Backburner Month

I am an inveterate project-starter.

I just can't stop. I'm awful at finishing projects (which I've mentioned before) but my brain finds the novelty of new ideas too tempting to stay away from. And it's rare for me to fully abandon a project: I'll stop thinking about it for years, and then suddenly decide to open it up and work on it a bit more, pushing it slowly but inexorably towards a completed state like Zeno's Issue Tracker.

Such projects are my backburnered projects. I do still think about them, and I do want to return to them—some day, although not any specific day—but they're not at the top of my priorities at any given point. And I was recently considering how to give them a bit more love, how to bring them back into mind, how to push them along by at least tracking them or giving them a rough plan.

So here's what I'm gonna do this month: every day, I will post a short blog post about a backburnered project. I've got far more than can fit in a month, so I've formulated some specific requirements for what sorts of projects I'm going to write about:

Each backburnered project will be given a few paragraphs: the what, the why, how far I've gotten, and of course why I chose the insufferable and impossible-to-remember name I gave it. (If I ever go back and finish any of these projects, I'll also edit the relevant posts to point to them, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!)

Backburnered projects index

  1. Van De Graaff: a static site generator (software)
  2. Virgil: a computable configuration language (software)
  3. Delve: a lightweight dungeon-crawling game (tabletop game)
  4. Rakonteto: a storylet writing format (software)
  5. Albulaan: a procedural scifi farming game (video game)
  6. Parley and Beholder: a digital tabletop for less-grid-map-focused games (software)
  7. Apicius: a graph recipe format (software)
  8. The Last Alliance of Men and Elves: an asynchronous letter-writing strategy game (tabletop game)
  9. Endsay: a debuggable PostScript implementation (software)
  10. Tales: a casual procedural quest game (video game)
  11. Palladio: a grid-based shape-grammar authoring tool (software)
  12. Morphosyntactic Trek: an episodic linguistic scifi story (fiction)
  13. Petri: an experimental dynamically typed programming language (software)
  14. The Emissaries of Guenashk: a thinky-talky scifi game (tabletop game)
  15. Hypsibius: a microtonal music tracker (software)
  16. Alien Truck Simulator: an alien truck simulator (video game)
  17. Lektor: a standard for feed reading software (software)
  18. Yan Tan Tethera, or Those Who Return: a map-drawing game (tabletop game)
  19. Aloysius: a flexible reverse HTTP proxy (software)
  20. Shengen: a procedural hard-scrabble spy game (video game)
  21. Cube Cotillion: an experimental SSH-based service framework (software)
  22. Guns & Gasoline: a fast-cars-and-deadly-fights one-shot game (tabletop game)
  23. PicoML: a tiny embeddable functional language (software)
  24. The Stray Dog Trilogy: a gritty noir mystery game (video game)
  25. Potrero and Treant and the rest: a suite of languages for procedural text generation (software)

Projects by type


Tabletop games

Video games