I’m Pretty Proud of My Boycott

Three-ish years ago I bought a DVD that I tried to return. The store pretty much said “screw you” when I tried to return a $5 DVD that wouldn’t work on a DVD player I bought from that (remember, that I hadn’t tried Daniel Kinney’s excellent idea about returning things – see the comment on Daniel’s idea in the old blog post). Basically, I couldn’t return $5 DVD and it certainly would have cost me more to fight about the issue, since it was only 5 bucks.

Well, couple of weeks ago I was pondering that “shite it”, I’ve been boycotting the store enough (had purchased tons of DVDs, printer, new TV and whatnot elsewhere rather from this ex-favourite store of mine). I’ll go check if they have some new anime moviews. I went to the store.

I checked out the DVDs and felt bit bad remembering how I got treated, but then got into mood for checking in DVDs. I eventually picked one movie and started walking towards the cashier.

I saw the same saleswoman who was “helping” me with that DVD return few years back and I stopped walking.

All the things got back to my mind. I turned back, put the DVD back to shelf and walked away.

I thought – I can get this DVD from somewhere else.

I haven’t counted… but I think this DVD shoppe has lost quite a bit of money, which some other stores have got. But… if that boycott shoppe want to have $5 and problems instead of a customer who has insane urge to buy stuff, then fine by me. Who am I to tell them what to do?

This reminds me about something. Going to see if I can get Samurai Champloo in my hands.

From some other store than the boycott shoppe, naturally.

Pretty crazy what $5 can lead into.

What’s The Most Important Thing Game Development Has Brought You?

Creating games has many beneficial things in life (whether or not you plan to sell any games): team work, social skills, organizing work, creativity, writing, networking skills… and tons of more.

I started to ponder the most important lesson/experience/thing I’ve got from gaming.

I don’t know what the answer for me is… but somehow I feel that the possibility to share things (and rant about them) together with people and friends must rank pretty high in my list.

Or just rants.

Can’t decide.

Maybe it boils down to experience sharing.

What you’ve got from this thing we call “game dev”?

The Only Certain Thing About the Future Is That It’s Uncertain

No matter how experienced we become, it’s pretty darn hard to predict the future. Or anything where you have variable “human” in it.

Yesterday, I made a blog post about how many computers we really need and it quickly got several replies. It’s not super-much, but several replies is several replies. I didn’t expect those. I certainly didn’t expect seeing “DVDs are history” comment there.

Similarly, I wasn’t expecting so many positive comments on newsletter hack thing.

I think this goes for bigger scale as well. I was watching some music publisher guy saying that when they took Apocalyptica under their wings, they estimated that this band could sell perhaps 4000 units – so they tried it. They ended up selling something like million units or whatever. And this guru had long experience from the scene.

As Gandalf said: “Even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

(He also said “My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over.”, but let’s not get stuck in that.)

Prediction is very hard, especially about the future.

How Many Computers & Consoles You Really Need?

Sometimes it makes me wonder how many computers & consoles developers have. In our home, we have three computers. I don’t have a console nor a smart phone. I have been pondering getting a bigger screen (and who knows what kind of PC upgrade that eventually leads) but that’s it. No consoles for me.

Friend of mine had been using a basic tower PC for quite a while. Then he switched to Mac laptop (not sure what happened to PC). He also has Xbox. And Wii. And assumingly a some sort of smart phone. And quite likely iPod Touch as well.

Does he need all those? I dunno. But when I start think of the amount of computers… for a “normal person” this might sound quite lot. Having 3 pretty powerful computers for 2 person home (soon to be 3…) might sound too much.

And this is not even much for average Joe engineer. I’m sure there’s geeks out there with iPhones, laptops, home computers and consoles – and plans to get more.

How many computers & consoles do we really must have in our places?

How many do you own? You use them all?

(Hmm, I could sure use PlayStation 3. For watching DVDs…)

Closing The Public Game Producer Forums (Private Insiders Section Is Still There)

I have been thinking of closing the Game Producer Forums for some months now. It was discussed with the forum moderators and my reflection about “getting rid of certain stuff” maybe gave me the final push to make this decision.

The main reasons why the forums got closed are:
- Required time compared to activity of the forums
- Tons of spam bots & moderation (see above)
- There are already public forums such as the great Indiegamer forums (where I warmly recommend anyone to join)
- Discussion can happen through this game producer blog nevertheless

It was nice to run the forums, but now it’s time to close them. The resources still appear via Google (so the forums are there in the background) but no new threads can be started in other forums except the “ask about the Insiders membership”.

Strangely I’m going back to where I started.

Mailing List “Data Compromise” Or “They Got Hacked And Your Email Might (Possibly) Was Stolen” As I’d Put It

I’ve been using Aweber to host my newsletter. I got email from one of you subscribers telling me that his email address has been spammed – and that my newsletter is the only place where he has used that email.

I was puzzled, and contacted Aweber.

They told that they had data compromise during December.

To me this sounds bad. Basically, all of you who have subscribed to my newsletter, might have got your email stolen by some hacker. Basically, my address might have been stolen as well.

And this was due “data compromise”.

I can’t but say that I’m very sorry that this has happened. Aweber is probably one of the world’s largest newsletter provider and I have never had any trouble with them… but this thing is just sad.

Sorry guys from my part. I promised that “Your email address is kept 100% confidential and never given to anyone”. Well, now (possibly) it got stolen. If you have received more spam than usual, then it might be possible (I really don’t know).

Really shitty thing.

I’m now looking at YMLP to switch my newsletter hosting there.

It’s also sad that I wouldn’t have found out about this unless one of you subscribers hadn’t emailed me about this. Now I wanted to say what has happened. And when I asked about this, they mention that there was “data compromise”. Why not say “we got hacked and your email got stolen” – which is true.

Note to self: never use any important emails in newsletter systems.

Sorry from my part. Didn’t saw this coming.

I Miss Blitzcoder…

Blitzcoder was the first proper forum for blitz users – even if you had illegal copy – and it had tons of content, and great stuff in the forums – great people. I know they tried to setup a similar forum to Blitzcoder later (can’t remember the url now), and that there’s other forums (Bmax, Coder workshop is possibly there too), but Blitzcoder was a forum that had something special in it. You cannot clone the people and the feeling.

I can remember this
journal entry of mine from year 2002.

Those were the times.

Any other old-blitz-farts there missing Blitzcoder?

I really wonder what causes this. What is so special about a virtual place that brings you so many good memories… that you actually sort of miss it. Strange.

Game Dev Daddys

Do you (1) develop games and (2) have a kid (or kids)?

[poll id=23]

I’m curious to know how big percentage of readers I’m going to lose this year after babbling about baby stuff… (I’ll try my best to keep the “game dev” part in all posts though, but somehow my mind is constantly switching thinking into this release)

Those who voted “yes” will probably find this baby story hilarious. Or have already found. I did.

Software Recommendations – Anyone Tried Dropbox?

I just saw this fine thread at Indiegamer where people were recommending software for year 2010. (Check out the thread by the way, there’s tons of good recommendations) I picked up Dropbox.com hint from that thread.

I think I have seen Dropbox earlier, but never really tested nor used it. It might actually prove to be pretty good idea for many things. The basic idea is to have a “shared folder” where you can put your data and access from different computers. The security got me thinking though. If the file syncing happens via some sort of online system, then it is a potential security issue. Yes, they are using encryption, but if the files are online… it’s a potential risk. And this means one gotta think carefully what file to put there.

Have you guys used Dropbox or some similar service. What would you recommend? Has it been a good idea? How has it worked for you?