Who are you?

Hi. I'm Rob, and I make games.

Most of the time I run an indie studio in Chicago called SomaSim. And the rest of the time I teach game development, maintain a variety of unfinished side projects, and do odd things like writing this blog. 😉

My interests tend to swarm around AI and game development, sometimes together but not necessarily. You can find a whole set of my academic writings on my publications page. Or if you're the biz type, take a look at my sordid list of questionable accomplishments, otherwise known as a CV, over on LinkedIn.

If you'd like to get in touch, it's probably easiest to find me on twitter at @rzubek. You can also email me at somasim.com using my first name.

What is this blog?

Not sure yet. I'm going to figure it out, because I think it's going to start out as a scratchpad for some raw ideas, and then evolve into something entirely different. As creative things are wont to do.

And if you stick around, I suppose we'll find out together.

What's the title then?

It's my take on what games are: machines for playing with.

It's not the only way to look at games, for sure. But I find it to be useful. They're constructs we build out of code and rules, and we wind them up, and let them go: and as we play a game, the game in turn responds back, it pushes back on us and demands our constant attention. And in this constant back-and-forth, the push and pull, the challenge and response, we find a kernel of joy and fun.

And the “how” or “why” are still mostly a mystery.

But if they're machines, that means we can take them apart, and analyze them, and figure out what makes them work.

How was this blog made?

See, now I'm abusing the FAQ format, to put a question forward that no reasonable reader of this site would ever ask, just so that I can answer it anyway. But such is the beauty of dialectics, that the writer can control the flow of the argument and the reader hopefully won't even notice. Plato might've been on to something here. But I digress.

This blog was made using Mies, a minimalist static blog generator (get it?), also created by yours truly. It's a very minimal engine, it ingests markdown files and outputs a modest blog such as this one. I will open source it very soon - it was created hastily over the 2020 New Year's holiday, and an alpha version lives over on github.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - Contact: @rzubek