Archive for December, 2008

2008 Review and 2009 Goals

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Ah it’s this time of year again. OK so here’s what 2008 went like (you can read my 2007 review and 2008 goals here:

2008 Professional Goals Review

1) Develop 2-3 hit games for Big Fish Games (Uh, I actually released 0, but the next one is due out in like 2 weeks, and then we are gonna work like crazed developers on the next games. I’m gonna move this goal to 2009!)

2) My games will reach No. 1 in the BFG Top 10 and on other sites too (See no.1)

3) One or more of my games will gross $1,000,000. (based on past performance, this is a realistic and achievable target – just need around 100,000 sales (See no.1)

4) Start the next big “genre”! (gotta think big ;-) ) (See no.1. Hmm, I’m seeing a lot of deferring here!)

5) Meet lots of you at Casuality (Ah yes, it was cool in Amsterdam. Didn’t make it to the one on Seattle. Also met more of you at UK and Vancouver Indie meet ups, which was nice.)

6) Work on an “action” game as a hobby. (Totally failed. I’m not gonna move this to 2009, if it happens it happens.)

7) Continue improving my skills and my game framework. (Yeah, this happened. In fact I sold my framework to BFG for a tidy sum :-) )

8 ) Continue having great fun doing a job that I love! (Absolutely this happened!)

9) Ramp up affiliate sales from my sites and blogs, via more newsletter subscriptions, more blog posts, more marketing etc. (Didn’t do this anywhere as much as I’d have liked to, but I did make some half decent cash at it, so that’s OK. Now that I’m an employee I won’t be doing this any more.)

The main big thing not on that list was getting hired by BFG to work in their new Vancouver studio. That was a surprise!

Personal Goals Review

It’s worth mentioning a few personal goals I achieved such as:
- Got my 2nd Dan in Aikido
- Stopped drinking alcohol (although I started after moving to Vancouver in November, pretty sure I’ll stop again now though).
- Been going to bed and getting up on time more or less (I used to stay up too late programming and playing games).
- Got pretty fit when training for my 2nd Dan, but unfortunately had a hernia! Didn’t stop me though ;-)

2009 Goals

If you are still with me then here’s the 2009 goals:

1) Release my next game mid-late Jan
2) Develop 2 hit games for BFG that will hit no.1 and gross at least $1,000,000 each. One of these may be a new genre…
3) Start an Indie/Casual Game scene in Vancouver.
4) Meet some really interesting people.
5) Play more games at home.
6) Start an Aikido club in Vancouver.
7) Get married (I’ve already proposed and been accepted, so the rest is just admin ;-p)

There’ that’ll do…Oh I also want to learn to Ski and Snowboard seeing as I’m now living so close to Whistler mountain. My Ice Skating is already coming on nicely.

2008 Mistakes
Reviewing your mistakes is a good idea as long as you don’t beat yourself up about them. Here’s some of mine:

- Spent way too long making my current game. There are various reasons why it’s taken so long; some to do with team members, some external, and some internal (I admit). This happened with my last game too! However, now that I work in a studio with other team members sitting near to me I’m sure that this won’t happen again.
- Didn’t spend enough time with my family AGAIN. I say this every year. I’m finding it hard to build my career and find quality family time. Now that I’m an employee and not self-employed I’ll be at home even less so I’ll need to carefully manage my hours.
- Didn’t do hardly any hobbies (except for Aikido) such as playing guitar, making trance music, playing games, art etc. However, now I’m no longer self-employed I plan to do this stuff in the evenings and weekends (when I used to find myself working instead). I’ve brought my guitars to Vancouver to make sure I play them!
- Didn’t eat as healthily as I could have. This is because I LOVE food. Also I got some “healthy bowel medicine” called Lepicol that has given me such “bowel confidence” that I’ve been eating lots of dodgy food because now I can handle it ;-) You probably didn’t want to know that haha.

OK, now let me hear your reviews and goals!

Did you program on Christmas Day?

Friday, December 26th, 2008

So I’ll confess that at midnight I downloaded a game similar to the current one I’m writing to check it out and it inspired me to play my own. Unfortunately I spotted a few bugs in some new code I wrote the other day and naturally I just HAD to fix them! For some reason I had a really good vibe what was causing the problems and so luckily they weren’t to hard to fix. This probably took about an hour in all. Then I played on the Xbox 360 until I couldn’t keep my eyes open (just downloaded Halo for half price, 600 points, from XBox Live Arcade).

I asked on the Blitz Forums if anyone else had programmed on Christmas day and discovered that many people had programmed a bit or even all day! Most of the people with families (and children) were pretty good though, and managed to stay away from the PC. Makes it really sound like a bad addiction does it? :-)

Classic early 90s Marketing Ploy (Amiga)

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

When I was sorting out all my stuff before moving to Canada I found an old Master Sound sample that I used to use with my Amiga. I had really good fun with it but I always found it to be a bit large and unwieldy when it was plugged into the back of my Amiga. One day I bought a newer model which was much smaller and I peeked inside the old model to see what was different, and this is what I found …

mastersound1 mastersound2

Classic! The case looked big and like there was complex stuff inside that must have been “good value for money” but look inside! It’s mostly completely empty! Haha, just a little PCB down one end and a long wire stretching up to the input jack on the other end. This is a classic example of “perceived value” marketing from the early 1990s – like when game boxes were huge and mostly empty. Thank God they changed to DVD-style game cases quite a few years back as I was severely running out of shelf space.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did :-)