I foresee many changes

Things are gonna change, I can feel it.

 

Playing a lot of these casuals casually lately:

Subway Surfers, Angry Birds Match-3, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, Bury Me My Love

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Oh hello, Clash of Clans

Hi Supercell,

I miss playing Clash of Clans. Who knew that upgrading devices from an iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 would cause issues? My FB was linked but it seems that Game Center doesn’t exist on iPhone anymore (or is that my imagination)?

Please recover my account 🙂

– Aeiea / Jennifer

Update: 4/13 – I sent Supercell the link to my blog and they recovered my account.

Written on the Skin

Others:

Sweet Sixteen

Welcome to 2016! I’ve been amiss in keeping up with the blogjimans. But now I’m back, for a short time. GDC, or rather, VRDC, was interesting, but not like the previous years. I left inspired as always but this year was more about the networking and the roundtables than the sessions I can watch on the Vault. So I’ll be inspired in 3 weeks.

Engines, saw Defold, seems ok. (and the Defold swag!) I’ll give it a whirl, but curious: if I’m already in Unity, and 3D seems a potential — a far far far far potential — then do I (and our main programmer) bother learning a new tool, however close to Unity it may seem?

VR: Hitchhiker’s Guide come true. I see it causing eye problems. Also you can’t cry while wearing the VR device.

Indies: Indies are the new mainstream. And corps will continue to steal from them.

Triple As: They will always have an audience. But maybe they’ll be made by indies 🙂

To Code or Not to Code

With all these Unity extensions that promise you never have to write a line of code, coding seems to be a bad thing, something you want to avoid, something that hinders. You will still need to understand the logic behind it, but I suppose not having to worry about syntax and debugging (oh, those hours lost many years ago due to a forgotten semicolon) is a bonus.

I’ve tried to shy away from these extensions because they seem to prevent me from learning (or re-learning) proper coding, but if this is the future, maybe I can save precious time and go the non-coding route, still get the results I need w/r/t prototyping. Precious time saved = more time with daughter.

What I really need is a game that teaches me object oriented programming while having my toddler think she’s just playing. Maybe I can craft one with blocks and stickers with classes printed on them? Or on the simplest level, something that plays videos like Lynda.com tutorials while overlaying shapes for my daughter to interact with, similar to the Mario World (I think) co-op play where the 2nd player just collected stars. All a moot point right now as the grandparents have taken baby out on the town.

Time to hunker down; use it wisely; focus (with coffee++). I’ll spend 30 minutes on this extension, then go back to the tutorials.

Paper Prototyping and the Hard Part

We spent a day paper prototyping. My eyes were opened to the visual stimuli of watercolor. While an innovative mechanic based on this form would be cool (and maybe miraculous), this effect could also simply exist for feedback’s sake. Unsure. I do enjoy the visuals Mook has, but not sure how everything gels together. Dr. F says that we’re now at the hard part. But I wonder if all game concepting has a hard part, or is it just the ones that don’t have an immediate tie-in to the real world, to an artist (e.g. Escher for Monument Valley), to another game (Cloney McClonersons of which the industry is frightfully fully aware), or a question, a la Stanley Parable’s “What if the narrator said to take the door on the right, and you took the door on the left?” type deal.

Lots to think about. Little time. In NYC, Games for Change conference was eye-opening and inspiring and makes me want to be good forever. Soon to hit Philly, DC, then landing in Atlanta. Lots to do, lots to work on, lots to learn.

Naming

So we are trying to come up with a name for the company.

Mooktak likes Latin. I also like Latin. But does the public like Latin? Dead language Latin, not the vibrant culture Latin.

Naming is no joke. One of my stumbling blocks when writing fiction (and non-fiction with protecting the innocent) was naming. I dove deep in, etymology style, meaning style, making sure the name was precise with the character, theme, symbols, etc I wanted to convey. Days were lost searching for a name for a minor character. It was heavy-handed. Seams showed. And even when they didn’t, it was too much effort for little return.

Naming conventions are easy because there’s a standard with degrees of quality. There’s the fun camelCase. There’s order, sorting, referencing, efficiency, productivity implied. You and anyone who touches that code benefit from choosing an appropriate name.

Oh. And when my daughter was born. You have the length of your hospital stay to name your child, else you’re buried in red tape and trips to the government. Imagine 9 months, give or take, of searching for a name that would be fitting for your progeny, your future, your unconditional love, but also fully knowing that it would all change once you saw the baby, or once the baby saw you and winked at her favorite name as you said them aloud.

Sure, we had a short list. We also had a long list. And a medium list. And a list we would show people who kept hounding us, so they could criticize and pick their favorites, a list that did not have names we were seriously considering.

In the end, once our baby was born, we realized none of those names fit her, and we just riffed on her looks and personality. We blended words. We watched her wink. We named her, and renamed her, and still every day we rename her, and she renames herself.

Where was I going with this. Oh yeah. Naming is hard. It gives something an enhanced life, a residency in this world, an official greeting. But you can always change.