To the Store and beyond

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The Windows Phone 8 GUI of the BacteriaSimulation project has finally made its way to the App Store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/mobilebact/2502f176-f850-4ba1-8438-0012d58a96ad.

The app stands out with an astonishing zero download count and a troll comment (in italian) by one of my friends. I received several feedbacks, mostly by my colleagues and friends. The most commonly asked question is: “It’ cool but… what is its purpose?”. I’ve learned to answer politely to this one but my first reaction has been something like: are you kidding me? What’s the purpose of chess, what’s the purpose of art? What’s the purpose of anything that’s fun and challenging? If everyone had ever thought like this, we would still live inside caves. “Hey, what’s the purpose of those strange figures you’ve just drawn on the cave’s walls?”. But now the standard answer is more like: “It’s an extensible environment bla bla bla” or, more probably, “it’s fun”.

Another favorite question is “It would be nice if it was possible to (control the bacteria | make an Android version | bring it to 3D | have a better icon | …), why don’t you do that?”. Why don’t you help me doing that? I am “hiring” people to add new features and become rich out of the project. I mean rich. Not joking. Join me.

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Let me introduce the mighty bacteria

While I was busy reducing tangle indexes at work and pumping my CV in the free time, I received a pleasant surprise from one of my personal project’s statistics page (the project I am most proud of). In the section called “top referring sites” a link stands out: http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/blog/Playing-with-Bacteria-virtuallywith-the-BacteriaSimulation-project has 173 occurrences — at the time that I am writing. In a project with a bare front page and no documentation, either it is a spam attack or something weird has happened. It turned out that the latter was the case: a guy from Channel9 (and that means MSDN, in my mind), liked my project and wrote a short post about it the Coding4Fun blog. My intention was to do it later but this seems the perfect time to present BacteriaSimulation, a simulation environment for software bacteria.

The project started out as a testbed for practicing Windows Phone 8 applications. It rapidly grew into an extensible simulation environment to be used both as a basis to build mobile games and a system in which running visual simulations of evolving animal populations. At least, this two have become the main objectives of the project.

The project is still in progress, it has some problems (such as the lack of documentation) and some features are not very stable. A Windows Phone 8 app is still waiting to be published to the store. Nonetheless, I look forward to make it better. More news on the project will follow on this blog.