Monthly Archives: October 2009

Videos Are Good (Or Nice)

Creating videos is fun (here’s a beginners guide on recording and uploading your game video) and it’s good way to tease your audience on what kind of stuff is coming. I just pressed the record button to get this video out about my Dead Wake zombie game. (It’s recorded mainly for the community members, but thought to share it here as well…)

(Hmm, the randomizer says “suck on that” several times on the video. Maybe I’ll change the system so that it goes through the one-liners so that certain phrases aren’t said so often.)

Producer-Human-Producer Dictionary

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the communication between producers and other people. Luckily, I’ve made a handy guide for people that explains in clear terms what the producers really mean when they are talking to other people.

What producer says What he really means
I’ll do it right away. I’ll forget it as soon as you leave the room.
That’s interesting. Couldn’t care less.
That’s really interesting. I have no clue what you are talking about.
Sorry, I’ve been busy. Your issue is not important.
Sorry, I’ve been really busy You are not important.
Why it takes so much time to code? I don’t trust you.
This can’t take so much time to program. You are an idiot.
This is important. I’m in charge here.
Should be better if we’d handle that issue in some other time Stop interrupting me.
We can bring that issue up in the next meeting, now it’s not the time. Shut up.
We need to get this thing finished asap. We’re screwed.
It’s time for the performance review. I have no clue what you guys have been doing this year.
Very important point, thanks. Shut up.
*Nodding* Shut up so I can talk.
Sorry, can’t talk now, I have a meeting starting in a minute Don’t talk to me.
Yes. No.
No. No.
This is what our project needs. I’m clueless, but in charge.
It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge. I just read a new book about leadership.
That negativity isn’t helping us. I’m the only one allowed to whine.
How would you rate my performance as a leader? Anyone want to get fired?
You guys have done a great job. You guys have done a great job, expecting to see much more in the future.
Tony was a troublemaker, it’s good for the team that we fired him. I hated Tony.
Our project is 90% finished. Only 90% more to go.
We got some great feedback from our testers. Our game sucks and is filled with bugs.

Feel free to add to the dictionary.

How Valve Could Get Filthy Rich – Like Super Filthy Rich (And Make Us Too)

There’s two game sites I like to mention. There’s tiny difference in the cash flow direction (from my point-of-view):

  • Big Fish Games (my affiliate links which brings me $$$)
  • Steam (the site where I spend $$$ in games)

I’d like the Steam to do me same as BFG (bring me money instead of taking it…)

Right now Valve’s Steam is missing an affiliate system.

If Valve would have a great affiliate system, it would be just a matter of very little time that:

  • Soon it’d become the number one place to download non-casual games
  • Soon developers would get nice cross-selling opportunities by recommending similar games than their own ones (in Steam)
  • Soon affiliates (I’d be the first one to join) would be plastering Steam links everywhere and promoting it like crazy.
  • Soon developers would get more players playing their games in Steam and selling other people’s games and making (1) players happy (for having all games in Steam), (2) bringing money to affiliates and (3) gaining Valve more paying customers.

Everybody would win. (Except of course Valve’s competitors)

Now of course the question is: why aren’t they doing this?

Do You Hate Unfinished Things?

One relatively tiny issue was bugging me. My “I wanna test how Ajax + Twitter + cache stuff works” page http://gamestweet.net/ had text “undefined” in the page (which meant Javascript issue). I decided to do a little bit of tweaking… and fixed it (also changed it so that it finds tweets that contain words “indie games”).

Okay, the site Alexa rank is like 5,000,000+ and for the moment I’m not doing pretty much anything with it… but having “undefined” was bugging me enough to make it work.

Now I have some other tasks on my list to hate…

(What unfinished task could you hate enough to finish them today?)

I Don’t Buy Games That Cost 99¢ But I could Buy One For 0.99 Dollars

Just some somebody selling game for “99¢”. To me it looked expensive. Maybe it’s just my Finnish location and unfamiliar symbol, but 99 cents looks more expensive than 0.99 dollars (even though the cost is the same).

