Monthly Archives: December 2008

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 12 (Audio Articles)

One of my blog entries – 7 Most Important Decisions You Need to Do For Your Career (click the link for the audio version) – managed to find its way to a site called Industrybroadcast.com. The site bringing audio versions of game development articles to your ears. The author of the site is a guy who jumped in the indie world in one day (and enjoying every moment) after working his butt off.

Check out the site, and don’t forget to check out Ryan’s personal blog too.

Couple of Reminders (You Could Win Good Stuff…)

Just a couple of reminders here:

  • The fun and awesome and great and all that Xmas contest is going on and you could win a game (simply by writing to Santa). Remember to tell your friends and participate.
  • I wrote a long Santa Claus story and it’s worth reading. There’s deer ale and everything imaginable in that story. Useful for any game producer to read: contains some pretty good lessons.
  • I’m practically giving away goodies (link, ebook, game), so take a look what goes on in that blog entry and bribe me.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 10 (Christmas Spam)

One of the best moves I’ve ever done was getting Akismet for this blog. The second best move was when I got it working in the game producer forums.

Akismet costs some per month (that means cheap, and there’s some sort of free version available too) and gives you a warm feeling when you see that text “Akismet has protected your site from 10,234 spam comments already”. It works, is easy & cheap to use.

In this Christmas I won’t be worrying about eating spam.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 9 (Santa Claus and the Art of Product Development)

Happened long time ago in some place far away…

Santa Claus was having a big problem: he wasn’t sure he could deliver all the presents on time this christmas! It was only a few weeks to the deadline. The marketing department had done a heavy campaign: in some places christmas ads had been displayed for months already! This year the xmas would be better than ever (no matter what the critics would say). This time it wouldn’t be just shinier or better looking xmas. This time it would be Xmas with a big X. This time the packets would be bigger than ever and better than ever.

Santa’s customers always wanted more. The client weren’t prepared to pay much (well, anything at all to be exact). They just kept writing more about what they wanted (for free). Sometimes Santa was getting a headache because some of the clients simply couldn’t believe that Santa won’t get them everything they want (like jetplanes) for Xmas. Yes, they would have to stick with the toy versions.

The hardest part of course was that Santa’s marketing department was promising everything (“yes, you can write to santa and ask for anything – even for a yacht if you want!”) whereas Santa’s development team was trying to get the marketing department to understand that shipping a ship to far away country would lead to logistic problems, not to mention that testing the ship’s cruising abilities would probably be missed due deadline pressures. And – like always – the answer from the marketing team came: “Don’t worry! We can patch the ship later if needed. Everybody does that.”. Santa thought that was bad practice but couldn’t help it. People wanted more and he had to try to do his best to meet those needs.

On top of all this, Santa had heard rumors that some people were not believing in him. They wouldn’t think he’d manage to give all the presents to people on time. They weren’t getting what was promised (by the marketing department – not by the Santa), so there were times when santa was thinking about going indie. that way he could make his own promises about the presents. The packages might not be as big, but at least there Santa could do what he loves to.

…But now it wasn’t time to daydream about “going indie”. He knew he had promises to keep, and deadline was coming closer. It would make no good to blame the marketing department or some of the lazy elves. Santa had taken this job, so he would take all the responsibility.

Suddenly, santa heard somebody knocking on the door. “Yoohoo, santa? You there?”. It was Grimmy the Elf. Santa’s little helper. Well, Santa didn’t know where that word “helper” made its way to the title (he always thought Grimmy more like a pain in the arse), but at least the word “little” in his name was true: Grimmy was one inch long (or short) gnome, maybe one and a half when he was wearing his party boots. Grimmy was santa’s guidance on all international business decisions. This time Grimmy would have good news: “Santa, I think our logistics problem is solved!”

After a long discussion, Grimmy left with haste. Santa had given him orders regarding how to proceed with the logistics. Santa sat down and took a glass of deer ale (made of something you really don’t want to know) and looked in the mirror with a smile in his face. He knew he had made the right decision about the logistics. This year everything would go fine. No more worrying about whether he could deliver the packages on time.

Santa had worried much about the shipping of all the items to different countries, not to mention the actual delivery inside the target countries. Santa had decided to use foreign work force for the first time in his life: there would be Santa’s “clones” standing in every shop in all over the world. These fake Santa’s would travel from house to house. The shipping would be handled by a big 3rd party logistics company United Delivery Packages (or UDP in short). Santa had heard some rumours about dropped packets by UDP, but he thought he could always sent them later through another company: The Company of Packets, that had guaranteed delivery. Santa thought that alternatively he could give orders to Grimmy to make sure that UDP would resend all the packets that would got lost. That would probably work too. This decision meant that Santa could focus only on doing his core business: developing good presents and drinking deer ale.

Santa started pondering more about this fine solution: why not outsource the work force too? Marketing department was already doing things on their own. The development team – the elves – could be replaced with Irish leprechauns (they were known for their cheap salaries and hard working attitude, even though their speech was not comprehensible), and Santa’s Intelligence (the team of gnomes that handle spying) could be replaced with low-cost clurichauns (which would mean that Santa would need to buy heavier locks on his deer ale cabinet). Heck, he could even outsource the gift wrapping. The northern post office could pack everything to envelopes. That way Santa could really focus on his core business – the deer ale.

After a series of thoughts of even bigger changes Santa remembered the wise words of what his twin brother Billy Claus had always told (not many knew Santa had a brother – even though Billy had sometimes delivered presents to kids when Santa was ill: nobody knew the difference). Billy had once said: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. Listen to me, hammering Grimmy is not going to help you on this. Now, put down that ugly thing… No, I meant put Grimmy down.”

