Hello, and welcome!
Metal Beetle Ltd. is a small UK company that makes computer games, offers software consulting, and does sundry other computer-related work.
2011-11-22: ...and we're done.
As of today (22/11/2011), Metal Beetle Ltd has ceased trading and become dormant. It will no longer carry out any business, and will be dissolved in due course.
(In practical terms, this means that having moved to Switzerland, running a UK limited company makes even less sense than it ever did. This doesn't mean that SE:SS has been cancelled, or that I no longer do software consultancy, but that both will now legally happen through the person of David Stark rather than through the company Metal Beetle Ltd. Look for future updates to my personal site, to which this one will eventually redirect.)
2010-08-20: Happy 2nd birthday, Metal Beetle!
Metal Beetle Ltd is now two years old!
If you follow the Space Exploration: Serpens Sector news or twitter feed, I'm sure it won't have escaped your notice that it's been very quiet. This is not something I wanted to happen, but three things conspired to make it so: moving house, my ongoing wrist/shoulder problems, and running out of savings. This last one has meant that for the past couple of weeks, I've been doing contract work every hour I could safely spend at my computer.
This isn't a situation I want to be in. I want to finish SE:SS. I have a to-do list for the core engine 41 items strong, half a dozen ship designs waiting to be used, and entire notebooks filled with plans for encounters. As with any half-finished large project, what you can see now is only a small proportion of all the work that went into it, and I desperately want to finish the game and show you the rest.
The Internet is littered with dead projects which were never officially abandoned but simply saw their update frequency decline, with some routine entry from 2002 the last sign of life, after which point the author presumably lost interest entirely. I assure you that this is not what's happening here. But while I'm only capable of an hour or two of work a day, my first priority - putting food on the table - takes up all of that capacity.
I am pursuing more avenues to get this fixed, and there are some promising signs from a new exercise regime. So eventually, SE:SS will be completed. But you and I are going to have to be more patient than originally planned.
Finally, if you have any questions, head over to the forum where I'll be happy to give (perhaps somewhat terse) answers.
You can now follow me on Twitter, where I'm talking about the making of SE:SS.
2009-08-20: Happy Birthday, Metal Beetle!
A little over a year ago, I founded my own company, Metal Beetle Ltd, as a way to organise my various for-profit projects.
Originally, the company was actually going to be called Grid Five, but I abandoned that when it turned out that gridfive.com was already taken. It took me weeks to find another name, but then I hit on this one. As a result, the company now has a charming robotic logo.
Did you know it's interactive? Click on the beetle logo at the top of this page, and it turns itself into a Java applet. Click on its wings, legs, and antennae to interact with it. The logo also contains a painfully hard puzzle, if you like that sort of thing.
So what have I been up to in this past year?
The next year will bring the release of SE:SS and its first expansion pack, as well as (hopefully) more contracting work. I plan to add a new section to metalbeetle.com soon about what kind of contract work I can do - so if you need some custom software or website of any stripe, get in touch. Even if I can't do it, I will likely know someone who can, and will happily refer you on.
Finally, the beetle has a little present for you: If you enter the word "coleoptera" into the rebate box on Fractal Fripperies (choose a fractal and press "Make T-Shirt" to get there), you get 15% off. This rebate code will remain valid until the end of the month.
While preparing for this post, I noticed that on the shape/size/address page, the preview picture of the fractal on the T-shirt was being rendered off-centre for some reason. I have replaced it with an illustration for simplicity's sake. I assure you that any T-shirt bought from Fractal Fripperies will have exactly the fractal you selected on the main page. Equally, the pricing information was a bit confusing and outdated, so you should see that improved as well.
In short, if you have been thinking of getting a fractal T-shirt, now is the time to do it.
- David Stark