Inam's Peasant Revolt: Dev Log 1


8 minutes

This post has an accompanying video covering the same content in a more conversational form, if that's your cup of tea. If that is not your cup of tea? Well, keep reading.

Also, the postscript about developer communities is by far the most interesting part of this devlog, in my opinion, and it has its own video. I recommend if you don't have time for both you read/watch the postscript first.

The Actual Log

Because this is the first dev log, it is kind of verbose. But, I would like to have it in the future to look back on, so I will go ahead with it anyway. And I do think it will be interesting for some people. In this dev log, I will spend a lot of time going over why I'm even working on a game, before getting to what I've gotten done. If that's not for you, no worries! Come back next week (you can sign up for my mailing list in one click at the bottom of the page).

Okay so what even is the game?

It's a game focused on the 1381 peasant's revolt in England. That is all I'm revealing. You'll have to play it to find out more hehe. Don't worry, it will be out soon.

And what are the dev logs?

Honestly? Me rambling. These are not marketing, or well-crafted growth-inducing dev logs. These are logs, actual logs, keeping track of what I've done, so I can look back later. They are made public for your reference and enjoyment.

Motivation - Why am I even doing this?

I think it's important for me to outline a lot of the reasons I am doing this. I don't love games, and I'm not working on my dream game. I am doing this because I love programming and writing, and this was the clearest way to me to combine the two. But that makes it hard for me, because all the content on YouTube and such suggests to me everyone is doing this out of a deep passion for games. What keeps me motivated to do this is entirely different, so most of the content out there is not useful for me.

In addition to being a writer, in fact more important, is that I'm a community organizer. I see organizing as my actual work. That is to say, I see organizing as the work that keeps me alive and on this Earth, without it, I would lose most of my will to live. So that will always be my priority, and I see my games as extending that goal. That is why my game is about movement history, why I want to build community, and why I will do these dev logs and skill shares.

But that also means my priority is not singularly to make a game, nor is it to make my game "fun". I want, to some extent, for my game to be serious, to be a text worth thinking about. But my struggle is taking myself seriously. When I write an essay I have genre-defined milestones to guide me, not so with a game like this. Sure, there are a few, namely Disco Elysium, Pentiment, Planescape Torment, and so on - but I definitely think that I am working in a largely unexplored genre of political game-making. I also think that interactivity and computation do bring forward really novel forms of communication, and this stuff is and will be serious. And I want to be a part of that.

What Has Gotten Done

With all that being said, lets take a look at what I've gotten done in my first week!

Let's start with the interactive stuff. Here's a demo of the lighting, walking, and camera tracking. I want to note it took me 24 hours to get walking animations down! This was what I spent the vast majority of my time on! I'm not a visual artist.

I have finished a storyboard, a simple map drawing, done a lot of practice procedural textures, and gotten them working Godot's Gridmap system (kinda Godot's built-in 3D level editor). Sadly for both of us, I am too lazy to collect images for all of those things. We will all simply accept they happened and move on.

Skill Shares!

I have a few skill share ideas in mind. The one I've seen the least content on in the game dev universe is procedural texture generation with shaders, so expect something on that in the coming weeks. Probably in video form on my YouTube channel, but I will send an email out about it too. I would like to eventually do a community building one too, but I think I must stew more on it. So, that will be in quite a while. Do check out the next section if you're into that, though.


This postscript builds upon Meg Conley's excellent article "The Creator Economy is the Asylum We’re Being Raised In". I highly recommend you check it out.

I would like to highlight a few quotes from that article that I want to build on:

Swift’s development of the Swifties anticipated our current era of Artist as Community Leader. In this era, creative industries have been gutted by an apathetic DoJ and vertical mergers. Creative work doesn’t scale, so it is not valued by shareholder capitalism. Online communities are data-rich consumer ecosystems that can scale across platforms, so they are valued.


This is why VCs are pouring billions into the Creator Economy. They don’t care about creators, culture, or real community. They care about the data generated by the intersection of creators, culture, and community.


Fervent communities produce the richest data, especially communities like Swifties, where purchases and posts are often tied to a sense of identity.

Meg Conley

And this exact system, this exact position of "Artist as Community Leader" is what "sucessful indies" teach us as wannabe indies to do. We are taught to market from day 1, to build a "community" and have a Discord and a subreddit and devlogs - apparently that's all a community is now. Another Discord server around a specific piece of media, another subreddit, another niche, another micro-community, keep it going. Every writer with their own community and their own Patreon or their own substack - that's what self expression is now, it is being very conscious of what you're consuming and broadcasting that consumption to the world. Until it's unclear whether you are consuming media or if it is consuming you, as your concept of self becomes ever more intertwined with what you consume.

And as indies, right, is this what we want? Is this why we do this? Even if you decide to build a "communtiy" up like this because you need it to sustain yourself, do we want to delude ourselves into thinking these are real communities? I don't think so. I don't think these are communities, I don't think communities are chatrooms, I think these are the spiritual shells of communities.

A real community is tough to build. It needs an implicit base level of trust and understanding. For the most part, people need to know a few other people around, there need to be activities, but most importantly: the community must be valuable enough to put work into.

A real community protects its members. When a community member is starving, or loses their job, or needs bail money, or has a medical bill, we all want to be part of a community that takes care of them. We all want to be part of communities of reciprocal care. But you can't establish that community top-down. Community members must have decision making power, choices must be at least kind of democratic, and so on. I say this to mean: I don't want to form a hierarchical community. I want to form a liberatory community.

And that's harder. And that is not marketing. And maybe it'll make me lose money. Because it ultimately isn't even about selling games. But - I don't think so. I think for me, this is the best thing I can do for my game development journey, as long or short as it is. Because, as I stated above, I don't want to do this for me. I want to do this for my community, for you, for us.

So I will really dig down and put effort into these dev logs, into my game, and into my skillshares. And if you, too, want to be in community with me? Well I don't have the infrastructure set up right now, but shoot me an email at Tell me about something you've built, a group you're in, a game you've made, a poem you've written, a meal you made for a friend. If you just want to play my game and read my articles, we do not need to be in community, my mailing list is below. If you wanna do "the work"? Send me an email. We'll be happy to have you.

- Mani