Maybe it’s just me.

But in case that odd thing happens and there’s other people like me… then maybe it’s a good idea to sell games for 0.99 dollars instead of 99 cents.

Is it?

Who knows.

I Have This Crazy I-Might-Drop-Car-Keys-Down-to-Sewers Fear

Not sure if I have mentioned this (and definitely not sure if I should), but here we go (again).

I have this weird “I might drop my car keys to sewers” fear. Whenever I go get some gasoline to our car, I look for those sewer things (plug holes?) that might be located near the gas pump. If I see a one, I immediately start to think how my car keys could accidentally drop… way down to the sewers. Where they would never be found again.

What this has to do with anything? Especially about game development?

I’m making a point here that even “rational game developers” like me (and even those genius C++ experts who know loads of 3 letter acronyms) have some weird ideas and thoughts stuffed in their brain.

I know that this fear is (somewhat) irrational. I hold my car keys tight enough or keep them in my pocket, so the chances for the keys to drop are close to me same as the odds for me winning in a lottery (and I don’t even play lottery).

I’m a pretty rational guy. I make all sort of calculations. I liked math, physics (but also arts) in school. I try to make “rational decisions” and think “will buying this shit make my game sell more copies – or help me get it done faster” before I do something. I keep my papers pretty organized, and desktop in ok shape. Overall I keep thinking that I’m sort of a rational guy.

Yet… with all said and done.

I keep fearing that one day I’ll drop my car keys to sewers. (At least it’s not as weird as one famous Finnish astronomy-professor-guy has: he is afraid of dark)

What weird fears your have?

We Game Developers Are Whine Masters (Free Business Tip About Dealing With Portals)

Here’s a fun experiment to do:

    Go to your favourite game development forum

  • Search something about “portal”
  • Count all the posts where people whine about portals (favourite topics including stuff such as “they’re evil”, “they pay shitty”, “prices are too low”, “piracy is overwhelming”)
  • Join the fun and become a master whiner. I’m sure within no time, practically anyone can become a master portal-whiner.

(I’m no better either. In case you didn’t notice: I just whined about whining…)

Or alternatively here’s a 100% free tip for those of us who complain about portals:

if portals are such a bad idea, then like… stop working with them.

Okay?

The 3 Requirements For MMO Game Creation (K27)

There’s a big gap between the following things:

  • “I have an idea about this cool MMO where use of fire is the central element of the game”
  • “I’ve now finished an MMO that runs smoothly on computers and has massive amount of locations to go, raids to kill, hundreds of thousands of paying players, excellent and well balanced economy, tons of new content every few months, and hundreds of other ongoing features that make this game worth playing, buying and developing”

The gap is just huge. Having “idea of MMO” and having “completed MMO game” is two totally different things.

Many wannabe developers go into “MMO creation” as their first project (I base this fact on my own experience since I was developing this “cool MMO where you could pick up a torch” around year 2001), and it’s kind of okay to mess up with picking-up-cool-looking-torch-with-flames game, but thinking that it’s going to be “MMOG” (massively multiplayer online game) is way too much. The “G” (game) alone is more than enough to tackle. Or a mockup demo. That’s totally cool to aim for such a small thing and practice.. but MMO, heck no.

There’s about 3 requirements needed for creating your own massively multiplayer online game. Here they are:

  • You must have played MMO games for minimum of 100 hours (preferrably 1000) to get some understanding where you are diving into. Then, consult this guy who actually knows where you are diving into.
  • You absolutely must have read book Designing Virtual Worlds, because it tells you things you don’t pick up by playing. (It’s good to read even if you aren’t making an MMOG, but essential if you plan to make one)
  • You absolutely must be 27 years old or older, since MMO creation is not allowed for younger. After you’ve got to 27 years age, you are either (1) old enough not to have such a stupid hopes* any more or possibly (2) a budget to actually create one.

* Doesn’t apply for filthy rich people.