February 2024 Update

February 1, 2024 at 9:11 am

Gonna be a quite update again. I had a brief spike at the beginning to set up all my new hardware for cross-platform development, but then my day job dumped a giant demo to do last minute and took away the rest of my free time. This fun should be over in a week or so and then I'll be back.

January 2024 Update

January 1, 2024 at 1:02 pm

I've started the experiments and setup of that new hardware I mentioned in my last update. Looking promising so far.

It's silly at this stage, but I always made sure to test the engine on all 3 desktop platforms: windows, linux, and mac. And while I have a descent windows box, the linux and mac builds were tested on whatever scrap hardware I had lying around. Now I have proper hardware for both linux and mac builds, including ARM64 variants for all 3.

But yes, I've also been distracted by my new toys and indulged a bit more into the world of virtualization and emulation than I really had to. Almost done with that.

Happy new year!

December 2023 Update

December 1, 2023 at 7:15 am

There hasn't been much movement on the code front, apart for some cleanup, but instead I've been upgrading my hardware (it is xmas time soon, after all) for a bit more velocity once I do start serious coding. With the holidays coming up, I see some chunks of solid coding soon.

November 2023 Update

November 1, 2023 at 8:44 am

Distractions are winding down and I already started warming back up to the code base. Will take a bit more to start moving again but getting there.

October 2023 Update

October 1, 2023 at 8:11 am

Not a lot to update this month. Traveling far these weeks and didn't have too much time to work. Can barely provide this update. Should be back well before the next update.

September 2023 Update

September 1, 2023 at 4:02 pm

And another birthday goes by - 13 years now. Still here, but still not much to share. I mentioned a while back that I would be taking the game engine I'm working on for Synekism and using it for a second, much simpler, game. Still planning to release it on Steam but hopefully, being simpler, it would be completed in a more reasonable time frame. Well, today I decided to shift to yet and even SIMPLER, third, game. I've had a lot of fun lately with dude-shoots-automatically-you-just-move games. This is the plan now. Still the same engine that will power Synekism, but in a product I can actually ship and start the feedback loop with actual players. This should absolutely be doable before Synekism's next birthday. Will hold myself to that. Cheers!

August 2023 Update

August 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Getting back to game work. Mostly resuming work on building the Linux version in a way that will properly work across distros, but especially on Steam via the Steam Runtime. Learning a lot about using a compiler to compile itself.

July 2023 Update

July 1, 2023 at 10:32 am

About to check a big (good) life checkbox, so the last few weeks were and the next few weeks will be a bit distracting. Not much time for "hobby" work these days. Life should return to normal late July.

June 2023 Update

June 1, 2023 at 8:45 am

My day job immediately swallowed all of my extra time once I was back from my Synekism "offsite". Crazy, I know. Nevertheless, I did maintain some level of pressure on this project since that spike. However, most of the work is towards finally understanding how to actually build a cross-distro, always-working, Linux build of the game. It's (un)surprisingly difficult. Learning (more) about Windows Subsystem for Linux and Docker these days.

May 2023 Update - Progress!

May 1, 2023 at 2:25 pm

Finally! Finally some serious progress. As I mentioned in my last update, I decided to take 2 weeks of vacation and focus entirely on this project. I even went as far as to isolate myself in the basement and just live there, away from everyone, for these 2 weeks.

The work is mostly going towards the engine and the simple game I decided to make first, before Synekism. It's a factory type game, with co-op.

It's been a struggle to work on top of my stupid custom engine. Would not recommend! Use Unity or something. But I managed to make some good progress. And yesterday night, I reach the milestone of getting networking working and connecting a client and server for the first time. It's a simultaneously pathetic and amazing moment to see myself place a spinning cube in one process and seeing it get replicated across to another process. Both the pathetic and the amazing parts are accented by the fact that I used 10-year-old Synekism code to get this working. That's right, I implemented functional co-op in Synekism in November of 2012.

Next up is integration with Steam's relay system. My goal for the rest of this experimental "vacation" is to be able to place spinning cubes across the internet via Steam.

As for what comes after this break, I hope to continue the momentum I (re)started via weekends. Took me the better part of 5 days to just get caught up with my own code and start become productive again. I want to avoid getting this out of touch again.

Fetch Older Updates

v0.5.5.90 - September 1, 2014


Synekism is an attempt at a modern city simulator rooted in procedurally generated content. The project was started in 2010 to address some frustrations with the city simulation video game genre. It is actively developed on and currently in a purely alpha-experimental stage. Updates on the project are posted on the first of every month. Note that work on this project is more or less done by one person so progress will be slow, but steady.

The game is a sandbox where control is not explicit but indirect. The player can designate residential, commercial, industrial, and government zones and watch them grow, instead of explicitly plopping each building manually. The game tends to lean towards macro-management.

The key features of Synekism include grid less 3D environments and procedurally generated buildings. The lack of a grid results in total freedom when zoning and building roads allowing for more realistic looking cities. Procedurally generated buildings allows for more visual variability. Instead of querying a finite list of static models, a building is generated uniquely upon creation using local as well as city-wide conditions.

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