Hall of Failures, 2017

Previously: 2004-2007 · 2008


This is the Hall of Failures. It's sort of a retrospective on the various projects and works I've tried to finish.

There are a lot of them. It's been a long time since the last one, so there's a lot of ground to cover. Unlike previous years, I'm not supplying dates for these, because the span of time is simply too great and it's impossible to know when most of these started (or died).


  1. Rusted Logic
  2. Jul
  3. Emu-Lua
  4. Game Development
  5. Reverse engineering projects
  6. tilde.town
  7. The Cutting Room Floor
  8. Learning other (programming) languages
  9. Real life
  10. Conclusion

Rusted Logic

Rusted Logic was originally conceived as a homepage for everything related to... well, Rusted Logic, including Jul and some member pages.

Unfortunately, over time, that fell apart. The homepage listed four users, myself included, and the forum and wiki. The member pages never updated, and in the end the page stagnated once the wiki was moved off of the RustedLogic domain.

The site was then reincarnated into a "blog" that sat empty for years; the idea was posting updates related to the site and members, but unlike the homepage, which at least had a skeleton of design, the blog was never touched; it was literally a one-click install from DreamHost that sat there, waiting for anything. That "anything" never came.

Today it sits there as a reincarnation of its former self, linking to a few of the Rusted Logic projects and a few member homepages. The page is not likely to really ever be anything other than that again.


Jul isn't a failure per se; the forum is still very much hobbling along (40 unique posters in the last week, at the time of writing) but it is definitely a shadow of its former self. While that generally means exclusion from this sort of list, the failure isn't in the project, but my leadership.

A lot of mistakes and missteps were made in the handling of the original Acmlm's Board and its later versions, of which Jul is one. I was immature, inexperienced, and definitely not cut out for being a leader... at least, back then. A lot of things were handled very badly, and the community largely fell apart and drifted away. While quite a few members still stick around, it's hard to forget the things that led up to a lot of people quitting.

I think that the board itself is doing okay, given the circumstances and changing social landscapes of the internet. But to ignore what happened in the course of its history would be an even larger failure.


You might remember this from the 2008 writeup. It's here again because, while I did end up making a GitHub repo for them, I never really updated it, or made anything worthwhile... and when other people attempted it, they managed to make far more interesting things in far less time than I did.

It also ties in to the fact that I tried to start a website to try to organize the various Lua emulator/game-enhancement scripts, and ... well, you can see how that went just by clicking that link. This is a very common theme, you see.

There's still the possibility that said website might eventually happen, or see updates, but it isn't likely. It would be nice to have a way to catalogue all of the work people are doing, but it's just beyond my abilities right now.

Game Development

Hahaha, this is going to be a huge mess.

I've wanted to make "a game" for a long time. This is no secret to anyone. I've usually tried to use LÖVE, or clumsily bolted them on to other things (e.g., emulua). But the biggest constant is that I've never actually finished any of them.

Columns Clone

This is what is probably the most-finished one, Columns Clone was a ... clone of Columns, a simple match-three game.

I got as far as having the basic gameplay in before getting bored, getting frustrated, and giving up. The code was last touched four years ago, and due to code-rot no longer runs properly.

At least two or three actually sent a payment for this when I uploaded it to itch.io. I can only imagine the disappointment that came from that.

Game jam entries

This is the comical part of this section, where I just get to link a bunch of half-hearted unfinished empty attempts.

Of the 4 repositories linked above, only two of them have any content, and of those, only one could be considered "almost playable".

I think the most disappointing part is that I was kind of proud of the almost-playable one, and then I never touched it again once the jam it was for ended. It feels so stupid to make a last-minute sprint for the finish line, only to get close and then throw in the towel.

Then again, pretty much all of this is just stupid, isn't it.

Stream Game

This is another GitHub repo. This is technically finished in that it does what it is supposed to do; it runs during streams and makes occasional bleepy bloopy noises. It was intended to be something of an "idle RPG" but for Twitch, where viewers who participate in chat and streams can gain levels, find items, and even get Fun Bucks to buy different items or upgrades. It's loosely based off of the "RPG" system on Acmlmboards, where you gain experience for posting and have typical RPG stats.

It never made progress beyond the "idle EXP gain" part. While theoretically more could be done, I don't really stream any more, either.

Fortune Street Clone

Let's be honest, you already know what to expect.

In this case, there's at least some foundations built from reverse-engineering the SNES game, but reverse engineering is a lot different than actual engineering.


I'm listing this here just so that this page isn't all bad: I wrote a story. It's not really a game, but a few people liked it, so...

Reverse engineering projects

I've wanted to reverse engineer games like Super Mario Bros. 2 for a while, but I get about 10% into the project and then lose interest. Part of it is just a failure to see any worth out of the project; even if I do totally disassemble it, what good will it be? Knowing 6502 isn't going to get me any jobs, probably, and... eh. The person I wanted to work with on it isn't terribly interested any more, either.


tilde.town is a retro-style community, focused on a "shared system"; local mail, ~username-based websites, that sort of thing. I haven't really been participating in it at all; I sit on the local IRC, sometimes say hello, and then just vanish... and the few times I do talk more, I never have anything good to say -- depression takes over.

One of the things I've done there is try to start a small blog. I don't update it frequently enough, sometimes with over a month between posts. But even beyond that, I had a small project that was an attempt to make a somewhat-easier tool to write entries, using Markdown and Lua to turn plain-text posts into entries.

