take a retrospective look at which DRD stories really strike a chord with readers, it’s seems it’s most often when we feature something related to the good old days of lo-res arcade games. There seems to be an insatiable demand for everything 80s—often by those who didn’t actually have to live through them. 😱

Anywho … we just about spit-taked our double decaf cappuccino when we stumbled across Microarcade’s build-your-own nano-sized arcade machine Road Trip Edition. Learn to solder, learn to code in C++ and end the ‘are we there yet?’ blues in one simple purchase!

Commodore 64's Original Maze Generator
DRD140: September 20, 2023

Speaking of what can be accomplished with one line of code, how about an old school maze generator as was found in the original user manual of the Commodore 64. Oh, yes, and in case you’re wondering what the hell that is (and you’re dating yourself if you are) check out the classic Honest Competition commercial from 1983. Click the GIF to see the full, 30 second version. It kind of explains why there may be old computer companies, and there may be bold computer companies, but there aren’t any old, bold computer companies.

Sprites and Bezier Curves
DRD140: September 20, 2023

While it’s not quite Gran Turismo, it’s possible to rough out the basics of a driving game with just two things: Sprites and Bezier curves. This was from a while back on the Discord channel, but there was a bunch of other stuff happening at that time. It’s still cool though! Thanks to DragonRider jujule for this one.

Found on the Cutting Room Floor ✂️

Book: 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development

If we linked to Twitter/X anymore (we don’t), we would have linked to Fletcher Dunn tweet about his and Ian Parberry’s book mentioned above. Fletcher said it “is now available in its entirety for free. Vectors and matrices, representing orientation in 3D, graphics and physics basics and more. Beginner to intermediate level. Remastered to be web and mobile friendly.” Have at it.

Nintendo Was Founded When Jack the Ripper Was Still on the Loose

And 35 other historical facts which will mess with your perception of time. How many did you know? How many did you find surprising?

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HAHA — And They All Laughed (or Cried) 🎭

Nobody Told Me
DRD143: November 1, 2023

Yep, sad but true. But don’t worry, you can still do it if you really want to do it. However, thanks to Ben Esposito for this timely words of wisdom.

And Just One More From the Cutting Room Floor

Again, funny because it’s funny but also funny because it’s true. Thanks to for this one.

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“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” — Paulo Coelho