My name is Stephen Jurnack. I am 30 years old, currently living in South Burlington, Vermont. I currently work at Dealer.com, an automotive technology company. Previously I worked at GDC IT, an IT service company based in southern Pennsylvania. I attended Shippensburg University, and graduated in 2010 with a BS in Computer Science. I graduated from Towanda High School in 2004. I was raised in Towanda, a small town in northern Pennsylvania.
I have been working at Dealer.com as a Java Developer since 2015. Dealer.com is a large company, employing over 2000 people across the USA. I work in the Engineering department, on an Agile Scrum team called No Stress Express. Dealer.com has been practicing Agile for some time now, but this my first professional experience with Agile.
The CMS system is a Java-based web application. An incredible number of technologies are used in CMS - RabbitQueue, Spring, Apache Velocity, Amazon Web Services, and many others. Through the course of a quarter - or week, or day - I touch one or more of those technologies, developing solutions that can scale across thousands of sites handling thousands of requests a second. I have also written and worked on independent applications that work alongside CMS. These apps are typically written in Spring Boot, using Amazon Cloud Services.
I started working at GDC IT in 2010, after graduating from Shippensburg University. At GDC I managed a data synchronization and transformation application, handling messages from data sources all around the world ensuring they were kept consistent across all data sources. This application used many IBM applications and services, primarily Websphere MQ and the Websphere Application Server.
My parents own and run a health food store called Jurnack’s, Naturally! As a personal project I wrote and now maintain the store’s website. Additionally I maintain an application for the store’s Co-op membership. With this application users can enter wishlists of products to be ordered from the co-op. This application is written in all PHP, with a backing MySQL database.
Adventure Capitalist was the first major incremental game I can remember that used the 'Fill Up Progress Bars for $$$.' I'm sure there were others - there always were others - but none have had the impact of AC. The underlying mechanics are the same as ever - each production unit provides x income pre second, but the presentation set AC apart.
We've all sat by while some new software is installed or tapped our foot while that new game downloads from Steam. The progress bar sometimes fills steadily, sometimes erratically, but it fills up all the same. When complete, there's a feeling of satisfaction - and AC captures that same feeling, multiplied many times.
This introduced a new way of transmitting the standard money/second in incremental games. Seeing the progress bar fill up faster after that upgrade is much more pleasing than the alternatives of the day, like buying a new upgrade in Cookie Clicker.
Newer than Adventure Capitalist (and the clones it begat), another Incremental Game blazed a new mechanical style. Reactor Incremental was the first well-known incremental game that used the positioning of units to impact overall gains. No longer were your units simple numbers - placing them in certain formations produced more money. Placing too many resulted in a meltdown, sending you back to square one. It was, and still is, a magnificent game concept, providing near-endless replayability despite a limited set of units.
It is the Placement-Aware Incremental Games mechanic that interests me the most. It gives games such replayability, such a wide range of different actions to take, so many emergent play styles possible, that even a simple game can provide a deep experience. It was with that approach that I wanted to make Factory Incremental.
At its core Factory Incremental is about the placement of your factories. Even though you have no control over where your factory is on the grid, you do have control over the grid itself, and can resize the grid as you resize your browser window. This creates the Placement-Aware mechanic - while also making my job a lot easier by not needing to program the placement!
Factory Incremental was built to be simple to read and code. It uses the bare essentials, mostly. Everything on the page uses the DOM for displaying - no canvases. The application is a simple setInterval() game loop, using JQuery for real-time DOM manipulation. JSRender is used as a templating engine for the Factory DOM elements. Some decoration was needed, so Bootstrap was brought in to support icon glyphs and nicer button styles. This may be removed in the future to slim the app - very little of the Bootstrap library is used.
The game itself is (almost) feature-complete. However, many crucial features are missing. There is no saving - once you exit the browser, the game state is lost. The UI is crude at best. The purchasing UI is hidden on scroll. There is no UI for additional factory information. There are no directions on how to play. There is plenty of room for iteration, though!
I enjoyed programming this game over a weekend - I learned a lot about JQuery and DOM manipulation, calculating against the window size, and using CSS to style an app. I've also learned a lot about Incremental Games as a whole - the fine art of balance, of the relationship between production units, and the enjoyment of 'leveling up' - seeing your money fly higher and higher.
My plans are to implement the missing features - saving, UI improvement, tutorial system - to make a releasable product. Using this experience, I would then like to launch into a more complicated Placement-Aware Incremental Game, an idea I've had rattling around my skull for a while now. In the meantime, I'll also explore Incremental Games as a whole, their classifications and playstyles, the main games in each area, and the future of the 'genre' as a whole.
As always, feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org