Monthly Archives: December 2008

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 21 (Ho Ho Ho Or No No No…?)


Fingerpori comic

Humor.

Humor is a double edged sword: humor can be a positive force in workplaces, and it can make coping with things easier. The problem with humor is “where you draw the line”?

The above pic about The Phantom can be funny, but there might be some people who get offended (or think that is stupid toilet humor – heh). Same goes humor in workplaces: where can we draw the line? Is it okay to tell jokes about politicians? About women? Men?

Is South Park humor okay?

In Finland there’s this comics called Viivi & Wagner that tells about a talking pig character and his wife. I think most men find this okay to make jokes about how men are pig. In one comic strip, the pig Wagner wanted to start drawing a comic about a man and a cow – and got us thinking if that would be acceptable to draw such comic where woman would be represented by a cow character (and man would be human).

It’s a tricky issue, and I’ve found it best that most of the jokes I tell are somehow related about myself (rather than ‘attacks’ about other people).

What’s your thoughts?

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 20 (Time to Make Some Time)

Jake participated in the ‘Write to Santa’ contest (contest is still going on a few days, so write!) and asked more time. This wish got me thinking about the issue.

How to get more time?

I’m not saying I’m any more expert on this issue than you, but that won’t stop me saying what I think (After over 1000 blog posts written in this blog, I’m pretty sure you know this).

I’ve written a lengthy post titled 100 ways to be more productive which offers plenty of ideas on how to be more productive and get more time (worth checking by the way), and I think we all have ideas on how to get more time.

I think one very important thing in getting more time is to decide to make time. I think we all need to realize that we cannot get everything. We must choose to make time. There’s a story about this old businessman whose doctor said that the old man could not work in his current 8-12 hours-per-day pace. The businessman could work only 2 hours a day, or his health would be gone soon.

When the businessman heard this, he realized that he needed to really decide what’s truly important and concentrate 100% on those issues. No more 8 (or 12 hour days). 2 hours was all there was.

This made the businessman to have much more productive hours than he could ever have.

Sometimes the way to get more time, get more done – is to do less.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 19 (Small Things Make a Big Game, Right?)

I think I’ve mentioned something like this earlier, but I gotta make a remark about this now. It’s about those tiny details in games. I’ve recently spend some time playing Left 4 Dead and Grand Theft Auto 4 (thanks people) and both of these games have all these tiny details that make them really fun to play.

In L4D, there’s all those noises that occur (hunter walking nearby), the doors break nicely (and leave a hole), characters shout “stop doing that” (or something similar) when they got hurt by friendly-fire. Plenty of particle effects. Flashlight works nicely since it’s attached to the gun (so when you are reloading your weapon, the light moves around the room). So many things (and some of these actually affect in gameplay).

In GTA 4, you can see leaves floating in air when they are dropping from trees. It’s a small detail that has no impact in gameplay, but it’s nice to watch. There’s several radio channels to choose from (and there’s plenty of recorded voice, it feels like a real radio). You can even watch television (with several channels) in your room. All these tiny details mean nothing in terms of gameplay (you won’t get points for listening a radio show), but it makes the game much more immerse.

There’s so much ideas to gain by simply playing other games and thinking of all the tiny details that make game feel polished.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 18 (I’m One Happy Camper: GTA 4 Is Here)

Thanks everybody for your contribution. Grand Theft Auto 4 is here, fully funded (and bit more!) and I’m really enjoying playing it. First impression: game rocks.

I’ll write a better thank you post (with links and all) when I manage to have a break from the game at some point… (meaning: before the end of December)

Meanwhile, everybody – remember to write to Santa and convince (me) to buy you a video game of your choice!

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 17 (Are You Afraid To Spend Money?)

There’s one major shift that has happened in the way of my mind works: it’s about spending money. On Xmas time I suppose it makes sense to think about it… I think it’s more important to think where exactly you put your money.

I’ve noticed that I am (or at least were) more inclined to buy useless stuff that I enjoy for a moment (like some DVD movies or ice cream for example) instead of useful tools (like game engines or 3rd party libraries).

I wonder why it’s no problem to buy 2 eur beer every week (that makes 100 eur per year), but it’s a problem to purchase 100 eur software that would help me develop something? (at least there can be very little resistance for spending couple of bucks to something now and then). The more I’ve gone into selling side of things, and the more years have passed… the better I see how spending money can be a problem for some people.

People might be afraid to lose that money and never get it back. People think that getting immediate pleasure (ice cream) for “small” amount of money (2 bucks is little – when you don’t count yearly expenses) goes before long term aid (that can save you time).

I think it works just the opposite. The more you are ready to support others, and the more you are willing to put money in the market (in an intelligent way – I’m not suggesting buying every stupid little thing you see in the Internet), the more money can float to your way. I think it’s the mindset and attitude.

Sure, you need to know when to keep the money. I bet it’s a good idea to spend less than you earn, but I also think supporting software developers every now and then does good for our economy.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 15 (The Last Chance to Bribe Me)

About a week ago I wrote a letter to Santa and asked for GTA IV. The goals is almost reached (87%), so today I’m drawing the line. This will be your last chance to participate and get:

  • Link pointing to your site from a thank you blog post (appears in a blog post after Christmas)
  • Fun ebook that can help you become more productive (when I get back from my Xmas trip)
  • Copy of a Dead Wake game (“when it’s done”)

All this for $6 (you can donate more if you want). Click the donate button below to participate.


Read the full story in the longer blog entry. Basically, you can now bribe me for a very small amount to get these goodies.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 14 (The Big Fish Way of Using Background Images)

Big Fish Games (the place where you can get casual games as low as $6,99) is doing a nice job promoting their games.

Whenever they have new fancy games appearing that they really, really want to promote (happens very often), they also change the background image of their site. Some time okay, when they launched Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst their website had Ravenhearst images in the background. When they were promoting Azada’s special sales, again the background was (surprise, surprise) about Azada.

Yesterday they started promoting Secret Missions: Mata Hari and the Kaiser’s Submarines, and it was no big wonder that they started showing relevant background image.

Works pretty well for big portals, but also for indies who want to promote their newest product on their websites (when you have many games).