ALL the Updates

It’s been basically forever since I updated my blog. A lot has been going on, some good and some not so good. I had trouble finding a job I wanted and eventually had to settle for a low-income position at a hotel. That threw me into depression for the entirety of November. Although I was doing a bit better come December, I was still not great until I got a better job working for Stride PR, a PR firm that focuses primarily on indie games PR.

It’s been a busy couple of months since I joined Stride. Work alone has been incredibly busy, for one. However, I also already had plans to attend GDC before joining Stride, and my boss was good enough to let me carry through with those plans. That was followed immediately by a very, very busy few days before going to PAX East. I was exhausted by the end of it.

I wrote the first draft of this post on my flight home from PAX East and intended to polish and publish it last weekend, but I took time to relax instead. Although I originally planned to spend most of this weekend playing as much Persona 5 as possible, since I want to get as far in it as I can before the English version hits, I’ve actually spent most of it getting things done. There are a lot of little things I’ve been putting off, and I want to start whittling away at the pile.

On Writing for IndieGames.com

Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been writing for IndieGames.com for a while. As you might surmise, I am phasing out of writing for the site going forward. I have a bunch of interviews with indie devs from developing scenes around the world that I said I’d do, though, and I intend to finish those.

This series of interviews have so far been some of the coolest that I’ve done in my 3+ years with the site. These devs all have interesting stories to tell. One interesting thread running through most of their stories is that so few of them actually target their home markets with their games because it’s just not profitable. It makes sense, but seems like such a shame.

Anyway, although I’m not writing about any of Stride PR’s clients for IndieGames.com, I have written in the past about games which were developed by some of our clients. Even though I’m not currently on any of those accounts, I think it best to step away from being games press.

Managing Things

Although I was only hired on by Stride PR in January, I’ve already been promoted to PR Account Executive, a.k.a. manager. It’s a huge vote of confidence and I hope I live up to my boss’s expectations.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my father when I was in middle school. He told me that he thought I’d make a great manager. My response at the time was along the lines of: maybe so, but I’m not crazy and don’t want to be one. I think he’d be laughing his ass off right now if he were still alive.

Over the years, I’ve done a number of things involving teamwork, leadership, and followship: I did an acting conservatory every summer for nine years; was assistant raid leader in my World of Warcraft guild; and have been top-level volunteer staff for BitSummit. All that experience has taught me that I am good at, and like to be, second or third in command.

I do not want to be the guy at the top, which is what I was really thinking being a manager meant when I had that conversation with Dad so many years ago. But the folks at the top need competent assistants to help implement plans. They need someone to interface with people farther down the chain so that top folk are free to focus on things which only they can handle.

This is a role I’ve had a lot of practice with at this point. I’m comfortable with it. And I find that getting paid for it now is quite nice. xD

It’s funny, the paths down which life takes us. I cannot remember which 90s song goes, “every day is a winding road,” but the lyric feels really appropriate right now. I’ve lived in three countries, held an array of interesting jobs, and am finally getting a foothold on the industry my heart has always been set on.

Life is good. <3

Peter Molydeux and the only FPS that ever made me cry

I have a list on Twitter that just has amusing accounts in it. Most of those accounts are ones I don’t actually follow. I want them around to look at them when I have the time and inclination to do so, but I don’t want their tweets clogging up my general feed for everyday use. There’s one exception: Peter Molydeux.

Peter Molydeux is a fake personality modeled after Peter Molyneux. I won’t go into the whole tale of how this fake personality came about, but it has its own Wikipedia article and can otherwise be searched online easily. What comes out of this fake account are some pretty outrageous and thought-provoking ideas for games, none of it fitting standard molds.

Anyway, for the first time in several weeks, I was sifting through my amusing accounts list and came across a Peter Molydeux tweet from two days ago, which led to this:

Twitter interaction with Peter Molydeux about FPS games and tears

The answer to this, for me, was obvious: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, the final DLC for Borderlands 2. It’s quite possibly the best DLC I’ve played for any game. I would argue it’s also the best expansion I have played for any game. I can’t recall any other time I’ve cried at an FPS. The reason this one hits so hard is that what appears to be a riff on Dungeons & Dragons is actually a story about the character with the saddest backstory coping with loss.

(Major Borderlands 2 spoilers after the break.)

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Phonics Shmupdate: Colorblind friendliness and phonemes for days

Colorblind friendliness and some IPA on displayIt’s been a while since I did any updates regarding my phonics shmup; the stress of leaving a job and moving intercontinentally took its tool. When I stopped working on the game in April, I had broken it in magnificent ways. Now the broken is gone and I’ve added some colorblind friendliness features and built all of my phonemes in the way that Unity really wants: using GameObjects. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim

Finally back with another Let’s Talk About video, this time on Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim. I like this game, but the devs had an overly ambitious plan for the budget they crowdfunded, and that makes this a great example of why we need both AAA and indie games. Transcript is below the break.

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Now in New Mexico

It’s been a while since I posted anything here and the reason is that I’ve been busy moving from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other. I am now in New Mexico. As I get settled in, there will be more content here.

Soon. Soon.

Phonics Shmupdate: Phoneme Display Swap!

phonemes swapping aroundThere’s some work to be done here involving the animations’ timing and the feel of things… but it functions. Hurrah!

There’s definitely a bug that allows one button to change position without the other button moving to swap places with it. I need to play around with it more.

Making it so that the player can/must choose which phoneme to switch to definitely makes the game more challenging. I’m going to need an extremely low difficulty option, which means I will probably have to have a two-phoneme option.

Phonics Shmupdate: More and Better Refactoring, New Classes Made, Other Stuff

It’s been a while since I updated. To be honest, I don’t exactly remember all changes I’ve made. I’ve been working on it here and there in spare moments amongst busy times. Many things have been refactored; I undid some unnecessary future-proofing I did in the previous update’s refactoring because it was silly and hard to read. I abstracted out some classes, either as their own files or as subclasses, making some code much easier to read. Again, not much has visibly changed with this new build, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.

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Phonics Shmup Progress: A Menu, Credit Where Due, and Refactoring

Phonics shmup start menuThis has been an interesting week, so I got work in on the shmup in bits and pieces around other things. The menu screen, with a credits panel that pops up, is the biggest visible change. I also added some particles for the disruptor broadcast. Most of the work I got done, though, was refactoring.

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Phonics Shmup Progress: Caught Up in Unity!

peashooter-unity-caught-upThis is just a quick post to say that I did get the phonics shmup caught up in Unity to where I had it in Godot.* It took me about as much time as I expected, though I didn’t get the work done on the days I expected. It now does everything the Godot version did and has random asteroids floating through as well because I didn’t feel a need to disable them, at least not yet.

Better than that, it’s more or less ready for level loading, so the next part of development is gonna be recording better quality phoneme sounds and doing it for the whole alphabet.

Best of all, you can play it online. I hadn’t figured out how to build for web in Godot yet, but Unity made that easy, too. Left click to shoot, right click to swap disruptor phonemes.

*Actually, now that I think on it, I don’t have even a basic broadcasting graphic on the disruptor. So all but that. Functionally speaking, though, the game is caught up.