There's already a tool that does something similar on the space itself, ttbp, but this was for my public site. As with most of my projects, the code section of it is... pretty much empty.

The Cutting Room Floor

If you know anything about this, its inclusion here is probably raising a few questions. It's a pretty successive wiki, all things considered, with hundreds (probably) of contributors, and we've even been written about in a few books and articles. So... why is it here, then?

Administrating it

I'm not very good at administrating it any more. The server has largely been languishing in "it works" hell; while the site has no problems and has pretty solid uptime, it's running on an ancient, out-of-date OS and the software that is installed is also fairly out of date. There are a few things that are still lacking, like transcoding media, and the storage space is always up in the air.

While none of these are critical issues, it's more just a lack of time and ability on my part to take care of it well. It really deserves something better, and I just haven't been able to give it the time it deserves.

One thing that I am proud of, at least, is that I'm always present when administrative talks are happening, and I'm always available if something needs attention. No major decision on TCRF is ever the work of just one person.

Promoting it

I've had a lot of ideas for promoting the wiki and its content; we have a Twitter account, a YouTube account, and even a Tumblr blog as well.

The common denominator is that none of these are very well maintained. Between site maintenance, real life, and work, I haven't been doing anything with them. (Fun fact: If you search "tcrf" on YouTube, you actually find a ton of videos people have produced for the site, but none from the official account.) I've had a lot of ideas for making in-depth videos about some things, like Super Mario Bros. 3's bonus games, but I haven't ever managed to do it. I did recently make one video about it, though, so that's progress, I guess.

Most of what I do with it any more is just retweeting other people's discussions about the site, mostly when someone adds something new. This could probably be fixed, either by having some way of "submitting" posts, or by just having more submitters, but... time.

Learning other (programming) languages

This is a minor one, but I've wanted to learn something other than just php and Lua. I tried to look into Python, and even read some stuff about it, but just couldn't manage to wrap my head around anything at the time. I don't know if I'm too frazzled from work, or what, but...

Real life

What is probably the worst thing, I guess.


While working at the same place isn't bad, per se, I've been at the same place for nearly 6 years, and I don't feel like I've really improved a lot. I have low confidence and self-worth, and even though I've been fairly critical for a lot of it, I guess I just don't really feel appreciated. There's been a lot of stress, a lot of confusion, and amidst it all I don't feel like I've had an opportunity to really grow beyond where I started.

A lot of it has just been chaos with management, since we never seem to keep a manager for more than a year, but I haven't felt like I'd be able to land any other work. My skills are largely in things that aren't relevant today; I can dissect protocols and write interfaces to ancient hardware with PHP, but that isn't really a useful skill outside of some trivial stuff I do here, and it feels like the language is being abandoned in favor of huge frameworks or other languages entirely.

Financial stability

While I have a decent amount of money, I'm not really financially stable. I have no major debts and my savings increase every month, but I don't feel secure beyond a few months of time. Combined with constant self-doubt, I feel like even with a fairly decent beginning, the floor could fall out from under me, and all the people that rely on me as well.

Part of it is that, right now, I live with 3 other people; and for the most part, those three also require my income in the form of rent and groceries. Some (likely rightfully) say this isn't fair to me, but I don't really feel like I can abandon friends, and for the most part they don't have any other options. And it isn't like they haven't tried to find (better) work...

Leaving Las Vegas

It's no secret that I hate living here. I hate the hot summers, I hate the endless sunshine, I miss actual weather -- rain, thunderstorms, cloudy days. I also hate the atmosphere here, where it feels like your only options are seedy night-life stuff in clubs or bars.

I had tried to leave Las Vegas in mid-late 2007, when I moved to Spokane, Washington, becoming BMF54123's roommate. That didn't work out long-term, and in mid-2009 I moved back to my hometown. In that time, I've taken a grand total of two trips out of here; one in December of 2013 that was more of a nightmare than a vacation, and one in 2015, to the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Seattle, Washington.

Between my confidence with my work, my finances, and the people that depend on me, I don't feel like I'll ever make it out of here.


One fear I had prior to entering the workforce was that I'd end up like I see many adults; empty, soulless husks of themselves, resigned to waking up, going to work, coming home, and then going to bed. I wanted to avoid that at all costs, and try to stay as someone able to have actual fun, enjoy games, get out of the house.

In reality, I've fully succumbed to my worst fears. I haven't played any games in months. I don't read any stories. I barely watch YouTube videos, seeking through them boredly. I have no patience. I almost never leave the house outside of work unless we need to get groceries or household stuff.

I spend most of my time at home being depressed and sleeping. I feel out of touch with everyone. Even though I'm in several communities, I feel distant from everyone, and never feel up to joining in conversations.

Of all the things on this page, this is the one that hurts the most.


In the last two entries, I had hope that things would be different, that maybe one of those projects would get finished, that I'd finally accomplish something meaningful.

I think those dreams are gone.

If I was able to ever produce something, I would have surely managed it by now; it has not been for lack of trying. But all around me are half-finished, abadoned projects; monuments to failure, a lack of patience and dicipline.


I'm very stubborn. There's a reason that these pages exist; I am not just going to lay down and give up; at least, not forever.

So if nothing else, at least there are a few more of these to look forward to, over the years.

2017, Xkeeper.

You can contact me via Twitter, Mastodon, Telegram, Discord (as @Xkeeper#5439), or via old-fashioned e-mail at xkeeper@gmail.com.