As I start the tenth year of development on hackmud, I feel a deep sense of gratitude and excitement. I'm so proud of what the game and our community has grown into. hackmud has always been a game about the space in-between the content that I've created: the loose ends and mysteries, the banks, the politics, emergence. Over the years, hackmud has grown into a beautiful digital jungle which has surprised and delighted thousands of players across the world.
For the first time in 5 years, I am working on hackmud again full time. As I prepared for this change over the last few years, I spent a lot of time thinking about what to do next with hackmud. What I decided is simple: make hackmud better at what it already does amazingly well.
I find it incredibly challenging to tell the story of this decision, because it's a very chicken-and-egg situation. I never intended for hackmud to be a commercial enterprise, just for it to be an incredible play experience. The challenge is that when the game doesn't make money, I can't work on it with full force and intent. In addition, I never wanted to be the only developer of the experience and in many ways I haven't been. Players have always contributed to the growth and direction of hackmud. But all of this effort has been stifled and held back by the complexity of the conflict between intent and business structure.
That's why we founded the nonprofit organization ComCODE (https://comcode.org/), and I donated hackmud to it. By donating hackmud, I have given up personal ownership of the intellectual property and put the game's future in the hands of the ComCODE team and our mission: to teach technical and economic literacy through interactive digital ecosystems. Using the mission, we can simplify challenging decisions about where we spend effort, focusing our development of hackmud. ComCODE also lowers barriers for people who share passion for the game and the mission of ComCODE, allowing them to directly support it financially as well as directly contribute their knowledge and effort. In just the last few months, ComCODE has already brought together an incredible group of volunteers made up of hackmud veterans, industry professionals, and other passionate supporters of the mission.
hackmud has inspired passion and curiosity for technology, deep understanding of complex systems and even started the careers of many of its players. The game has done this by being a uniquely meaningful, freeing and engaging experience. ComCODE will build on this base by improving the accessibility and usability of the game and building systems that give players even more agency to explore and more to interact with in the world. hackmud changes peoples' lives in small and sometimes large ways, and our goal at ComCODE is to make that a first order of business.
While hackmud is our current focus, ComCODE's intent includes work outside and beyond the game. You can learn more about ComCODE on our website. https://comcode.org/
I am so grateful to the team at ComCODE and everyone who has supported hackmud over the years –and I'm so excited for this next chapter in the game's development.