Santa realized he was almost going too far with all this outsourcing. Just like when he was about to use the hammer when Grimmy had once again pee’d in Santa’s glass full of deer ale.

Santa realized that outsourcing wouldn’t going to solve every problem he was facing. He would need balance. He realized that outsourcing the core business would not be a good solution. Outsourcing something could be a good idea. He realized that there might perhaps come some issues with those fakes santas. Maybe some of them would not ever appear where they should. Maybe some of them would appear after drinking too much deer ale. (His brother Billy was not only giving good advice, he was also giving good examples. Examples on what had gone wrong when he was visiting kids instead of Santa). Outsourcing could work in some cases, but might bring different problems too.

Santa decided to stop thinking about this matter any more, and stick to his current decision. He would not outsource any more than made sense. He would use some 3rd party resources which would enable him to concentrate on making better presents. He would use some reliable 3rd party resources but would make sure that the core business would stay inside his warm cottage.

And so would deer ale.

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 8 (Object Oriented Code Design Patterns)

I’ve been reading Head First: Design Patterns book, which is fine view on design patterns (that can be used in coding). I’ve done a little bit of research on how to handle object oriented code when it comes to games. There seems to be one tiny problem: everybody knows the RIGHT way to do things.

There’s plenty of people who are glad to help you out and they show you how they are “taking advantage of object oriented coding principles”. Some of the examples were good, some of them were bad and some of them… I’m not sure.

Is there solid choices for design patterns in games? Do you use them? Any recommendations?

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 7 (Top 7 Games To Play On Xmas)

Here’s my top 7 list of games to play on Christmas, not in any particular order:

What’s your top 7 recommendations for Xmas?

Here’s What I Want From Santa… (Good Stuff For You Here)

You have a chance to get some really good stuff (ebook, link, copy of game) so check this out. Please notice that this offer is only available December, and ends when I get back from my Christmas trip (around 26th day). Yes, there’s one catch…

I started the contest where you readers can make a wish about a game you want, and one of you readers – Penny – asked what I want from Santa. I hadn’t thought about that earlier, but since I got this question asked, I decided to answer and set up a little system for this (to help Santa in case he happens to be a bit busy) And Penny, since you gave me this idea, I’m willing to give you all the stuff mentioned in this post for free, and I’m also going to buy you that Ravenhearst game. Thanks for the idea!

Here’s my wish:

Dear Santa…

I would want to get Grand Theft Auto 4, since I’ve been a good boy all year and would like to act like a bad boy for a moment (I’ve heard rumors there’s pretty good chances for that in GTA IV).

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you so I hope you hear me.

Juuso

P.S. Yes, socks are nice presents but I think I have plenty of them already.

Now, to make it easier for Santa, I thought to ask for a “donation” from you. Of course I have a trick in my sleeve, so you won’t be forgotten. Here’s the deal:

If you want to help me to get GTA 4, and donate $6 (or more) you’ll get the following benefits:

  • I’ll mention your site link in a thank you blog post (“no follow” link if the site is not relevant about video gaming, and I reserve the right to decide “what’s relevant”). This blog gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, so there’s a chance that you’ll get a bit of publicity. I think this alone makes $6 “donation” well worth it. (If you do the “donation”, please mention your site link if you want to get mentioned). Links will be mentioned in the order of donations: the sooner you donate, the higher your link will be in the list.
  • I’ll also give you a short ebook called “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Game Producers”. It’s a short ebook packed with information about the principles that has helped me in my life. The ebook is quick to read too. Please notice that this ebook is only available on Xmas time, so “act now” as they say on TV commercials (I’ll be taking it away from the market right after I get back from my Christmas trip). I’ll email you the ebook when I make the “thank you blog post” after Christmas.
  • Last (but not least), I’m giving copy of Dead Wake (=free for you) game to anyone who participates. Please notice that this “pre-order” comes with absolutely no guarantee about “when it’s done” nor about “if it works in your computer” (requires Shader Model 3, as I’m using Leadwerks engine) or “what it will cost to others” – but at least it will be free for you. I also reserve the right to use the word “free” here in similar manner as the sales guy who sold me the Donal Duck magazine subscription for 29 euros and gave me a “free” book on top of the deal. So, anyways – for only $6 you get the Dead Wake game as well, when it’s done.

Please notice that you can donate more than $6 if you want, I think there’s still room in my paypal account so if you want to donate $60 or $6000 it’s all okay by me. The money I receive I’ll use to purchase the GTA IV game via Steam (or socks from a local market).

So, this ends my “sales speech” here. Bottom line is that for only $6 (or more if you want) you 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”)

Click the donate button below to participate. Only $6 USD.


P.S. Please email me after you’ve made the donation, so I can rest assured I’ve received your email and the game link. Merry Christmas everybody!

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 6 (What Software You Use To Create Games?)

I’ve happily dived into the world of BlitzMax, and using Leadwerks to create 3D games (yes, you can create 3D games using BlitzMax).

I asked at the Insider forums what tools people are using, and there was tools ranging from c++ to Game Maker. I thought to ask the same question from you readers: what tools and software you are using to make games?

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 5 (Rupture Hacked?)

This morning I was accidentally checking out EA’s www.Rupture.com just to see that the site got hacked or something. The content is seen in the picture below. I don’t know how long this hack was active, since couple of minutes later everything was back to normal.

Well, it was enough for me to take a screen capture…

Click here for larger image

P.S. Remember to Write to Santa and tell what game you’d want as an Xmas gift. The contest ends on 24th December.