My Vision of the Future of ChipWits

posted in: Devlog | 4
Mike Johnston and Doug Sharp, in 1984.
Mike Johnston and Doug Sharp, in 1984

When Mike Johnston and I created ChipWits in 1984 we never dreamed it would live again nearly 40 years later.

When I assembled the team to reboot ChipWits — Mark Roth, Alex McChesney, and Jared Farney — I didn’t just want to recreate the original game with a few improvements. I wanted to create a ChipWits that was radically better and built to grow.

The team has exceeded my expectations at every level—game-play, UI, tutorial, music and sound, graphics. I didn’t expect them to implement the foundation of worldwide ChipWits — a centralized database of high scores and missions.

Brainstorming the Future

ChipWit Brainstorming
ChipWit Brainstorming

One of the best things about the team is that we brainstorm well. We use Discord to talk about the project. Anybody can share an idea about how to improve the game. We critique it, improve it politely, ignore it, or laugh at intentionally silly suggestions. When a suggestion gets a big thumbs up from the group Mark adds a feature to our to-be-implemented-if-it’s-possible-within-our-schedule-otherwise-do-it-in-a-future-release-if-it-still-seems-like-a-good-idea-at-that-time list.

I love brainstorming. When you brainstorm in a supportive, fun way, the results are almost always better than one brain can produce.

This is a perfect project for me. I have brain damage that makes programming impossible. I get to kibitz when I can. My health knocks me out of working on ChipWits for weeks at a time. When I rejoin the project, I’m always blown away by new features and refinements.

My ChipWits Future Feature Wish List

I’ll share a few ideas from my ChipWits Future Feature Wish List. I won’t spoil the impact of our first release by revealing its new features.

I wish I could share the new graphics with you, but we want that to be a surprise when we launch the upcoming trailer.

I’m going to be brief in describing each future feature I’d like to see. Consider this a list of teasers. I’ll dive into a few of them in future blog posts.

FYI: I call ChipWits “players” “coders.”

I’d like:

  • A vibrant ChipWits community. Coders sharing IBOL ideas, ideas for improving ChipWits, meeting other avid coders.
  • A Mission/Puzzle editor. We want to unleash coder creativity to make missions that challenge and entertain in ways we never thought of. I’d like coders to be able to choose from thousands of missions.
  • Contests.
  • Multi-Player ChipWits.
  • A more powerful IBOL. More OPs and ARGs.
  • More THINGs. New baddies and goodies and mapping elements like stairs and teleport points.
  • Skins.
  • ChipWits in schools.
  • VR ChipWits.
  • ChipWits World.
  • Smart wiring.
  • Panels as ICs.
  • ChipWits API.
  • IBOL Micro-code
  • Physical ChipWits Robot Toys
  • Physical ChipWits game
  • Millions of ChipWits coders having a blast.

I’m proud that I co-created ChipWits. I’m proud to be a part of the team creating a better ChipWits.

As long as there are enthusiastic ChipWits coders our game will grow.


What’s on your ChipWits Wish List (this release or for the future)? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

4 Responses

  1. Jim S.

    Though I have a ChipWits T-Shirt, I could certainly get on-board with a physical ChipWits robot. I’ve always been a fan of Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet. It would be great if a physical robot that had the charm of Robbie while still being a STEM learning and exploring tool. I think the list looks great and leaves lots of space for growth. While I agree with about everything, I’d also like a mode that allows a reduced subset that is more like the original ChipWits. Also, while I’m all for ChipWits coders collaborating and competing, I would also like it to be fully standalone too! Thanks for sharing.

    • Doug Sharp

      Hi, Jim! Glad you’re a fan.
      Robbie is a great example of a bot that you can bond with.
      Thanks for liking the list.
      We are discussing ways of differentiating our releases. Having a classic mode is definitely on our list.
      We will always have a stand-alone ChipWits. It’s so much fun to play against yourself.
      Thanks for you feedback. I hope you can take part playtesting!

  2. Bill Britton

    A physical ChipWits game would be cool. I think that’s why I’ve loved playing Richard Garfield’s RoboRally from Avalon Hill for so many years. It would be interesting to see what the ChipWits team would come up with!

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