Posts

New Business Names and Logos

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A few weeks ago I got a text message from my Mother In Law asking why my initials were on a flag being flown by white supremacists. I did some digging, and I found out that the initials that I was using for my company name were once used by the fascists in WWII. Modern day white supremacists have started using them as well. Here's a link to an article about the controversy.

I could defend myself against this. It's probably not a huge deal, but honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of that business name anyway. This gives me a good excuse to move away.

So, I'm now calling my IT service business Radical Bomb Technologies, and my game development company is Radical Bomb Games. They're both DBAs registered to my LLC. I'm currently waiting on the paperwork to get the LLC renamed to be processed. (Going form SPQR Soft LLC to Radical Bomb LLC).

I put together a different version of my logo for each business. I really wanted to de-emphasize the bomb a bit as several people hav…

Cost of Failure

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One of the most interesting pieces of game design to me is the cost of failure. That is, when you fail at something in a game, what is the negative impact. For instance, in the original Super Mario Brothers, when you die, you go back to the beginning of the current level, and you lose 1 life. If you run out of lives you start the game over. That was pretty common in the 80's and 90's, but in today's world, that's pretty high.

I've purchased 2 different 2D platforming games for my switch. One is Sonic Mania and one is Rayman Legends. I picked up Sonic because people have said that it's one of the best Sonic games there is, and I used to play them back in Junior High, so I figured I would like it. Rayman is newer, so I don't have nostalgia for it, but again, people have been saying it's a great game.

I would say that the actual gameplay in Rayman is more difficult than Sonic, but because it's cost of failure is lower, it's much more enjoyable to …

Apathy Towards Today's Apple Event

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Today a slug of new Apple devices are going to get announced. I am fairly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and this is probably the least excited I've ever been for an announcement. Which is a bit strange because I'm a mobile app developer.

Part of it is because I won't be upgrading this time around. It's only been a year since I got my phone, and I don't have to have the newest to keep making apps. I haven't even really been following the news to see what they're going to be releasing. I know that there's something about a phone where screen goes edge to edge on the top and bottom, and it sounds like there might be a new Apple TV that can handle 4K video.

iOS 11 will probably come out today as well, which all I really know about it is that it will break some of the apps that I have in the app store.

I have a pair of meetings this afternoon that begin halfway through the presentation, so I won't watch very much of it live. I'll have to go find…

Wires

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My brain is wired to write code. That fact becomes apparent every time I start working on some sort of coding project. When I'm working on some project everything else fades to the background and time slips by. Yesterday I had intentions of getting some marketing work done, but once I started coding on Cast Off, nothing else happened.

As I work on different projects, I'm figuring out that I need to do things that my brain is wired to do. Earlier this year I started making videos for youtube where I teach programming concepts. Planning the videos out ahead of time, and editing them after are things that I'm really not wired to do, so that project is abandoned.

I did a Facebook live video this morning, and that is much better. There's no editing, and there doesn't need to be much planning. I did know what I was going to talk about, but it's more of an off the cuff platform.

The takeaway is find the things that you are wired to do, and that you enjoy doing, and f…

Post Gen Con Thoughts 2017

I'm not going to do the usual break everything down that happened to me at Gen Con post this year. I did have a great time, and I really enjoyed seeing everyone. I think this is the first time I introduced myself to someone on Friday who said that we had just met on Wednesday. To be fair, I was playing host to an event on Wednesday and introduced myself to something like 100 people in the course of 3 hours.

The playtests that I did on my western game went really well. It did give me a lot to think about what I need to put into the final text of the game. I'm going to have to work on having the players develop their towns into something that feels a bit more real and give them quicker roads to feel like their are improving the town with their actions. I specifically had one player mention after the game that he was looking forward to doing something to improve the town. This is something that I'm going to have to put some major thought into and work on going forward.

This …

Travel Anxiety

I get really unnatural anxiety over flying. I don't have any problems with the actual part of hurtling through the air in a metal tube at hundreds of miles an hour. That part is fine, I worry about missing my flights and getting to places in time.

Tonight, I'm driving to Billings so that I can get up early in the morning to go to the airport for my 6AM flight. I woke up this morning at 4:30 with my stomach in knots.

I'm worried that I'll miss my alarm tomorrow morning.
I'm worried that I'll forget to turn it on.
I'm worried that the security lines will be really long.
I'm worried that the lines to check my luggage will be really long.

I'm worried that I'm so worried I'll have trouble falling asleep tonight making tomorrow morning even more difficult.

My flight leaves at 6, I can probably get away with getting to the airport at 5:15. I'll get there much before that. I'll set my alarm for 4. My anxiety will wake me up earlier. I'll…

The Nihilist Game Designer

Gaming conventions, Gen Con in particular, seem to eat game designers. Everyone I know seems to be in the midst of "aaaaa gotta get all the things done, Gen Con is coming!"

I commented on a friend's Facebook post:
GenCon prep never really ends, there's just a point where you are at GenCon muddying through as best you can with the prep that happened. Then it's over and Metatopia prep starts. #nihilistgamedesigner Which is of course very depressing, and really, it's not that bad. Yes, there is a lot to do, and sure, there are things I'd like to have finished that won't get done. But, with one week until I start traveling, the list of things that I need to have finished, is getting pretty short. I'm excited for the convention, and I hope most are in the same boat as me.
Just don't ask a lot of game designers this week. They probably are quite busy.